Tuesday, March 4, 2014

WSSB looks for innovative approaches to serving the blind

Dr. Dean O. Stenehjem, Superintendent pf WSSB searches for candidates to fill open positions,

Since its inception in 1886, The Washington State School for Blind (WSSB) has a solid history of providing excellent services to thousands of students both inside and outside the State of Washington.

A little over ten years ago, the school entered the world of online learning with the goal of making online resources accessible and creating usable online learning systems. A key person in the development of the learning program was digital research and development coordinator Sherry Hahn. Hahn retires at the end of the current school year, but her work, and that of the school's many partners, sets the stage to continue innovative learning practices.

In addition to conducting a nationwide search for Hahn's replacement, Superintendent Dr. Dean O. Stenehjem.is also in the process of hiring a Statewide Coordinator of Early Intervention Services for children who are blind and visually impaired (BVI).

"Our goal is that this person will help coordinate services among multiple agencies," says Stenehjem.

He wants the school to guarantee that BVI youngsters throughout Washington are connected with appropriate services, and realizing that the state has limited resources, insure they are used wisely. Stenehjem will look to the new coordinator to explore ways to create new partnerships that support the school's services.

"This is an exciting time and we look forward to helping improve the quality of these important services," says Stenehjem.

This month WSSB also revisits their Strategic Plan. Their goal is to establish a solid direction for the next five to ten years that will increase innovation and expand sustainable, yet diverse, services for students, their families and local school districts. The school's board of trustees will be joined by stakeholders to assess what has gone well during past years,what needs more attention, and what additional services are needed to support student success.

"Our goal is to continue to try new ways of doing business, new ways in reaching out in service delivery and creative solutions in bringing partners together toward a common goal of building high quality sustainable services for blind/visually impaired students."