Prairie Lakes AEA Inspires Visually Impaired Students Through Art

POCAHONTAS, IA — The Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency (AEA) has completed a unique art program in partnership with Iowa Educational Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired, aimed at enriching the lives of blind and visually impaired students. 

Through a collaboration with the Youth Art Team in Waterloo, students explored surreal art, automatic drawing, and painting, culminating in the creation of individual compositions and a collaborative piece donated to the community.

Over the course of several months, blind and visually impaired students from various locations—including Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Decorah, and Pocahontas—participated in engaging sessions facilitated by Artist Casey Slack. These sessions not only provided a platform for artistic expression, but also fostered a deeper understanding of visual impairments among members of the Cedar Valley Youth Art Team.

Each student took home their own composition, a tangible representation of their creativity and newfound skills. Additionally, the students worked together to create a group composition that was generously donated to the Youth Art Team in Waterloo. 

A development stemming from this program is the initiative led by Carrie Spellmeyer, a Teacher of the Visually Impaired at Prairie Lakes AEA. She plans to further explore paint pouring techniques with one of her students. The resulting artwork will be submitted to the InSights Art Competition, sponsored by the American Printing House, an organization dedicated to providing accessible learning for individuals who are blind or have low vision.

This program underscores Prairie Lakes AEA’s commitment to providing innovative and inclusive educational opportunities for all students. Through art, creativity, and collaboration, blind and visually impaired students have discovered new avenues for self-expression and personal growth.

For more information about Prairie Lakes AEA and its programs, visit or contact Carrie Spellmeyer at