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KSB Update

May, 2014

Your quarterly link to news, information and events from KSB, the Statewide Educational Resource Center on Blindness.

Educational Programs

Langan Award to be Presented to Carla Ruschival on 172nd Founder's Day Program  

The Kentucky School for the Blind (KSB) will present the prestigious Paul J. Langan Distinguished Service Award to Carla Ruschival (photo at right) during the school’s 172nd Founder’s Day Program on Fri., May 9, at 12 PM in Richie Auditorium. Ruschival, a Clifton neighborhood resident, is a graduate of KSB and the University of Louisville. She is a devoted school advocate and is an avid supporter of its various activities and alumni association.  Her work has made an impact in the community where she has advocated for changes that have made for safer travel for pedestrians who are blind and visually impaired.  She is the host of Sound Prints, an audio magazine program that features news and events of interest to people who are blind and visually impaired that is aired on Sunday through ACB Radio and on weekends through Kentucky Central Radio Eye.  At the state level, she represents the KY Council of the Blind on the Office for the Blind Statewide Rehabilitation Council.   Nationally, she serves as treasurer for  the American Council of the Blind, one of the largest blind/visually impaired consumer organizations.

The Langan Award was established in 1992 and is dedicated to former superintendent Paul J. Langan (1945-56) in recognition of his outstanding service and constructive leadership. His innovative approach to education established the foundation for continued improvement of the education of blind and visually impaired children at the school.  

Graduation for Class of 2014 to be Held on Thursday, June 5 

KSB will award diplomas to the Class of 2014 on Thurs., June 5 at 6:30 PM in Richie Auditorium.  Kentucky State Senator Gerald Neal will deliver the commencement address.  Members of the Class of 2014 are Kayla Voskuhl, Jessica VanBruggen, Ashley Johnson and Kayla Newton. 

The eighth grade graduation will be held earlier in the day at 1 PM, along with the MS/HS Awards Assembly.

Students to Perform in Spring Music Recitals

The KSB Choir, Glee Club Quintet, and MS/HS instrumental student musicians under the direction of Tabathia Roark, Bobby Falk, Wade Honey and Lee Puckett will perform in the annual Spring Recital on Thurs., May 15 at 6:30 PM in the Richie Auditorium. 

The Elementary Music Recital and Awards Ceremony will be held on Wed., June 4 at 12:45
PM in Richie Auditorium.


Summer Enrichment/Work Programs for Statewide Students to be Held in June    

KSB is excited to offer two Summer Enrichment Programs (Elementary and MS/HS) and the Summer Work Program for students who are visually impaired or blind throughout Kentucky on Sun., June 15—Fri. June 27.  Students in the Work Program will be working part-time at the Louisville Zoo.

The theme of the elementary (grades K-5) program is "Lucky to Live in Kentucky".  Students will explore why they are so lucky by participating in fun-filled activities, exciting field trips, cooking, arts and crafts and listening to guest speakers who will let them in on the secrets why they are so lucky to live in Kentucky.

"Vision Quest" is the theme for for the MS/HS (grades 6-11) program.  These students will be on a quest for fun and adventure as they work together with friends, both old and new, to develop a Vision Portfolio and to learn about and use technology that will help them experience the world and sharpen their independence skills.


Campus Management

Evans Hall to Get Makeover During Summer

Principal Debi Hall announced last month that the Will D. Evans Hall Dormitory will be getting a makeover.   The original wallpaper will come down, fresh paint will be applied, and, depending on our resources, new carpet may be installed.  Unfortunately, this process will prevent alumni from staying in the dorm during the KSB Alumni Weekend on June 7 as the work on the dorms will begin as soon students leave for the summer. 

And, that’s not all!  KSB is in the process of moving the Low Vision Clinic to a new area on campus with the goal of being able to reach more students across the state. The Low Vision Clinic and Outreach Program is a vital resource center for students who are blind and visually impaired and the hope is to update and migrate! Purging, cleaning and painting are going to occur on the first floor of the Scoggans classroom building, the new location for the Low Vision Clinic.   

