Image of the first words of the act creating the school along with early pics of buildings




Rept combined with deaf school

Thanks given to groups helping the school: Parent Teacher Org and the Lions Club of Austin. Lions have sponsored Boy Scout, Cub Scout, and Explorer activities and provided much of the equipment used. PTO sponsored class parties, Christmas party for little children, provided graduation flowers, purchased athletic awards, provided boy and girl of the year awards, home ec awards, sponsored senior trip.

Also helped by service clubs, churches of Austin, community orgns, other agencies serving the blind, county health units and others.

HB 12 put the three schools under one administrator as of Sept. 1, 1965. With a centralized plan of operation. –John F. Grace Under Asst Commissioner of Ed in charge of Voc. Rehab and Special Ed.

2 asst dirs: Business and student life—responsible for out-of-school activities and psychological and counseling program and medical and dental.

Health good during the year: no epidemic of any kind experienced.

Same plea as previous report for program for multi-handicapped, more housing for blind school, replacement of staff housing, air-conditioning, and sufficient number of trained teachers.

Psychologist was assisted by 4 grad students in psychology to make psychometric survey of students for BD&O. Bob Winn assisted with students at blind school—in 1965.

In 1966-67 2 grad students in special ed employed to “examine and pass on the admissibility of September 1967 applicants to the Blind School.” [p.7]

“The psychological work carried on among the students at the School for the Blind has been limited. This is unfortunate since the writer sees a considerable need here.” [p10]

[My inference is that the psychologist came from the deaf school and got grad students to do the leg work at TSB under her oversight.—I detect an air of being put upon by having to deal with this large influx of students she wasn’t used to dealing with.] At TSB examined 35 students, wrote 45 reports to the supt, 20 to the state commission for the blind and did 39 pre-admission exams and repts.

“The greatest need facing the Special Schools as far as psychological service is concerned is the employment of additional psychologists on a full time basis. This need has been present for ten years or more. The increase by double of student population in September 1965 more than doubled the need for additional psychologists.

“This need for additional psychologists cannot be based solely on the numerical increase of student population. Adding a second major sensory handicap (blindness) to the total student population increase the work of the psychologist tremendously. Likewise, integration changes the problems which a psychologist is called upon to understand and explain.

“It is the writer’s belief that it is impossible for psychological services to operate at a high professional standard as long as the student-psychologist load remains at its present high peak. …

“The employment of graduate students for examining handicapped students can never be the answer for obtaining adequate psychological service. Too frequently these students do not have the training and experienced to be relied upon to do a competent job. Too much of the school psychologist’s time is consumed in supervising, interpreting and editing their work. If graduate students are to be used, it should be on a practicum basis, set up in conjunction with the University of Texas Psychology, Educational Psychology or Special Education Departments. Even here, the value of such a program to the Special Schools is questionable unless three school psychologists are on the staff.

“The writer has enjoyed a close working and personal relationship with the staff over the past fourteen years and leaves with considerable regret…” [p. 11]

[no name given]

“The attitude of the students is one of happiness, a desire to learn, and a very normal outlook on life. There is a relaxed atmosphere among the entire personnel as they go about their daily duties and tasks. Everyone seems to feel that he is a part of the whole operation. Every teacher seems to be striving to do his very best for the students and the students are responding beautifully to these efforts.” [p11]

Physical changes: “pleasant and practical offices have been provided for the Instructional Supervisors and for the personnel of Student Life. The Superintendent’s office has been improved and space made available for his secretary to carry on her work in an efficient manner. Space has been properly arranged to take care of the special program for the multi-handicapped pilot program and for the mobility program.

“A great amount of painting has been done in the classrooms and cottages. Six cottages have been air-conditioned and the heating system has been converted to individual units rather than the boiler house type of heating. …

“It is hoped that in the not too distant future, adequate living space will be provided to relieve the present crowded situation in the cottages. There are now three students living in almost every room. These rooms were constructed to accommodate only two. Crowding visually handicapped children leads to personal problems which would not exist otherwise.” [p.12]

Three levels of school: grade school, jr. high, sr. high. Academic program much like any school. Emphasis on self-reliance

“Upon entering school the child receives an eye examination, and the decision whether he should read Braille by touch or large print is made by a combination of medical reports and teacher and houseparent observation of how he functions. Different teaching and study techniques are employed with the blind than with the partially sighted, although they are often in classes together.” [p.14]

Special programs provided in music, physical ed, vocational shops, home ec, cane travel, and typing, also an adjustment program for newly blinded. Extracurricular activities include junior club, Pom Poms, Y-Teens, recreational swimming, class activities, cub scouts, boys scouts, music athletics, dances, parties, skating, school paper, dating, and more.

