We moved to North Dakota in 2005. We have been thrilled with the fact that there is a NDVS/SB to provide services. We have a ten year old daughter that was born without vision. NDVS/SB has provided numerous support services for my daughter as well as for my family. My daughter attends NDVS/SB four or five times in her school year. We take her to the school in Grand Forks on Sunday and pick her up on Friday. She receives such intensive direct services from dedicated, caring and very knowledgeable professionals who understand exactly what she needs to be learning in order for her to continue to grow and to be successful alongside her sighted peers. My daughter comes home from her week at NDVS/SB brimming with new ideas and techniques on how to do many things from folding laundry to navigating the internet! And very importantly, she comes home spurting wonderful stories of newfound friendships and loving teachers! As a parent I also use NDVS/SB for many things. Whenever I encounter a question or issue or stumbling block on this interesting road of life of raising a visually impaired child, I know there are many people that I can turn to for guidance and direction and support. I also love that NDVS/SB organizes a Family Weekend every year to bring together families that have a child with a visual impairment. Meeting families and other children facing similar challenges is invaluable.

I love North Dakota. And at the top of the list of reasons why I love North Dakota is NDVS/SB. It has changed and will continue to greatly impact both my daughter's life as well as the lives of the people in my entire family. Lori Mattick

North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind is a great place because you learn so much about what you need to do in daily life. The staff is nice and so are the students. With braille and technology, people with low vision can still learn without sight.

My dad says that there is sight and there is vision. Although I may not have much sight, the teachers and staff help me have vision.

The activities and classes we do are one-on-one and hands on. This way, it is easier for someone who can't see to understand. You are also taught how to navigate outdoors with using a cane. What I am taught really helps in school and at home. Dietrich Schlichtmann

The things I was introduced to at the School for the Blind were incredible. They made my life so much easier ... I now feel that I am just as capable of doing things that normal 20\20 vision people do in [their] daily work and home environment ... my time at the NDVS\SB has been the best experience that I have ever received from any state agency. Matt Philipenko

When you live in a rural area there are limitations on what a child with a visual impairment can attend. The School for the Blind's summer programming is a perfect example for what we need. If my child was not able to attend, we would be going backwards in our education instead of forwards. The School for the Blind gives our children the knowledge that can't be fit into a classroom in public schools. Suzanne Kartes

I have been visually impaired from birth, and people from Vision Services have been available at every stage of my development ... As I grew up, it was very beneficial for me to associate with other peers who were visually impaired to share common problems and concerns. This is one important benefit of center based programming at Vision Services. I learned so much both from my peers and the staff at Vision Services.

The staff has ... been very helpful over the years. Being able to learn skills from people who are trained in the field is very beneficial as they are aware of the best practices and teaching techniques. As I have grown older and become more independent, it has been a comfort to know that the staff are just a phone call or e mail away.

... The work they do [at NDVS/SB] makes a difference in the lives of all students who are visually impaired or blind in North Dakota. Alexis Read

As the mother of an elementary school aged daughter who is struggling to learn Braille and many other low vision skills in order to keep up with her classmates, I am grateful for the summer programs that have given her an academic boost, a peer group of young friends who share her struggles, and a staff of highly professional and caring vision teachers. Betty Jean Kauffman