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University Training Programs in Blindness and Low-Vision

Welcome to our University training program, degree and certification page for the field of blindness and low vision.  This resource will prove to be extremely beneficial to you as you go through the process in making decisions on your career.  Congratulations on this new journey.  We hope that you will depend on us to provide you information that is valuable to you as you enter the amazing field of vision.

The field of vision offers people the opportunity to change lives.  There is a need for hard working people who believe in the abilities of people who are blind.  Very often agencies find it extremely difficult to recruit qualified professionals, due to lack of availability.  The field is in desperate need of people who are qualified and eager to promote the independence of people who are blind or low vision.

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Midwest United States

Western Michigan University

Western Michigan University offers programs in four areas of concentration.  They are offered both on-campus and on-line through distance education.  All programs require an on-campus component, that lasts for six weeks throughout the summer.  The four areas of study include: vision rehabilitation therapy, orientation and mobility for working age adults, teacher of the visually impaired, and orientation and mobility for children.  The university also offers an accelerated degree program allowing students to earn a bachelor's degree while earning credit towards a master's, this allows students the opportunity to complete a master's degree in less time while still meeting all the requirements.  Dual degrees are also available. 

 

Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University offers on-campus master's degree programs in vision rehabilitation therapy, orientation and mobility, teacher of the visually impaired and assistive technology.  

 

Ohio State University

The Ohio State University offers a post baccalaureate program leading to certification as a certified orientation and mobility specialist (COMS).

 

University of Northern Colorado

The University of Northern Colorado offers a master's degree program for teachers of the visually impaired and an add on certificate in orientation and mobility.  

 

University of Nebraska

The University of Nebraska at Lincoln offers a master's degree in special education with a specialization in visual impairment.  They also offer a certification in visual impairment for those already possessing a master's degree.

 

Illinois State University

Illinois State University offers a bachelor's degree program in education with a specialization in visual impairment, and an advance graduate certificate in early intervention vision specialist.

 

Missouri State University

Missouri State University offers a master's degree program through distance education for teachers of the visually impaired. 


Northeast United States

Salus University formerly the Pennsylvania School of Optometry

Salus University offers a choice of either a certificate program or master's degree in the following areas of study; low vision rehabilitation, teacher of the visually impaired, vision rehabilitation therapy, and orientation and mobility.  All programs of study are primarily offered through distance education with certain components requiring on-campus study.  Low vision rehabilitation requires a five week, on-campus component during the summer.  Teacher of the visually impaired requires two separate on-campus components during two summers, with each one lasting four weeks.  Vision rehabilitation therapy requires a ten week component during the summer.  Orientation and mobility requires a ten week on-campus component during the summer, and an additional week on-campus during the fall. 

 

University of Massachusetts Boston

The University of Massachusetts Boston offers master's degree programs in vision rehabilitation therapy, teacher of the visually impaired and orientation and mobility.

  

Hunter College City University of New York

Hunter College offers programs both on-campus and through distance education in the following areas of study: Advanced certificate in orientation and mobilityAdvanced certificate in teacher of the visually impaired,  Blind and visually impaired - MSEdRehabilitation teaching and orientation and mobility - MSEdRehabilitation teaching - MSEd

 

University of Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh offers a distance learning master's of education program, MEd, as well as certification programs in teacher of the visually impaired and orientation and mobility.  The two certification programs can also be combined as a dual certification.    

 

Kutztown University

Kutztown University offers a bachelor's degree program in special education with an emphasis in visual impairments.  Additionally a post-baccalaureate certificate program is offered through distance education.

Dominican College

Dominican College offers a distance education master's degree program for teachers of the visually impaired. There are on-campus components required for this program,


Southeast United States

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

This program allows students the opportunity to complete either a master's degree or a certification program in orientation and mobility; both on-campus and distance education programs are available.  Distance education programs have an on-campus requirement for some components.

 

North Carolina Central University

North Carolina Central University offers a distance education master's degree program in MEd teaching with visually impairment focus, MEd orientation and mobility focus, as well as liscensure only programs in teacher of the visually impaired and orientation and mobility.  All programs have an on-campus requirement. 

 

South Carolina State University

South Carolina State University offers a post master's certificate program in orientation and mobility.

 

Florida State University

Florida State University offers an on-campus master's degree in visual disabilities.


Northwest United States

Portland State University

Portland State University offers four different programs of study, master's degree in Special Education with endorsement in orientation and mobility.  Add on program for orientation and mobility.  Orientation and mobility for teachers that are already licensed.


Southwest United States

Texas Tech University

Texas Tech offers a distance education master's degree in Special Education with an emphasis in orientation and mobility.  There is an on-campus requirement in the summer.  Additionally, two of the distance education courses have a weekend on-campus requirement. 

