The Alabama School for the Blind, founded in 1867, provides traditional and nontraditional programs and educational experiences for children ages 3-21 who are blind and vision impaired as residential or day students. ASB has won notable acclaim for its academic success and offers advanced academic, academic or occupational diplomas.
Academic and vocational training are a priority at ASB. We follow the Alabama State Department of Education's Course of Study and ASB documents notable senior success in passing the Alabama High School Graduation Exam. The ASB Transition Program prepares students for competitive or supported employment upon graduation through a variety of career exploration and on and off campus work experiences.
Extracurricular activities include band, chorus, music, art, drama, honor clubs, state and national championship wrestling, cheerleading and track. Training in orientation and mobility, independent living and assistive technology build self confidence and are enhanced by an environment where books and materials are available in Braille and large print and teachers are specially trained to work with students with vision loss.
ASB is accredited by the State Board of Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. There is no tuition, room or board charged for students whose families are Alabama residents.
Every ASB teacher holds state certification in his or her subject area, plus VI (visually impaired) certification at a Master's level. Our teachers all receive Library of Congress Literary Braille Transcription certification, a program that requires thirty months to complete. Our staff are encouraged to continuously update their training, and frequently attend development seminars and workshops in their subject area and/or in VI education. Some of the teachers here are blind or low vision, providing role models of successful adults.
A small class size allows teachers to get to know their students and take the time to guide them towards their full potential. In order to offer some specialized classes such as advanced languages, we occasionally partner with Talladega High School.
Some of our students use braille to read, while others use large print. Math and science are particular areas of concern for students with vision loss, because the use of sight is normally such an important aspect of these studies. However, our teachers have dedicated their careers to finding alternate methods of passing on math and science concepts. Creative teaching and the unique facilities available at the Woods Center for Math & Science combine to help our students succeed.
Students attend one or two study halls a day, and tutoring is available every afternoon. Field trips and other educational opportunities are a regular part of our curriculum. Our students go to the McWane Center in Birmingham, SeaLab, Camp McDowell Environmental Center and other locations for hands-on learning that's lots of fun.