Preparing to Be a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments

There is a worldwide shortage of people who are trained to work with children and adults who are blind or visually impaired. Find out how to become a vision professional, with information about teacher training programs, as well as in-service training or professional development opportunities for teachers in the field.  

Here are resources on both on-site and distance education programs that train personnel in professions related to blindness, including Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI, QTVI. CTVI), Teachers of Students who are Deafblind, Orientation and Mobility Specialists (COMS), Rehabilitation Teachers, Low Vision Therapists, and more:

Learning How to Become a Vision Professional

Become a Vision Professional
Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER)
These flyers explain the duties and satisfactions of four vision-related occupations, and list the educational preparation needed. Available in both pdf and Word formats.

Becoming a Vision Professional
Teachingvisuallyimpaired.com
Includes information about becoming a TVI (Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments) or an Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS or O & M instructor).

Teach Blind Students.org
National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
This website offers information for people who are interested in learning how to become a teacher of students with visual impairments. Includes information about finding funding.

Personnel Preparation Programs

Personnel Preparation
American Foundation for the Blind
Search degree programs and areas of concentration to prepare professionals to work in various capacities with individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

Professional Preparation/Certification Programs
Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER)
Links to colleges and universities in the United States, Canada and other countries that offer courses in education and rehabilitation of people who are visually impaired, deafblind, or have multiple disabilities.

Online Training for Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments

Professional Development
Perkins eLearning, Perkins School for the Blind
Perkins eLearning offers a range of professional development opportunities for teachers of students with visual impairments and related service providers.  Credits are offered for instructor-led online classes, self-paced online classes, and onsite training.  In addition, many videos are available to be watched free of charge.

On-the-Go Learning
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
This distance-education website is a resource for families, professionals, and paraprofessionals in the fields of blindness, visual impairment, and deafblindness.  It includes courses, videos, websites, and a blog.

Hadley School for Professional Studies
Hadley School for the Blind
Certified since 1958, Hadley offers a "unique distance education program that provides a convenient and affordable alternative to traditional professional continuing education." Aimed at professionals and paraprofessionals working with students or clients who are blind or visually impaired.

FIMC-VI: The Florida Instructional Materials Center for the Visually Impaired
The Florida Instructional Materials Center for the Visually Impaired
Free webinars are offered to teachers and others on a variety of topics related to the education of students who are blind or visually impaired.

AFB eLearning Center
American Foundation for the Blind
AFB offers online professional development through webinars and courses on technology, education, orientation & mobility, aging, employment, and rehabilitation.

Distance Learning
Washington State School for the Blind (WSSB)
Online training for teachers and others who work with students who are visually impaired.

Read more about: General Teaching Tips