Frequently Asked Questions

What is North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind (NDVS/SB)?

NDVS/SB, a publicly funded agency, is a statewide comprehensive resource whose mission is to work cooperatively with related agencies in providing a full range of services to all state residents who are blind or visually impaired, including those with multiple disabilities. With center based programming in Grand Forks and outreach offices in Bismarck, Fargo, Jamestown and Minot, NDVS/SB provides statewide leadership to ensure that the specialized needs of persons of all ages who are blind or visually impaired are met. NDVS/SB accomplishes this mission in conjunction with rehabilitation professionals, educators, parents and others who work with individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

Where is NDVS/SB located?

We are located at 500 Stanford Road, Grand Forks, North Dakota.

  • From I-29, take the Hwy 2/Gateway Drive Exit
  • Go east on Gateway Drive
  • Turn south on Stanford Road
  • Turn east on 6th Avenue North (for one-half block)
  • Take the first right into the parking lot

We also have four regional offices located in Fargo, Bismarck, Jamestown, and Minot.

Do you have to be blind to qualify for services?

No, we also serve individuals who have low vision or other vision impairments.

Who is eligible to receive services?

North Dakota residents of all ages who are blind or visually impaired are eligible for services. Whether you are an infant, a young child, a K-12 student, or an adult of any age, NDVS/SB can provide services to you. Nonresidents may receive services if the individual or an agency of their home state pays the cost of the services as determined by the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Who is my Regional Coordinator?

You can identify your Regional Coordinator by 1) calling our office or 2) checking our Regional Map.

How do I receive services from NDVS/SB?

A request for service can be made by the individual, a family member, or an IEP Team member by contacting your Regional Coordinator and filling out a request-for-service form. (See below to find the Regional Coordinator for your community.) Your Regional Coordinator will contact you with a date for an on-site visit and explain the plan of action, which may include: Observations, Evaluations, Interviews, and Consultations.

What are the costs of services provided by NDVS/SB?

Many vision-specific services can be provided at no cost to a North Dakota resident who is blind or visually impaired. Referring sources such as Workforce Safety & Insurance, Vocational Rehabilitation, or the Veterans Administration may pay for some services for their clients. Nonresidents of the state pay the cost of the services, as determined by the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Please contact our office for specific information relating to your individual needs.

What benefits or advantages will I gain from attending or receiving services from NDVS/SB?

  • You will receive individualized instruction from instructors who are certified and/or specialize in specific areas such as braille, assistive technology, daily living skills, career development, and orientation/mobility.
  • Participation in center-based programs provides the opportunity to build supportive connections with other individuals experiencing vision-related challenges.
  • NDVS/SB is North Dakota's resource center for vision-related adaptive aids and equipment; you have the opportunity to try a variety of items and techniques to determine what suits you best.

How can I find out what kind of low vision aids are available for my vision loss?

To help you with the often difficult first step in selecting low vision aids, our STORE carries a sampling of products that may meet your needs. You may call us to make an appointment to view the items on display or to place a phone order. Also, we can mail you our catalog or catalogs from national vendors that specialize in low vision aids.

Do you sell low vision aids?

  • We sell a small number of inexpensive low vision aids through our Store. Please see The STORE section of our website for a listing of the various categories of low vision items sold at NDVS/SB.
  • We have a demonstration center where you can try a variety of low vision aids (CCTV's, video magnifiers, etc.). If you find something that works for you, we can provide the information you need to order that product from the vendor.
  • If you would like a demonstration of the low vision aids, please call in advance for an appointment.

What if I need something in braille?

If you're looking for braille reading material, our Vision Resource Center (VRC) has a collection of braille books for all ages, on a wide range of subjects, fiction or nonfiction. Our VRC staff will be happy to help you find something to fit your interests.

If you have print materials that you'd like to have transcribed into braille, our Braille Access Center is able to provide that service. You'll find complete information under Braille Access Center.