“The goals and general philosophy of the program are to provide: (a) the maximum possible education for each students, (b) vocational and on the job training for those who can benefit, (c) the development of special skills, (d) the development of social skills, (e) to provide a normal school and living situation, and (f) to strengthen home and school relations. The major goal towards which all others are directed is: ‘TO HELP EACH BOY AND GIRL REALIZED THEIR MAXIMUM POTENTIAL IN ORDER TO LIVE A NORMAL, HAPPY AND PRODUCTIVE LIFE.’” [p.15]

“Project Report

“Program for Multi-Handicapped Blind Children

“A Place to Go in Texas

…”In May of 1966, the TSB, under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, obtained federal funds to establish a pilot program in the education of the multihandicapped blind child. …

During the three summer months the staff was trained in those areas of exceptionality where they were most efficient. A curriculum was planned and educational methods and media were studied for applicability in the program. Equipment and materials were purchased. Classroom space was remodeled, and candidates for the program were selected. The basic educational philosophy and procedures governing the structure of the program were also developed at that time.

“During the first two and a half school months various educational methods and media were attempted. Through teacher evaluation procedures the methods and media were selected which best met the individual needs of the children.

“Extensive testing was done in November to establish a baseline for evaluation of the philosophy and procedures of the program, as well as the methods and media selected through teacher evaluation procedures.

“The Subjects

“Most of the fifteen subjects in the program have learning disabilities due to emotional problems, neurological dysfunctioning, educational deprivation, and cultural deprivation. No child in the program tests out functionally below IQ 60. All but two of the children have attended the Texas School for the Blind one year or more with educational advancement on the average one-third of the normal rate, as indicated by standardized achievement tests.

“Description of Educational Philosophy and Procedures

“…Provision of an optimal educational opportunity includes giving the child as much individual attention as possible, developing a curriculum to meet his unique needs, and providing the latest educational media and equipment ot implement the learning situation. A one-to-five teacher-pupil ratio is maintained to ensure necessary individual attention.

“…it is not the philosophy of the program that a child necessarily be educated entirely by the special program or entirely by the regular program. As certain learning disabilities are overcome, a partial or total integration of the child into the regular classroom program may occur. In addition, a child in the regular program may have learning disability in only one area that can be dealt with by the special program.

“A key aspect of the program is its learning-problems approach, which is implemented through evaluative and procedural staffings.” Although a diagnosis is required to get into the program, the program is not determined by the label. “Children are grouped on the basis of common learning disabilities and their current educational developmental levels. …”[p.15-16]

look at best sensory input mode, best educational environment, best educational methods and media for each child. Evaluations made, initial program planned, and changed according to how child responds.

“In terms of the criterion regarding best mode of sensory input, it was found without exception that the auditory mode was far superior to the tactual or visual mode.” [p. 18]

much time spent recording materials, especially in science and social studies. Student motivation and interest increased in academic areas where reading disability was averted.

To meet emotional problems:

  1. “Free, relaxed teaching styles
  2. Programmed learning, where the student need not interact with the teacher
  3. Crisis therapy, in which the child receives therapy immediately when an emotional crisis occurs
  4. Partitioning a child from adjacent children by means or [sic] dividers and
  5. Use of an isolation therapy room.” [p. 18]

“… Educational staffings help discover development gaps in learning or skills and an attempt is made to go back and provide the child with education experiences to fill in the gap. One of the major problems encountered in carrying out this approach is a general lack of agreement among the experts concerning normal developmental learning patterns.