The new heating and air conditioner units have arrived and are being installed in the elementary wing which means elementary teachers will be moving back to their freshly painted classrooms in August.  The water damage that occurred over the winter was a terrible disruption, but teachers persevered and made sure their students were minimally impacted.

Outreach Programs and Services

Registration now Open for Gateways to Independence

“Hands on Learning” is the theme for the 2014 Gateways to Independence a professional development opportunity for Kentucky teachers, orientation and mobility specialists and other service providers who work with students who are blind and visually impaired.  It will be held July 21-23 on the KSB campus.

Breakout sessions on Mon., July 21 will include:

  • That All May Read: Free Services from the KY Talking Book Library
  • The Essential Assessments Rubric (EA Rubric.com)
  • Developing Communication Systems and Literacy for Students with the Most Complex Needs
  • Individual Learning Plans for the VI Student
  • First Steps Intervention Services: Opportunities for TVIs
  • How Medications Affect Eye Conditions

On Tues.-Wed., July 22-23, Patricia Obrzut, M.S., O.T.R., Assistant Director of Penrickton Center for Blind Children will present Active Learning:  Strategies for Individuals with Multiple Special Needs.  Given the opportunity, any child can learn! Active Learning, an innovative approach developed by Dr. Lilli Nielsen, focuses on establishing motivating learning environments for children with multiple special needs. Participants will learn how to increase functional independence and developmental skills while reducing stereotypical, self-injurious or aggressive behaviors. 

Gateways registration is due by June 1.   A late fee will be added to all registrations received after June 1. To obtain a registration form and additional information click on Gateways.   You may email registration forms to Beth Baker beth.baker@ksb.kyschools.us or fax them to her at 502-897-8737. Also, please note, due to extensive renovations, lodging will not be available on campus.  If you have questions about local lodging options contact Beth Baker, 502-897-1583, ext. 7714,

There are several pricing options for Gateways. These include: 

  • Full Conference: July 21-23 (Monday - Wednesday) $75   
    "Active Learning" with Patricia Obrzut: July 22-23 (Tuesday and Wednesday) $50 must attend both days
  • Breakout Sessions: July 21 (Monday only) $25

HS Students to Attend College Prep Insight Program

Twelve Kentucky high school students who are blind and visually impaired will attend Insight Post Secondary Preparation Program at Morehead State University on June 20-28. The program provides an opportunity for students to experience what it will be like when they enter a post-secondary setting.  They will attend college classes, classes taught by Insight staff, meet with college staff, live in a dorm with other students, make and keep schedules, and participate in various campus activities. 

Insight is a collaborative program of the Kentucky Educational Development Corporation, Office for the Blind and KSB Outreach and is funded by the KSB Charitable Foundation.

Hills to Come Alive with Sound of Music at Fall Family Retreat

KSB will host the Statewide Family Retreat on Fri.-Sun., Sept. 19-21 at the Center for Courageous Kids in Scottsville, KY.  The theme will be “The Sounds of Music” and will feature KSB music instructors. This event is free of charge to all Kentucky families who have a child that is blind or visually impaired. Registration must be completed through The Center for Courageous Kids website http://www.courageouskids.org/.  For more information, contact Family Support Specialist Mitch Dahmke 502-897-1583, ext. 7104.

Important Notes from the KIMRC

In March, the Kentucky Instructional Materials Resource Center (KIMRC) completed the 2014 Federal Quota Registration of Legally Blind and Visually Impaired Students in Kentucky.  Here is a summary of the students who were registered:

  • Legally Blind/Visually Impaired Students in Kentucky Public Schools (does not include students who attend KSB): 
    Legally Blind: 525
    Visually Impaired:  614
    Students registered by school districts who Need Eye Reports and/or Cannot Obtain Eye Report: 193
    Total Public School Registrants:  1332
  • Legally Blind/Visually Impaired Students Private Schools/Agencies and/or Home Schools:
    Legally Blind: 51
    Visually Impaired: 37
    Need Eye Report: 23
    Total Private Registrants: 111

KIMRC Program Coordinator Paula Penrod wishes to thank everyone for their cooperation in completing the census.  Only four school districts failed to submit certificates of enrollment. Of those four, three districts did not have any students previously enrolled. 

