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The New York Institute for Special Education: Serving students with Special Needs since 1831



The New York Institute for Special Education(NYISE) is a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonsectarian educational facility which provides quality programs for children who are blind or visually disabled, emotionally and learning disabled and preschoolers who are developmentally delayed.

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The school was founded in 1831 as The New York Institution for the Blind as one of the first schools in the United States to provide an educational program for children who were blind or visually impaired. Early in the twentieth century, the name was changed to The New York Institute for the Education of the Blind to emphasize the educational character of the school. A pictorial history of the school and a major collection of disability links called the Blindness Resource Center are available at this site.

Today, our Schermerhorn Program continues its rich tradition of educating children who are blind or visually impaired. We have also used this expertise to develop new programs to help children with other disabilities.

In the 1980's educators recognized the need to provide programs designed specifically for students with learning and emotional disabilities. In response to this need, the school established the Van Cleve Program for those children who could not be served in a traditional school setting. In 1986, the school's name was changed to The New York Institute for Special Education to better reflect this expanded focus and commitment to children with a variety of disabilities. In 1987, a program for developmentally delayed preschoolers was established called the Readiness Program. .

Computer LabNearly 300 students from ages 3 to 21 now attend NYISE. The school offers the options of a day program or a five day residential program. All students return home on weekends and holidays. An Individualized Education Program is developed for each student. In addition, a full array of services is provided, which include counseling, career guidance, occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech-language therapy, individual and team sports and adaptive recreational activities.

The New York Institute for Special Education is chartered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York for and on behalf of the State Education Department. We have also recently been reaccredited by the National Commission for the Accreditation of Special Education Services (NCASES). There are over 250 standards required for accreditation with NCASES and the Institute has successfully accomplished all of them. Read more about our accreditation here.

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