Frequently Asked Questions
How many children attend CCVI?
CCVI is currently serving 237 children from both sides of the state line. 124 children in the Infant Program, 56 children in the Preschool & Kindergarten Program, plus 23 sighted peers, and 34 children in the Outreach Program.
Where do the Children go after leaving CCVI?
92% of CCVI graduates over the past five years have gone on to public school; 8% have entered private or state schools.
What training do your teachers have?
CCVI teachers are trained in education of the blind and partially sighted, special education, and early-childhood special education.
How do the Children get to CCVI?
The infants and their families are seen primarily in their homes, but the infant families also drive to CCVI for their periodic team evaluations. CCVI preschoolers and kindergartners are bussed to school by their local school district or are driven by their parents. Children served in the Outreach Program are served in their home school districts.
How soon does CCVI begin working with children?
As soon as the diagnosis of a visual impairment is made, CCVI begins to work with the child and family. Often this is within the first month of a baby's life if the vision problem is detected at birth.
How do parents feel? Do they accept their child's blindness?
Emotions range from fear to confusion, anger to guilt. For some parents, acceptance of their child's visual challenge is immediate, but for many parents the struggle with reality can last for many years. CCVI's staff offers the parents the necessary support and hope so that they can become their child's most important teacher and advocate.
Are there other schools in the area for the visually impaired?
CCVI is the only school in the Kansas City area which offers specialized instruction for children who are blind or visually impaired, including those with multiple disabilities, from birth through school age. Kansas State School for the Blind in Kansas City, Kansas provides services for children from preschool through high school. Local school districts also provide some services for their students from age three.
How often do the children attend CCVI and for how long each day?
Infants are seen weekly, monthly or monitored on a consultative basis two to three times a year in their homes. The majority of infant families are also seen quarterly at the Center for a team visit. Preschoolers and kindergartners attend classes at CCVI at 3101 Main Street in midtown Kansas City, Missouri half or full days, Monday through Thursday or Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Young preschoolers may come two half-days a week while older preschoolers and kindergartners come full-days, four or five days a week. CCVI's itinerant teacher serves children in outlying areas in other programs or school districts where there is not a vision teacher. Most students are seen weekly.
Are the parents assessed a tuition fee?
No, if the states or local school districts contract with CCVI. Yes, if no outside agency contracts with CCVI. Then CCVI sets tuition on a sliding scale according to a family's income and number of children. The cost depends on the services provided. For example, a preschool student may have classroom instruction plus speech, occupational and/or physical therapy as well as braille and orientation and mobility. The average cost is $10,000 per child for the school year and the summer program. Therapy fees are sometimes paid by insurance. No child has ever been turned away because of a family's inability to pay tuition or fees; CCVI seeks scholarships for a child who needs financial help.
How are you funded?
Each and every year it is a challenge to raise roughly two-thirds of our budget. Approximately one-third comes from state and local school district contracts, insurance and parents as fees for services. In 2008-09, CCVI raised over $1.7 million to meet the budget. Along with the annual Sabates Eye Centers Trolley Run/Walk and one-time special events, contributions come from individuals, corporations, foundations, service groups, and United Way, by way of memorials, honorariums, grants, outright gifts, endowment contributions, Friends of CCVI and Young Friends of CCVI memberships, and Parent Group activities.
Do the children understand their own visual impairment?
CCVI teachers and therapists help the students understand their eye conditions.
Do the children have only the visual impairment as a disability?
No, over the past ten years, more and more children are coming with additional disabilities along with their visual impairment. Primarily, this is a result of smaller babies surviving and drug and alcohol abuse. Fifty percent of CCVI's infant enrollment is diagnosed with Cortical Visual Impairment indicating that the visual cortex is damaged. Often other parts of the brain are involved as well.
For what reasons would CCVI not accept a child as a student here?
CCVI serves children who have a visual impairment that is significant enough to adversely affect the child's educational performance. All children are accepted regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, or financial status.
Doesn't the government help pay for the school?
Government funds are funneled through state programs like First Steps in Missouri and Infant Toddler Services in Kansas and through school districts. These entities contract with CCVI to provide instruction and therapies for their students.