 

Steven F. Austin State University

Steven F. Austin State University offers on-campus bachelor level degree programs in orientation and mobility, teachers of the visually impaired, and rehabilitation service training program.  

 

San Francisco State University

San Francisco State University offers evening and weekend on-campus master's degree program in special education with an emphasis in orientation and mobility, as well as a California Clinical Rehabilitative Services Credential with an emphasis in orientation and mobility.

 

Langston University

Langston University offers an on-campus master's degree program in vision rehabilitation services.  

 

New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University offers a distance education master's of education program, additionally they offer a certificate for teachers of the visually impaired.  Courses have on-campus weekend component.  

 

California State University Los Angeles

California State University Los Angeles offers a master degree program in special education with an emphasis in vision impairment or orientation and mobility.  They offer a master's degree program in clinical rehabilitative services with an emphasis in orientation and mobility.  Students also have the option to pursue a certificate in orientation and mobility.


Canada

University of Montreal

The University of Montreal offers an on-campus master's degree program in vision impairment and rehabilitation.  It offers a choice of specialization in orientation and mobility, vision rehabilitation teaching or low vision.  Cohorts are available in both french and english.

The University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia offers master's degree programs in special education with an add-on certificate in orientation and mobility.


Links and information on certification in blindness and low-vision

This section allows you to review the requirements for certification, in your respective area of vision rehabilitation.  We strongly recommend reviewing the requirements before making a decision on which area of vision rehabilitation you would like to pursue.  It is equally important to regularly visit and review these requirements as you move through your program of study.  

The Academy for Certification of Vision Education and Rehabilitation Professionals was established on November 6, 1999 and incorporated in January 2000, The Academy is a private, not-for-profit 501 (c) (6) organization. As an independent and autonomous legal certification body governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, The Academy is dedicated to meeting the needs of the vision services field and providing high-quality professional certification in the disciplines of low vision therapy, orientation and mobility, vision rehabilitation therapy, and assistive technology. 

Certified Low Vision Therapist CLVT

The CLVT uses functional vision evaluation instruments to assess visual acuity, visual fields, contrast sensitivity function, color vision, stereopsis, visual perceptual and visual motor functioning, literacy skills in reading and writing, etc. as they relate to vision impairment and disability. The CLVT also evaluates work history, educational performance, ADL and IADL performance, use of technology, quality of life and aspects of psychosocial and cognitive function.

The CLVT candidate must meet educational requirements outlined in the CLVT handbook.  The CLVT candidate must meet internship requirements outlined in the CLVT handbook.  The CLVT candidate must pass the required examination in order to attain certification.

THE CLVT will recertify every 5 years.

Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist COMS

Orientation and mobility instruction is a sequential process in which visually impaired individuals are taught to utilize their remaining senses to determine their position within their environment and to negotiate safe movement from one place to another. The Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist exam offers professional certification in order to demonstrate professional competency that supports quality service delivery to persons with vision impairments. For some employment opportunities Certification is mandatory.

The COMS candidate must meet educational requirements outlined in the COMS handbook.  The COMS candidate must meet internship requirements outlined in the COMS handbook.  The COMS candidate must pass the required examination in order to attain certification.

A COMS Will recertify every 5 years.

Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist CVRT

Vision rehabilitation therapists instruct persons with vision impairments in the use of compensatory skills and assistive technology that will enable them to live safe, productive, and interdependent lives. Vision rehabilitation therapists work in areas that enhance vocational opportunities, independent living, and the educational development of persons with vision loss, and may include working in center based or itinerant settings.

The CVRT candidate must meet educational requirements outlined in the CVRT handbook.  The CVRT candidate must meet internship requirements outlined in the CVRT handbook.  The CVRT candidate must pass the required examination in order to attain certification.

A CVRT will recertify every 5 years.

Certified Assistive Technology Instructional Specialist CATIS

A Certified Assistive Technology Instructional Specialist for People with Visual Impairments, ("CATIS"), is a highly trained expert who specializes in working with individuals who are blind, visually impaired or who have functional visual limitations, and empowers them to achieve their life goals for education, employment, avocation and independence through the use of assistive technology. 

CATIS engage in a comprehensive approach to vision rehabilitation addressing visual, physical, cognitive, and psycho-social aspects related to training and integration of existing and emerging technologies. Methods and strategies include the use of visual techniques, non-visual techniques (auditory and tactual), strategies and problem-solving skills through the use of various Assistive Technology ("AT") devices and solutions. 

A CATIS will recertify every two years. 

The CATIS candidate must meet educational requirements outlined in the CATIS handbook.  The CATIS candidate must meet internship requirements outlined in the CATIS handbook.  The CATIS candidate must pass the required examination in order to attain certification.



Contact

Thank you for visiting our site. If you have any questions or comments, please use the contact form on this page to send us an email.  We look forward to hearing from you.

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