The Illinois School for the Visually Impaired (ISVI) has had an ongoing struggle with overly strict state hiring requirements for all positions, but new legislation sponsored by State Sen. Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) aims to ease the process for rehabilitation and mobility instructors and trainees. Tracy’s bill, her first as a member of the Illinois Senate, was approved by the Senate on April 25.
“The Illinois School for the Visually Impaired dedicates their resources to providing a competitive curriculum and positive learning experience for youths and young adults at every phase of life or vision loss,” said Tracy. “Unfortunately, their most important resource, their staff, is limited due to strict government requirements in their hiring process. With the passing of Senate Bill 698 today, the school will be one step closer to increasing their instructors and providing more individualized attention for their students.”
ISVI provides a residential community and educational services for the blind and visually-impaired to learn and adjust to self-sufficient living, and offers accredited instruction for pre-school, elementary and high school. Under Senate Bill 698, rehabilitation and mobility instructors and trainees at ISVI would be exempt from the present employee grading process required by the Department of Central Management Services (CMS) and the Personnel Code. By removing the CMS requirement, the legislation intends to ease and expedite the hiring process for ISVI, which currently suffers from understaffing.
The legislation will now move to the House of Representatives for consideration.