To make sure your students who are blind and visually impaired have the materials they need to start the 2014-15 school year in August, school districts should take heed to the following reminders:

  • If you have not already done so, please order books that your students will need for the 2014-15 school year. If your book(s) is not available, it could take months to borrow and/or to have it produced. For your book ordering needs contact KIMRC Resource Specialist Sue Yocum.
  • Don’t forget to return items that your students will not be using next year.  All items should be returned before you leave for your summer break.  All items can be returned “Free Matter for the Blind’ unless it is a special item such as a Visiobook, Braille Plus 18, or other electronic devices over $1,000.  These items must be returned in person to the KIMRC. 

Before you leave for the summer, don’t forget to check the service date on your braillewriters and if needed, send them to us!  The KIMRC wants to make sure that your braillewriters are in good working condition for the beginning of the 2014-15 school year.

Staff Retirements

When the 2013-14 school year comes to an end in June, so will the careers of four KSB staff members.  They are Jeanie Brasher, elementary teacher; Patty Dilg, outreach consultant, Mary Pawlowski, O&M Specialist;  Meg Stone, outreach and low vision clinic coordination and Karen Sutton, elementary teacher.  Their expertise and experience have been vital to KSB's success.  They certainly will be missed.  KSB wishes all of our retirees a Happy Retirement!

Upcoming May-August Events Calendar


Mon.-Fri., May 5-9
Teacher Appreciation Week
Tuesday, May 6
SBDM Council Meeting, 4 PM
Friday, May 9
KSB Founder's Day Celebration, 10:30 AM
Thursday, May 15
MS/HS Spring Music Concert, Richie Auditorium, 6:30 PM

Thursday, May 22
Low Vision Clinic, Kentucky Lions Eye Center, Louisville

May-27-June 2
KPREP Testing Window


Tuesday, June 3
SBDM Council Meeting, 4 PM
Wednesday, June 4
Elementary Spring Music Recital and Awards Ceremony, Richie Auditorium, 12:45 PM
Thursday, June 5
8th Grade Graduation and MS/HS Awards Ceremony, Richie Auditorium, 1 PM
2014 Class of 2014 Graduation, Richie Auditorium, 6:30 PM
Friday, June 6
Field Day and Last Day of School for Students
Saturday, June 7
KSB Alumni Association Program, Hartford Hall (Food Center), All-Day Event
Monday, June 9
Closing Day of School for Teachers
KSB Advisory Board Meeting, 1 PM
June 15-27
KSB Summer Elementary, MS/HS and Work Programs, KSB
June 20-28
Insight Post-Secondary Preparation Program, Morehead State University


Mon.-Wed., July 21-23
Gateways to Independence Professional Development for Statewide VI/O&M Teachers, KSB


Monday, August 4
Opening Day of School for Teachers
Tues.-Fri., August 5-8
Professional Development for KSB Staff
Sunday, August 10
KSB Student Registration, 1-3 PM
Monday, August 11
Opening Day of School for Students


Contributors to the KSB Update:
Beth Bohannon-Baker, Outreach Administrative Assistant
Mitch Dahmke, Family Support Specialist
Kristen Hammond, Outreach for Regional Programs and Services
Paula Penrod, KIMRC Program Coordinator

Debi Phillips, Principal
John Roberts, Director of Special Education

Robert Williams-Neal, Short Term

Kentucky School for the Blind
1867 Frankfort Avenue
Louisville, KY 40206
502-897-2850 (Classroom Office Fax)
502-897-2994 (Business Office Fax)
502-897-8737 (KIMRC Fax)
502-897-1282 (Health Center)

KSB is the Statewide Educational Resource Center
on Blindness

Contact Us
Kentucky School for the Blind 1867 Frankfort Ave
Louisville, KY 40206
View Map & Directions
Phone: (502) 897-1583
Fax: (502) 897-2850
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