Blind-Visually Impaired

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Specialist for the Blind / Visually Impaired provides support, resources and technical assistance to teachers of the blind and visually impaired (TBVI), certified orientation and mobility specialists (COMS), and other stakeholders providing service to students with disabilities and their families.

According to Minnesota Rules 3525.1345, "'Visually impaired' means a medically verified visual impairment accompanied by limitations in sight that interfere with acquiring information or interaction with the environment to the extent that special education instruction and related services may be needed." A student with visual impairments and a functional need may be considered for special education under the Blind – Visually Impaired (BVI) category. Find Minnesota Rules language regarding visual impairments under Related offsite resources on the right.

Users can access statewide technical assistance and resources addressing special education and services for students who are blind or visually impaired. For questions and concerns, contact Kristin Oien, Specialist for the Blind / Visually Impaired, at or 651-582-8843.
  •  - 2/9/18
    Links to the 2017 welcome letter and up-to-date information and resources for teachers of the blind/visually impaired (TBVI) and certified orientation and mobility specialists (COMS).
  •  - 10/19/17
    Resource links for low incidence facilitators and specialists
  • Early Childhood Vision Observation and Interview Protocol - 8/25/17
    Sample form for local use in early childhood vision observation
  • Students Who are Blind or Visually Impaired – June 2016 - 9/13/16
    Summary of efforts, data, and results of work from education-based agencies, departments and individuals who serve students who are blind or visually impaired in Minnesota
  •  - 10/20/15  pdf iconPDF 
    Recommends Minnesota continue to use Nemeth Braille Code in context of Unified English Braille (UEB)
  •  - 10/1/15
    MDE response to Braille Association of North America's adoption of Unified English Braille with timeline for implementation
  •  - 9/3/13