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  • Special Education to find other services for public school students with disabilities

You can get information about programs and services available for students who are blind or have limited vision and for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The Department of Education (DOE) offers Education Vision Services (EVS), which serves blind and low vision students ages 5 to 21. The program is part of Special Education District 75.

EVS Referrals

DOE places students in EVS programs by referral only. Students usually come to the program in one of three ways:

  • A parent or teacher refers the child to the school Committee on Special Education (CSE). The child is then evaluated by the specialized CSE for the Hearing Handicapped and Visually Impaired (HHVI).
  • A parent calls EVS to make inquiries and is referred to HHVI.
  • An eye doctor refers a child to the State Commission for the Blind, which in turn asks the parent to contact HHVI.

Students must have a report from an eye doctor to enter the program.

EVS Curriculum

The EVS curriculum is built for the specialized needs of students who are blind or low vision.  Students get Resource Room (Supplemental Instruction) Services to help them participate fully in a regular classroom. The EVS curriculum follows the National Agenda for Children and Youth with Visual Impairment.

Jobs for EVS Students

EVS arranges community-based work experiences for students. It places students in the Summer Youth Employment Program and the Training Opportunities Program, gives school-to-work transition plans, and provides ongoing training inside and outside the classroom.

Call 311 for assistance by phone.

Additional Resources

You can also learn about other services and programs for blind or visually impaired students through the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD).

Get information about educational support for students who are blind or low vision.

The Department of Education offers Hearing Education Services (HES) that focus on bringing deaf and hard of hearing students into the mainstream educational environment.  HES evaluates students, places them in appropriate learning environments, and provides support services.

You can get more information about HES.

Types of Support Provided by HES​

HES provides educational support through:

  • Audiology
  • Speech therapy
  • Sign language interpreting
  • Note-takers
  • Counseling
  • Tutoring
  • Transition services
  • Work-study programs

HES has three parts:

  • The Related Service Program provides auditory training, speech reading, receptive and expressive language development, speech and academic support.
  • The Resource Room Program provides additional help for students in need.
  • The Self-Contained Program provides instruction in a separate setting with a smaller student to teacher ratio.

Call 311 for assistance by phone.

Additional Resources

You can also learn about other services and programs for deaf or hard of hearing students through the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD). 

Get information about educational support for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.