The Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) is a key principle of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which requires that students with disabilities, including those with visual impairments, be educated in the least restrictive environment possible. This means that students with visual impairments should be educated alongside their non-disabled peers to the maximum extent appropriate.
For students with visual impairments, the LRE can be achieved through a variety of accommodations and support, such as Braille or large print textbooks, audio books, and assistive technology. Additionally, orientation and mobility training can help students with visual impairments navigate their environment safely and independently, allowing them to participate in classroom activities alongside their peers.
The LRE promotes inclusion and equality in the classroom, and allows students with visual impairments to benefit from the same curriculum and social experiences as their non-disabled peers. This can help to increase self-esteem, develop social skills, and prepare students for life beyond the classroom.
It is important for educational teams to understand and implement the LRE for students with visual impairments. By doing so, we can help to ensure that every student has access to the education and social experiences they deserve.
The SBES Story
In September 2015, Sonja Biggs Educational Services, Inc. was born in the breakfast nook of Sonja’s home with one employee. Soon the second employee joined our ranks to partner with educational agencies in providing quality services to children with visual impairments. In 2016, we added Intervener services and Independence Specialists, as well as more teachers. In 2022 we reached 30 employees! We are looking into the future of teaching using teleteaching and exploring different models of service. We continue to grow as a company meeting the needs of the children we serve so that they can have access to their education and thrive through the Expanded Core Curriculum for Blind and Visually Impaired Students (ECC).