Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired:

An Inventory of School for the Blind and Visually Impaired Meeting Files at the Texas State Archives, 1856-1919, 1979-2015



Overview

Creator: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
Title: School for the Blind and Visually Impaired meeting files
Dates: 1856-1919, 1979-2015
Abstract: The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired is a public school district that provides specialized services that focus on the learning needs of primary and secondary students with visual impairments, including those with additional disabilities. Records include agenda, minutes, and agenda attachments of meetings of the board of trustees and date from 1856 to 1919 and 1979 to 2015. Subjects include the results of student testing, administration of the school district, employee benefits and expectations, support activities for blind and visually impaired students, and various school district policies.
OCLC Record No.: ocn952118254
Quantity: 9.3 cubic ft.
Language: These materials are written predominately in English with scattered Spanish throughout.
Repository: Texas State Archives
Sponsor: This EAD finding aid was created in cooperation with Texas Archival Resources Online.

Agency History

The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) was established by the 6th Texas Legislature as the Asylum for the Blind (Chapter CVIII, August 16, 1856). In January 1857, the first student was admitted to the institution. The first classes of students met in a rented residence in Austin. The Asylum for the Blind eventually moved into a building on 19th Street and East Avenue. This site was transferred to the University of Texas in 1925, becoming the "Little Campus." The Asylum for the Blind became known as the Texas Institution for the Blind (also referred to as the Blind Institute) in 1905 and the Texas School for the Blind in 1915. In this latter year, the legislature appropriated funds to build a new campus on 73 acres of land in northwest Austin, donated by the citizens. This land, located at 1100 West 45th Street, was occupied by the school in 1917. In 1919, the 36th Legislature created the Board of Control (Senate Bill 147, Regular Session). This three-member board replaced the boards of governors of each of the state's eleemosynary institutions, including the board of trustees of the School for the Blind. In 1951, the 52nd Legislature placed the School for the Blind under the Board for Texas State Hospitals and Special Schools (House Bill 378, Regular Session). The 53rd Legislature transferred the School for the Blind to the State Board of Education (Senate Bill 119/House Bill 128, Regular Session). In 1965, the legislature placed the School for the Blind under the direction of a Central Services Agency for Special Schools for the Blind and the Deaf, under the State Board of Education, which became the Texas Education Agency (House Bill 377, 59th Legislature, Regular Session). The name of the School for the Blind was changed in 1989 to the TSBVI to better reflect the population it serves. The TSBVI is an independent school district, which covers kindergarten through twelfth grade education, and provides residential services for the blind and multihandicapped blind students. TSBVI also provides technical assistance to teachers, other professionals, and parents in local Texas communities to better serve blind and visually impaired students in the students' home districts.

Concurrently, visually-impaired African American youths were taught at a similar institution. In 1887, the 20th Legislature created the Texas Institute for Deaf, Dumb and Blind Colored Youths, to occupy a 100-acre tract four miles northwest of the State Capitol, just east of what became Camp Mabry (House Bill 445, 20th Legislature, Regular Session). The first class had nine blind students and eight deaf students, taught by one teacher apiece. Enrollment had climbed to 125 by 1912, with a faculty of 11. The governing body was a three-person board of trustees. In 1930, orphans began to be admitted to the newly designated Deaf, Dumb and Blind Asylum for Colored Youths and Colored Orphans (House Bill 154, 41st Legislature, 5th Called Session). Three more name changes followed: in 1943, to the State School for Deaf and Blind Negro Children; in 1947, to the Texas Blind, Deaf and Orphan School; and in 1965, to the Texas Blind and Deaf School (finally placed under the Texas Education Agency). With desegregation in 1966, black students were merged with white students in the TSBVI and the Texas School for the Deaf.

