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Charles City Leads Effort for Blind, Deaf Children

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CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) - Officials say Charles City will be the first regional site for an effort to improve services to blind and deaf children.

The Globe Gazette reports Charles City schools plan to start services in the fall and have a fully developed program by fall 2015.

The Iowa Board of Regents has determined that blind and deaf students in rural areas often can't access the services offered in urban areas. To address this, the board is establishing several regional programs that will include specialized teachers.

Charles City School Superintendent Dan Cox says the district's programs will be offered at elementary, middle school and high school buildings.

Funding for the effort depends on action by the Legislature. If lawmakers don't approve funding this spring, the program's start will be delayed until 2015.

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