“There are several maxims followed in the developmental approach. Learning tasks are broken down into small segments to facilitate learning and to show more precisely the progress of children who learn slowly. Throughout the curriculum an effort has been made to work from the concrete to the abstract. Field trips are probably the most valuable way of providing concrete experiences for these children; a field trip a week is usually planned. An attempt is made to work from classroom to real life situations. Carry-over from the classroom is not left to chance since self-sufficiency for multi-handicapped children is crucial.” [p. 19]

“Project Results

“There was marked improvement in emotional and social stability in the children in the Project, as determined by anecdotal reports and behaviorial checklist. …

“It can be generally said that prior to the Title I Program at the Texas School for the Blind the multi-handicapped blind children were progressing educationally at a low educable mentally retarded rate (.34 grade levels achieved per year of school attendance). As a result of the Title I Program, these same children are progressing almost at a normal or average overall-all rate of educational achievement (.97 grade levels achieved per year of school attendance).” [p. 19]

“Elementary Individualized Multi-Level Curriculum


“No grouping within a grade in the conventionally graded school gives the flexibility necessary to link the curriculum to the achievement of each individual. Therefore, the elementary staff decided to design a multilevel curriculum for the three elementary grades  in which each child would spend his day being taught at the level of his achievement in various areas. For example, one child is reading on a third grade level but is capable of doing sixth grade arithmetic.

“The curriculum is a continuum with the grade score on Stanford Achievement Test, Form X and teacher evaluation the criteria used for placement. The basic areas of language arts, mathematics, science and social studies are divided in four levels of instruction:

Level I Below Fourth Grade

Level II Fourth Grade

Level III Fifth Grade

Level IV Sixth grade and above

“Within each level the curriculum is more carefully tailored to the needs of the individual child. …Each individual teacher is allowed flexibility of method in obtaining the goals of the course. Flexibility provides for regrouping as needed to assure continuous programs or each child. “ [p.21]

“Mobility Program

“This program is designed to provide the maximum in independent travel skills for every student at the Texas School for the Blind. The activities have included in-service training of staff, summer school training of staff, the securing of mobility specialists and a project director, analysis of the student population relating to general grouping of students according to age and need, securing of equipment and materials, and development of general and specific curriculum guides.”[p.21]

“The program during the school year is designed to provide sensory training, pre-cane skills, formal cane travel techniques, training for maximum travel use of the residual vision combined with other sensory intake, maximum independence possible at each age level, in-service training of the total staff, supportive activities by classroom teachers, and dissemination of information to the total staff. The major objectives are to develop a fully coordinated and implemented program for all students and staff and to provide maximum independent travel skills for every student according to individual potential.” [p. 22]

Enrichment program under Dr. Barraga. 12 children between 6-13 in pre-first to 8th grade. “The program was designed to provide enrichment activities for the children and a laboratory situation for teacher trainees. …The demonstration teacher was Mrs. Eddie Langdon, a regular staff member of the TSB.”

Held in the mornings for eight weeks

Designed to provide experiences for social, emotional and academic development with major emphasis on social and emotional aspects. “The primary idea was to provide meaningful experiences in these areas in a creative and informal manner rather than in a form academic setting. The activities of the program included a student operated play store, folk dancing, folk games, grammar, creative writing, phonics, current events, recreational reading, art and drama, field trips, games, free play, science, arithmetic, speech, demonstrations, and music. The children were provided with many and varied experiences and opportunities to broaden their general horizons in an informal and meaningful way.” [p. 22]

Other new or revised or expanded programs:

Teacher training program in conjunction with UT

Coordinated staffing techniques to evaluate student needs

A cooperative work-study program for older students

Cooperative inter-agency planning

Participation in the TEA braille and large type textbook program

Coordinated student Awards program

Participation in SWASB Athletic programs

Staff participation in AAIB certification program

Staff participation in summer school program

Establishment of local textbook depositories

Expansion of library facilities

Expansion of a telephone and inter-communication system throughout the campus

SAT, IQ and Stanford achievement testing

Addition of new course and general upgrading of the academic curriculum

Publication of a weekly information bulleting

Development and publication of a procedures and policies guide

Emphasis on related field trips though the school

Securing additional Braille and large print World Book Encyclopedias

Student-faculty student council study committee

Utilization of National Visiting consults for staff development

Participation in Research

146 boys, 85 girls. Graduated 9.

Staff includes Matthew Caldwell, Irene Harlan, John Orsak; not Esther Parmer