The TSBVI is overseen by a nine-member board appointed by the governor for overlapping six-year terms. Public meetings of the board are held five to six times per year. Three of the members must be blind or visually impaired, three must be parents of blind or visually impaired persons, and three must have had experience in working with the blind or visually impaired. The board is the equivalent of the board of trustees of an independent school district: it appoints an executive director or superintendent to administer the school, and all actions of the board may be appealed to the State Board of Education (Texas Education Code, Sections 11.06 through 11.091). The board has three standing committees: audit, compliance, and management review; finance; and programs.

(Sources include: Guide to Texas State Agencies, 11th edition (2001); James W. Markham and Paulette Delahoussaye, "Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired," Handbook of Texas Online; and TSBVI's website (http://www.tsbvi.edu), all accessed June 30, 2015.)


Scope and Contents of the Records

The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired is a public school district that provides specialized services that focus on the unique learning needs of primary and secondary students with visual impairments, including those with additional disabilities. Records consist of agenda, minutes and agenda attachments (including reports, correspondence, policies, and directives) for the meetings of the board of trustees and date from 1856 to 1919 and 1979 to 2015. Subjects include the results of student testing, administration of the school district, employee benefits and expectations, support activities for blind and visually impaired students attending school in his or her home district, staff policies (leave time and rights), education policies, and student discipline and welfare policies. Earlier minutes, dating 1856-1919, apparently complete for the first 64 years of the school's existence, are handwritten for the 19th century, and typewritten and pasted into the ledger for the early 20th century. In addition to minutes, these earlier minutes contain regulations, duties, and inventories of property. Agenda inform the public as to what will be discussed and/or decided at each meeting. Minutes document in a thorough but summary fashion the official actions of the board in its meetings. Researchers should note that minutes are approved at the following meeting, so records document the business of the previous meeting.

To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.


Arrangement of the Records

These records are arranged in chronological order.

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Materials do not circulate, but may be used in the State Archives search room. Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members.

Restrictions on Use

Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).

Technical Requirements

None.


Index Terms

The terms listed here were used to catalog the records. The terms can be used to find similar or related records.
Corporate Names:
Texas School for the Blind.
Texas State Asylum for the Blind.
Texas Institution for the Blind.
Subjects:
Blind--Education--Texas.
Blind--Institutional care--Texas.
Blind children--Education--Texas.
Blind children--Institutional care--Texas.
Document Types:
Minutes (administrative records)--Texas--Blind--1856-1919, 1979-2015.
Agendas (administrative records)--Texas--Blind--1979-2015.
Functions:
Teaching the blind and visually impaired.

Related Material

The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Texas State Archives
Texas School for the Blind records, 1871-1989, 14.71 cubic ft.
Texas Commission for the Blind records, 1932-2003, undated, 19.75 cubic ft.
Texas State Board of Control, Records, 1854, 1885-1890, 1909-1979, undated (bulk 1935-1953), 103.47 cubic ft.
Blueprints and drawings collection, 1854-1984, undated, 41.21 cubic. ft. [See series Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, 1902-1903, 1911-1912, undated; and Fireproofing and Fire Protection, 1896, 1912-1913, undated.]

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item), Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired meeting files. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

Accession numbers: 1989/073, 1998/115, 1999/012, 2000/053, 2001/037, 2002/068, 2003/045, 2004/026, 2005/053, 2006/013, 2007/014, 2008/075, 2009/030, 2010/079, 2011/006, 2011/343, 2011/344, 2012/007, 2013/010, 2014/011, 2015/024, 2015/224

These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Texas School for the Blind on December 14, 1988; by the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired on May 19 and September 29, 1998; October 29, 1999; October 18, 2000; November 7, 2001; October 21, 2002; September 29, 2003; October 28, 2004; September 15, 2005; September 15, 2006; January 22 and September 24, 2008; March 3 and September 13, 2010; September 15, 2011; September 13, 2012; September 16, 2013; and October 2, 2014; and by the Legislative Reference Library on February 17, 2011 and December 13, 2012.

