Virginia Department of Education Resources for Serving Student with Sensory Disabilities

  • Annual Resources for Serving Students with Sensory Disabilities
    (Revised October 2023)

    The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) provides information on its website about educational services and resources to support students who are deaf or hard of hearing, blind or visually impaired, or deaf-blind. The following resources are excerpted from VDOE’s Sensory Disabilities webpage and from websites for partnering agencies, centers, and college/university programs in Virginia.

State Agencies

    • State Agencies 

      The Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind (VSDB) is located in Staunton, Virginia,  and provides a comprehensive PreK–12 educational day program, outreach services, and  residential services exclusively for Virginia students who are deaf or hard of hearing,  blind or visually impaired, or deaf-blind. The VSDB Outreach Services assists early  intervention programs, local school divisions, and families in meeting the needs of  children with sensory disabilities across the Commonwealth. The VSDB’s admissions  policy is available on its website. 

      o Contact: Pat Trice, Superintendent; telephone: (804) 536-0591 

      The Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI) includes an  Education Services Program to provide services to early intervention providers, school  personnel, and families to assist children with visual impairment, blindness, and deaf blindness to be successful in school and the community, and to prepare for the future.  The DBVI Library and Resource Center provides services to local school divisions to  support the education of children who are blind or visually impaired and persons who are 

      print disabled. The Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired offers training in the skills of blindness. 

      o Contact: Donna Cox, Director of Education and Library Services;  

      telephone: (804) 887-7327 

      The Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH) provides  information and services for telecommunication services and equipment, interpreter  standards, referrals, Deaf mentors for families, and other services. These resources  promote accessible communications so that students and parents who are Deaf and Hard  of Hearing may fully participate in programs, services, and opportunities throughout  Virginia. 

      o Contact: Eric Raff, Director; telephone: (804) 404-9090 or (800) 552-7917

      Professional Education and Training Programs 

      Radford University’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program offers Virginia’s only academic  program leading to Virginia teacher licensure with an endorsement in Special Education Deaf and Hard of Hearing PreK–12. Courses are taught through combined on-campus,  distance education, and varied educational field experiences. The comprehensive program  teaches all communication and instructional approaches used with students who are deaf  and hard of hearing. Tuition assistance is available for qualified Virginia teachers. 

      o Contact: Karen Stinson, Graduate Advisor; telephone: (540) 831-5549 

      The Virginia Consortium for Teacher Preparation in Visual Impairment (VI Consortium) is the only academic program in Virginia for teacher preparation leading to Virginia  teacher licensure with an endorsement in Special Education-Visual Impairment PreK–12.  Classes are offered through combined on-campus, video, and web conferencing through  three universities: George Mason, Old Dominion, and Radford. Tuition assistance is  available for qualified Virginia teachers. 

      o Contact: Dr. Kimberly Avila, Coordinator; telephone: (703) 993-5625 

      The VDOE Educational Interpreter Services Training Program is supported with grant  funding from the VDOE to assist Virginia educational interpreters and cued language  transliterators with acquiring and maintaining the required skills and qualifications to  work with children who are deaf and hard of hearing in Virginia public schools. Free  regional workshops and mentoring support are available. 

      o Contact: Marla Pollack, Region 4 Interpreter Training Grant Coordinator; telephone: (571) 982-1504 

      American Sign Language-English Interpretation programs and courses are offered at the  following Virginia community colleges and universities: 

      o Liberty University; telephone: (434) 582-2064 

      o Northern Virginia Community College; telephone: (703) 323-3192 

      o Radford University; telephone: (540) 831-5549 

      o Reynolds Community College; telephone: (804) 523-5604 

      o Tidewater Community College; telephone: (757) 214-6157 

      For questions regarding this guidance, contact Wanda Council, Specialist for Deaf/Hard of  Hearing, Blind/Visually Impaired, and Deaf-Blind, at (804) 750-8614 or

Technical Assistance Centers and Training Programs

  • Technical Assistance Centers 

    The Accessible Instructional Materials Center of Virginia (AIM-VA) developed an  extensive library and alternative system for providing accessible educational media under  standards set by federal law to students who meet the federal requirements for print  disabilities and who are eligible for accessing educational media through an  Individualized Education Program (IEP). The AIM-VA Center, in conjunction with  partnering agencies, provides required accessible educational materials to students and  training for school division staff at no cost to local educational agencies. 

    o Contact: AIM-VA Help Desk; telephone: (888) 496-0252 

    The Center for Family Involvement (CFI) at the Partnership for People with Disabilities  at Virginia Commonwealth University provides information and training to support  children with disabilities, their families, and professionals. 

    o Contact: CFI Office; telephone: (877) 567-1122 

    The Technical Assistance Center for Children Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing  (TAC-DHH) provides information, training, and technical assistance pertaining to  children who are deaf and hard of hearing. Assistance is available to Virginia public  school divisions, including early childhood special education and early intervention  programs, through the Virginia Network of Consultants for Professionals (VNOC)  Working with Children Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing. 

    o Contact: Tracey Yurechko, Project Director; telephone: (804) 828-1342 

    The Virginia Hearing Aid Loan Bank (HALB) program provides hearing aids and FM  systems to eligible children in Virginia whose hearing loss is confirmed by an  audiologist. Devices are loaned at no cost for up to six months while families and school  divisions are waiting for a permanent device to arrive. 

    o Contact: Sandra Woodward, Program Director; telephone: (434) 924-0222

    The Virginia Deafblind Project (VDBP) provides technical assistance, training, distance  education, and networking information to service providers and families of children with  deafblindness and dual sensory disabilities. 

    o Contact: Ira Padhye, Project Director; telephone: (804) 828-2052