"The Visually Impaired Program planning process (QPVI)... has enabled us to insure appropriate, quality service for our visually handicapped students. Our program is now organized so we understand our common goals and how they are to be accomplished. I feel such a process would benefit any public school Visually Handicapped program."
Special Education Director
San Antonio ISD, San Antonio, Texas
"...to ensure the rights of all blind and visually impaired infants, children, and youth, professionals must do more than react to crises; the must become proactive."
"The unique needs of blind and visually impaired students must be understood by all service providers-including regular education teachers, administrators, and legislators."
Program Planning and Evaluation for Visually Impaired Students-American Foundation for the Blind
"In order to evaluate and improve special education services, schools must monitor performance that is clearly tied to a set of identified standards."
Addressing Unique Educational Needs of Individuals With Disabilities:-Disability Research Systems
Who developed the program?
Nancy Toelle is a 1970 graduate of the University of Texas program for teachers of the visually impaired, studying under Dr. Natalie Barraga. She earned a master's degree in Special Education Curriculum and Instruction from Texas A&I University.
Ms. Toelle has taught at the Texas School for the Blind and in the Corpus Christi, Coppell, Caldwell County, and East Williamson County Texas public schools. She served at the Education Service Center, Region 20 in San Antonio for 10 years as their VI Project Coordinator. Her experience in the field spans over 30 years. Now living in Austin, Texas, she teaches and is on staff part-time as TSBVI Outreach QPVI Statewide Coordinator. She provides training and consultative services to states wishing to adapt the QPVI process to their needs. A model project adapting QPVI for use in schools for the blind began at the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School in 2002. In 2003 the Iowa Department of Education funded a project to revise QPVI for use with programs for the deaf and hard of hearing.
QPVI was developed, in 1985, in coordination with several public school districts in San Antonio. Substantial assistance was provided by Education Service Centers, the Texas Education Agency and the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Outreach staff.
What is “Quality Programs for
Students With Visual
QPVI is a model for providing
technical assistance to public
schools and schools for the blind
in developing and/or improving
services for students with visual
Funded by the Texas Education Agency State Supplemental
Visually Impaired funds (SSVI)
The process is directed by an Education Service Center or Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired Outreach Consultant along with a member of the district or co-op administrative staff. With the VI staff, this comprises the 'work team', who act jointly to complete the process.
For administrators: The program becomes process driven, rather than personnel driven, resulting in program strength and continuity.
For teachers: Effectiveness and job satisfaction increase dramatically.
For students and parents: The result is con-
sistency in instruction, improved student outcomes and successful inclusion of the
student in the mainstream of public
Where is it being used?
The program was developed in and for Texas and has been in use successfully since 1985. The process was field tested in six regions: 8, 11, 12, 13, 16, and 20. It has since been used in regions 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 15, 17, 18, and 19. It applies equally to single districts, large and small, and to co-ops and special VI co-ops. QPVI sites include Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Waco, Eagle Pass, Dallas, and many more. Co-ops include: Hayes-San Marcos Co-op, and Bluebonnet VI Co-op.
Where is it used outside of Texas?
Several states, including Arizona, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Kentucky, have adapted it to their needs. Information about these efforts is available upon request.
When do we start?
The process typically begins in early fall. Approximately one half-day per month, for ten months is the estimated time required by school staff to participate in this process. The time devoted to the process is equivalent to that of traditional program supervision.
QPVI generally takes three years to develop a cohesive 'work team' and to effect change. Commitment to continued participation by a district may be made on an annual basis.
How do we start?
In Texas, this service may be available through your local Education Service Center, or the TSBVI Outreach Program (512) 206-9242. You may also contact the developer, Nancy Toelle at (512) 494-8651 (phone/fax), at
(e-mail), or at
Arrangements to include out-of-state part-
icipants in our annual training sessions may be made with approval of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Train-ing out-of-state is available with ongoing consultation from Ms. Toelle
The 3 Phases of Quality
PHASE ONE is a self-study of key pro-gram components. These include: a "master list" of students, student eligibility, staff roles/responsibilities, unique student needs (including the expanded core curriculum), type and amount of VI service, array of service delivery options, staff/caseloads (including a process for caseload analysis), and measuring student results. All National Agenda and Choices for Children issues can be addressed directly.
PHASE TWO is a process for documenting program strengths and addressing deficits. Activities include: improving itinerant instruction, adopting methods for measuring student outcomes, compiling a program handbook, developing methods for equitable allocation of caseloads, etc.
PHASE THREE is an effort by VI and administrative staff to maintain quality programming, to be proactive rather than reactive, to foster program growth and development, and to meet changing student needs. Focus on: the role of the coordinator as program monitor and the use of student outcomes in planning. Also act to perpetuate and update standards developed by VI staff and administration working together.