The Iowa Board of Regents is okaying a plan to reorganize the state’s schools for deaf and blind students — from Iowa and Nebraska. The Nebraska School for the Deaf in Omaha closed in 1998.
Patrick Clancy, superintendent of the Iowa School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs, told the board the idea is to create a regional system that will provide more access to services across the state.
“The committee considered what makes up quality programs, educational services for the blind and for deaf in Iowa, looked at the population and the size of the population served and where they are at,” Clancy explained, “invited in national input into the process, contacted other service programs from other states to be able to get input, examined outcomes of our strategic initiatives with both of the two special school programs.”
Clancy says it’s important that Iowa maintain good cooperation with Nebraska on this matter.
About ten students from Nebraska are attending the Iowa school in Council Bluffs, just across the Missouri River from Omaha.
The preferred plan calls for five regional centers in Iowa, keeping open the School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs.