Special Education


Admittance Criteria| Tours | How to Apply | Intake Process | Approval Process | Application

Admittance Criteria

The following student criteria are to be used as a guide by the Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) when recommending admission to the New York State School for the Blind:

  1. Legally Blind;
  2. School-age (5 – 21 years of age);
  3. Students may have additional disabilities which could include:
    • Autism, Deaf-Blindness, Deafness, Emotional Disturbance, Hearing Impairment, Intellectual Disability, Multiple Disabilities, Orthopedic Impairment, Other Health Impairment, Specific Learning Disability, Speech or Language Impairment, and/or Traumatic Brain Injury

Program Options

The following student criteria are to be used by the MDT when considering the least restrictive placement option at NYSSB:

Day Placement:
  • Student lives locally or in a surrounding school district and daily transportation takes less than one hour each way (50 miles);
  • Daily transportation does not compromise health;
  • Student can accomplish IEP goals in day program.

Five-Day Residential:

  • Daily travel would compromise health or the student lives too far to travel daily; 
  • Student requires consistency of program beyond the educational day to meet IEP goals;
  • Student requires multiple opportunities to practice skills beyond what could be accomplished in the day program;
  • And/or student requires the availability of a peer group with similar vision challenges.


To request a tour and/or more information about the school, please contact:
Bethany Burgess, Intake Coordinator, 1-877-NYSSFTB  (1-877-697-7382), ext. 214

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How to Apply

  1. A parent, legal guardian or Chairperson on Special Education completes the application (PHC-10) English version  Word word icon (52 KB) | PDF pdf file (78 KB)
    Spanish version - Word word icon (47 KB)   Spanish version-PDF pdf file (62 KB)
  2. Application must be signed by a parent or legal guardian before it is submitted.
  3. Obtain evidence of blindness for the child.
  4. Send the PHC-10 and evidence of blindness to:

    New York State Education Department

    Special Education Quality Assurance

    Non-district Unit, Room 309 EB

    89 Washington Avenue 

    Albany, New York 12234 

    Attn: State-operated PHC-10 application 

    Fax: (518) 473-5769

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Intake Process

Bethany Burgess, Intake Coordinator
1-877-NYSSFTB  (1-877-697-7382), ext. 214

  1. The Regional Associate sends a letter to the parent approving an evaluation at NYSSB.
  2. New York State School for the Blind (NYSSB) Intake Coordinator calls the parent to schedule an intake evaluation within one week of receipt of the PHC-10 and the letter of approval from the Regional Associate.
  3. A request for consent for NYSSB to conduct evaluations, a request for release of information and an explanation of due process procedures sent to parent, with a a copy to the school district of residence.
  4. NYSSB requests education records from the school district of residence.
  5. Request for Consent to Release Information, perform specific evaluations, etc., sent to parents and the school district of residence.
  6. Educational Evaluator conducts on-site visit to child's current education placement.
  7. Parents and child participate in an intake evaluation at the NYSSB.   A parent apartment room is available to the family upon request.
  8. A Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) meeting is scheduled and held to discuss the results of the evaluation and to determine the appropriate, least restrictive environment for the child's education.

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Approval Process

  1. Summary of the evaluations and recommendations from the MDT are forwarded to the NYSSB superintendent for consideration. If the superintendent agrees with the MDT recommendation, a letter, along with the evaluations and recommendations, is forwarded to the parent, the school district, and Regional Associate.
  2. If the MDT or the superintendent does not recommend appointment of the child at NYSSB, the parent may appeal through procedural due process.
  3. The Regional Associate reviews the evaluations and the recommendations and approves/disapproves the appointment to NYSSB.  If the Regional Associate agrees that NYSSB can provide an appropriate program and is the least restrictive environment for the child, a letter approving the appointment of the child to NYSSB is sent to the parent and the school district.  If the Regional Associate disagrees with the recommendation for appointment, the parent may appeal through procedural due process.

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Last Updated: August 9, 2018