Minnesota State Academy for the Blind

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Program Overview

The Minnesota State Academy for Blind offers a challenging and rewarding educational experience for blind and visually impaired students from birth through age 21.

Licensed teachers of the Blind and Visually Impaired provide formal instruction in small group settings. Emphasis is placed on creating an environment rich in access/exposure to Braille, Assistive Technology, and the expanded core curriculum.  The expanded core curriculum includes:

  • Compensatory or functional academic skills, including communication modes
  • Orientation and mobility
  • Social interaction skills
  • Independent living skills
  • Recreation and leisure skills
  • Career education
  • Self-determination

Individual Education Plans are designed for each student and implemented throughout the educational program in both school and residential settings.
The curriculum is designed to meet Minnesota Graduation Standards while accommodating the unique needs of Blind and Visually Impaired students.

  • Elementary students receive instruction using a team approach which incorporates thematic and interdisciplinary teaching methods.
  • Middle school instruction emphasizes active and experiential learning using cooperative teaching techniques.
  • High school students follow a schedule of courses preparing them for post-secondary educational programs as well as the transition to work settings. Special course options include a variety of vocational courses, work experience opportunities and a student-run enterprise.
  • Students have the opportunity to participate in mainstream classes in the Faribault Public Schools.  Adaptations, class room support, transportation as well as support from the Academies Liaison is provided to all involved.

Residential Program

The residential program offers a nurturing environment which promotes opportunities for socialization among Blind and Visually Impaired peers.  Opportunities are provided and students are strongly encouraged to participate in a wealth of clubs, activities, athletic and co-curricular activities.
Within the dormitories space and facilities are provided for students to practice life skills development. High School and Academy Plus students participate in a semi-independent/independent living program which challenges students to apply good decision making skills and choices in order to prepare them for the transition to independence and adulthood.

Student Support Services

Student Support Service staff members take a holistic approach to promoting growth through a range of personalized services to students, their families, school districts and communities. Staff members provide services, including assessments, direct intervention and community resource partnerships that address learning, social-emotional, communication/language and transition needs.

Family Involvement

The Minnesota State Academy for the Blind believes that family involvement is paramount to providing quality education for every student. The family is the first and most influential teacher in the life of a child, a fact of even greater significance to families of Blind and Visually Impaired children. We strive to involve families in the education of their children and in the improvement of the educational process.

MSAB Offers

  • Small Class Size
  • Athletic & Activity Programs
  • Full Range of Assessment Services
  • Individualized Instruction
  • Full Academic Curriculum