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, part 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.

  • Blind/Visually Impaired (BVI) Feasibility Report - 6/29/21
    Funding and resources needed to establish an accredited training program for Minnesota teachers of the blind and visually impaired.
  •  - 6/4/21
    Links to the 2020 welcome letter and up-to-date information and resources for teachers of the blind/visually impaired (TBVI) and certified orientation and mobility specialists (COMS).
  • Blind / Visually Impaired (BVI) Assistive Technology (AT) Loan Project Report, May 2021 - 6/4/21
    allowing educators of students who are BVI to borrow and explore various high cost AT devices with their students
  • Q&A: Orientation and Mobility - 4/29/21
  • Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired - 4/2/21
    Summary of data, efforts, needs and results of work from education-based agencies, departments and individuals who serve students who are blind or visually impaired in Minnesota.
  • Early Childhood Vision Observation and Interview Protocol - 12/23/20
    Sample form for local use in early childhood vision observation
  •  - 9/17/20
    Minnesota braille math workgroup statement, September 2020
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Risk Assessment Guidance - 7/29/20
    best practices for children and young people whose orientation and mobility training requires hands-on instruction or close physical distance
  • Blind/Visually Impaired Fact Sheet - 7/8/20
    Blind/Visually Impaired data and resources