The Council of Schools and Services for the Blind (COSB) is a membership organization of special purpose schools for students who are blind or visually impaired, including those with multiple disabilities. We work together as a professional learning community to improve services to students enrolled on our campuses and to promote quality educational outcomes for all blind or visually impaired students regardless of where they attend school.
COSB schools educate a diverse population of learners in environments that promote the highest academic standards as well as meeting the needs of students with significant learning challenges. Throughout our schools and classrooms specialized approaches to instruction in small group settings ensure that the curriculum is fully accessible to each individual student. COSB schools excel at teaching the unique skills that students use to gain independence at the same level as their sighted peers. Known as the Expanded Core Curriculum, these skills such as Orientation and Mobility (travel and movement skills) and the use of Assistive Technology become the tools students use to maximize learning in school and to be fully engaged in their homes and communities.
COSB schools are an excellent example of why the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) calls for a range of educational placement options so that the learning opportunities of students are not restricted by the limitations of any one type of educational setting. Under IDEA students should have the option of attending a school that best matches their learning needs at a particular time in their educational career. An ideal balance is achieved when a student's local public school and that state's COSB school collaborate to allow the student to freely move between settings based upon educational need.
COSB schools provide important leadership in the continuous improvement of educational outcomes for all students with blindness or visual impairments in the United States through a wide variety of services and supports. Key among these are specialized residential and day campuses in most states; short and longer-term program options; outreach services to students and educators in under-served areas; training and networking opportunities for families; professional development programs; the development of specialized curricula and teaching practices; research; Braille production; and clearinghouses for instructional materials and public information on blindness. Each COSB school has developed its mix of services to be a valuable partner in the continuum of educational opportunities for students in its home state, and each COSB school is a committed advocate for excellence in the education all children with visual impairments.