Blind Task Force (BTF)

Blind Task Force (BTF)

hand reading braille instruction on a handrail, accessing an ATM machine, street crossing for visually impaired

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Purpose

According to Article 3 of the BTF Bylaws, the purpose of the Blind Task Force shall be the development of goals and objectives to guide the improvement of special education, related services, vocational training, transition from school to work, rehabilitation services, independent living and the employment outcomes for eligible blind or visually impaired students.

Meetings

The Blind Task Force meet at least quarterly. Currently, members meet on Tuesdays during the second full week of February, May, August, and November. Chairperson determines if the meeting will be held virtually or in-person. All meetings of the Blind Task Force shall be open to the public except as provided in Chapter 610 RSMo.

Summary of House Bill

Summary of House Bill

Requires an annual report from DESE to the State Legislature about the literacy of blind and visually impaired children; requires DESE and Rehabilitation Services for the Blind to develop a joint referral system; creates the Blindness Skills Specialist Fund; requires school districts to give preference in purchasing textbook materials to textbook vendors that make materials available in Braille, or an electronic format approved by DESE.

  • 162.1130 Definitions
  • 162.1133 Blindness Skills Specialist available at each regional professional development center, duties - task force established
  • 162.1136 Annual study conducted, educational status of eligible students report to the general assembly, contents.
  • 162.1139 Joint referral service developed, rehabilitation services
  • 162.1142 Blindness skills specialist fund created
Membership

162.1133.3. A task force on blind student academic and vocational performance is hereby established and shall be comprised of members appointed by the commissioner of education, in cooperation with the director of the department of social services, to represent consumer organizations, parents, teachers, public school special education administrators, school building principals, rehabilitation services for the blind, the Missouri school for the blind, employers, and others interested in quality services for blind students. This task force shall develop goals and objectives to guide the improvement of special education, related services, vocational training, transition from school to work, rehabilitation services, independent living and employment outcomes for eligible students.

Blindness Skills Specialist Program

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has contracted for​ three Blindness Skills Specialists. Specialists will consult with public schools in the identification and service planning for students who are blind.

Missouri School for the Blind - Outreach Services
Rebecca Romine
Phone: 314-633-3945
Email: rebecca.romine@msb.dese.mo.gov
Website: https://msb.dese.mo.gov/

Truman State University - Northeast RPDC
Jessica Hall, Blindness Skills Specialist
100 East Normal Avenue
Kirksville, Missouri 63501
Phone: 573-289-9441
Email: jhall@truman.edu
Website: https://rpdc.truman.edu/programs/blind-skills/

Missouri State University - PCOB 1207 - Southwest RPDC
DJ Butcher, Blindness Skills Specialist
901 S. National Ave.
Springfield, Missouri 65897
Phone: 417-836-8872
Fax: 417-836-5997
Email: butcher2@missouristate.edu
Website: https://education.missouristate.edu/bss/

Missouri State University - PCOB 207 - Southwest RPDC
Anthony Blades, Blindness Skills Specialist
Missouri State University - PCOB 207
901 S. National Ave.
Springfield, Missouri 65897
Phone: 417-836-8872
Fax: 417-836-5997
Email: janthonyblades@missouristate.edu
Website: https://www.missouristate.edu/

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