2017 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 115. State superintendent; general classifications and definitions; children with disabilities.
115.525 Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Universal Citation: WI Stat § 115.525 (2017)

115.525 Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

(1)Definition. In this section, “center" means the Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

(1m)Purpose. The purpose of the center is to serve as a statewide educational resource relating to visual impairments to benefit all Wisconsin children who are visually impaired.

(2)Governance. The state superintendent shall maintain and govern the center. The state superintendent shall appoint an individual who has training and experience in educating pupils who are visually impaired to serve as the director of the center.

(3)Services. The center shall provide services that benefit children throughout the state who are visually impaired.

(a) School.

1. `Residents 3 to 20 years old.' The center shall operate a school at which any resident of this state 3 to 20 years old who is visually impaired, and for the duration of a school term any resident of this state who is visually impaired and becomes 21 years old during that school term, shall be received and taught free of charge if the individualized education program for the resident under s. 115.787 and the educational placement under s. 115.79 specify the school operated by the center as the appropriate placement.

2. `Residents 21 years old or older.' The state superintendent may admit to the school operated by the center a resident of the state who is visually impaired and is 21 years of age or older prior to the beginning of a school term upon the payment of fees fixed by the state superintendent and upon the recommendation of the secretary of health services, the director of the technical college system or the director of the center.

3. `Nonresidents.' A nonresident of this state, who is visually impaired, who either is 3 to 20 years old or becomes 21 years old during a school term, whose individualized education program under 20 USC 1414 (d) and educational placement specify the school operated by the center as the appropriate placement and who is capable of receiving instruction may be received at the school upon payment in advance of the fees fixed by the state superintendent, but no nonresident may be received to the exclusion of a resident pupil.

4. `Pupil use of residential facilities.' Except as provided in sub. (4), the director of the center shall make the residential facilities at the center available to all pupils received at the school operated by the center.

5. `School term .' The state superintendent shall fix the period of the school term at the school operated by the center at not less than 38 weeks, prescribe the school sessions and confer diplomas upon meritorious pupils who have completed the prescribed curriculum. Pursuant to a pupil's individualized education program under s. 115.787, a pupil may be placed at the school for less than a school term.

6. `Transportation.' The center may provide transportation for resident pupils at the school operated by the center.

(b) Other statewide services. The center may do any of the following:

1. Provide testing, evaluation and assessment services to assist local educational agencies, cooperative educational service agencies and county children with disabilities education boards.

2. Provide technical assistance and consultation services to entities such as local educational agencies, cooperative educational service agencies, county children with disabilities education boards, private schools, and tribal schools.

3. Develop and disseminate curriculum and instructional materials.

4. Provide in service and other training to teachers and other staff serving pupils who are visually impaired.

5. Provide training, technical assistance and consultation services for parents of children who are visually impaired and for professionals who work with children who are visually impaired.

6. Provide materials in braille, large print and other appropriate formats to children who are visually impaired.

7. Train teachers and braillists about braille codes and formats used by individuals who are visually impaired.

8. Loan books and other materials from the library described in par. (c) 2.

9. Serve as a clearinghouse for information about children who are visually impaired, including information related to library resources, adapted materials and current research.

10. Assist in providing assistive technology services, as defined in s. 115.76 (2), for pupils who are visually impaired.

11. Lend, rent or lease technological materials and assistive technology devices, as defined in s. 115.76 (1), to local educational agencies, cooperative educational service agencies and county children with disabilities education boards.

12. Facilitate the preparation of teachers of pupils who are visually impaired by providing assistance to teacher preparation programs.

13. Coordinate and collaborate with public and private agencies and organizations that provide services to individuals who are visually impaired, including the development of employment skills and opportunities.

14. Provide other statewide services that relate to the education of children who are visually impaired.

(c) Additional services.

1. `Birth to 2 services.' The center may provide instruction or services, or both, for children who are under the age of 2 and are visually impaired and their parents. The instruction or services are subject to the approval of, and shall comply with requirements established by, the department.

2. `Library.' Embossed, clear type or large type books acquired by the center constitute a circulating collection for persons who are visually impaired. The collection shall be kept at the center and be under the supervision of its director. All school age children of the state who are visually impaired may use such books upon compliance with criteria established by the director of the center and approved by the state superintendent.

3. `Summer programs.' The center shall provide summer programs each year for children who are visually impaired.

4. `Adult summer program.' The center shall provide a summer program each year for adults who are visually impaired. The state superintendent may contract with other entities to provide this program.

5. `Independent living skills.' With the approval of the state superintendent, the center may use state-owned housing on the grounds of the center in Janesville as a facility in which individuals receive instruction in and practice independent living skills.

(d) Provision of services. In addition to providing services at the center's facility in Janesville, the center may provide services at any location in the state and may operate regional satellite facilities throughout the state to provide services.

(4)Nondiscrimination. All pupils at the center may equally and freely enjoy the benefits and privileges of the center, have the use of the library and books of instruction and receive board, lodging and laundry, without discrimination, except that the director of the center may determine that board, lodging and laundry may not be provided to an individual because appropriate services are not available for that individual at the center's residential facilities.

(5)Charges. The state superintendent may charge for meals, living quarters, laundry and other services furnished to employees of the center and their families. The state superintendent may charge for services furnished to visitors at the center and participants in training programs and institutes.

(6)Leasing of space. The state superintendent may lease space at the center in Janesville that is not required by the center to any person if the state superintendent determines that the use will not be inconsistent with the operation of the center.

History: 1999 a. 9; 2007 a. 20 s. 9121 (6) (a); 2009 a. 302; 2013 a. 8.

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