Illinois School for the Visually Impaired (ISVI) Frequently Asked Questions


Where do students live while attending ISVI?

  • Students live in campus dorms and apartments with one or two students to a room. Students may go home on a weekly basis to be with their families. All students are bussed home at least once or twice each month (reference school calendar). Some students in the Jacksonville area attend ISVI as day students.

How long does a student attend ISVI?

  • ISVI returns students to local programs as soon as possible. The student's family, local school and the staff of ISVI decide together when a student is ready to make a successful transition to home and local programs. The student's Individual Educational Plan will guide the process.

How much do these services cost?

  • There is no cost to students or their families for instructional and residential services. Families provide for their child's clothing, medical care, personal needs, and recreational spending.

How is my child's spending money handled?

  • Parents are expected to maintain a non-interest earning account at the school for students' monetary needs. The Trust Fund office is located in the school's business office. These funds are used by students as needed.

If my child becomes ill how is care given?

  • The ISVI Health Center is staffed with registered nurses and is open 7 days a week. Passavant Area Hospital is located in Jacksonville and available when needed. Parents are notified of any illness.

What are the eligibility requirements for services from ISVI?

  • A student must be between the age of 5 and 21 and not yet graduated from high school. They must have a visual impairment or a visual impairment with an additional disability and must need specialized services related to visual impairments to receive services. From the IEP meeting, each student's local school must request the services of ISVI OR parents can make a Direct Referral to have their child's school placement be established at ISVI.

What about younger students?

  • ISVI offers one program for younger children.
  • The Birth to 3 program serves visually impaired children within a 100 mile radius of Jacksonville. Services are most often provided in the home with parent/children groups meeting on campus.

What if my child needs courses not offered at ISVI?

  • ISVI students may take courses at the local junior high or high school. ISVI's Cooperative Education teacher coordinates this program in working both with students and teachers.

Where can I find more information about the residential program at ISVI?

How do I get more information about services at ISVI?

  • Contact ISVI's Director of School Development, Marsha Schoth by e-mail at Marsha.Schoth@illinois.gov or by phone at (217) 479-4404.

What's the first step for consideration for enrollment?

  • Parents should contact Marsha.Schoth@illinois.gov by e-mail or by phone at (217) 479-4404.  She will request the required initial paperwork. These reports will be reviewed by the ISVI staff and a tour will be scheduled. The initial review usually takes about a week.

For further information, please contact:

Illinois School for the Visually Impaired

658 E. State Street

Jacksonville, Illinois 62650

Toll Free: 1-800-919-5617

Voice: (217) 479-4400

Fax: (217) 479-4507