Processing Information

Minutes from Agency minutes project processed by Tony Black, March 1998

New accessions added by Tony Black, May 1998, September 1998, October 1999, October 2000, November 2001, October 2002, September 2003, October 2004, September 2005, September 2006, and January 2008

Finding aid encoded by Tony Black in EAD Version 2002, May 2008

New accessions added by Tony Black, September 2008, March 2010

Updates to description, DACS-compliance, and six new accessions added by Anna M. Reznik, June 2015

Minutes removed from the TSBVI records finding aid and added to this inventory by Anna M. Reznik, September 2015

Accruals

The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired transfers copies of meeting records to the Texas State Archives regularly.

Other Formats for the Records

The School for the Blind and Visually Imparied maintains current and archived minutes and agenda on its website (http://www.tsbvi.edu/board-of-trustees-info-and-minutes-items).

Location of Originals

The record copies of meeting agenda and minutes are maintained by the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.


Detailed Description of the Records

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired meeting files, 1856-1919, 1979-2015,
9.3 cubic ft.

Texas State Asylum for the Blind/Blind Institute/Texas School for the Blind, 1856-1919
Volume
1989/073-28 1856 thru 1899
Volume
1989/073-29 1900 thru 1918
Volume
1989/073-30 1918 thru 1919
Texas School for the Blind, 1979-1989
Box
1998/115-1 November 1979, January and November 1980, and November 1983
January thru November 1982
January thru November 1983
March thru November 1984
October 1985 thru November 1987
Box
2011/343 January thru November 1988
January thru March 1989
Box
1998/115-1 June and November 1989 and March 1990
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, 1989-2015
Box
1998/115-1 September 1989 thru March 1990
Box
2011/343 January 1990
March 1990
Box
1998/115-1 May 1990
Box
2011/343 September 1990
Box
1998/115-1 November 1990
Box
2011/343 January 1991
Box
1998/115-1 March 1991
May 1991
Box
2011/343 September thru November 1991
January and September 1992
Box
1998/115-1 March 1992
May 1992
July 1992
November 1992
January 1993
[Note: March 1993 is missing.]
May 1993
Box
1998/115-2 September and November 1993
January 1994
March 1994
May and August 1994
November 1994 and January 1995
March and May 1995
September 1995
November 1995 and January and March 1996
May 1996
July 1996
Box
1998/115-3 September 1996
November 1996
January 1997
March 1997
May 1997
August 1997
September 1997
Box
1998/115-4 November 1997
[2 folders]
Janaury 1998
March 1998
May 1998
July 1998
September 1998
November 1998
January 1999
March 1999
May 1999
August 1999
Box
2000/053 September 1999
November 1999
January 2000
March 2000
May 2000
July 2000
September 2000
December 2000
February 2001
March 2001
May 2001
Box
2002/068-1 August 2001
September 2001
November 2001
January 2002
[3 folders]
March 2002
May 2002
July 2002
September 2002
November 2002
January 2003
Box
2002/068-2 March 2003
May 2003
July 2003
September 2003
November 2003
January 2004
[Note: Agenda packet.]
January 2004
[Note: Minutes only; March 2004 is missing.]
May 2004
July 2004
September 2004
November 2004
January 2005
April 2005
May 2005
July 2005
September 2005
November 2005
January 2006
March 2006
Box
2002/068-3 May 2006
September 2006
November 2006
January 2007
March 2007
May 2007
July 2007
Box
2002/068-4 September 2007
November 2007
January 2008
March 2008
June 2008
August 2008
September 2008
November 2008
January 2009
April 2009
June 2009
July 2009
Box
2002/068-5 September 2009
November 2009
January 2010
April 2010
June 2010
July 2010
September 2010
November 2010
January 2011
April 2011
May 2011
July 2011
Box
2012/007 September 2011 thru August 2012
September 2012 thru January 2013
April thru August 2013
Box
2014/011 September 2013 thru April 2014
June thru August 2014
October 2014 thru January 2015
April thru June 2015
Box
2015/024 August 2015