1.  As used in this section, the following terms mean:

 (1)  “Braille”, the system of reading and writing through touch;

Terms Used In Missouri Laws 167.225

  • following: when used by way of reference to any section of the statutes, mean the section next preceding or next following that in which the reference is made, unless some other section is expressly designated in the reference. See Missouri Laws 1.020

 (2)  “Student”, any student who has an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child’s educational performance and who is determined eligible for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

 2.  All students shall receive instruction in braille reading and writing as part of their individualized education plan unless the individual education program team determines, after an evaluation of a student’s reading and writing skills, needs, and appropriate reading and writing media, including an evaluation of the student’s future needs for instruction in braille or the use of braille, that instruction in braille or the use of braille is not appropriate.  No student shall be denied instruction in braille reading and writing solely because the student has some remaining vision.

 3.  Instruction in braille reading and writing shall be sufficient to enable each student to communicate effectively and efficiently at a level commensurate with the student’s sighted peers of comparable grade level and intellectual functioning.  The student’s individualized education plan shall specify:

 (1)  How braille will be implemented as the primary mode for learning through integration with normal classroom activities.  If braille will not be provided to a child who is blind, the reason for not incorporating it in the individualized education plan shall be documented therein;

 (2)  The date on which braille instruction will commence;

 (3)  The level of competency in braille reading and writing to be achieved by the end of the period covered by the individualized education plan; and

 (4)  The duration of each session.

 4.  As part of the certification process, teachers certified in the education of blind and visually impaired children shall be required to demonstrate competence in reading and writing braille.  The department of elementary and secondary education shall adopt assessment procedures to assess such competencies which are consistent with standards adopted by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.