The Schermerhorn Program has a 185 year history of serving students with blindness and visual impairments. It offers diverse educational services to meet the needs of children who are legally blind, from the ages of 5 to 21. Students participate in individually designed academic and modified academic programs that emphasize independence. Many of the students have mild secondary disabilities and need a specialized educational environment in order to be successful in school. The school offers either a day program or a five-day residential program.
Following a thorough psychological and educational evaluation, a multi-disciplinary team in cooperation with the student's family, develops a comprehensive Individual Education Plan (I.E.P.) to meet the student's education needs. Classroom instruction forms the core of the student's program. Some students receive instruction which follows the New York State Curricula leading to elementary and high school diplomas. Students can also take high school level courses at the local public high school. Students not on grade level receive remedial instruction and as they mature life skills training is provided. A student's program may also include career education, training in activities of daily living, social skills, nutrition, computer science and technology.
A vast array of special services support each student. When appropriate, speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, orientation and mobility, art and music may be scheduled. All students receive a full program of adaptive physical education. Counseling and guidance services are available to all students and their families.
As an extension of our Career Educational Curriculum, students are given an opportunity to develop job behaviors and job skills through prevocational activities and in the career experience program. Activities include work in horticulture, on-campus coffee shop, an on-campus practice store, and simulated workshops. The career experiences program includes training and job experiences in a variety of jobs on the campus and, for advanced students, in the community.
Once their education is completed the students move on to a variety of settings. This includes college, other less restrictive special education and regular education programs, vocational training, as well as gainful employment.