The SC School for the Deaf and the Blind (SCSDB) offers three fully accredited schools on the Spartanburg campus: the School for the Deaf, the School for the Blind, and Cedar Springs Academy. The admissions team completes a thorough review of records to ensure students meet admission criteria and to determine which of the three schools is most appropriate to meet the student’s needs.General Criteria
All students applying for admission must meet the following criteria:
- Each student seeking admission to SCSDB is entitled to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). FAPE emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet the student’s unique needs and to prepare the student for employment and independent living. With respect to LRE, the student is also entitled to be educated in the regular education environment with students who are not disabled unless education in regular classes with supplementary aides and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.
- The school does not accept high management behavior students if those students pose a risk of harm to self or others.
- Students must have a permanent residence in South Carolina
- Students must be between the ages of 3 – 21
- Students must be able to function within the school environment in a healthy and safe manner:
- Educational setting
- Residential setting
Students must demonstrate evidence they have no medically related health or safety issues which are beyond the scope of the health care center, the educational/residential programs, or the resources available to appropriately manage the student’s needs.
In addition to the general criteria, students must also meet criteria for the specific school program they wish to attend.School for the Deaf Admission Criteria
The student’s hearing loss must be certified by a licensed specialist such as an audiologist, otologist, or otolaryngologist.
b) Evidence demonstrates the student has:
1. A hearing loss that is 20 dB or greater at any one frequency, either unilaterally or bilaterally, or
2. A fluctuating hearing loss, either unilaterally or bilaterally
The adverse effects of the deafness or hard of hearing impairment on the student’s educational performance require specialized instruction and/or related services.
d) The student’s primary educational needs are related to their hearing loss and require the specialized supports and programs offered by SCSDB including:
1. Instruction primarily presented using sign language eliminating the need for interpreters and offering direct communication and instruction between teachers and students.
Teachers, psychologists, speech therapists, related service providers, administrators, and others involved in education understand the unique nature of deafness.
3. Students have the opportunity to be exposed to deaf or hard of hearing role models.
4. Students’ unique signed communication mode is respected, used, and developed to an appropriate level of proficiency.
5. Students’ are able to communicate directly using the same sign language mode with a large number of like peers.
School for the Blind Admission Criteria
The student’s visual impairment must be certified by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist.
b) Evidence demonstrates:1.
The visual acuity with correction is 20/70 or worse in the better eye; or
The visual acuity is better than 20/70 with correction in the better eye, and there is documentation of either of the following conditions:
· a diagnosed progressive loss of vision
· a visual field of 40 degrees of less
3. If the visual acuity is unable to be determined by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist, the existence of functional vision loss must be supported by functional vision assessment findings; or
4. There is evidence of cortical visual impairment
The student’s visual impairment adversely affects his or her educational and functional performance. The adverse effects of the visual impairment on the student’s educational performance require specialized instruction and related services.
d) The student’s primary educational needs are related to their visual impairment and require the specialized supports and programs offered by SCSDB including:
1. Students are provided fully accessible print and electronic materials in all settings.
2. Instruction in the Expanded Core Curriculum for Blind and Visually Impaired Students, providing necessary supports in Compensatory Access, Sensory Efficiency, Assistive Technology, Orientation and Mobility, Independence, Social Skills, Recreation and Leisure Skills, Career Education, and Self Determination.
Teachers, psychologists, therapists, related service providers, administrators, and others involved in education understand the unique nature of visual impairments.
4. Students have the opportunity to be exposed to blind or visually impaired role models.
5. Students are able to interact with a large number of like peers.
Cedar Springs Academy Admission Criteria
- In addition to a vision impairment or hearing loss, as outlined for admission to the School for the Deaf or the School for the Blind, the student must also meet all of the additional criteria noted below.
a) The sensory disability must be greater than or equal to the secondary disability.
b) The student cannot be accommodated exclusively in the School for the Deaf or the School for the Blind due to the severity of their disabilities.
c) Additional Criteria:
1. The adverse effects of the student’s disabilities on their educational performance require specialized instruction and/or related services. Those educational needs must be associated with the student’s visual impairment or hearing loss and must require the specialized supports and programs offered by SCSDB for sensory disabilities.
There is evidence the student demonstrates significant limitations that would indicate an appropriate placement in a non-graded program with alternate curriculum, including:
· Significant cognitive disability and adaptive skill deficits, which result in performance that is substantially below grade-level achievement expectations even with the use of accommodations and modifications;
· Current adaptive skills require extensive direct instruction and practice in multiple settings
3. The student must be able to perform in a “moderate” range of functioning (or higher) in order to benefit from the specialized training offered at the school.