The goal of the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind is to provide our students and clients with effective, innovative, individualized education and health care. This goal starts with the admissions process and continues throughout their stay at AIDB’s three schools, the Alabama School for the Blind, the Alabama School for the Deaf and the Helen Keller School of Alabama. Health care professionals are also located and at our E. H. Gentry campus and at Alabama Industries for the Blind.
The Admissions Office is your first point of contact with AIDB if you are the parent/guardian of a student with a hearing and/or vision impairment that is affecting his/her educational performance. This department is ready to guide you through all phases of the application process!
Not sure if you want to consider enrollment at an AIDB school yet? How about a tour of our campuses? Go ahead and contact the staff – they would love to speak with you, send you information, or even schedule a tour! You can reach by calling Phone/TTY Toll-Free @ 1-800-532-4622 or contact Mrs. Karissa Twymon, Admissions Coordinator, 256-761-3551 or firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to the AIDB Admissions process, the Admissions Office assists school systems throughout the state by coordinating Technical Assistance requests for sensory impaired students. AIDB is home to some of the most knowledgeable and experienced professionals in the field of educating and serving sensory impaired students, and they will be happy to evaluate the student and/or classroom to advise and offer suggestions in “best practice” methods of educating a hearing and/or visually impaired student. Technical Assistance requests should be made directly to: Mrs. Karissa Twymon, Admissions Coordinator, 256-761-3551, email@example.com
The Audiology Department provides a full range of audiological services to our students, including hearing evaluation and hearing aid fitting and repair. The Audiology Department also works with AIDB’s schools as well as schools around the state to recommend appropriate classroom sound field systems and personal FM systems.
The Health Center is open and staffed by registered and licensed practical nurses 24 hours a day, seven days a week when school is in session. The health center is equipped to handle 17 in-patients with a physician or making rounds every morning and always on call for emergencies. Our nursing staff is in constant contact with parents/guardians to update them on the condition of their child and possible treatment options. The nursing staff also dispenses medicine prescribed by the students’ doctor at home and can assist with yearly Medicaid physicals. Also as a component of the primary care unit, our residential students receive dental services. Our fully-functional dental office provides cleanings, extractions and other services.
Our low vision department offers clinics, assessments and technical assistance, including getting prescriptions for eyeglasses filled. The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry sends advanced students to conduct clinics at regularly scheduled times. They confer with their supervising optometrists to develop vision management plans for each student. A digital video imaging system allows the transmission of eye images directly to the office of consulting physicians, so students don’t even have to leave campus. We also have a consulting ophthalmologist who comes three times a year in conjunction with UAB School of Optometry to follow those students with glaucoma.
The UAB School of Optometry has provided AIDB with the most up-to-date equipment available, and their expertise is unmatched by any other institution in the region. Click here for more information about UAB School of Optometry.
Health and Clinical Services is concerned with the total health of our students, not just their hearing and vision. That’s why if necessary, we provide students with occupational therapy, physical therapy and access to trained psychologists and counselors.
The Psychology Department is available to provide counseling for students. The Psychology Department offers both group and individual counseling services. Our therapists and counselors work hand-in-hand with teachers, job coaches, vocational rehabilitation staff and families to find the approach that best accommodates a child’s needs. The Psychology Department helps students deal with numerous issues including; conflict resolution, independent living and behavioral issues.
Occupational and Physical Therapy
Our occupational therapist help students with basic school occupations such as; getting dressed, sitting at a table to eat, navigating through buildings and sitting upright to copying notes.
AIDB believes in helping students live the most independent life as possible, regardless of disability. With that in mind our Occupational Therapy Department offers feeding class for students who have difficulty feeding themselves. These classes teach students how to feed themselves without the aid of a teacher, nurse or caregiver.
Our physical therapist and physical therapy assistants help students develop general strength and endurance. Our therapists use many different techniques and tools to help our students develop these skills including; hippotherapy in our Marianna Greene Henry Special Equestrian Center. Through hippotherapy children learn better balance and posture, as well as strengthen back, neck and leg muscles. The equestrian center operates under the guidelines set by the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association.
Located on the campus of the Helen Keller School, the Hackney Play Therapy Center is also a center for smiles and laughter. It is notable for its brightly colored walls, soft padding on the floors, cheerful blue, purple, and pink equipment. But this is no ordinary physical therapy equipment. There are slides and tunnels, an ocean of plastic balls to sift and wade through — a playground with very serious purpose. Children learn different ways of moving through the play system; they learn directionality: up, down, sideways, left, right. They also learn listening skills, either verbal or through signing. And every minute spent in play is time spent strengthening muscles.
The Speech Therapy Department serves all AIDB campus programs, including those students enrolled in the Alabama School for the Deaf’s Listening and Spoken Language Preschool program. Nationally certified speech-language pathologists (SLP), using an extensive testing library, provide evaluations of students upon request to determine each student’s areas of strengths and weaknesses, and to establish goals for therapy, where applicable. Therapy is then provided as determined by each student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP).
Speech therapy at AIDB is never boring! During the one-on-one sessions or in group therapy, therapists utilize games, iPad apps, and “uniquely crafted” therapy tools to engage and encourage students in working to attain the goals established in the IEP!
The SLPs are also available to perform evaluations and/or provide technical assistance to public school systems. Utilizing their vast array of knowledge and experience with “best practice” methods, the department welcomes the opportunity to assist school systems with evaluations and classroom techniques to enable a student to reach the goals established within an IEP. At times, the resources of the Speech Therapy Department are combined with the Audiology Department to address the specific need of the public school. Requests for Technical Assistance in the area of speech and language services should be directed to the Admissions Office.
AIDB has a strong commitment to helping all Alabamians with sensory impairments regardless of age. Through Health and Clinical Services’ Department of Senior Services, AIDB is able to maintain that commitment. Senior Services provides hearing and vision screenings as well as, classes on nutrition, independent living skills and assistive technology. Through a partnership with the East Alabama Regional Planning Development Commission’s Area Agency on Aging, AIDB is able to help qualified elderly Alabamians 55 and older receive free medication.
For more information about Senior Services please call Dr. Horace Patterson at (256) 761-3479.