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Short Term Programs

Short term banner picture of the NMSBVI statue w/ animated text

Short Term Programs



About the Program:

NMSBVI strives to adapt to the ever changing needs of students with visual impairments. A review of the service delivery model—which has revolved around placements on the NMSBVI campuses in Alamogordo and Albuquerque and through the state wide Outreach program—has revealed the need for an addition to the previous options. Some students with visual impairments have identified needs for VI specific skills that are difficult to meet in the itinerant based model employed by many New Mexico school districts. At the same time, those students are not in need of placement on an NMSBVI campus.

A student with arms elevated uses caution to approach a heated science tool in the lab to make adjustments




A student uses his white cane technique while walking with Orientation & Mobility Instructro Ron Later

To assist the district Teachers of the Visually Impaired (TVI) and Orientation & Mobility (O&M) staff meet the needs of their students, NMSBVI has developed a program for short-term stays in which students will focus intensively on one or two VI specific skills. The VI specific skill areas are those which can prove challenging for some district TVI/O&M personnel to teach due to factors beyond their control, such as lack of the ability to transport students to meaningful O&M lesson sites, difficulty in obtaining needed materials, or time pressures. District TVI/O&M personnel will now have another option when it comes to ensuring that students with visual impairments have the opportunity to master much needed VI specific skills.



The focal areas for the short-term stays are included in the links below. Selecting a link will open a page with more specific options, including the times needed for instruction (1 or 2 weeks) and descriptions of what will be taught. Students will bring work for the duration of their stays from the district to help minimize the disruption to their core curriculum classes. NMSBVI staff will send reports to the district TVI/O&M personnel recapping what the students learned so the skills can be reinforced and built upon.

  • Staff certified in Orientation & Mobility are using the new Birth-to-Six O&M Inventory tool to assess children referred for this service. This tool was created by the NMSBVI’s Birth-to-Three Program and was validated for application by Western Michigan University through a collaboration with NMSBVI. This tool supports staff’s ability to evaluate, develop goals and next steps for children from birth to six years. It also assists the new staff in their O&M internships and fieldwork.


  • NMSBVI Math Curriculum Adoption Presentation — math and elementary teachers presented the new recommended math curricula to families, staff, and stakeholders

  • Life Skills is a robust program for residential, day, and short-term students ages 14 and older, focused on teaching and practicing skills necessary for the transition to adult life. Programming is designed around incorporating the 9 areas of the ECC, as well as the 16 career clusters (such as agriculture/food, finance, STEAM, business, manufacturing, and health sciences).


  • Technology classes worked through a series of tutorials about the newest braille note-taking device, the Braille Note Touch.

  • Braille students gained greater proficiency in the UEB code as they completed many new and interesting projects designed to support their learning in other classes and activities. One particular focus was in the area of research and science-related reading and writing in order to support their ability to use logic and scientific reasoning, as they prepared for their science fair projects. Additional work was done with UEB formatting and how to organize information in tactile graphics for efficient comprehension.


  • NMSBVI’s Transition programming focuses on preparing students for transition from school life to adult life. This year, we started incorporating career exploration into the younger grades on campus.

    Formal Transition Services
    • begin when student turns 14 (continues to graduation)
    • focused planning with the student identifies strengths, needs, and interests to develop their own transition plan, action plans to meet goals, and work independently toward their goals

    Partnership with NM Commission for the Blind for Pre-ETS Initiatives:
    • Project Echo

    • - helped NM youths participate in a national organization teaching entrepreneurship skills, culminating in a year-end “Shark Tank” style presentation
    • - two statewide students presented a business proposal to train dog guides for the blind
    • - “Guiding Paws for YOUths” won the $2,000 overall team prize
    • - connections with the national organizations will continue to support the winners
    • - NMSBVI plans to be a resource to other students who wish to compete in the future

    • Pre-Employment Transition Services (ETS) Summer Camp

    • - 3-week summer camp focused on repeated experiences and clear routines to develop work-readiness skills
    • - use of work systems to promote independence
    • - students stayed in NMSBVI dorms, enhancing independence and daily living skills
  • The science classes worked in the science laboratory, utilizing the Talking LabQuest, which allows students to work toward being independent in collecting, analyzing, and communicating scientific data in all areas of our science curriculum.




Acceptance Process and Information

Once district TVI/O&M staff have identified students who will benefit from a short term stay with an intense focus on one or two VI specific skills, there is an abbreviated process by which students are accepted. The link below includes contact information as well as the steps in the acceptance process.

The following steps describe the process to be followed for short-term placements:

The local TVI/O&M determines that a student (a) needs to develop a VI specific skill and (b) is capable of learning that skill in the intensive format offered via the NMSBVI short term program.

The local TVI/O&M contacts NMSBVI to get more information about the module that addresses the VI specific skill the student needs to learn as well as about the short term program generally.

The local TVI/O&M contacts the parents of the student and lets them know that the short term program at NMSBVI will help the student master the specific VI skill in question.

Assuming the parent, local TVI/O&M, district and NMSBVI agree that the short term program is appropriate for the student, a date is set for the student to attend.

The local TVI/O&M and parent complete the necessary forms.

The parent, local TVI/O&M, district and NMSBVI complete an IEP addendum.

The local core content teachers develop a packet of work for the student to complete while at NMSBVI. This will help prevent the student from falling behind in core content areas. Student who attend the short term program at NMSBVI will have at least two periods a day to work on core content assignments from the district plus the opportunity to access the resource room after school.

Students from outside of the Alamogordo area will come to NMSBVI on Sunday evening and return Friday afternoon/evening.





Wooden carve statue of the NMSBVI bears

Please contact Julie Johnson for more information.

An image of Julie Johnson

Julie Johnson

NMSBVI Outreach Coordinator, TSVI