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  • Visual Disabilities

    Have you ever thought about what it would be like to not have vision? What would be your concept of the solar system? How would you navigate unfamiliar territory? What would you expect for your future?

    Teachers of the visually impaired (TVIs) aim to address these types of issues through creative teaching techniques and unique curriculum that addresses the specific needs of each student. Teaching students who are visually impaired is unlike any other type of teaching. As a TVI, you will teach students the skills necessary for them to be successful not only in the classroom, but also socially and in their careers so that they can become productive members of society while being able to live independently. Job success for TVIs is not tied to the success of their students on state-wide academic assessments, but rather on their ability to meet unique goals created as a team working with the student.

    As the only Visual Disabilities program of its kind in the southeast, FSU offers one of the most respected and longest-standing programs with an elite, nationally recognized faculty who have blindness experience in all majors.

    Upon graduation from this program, you will be eligible for a Florida Professional Educator’s Certificate in Visually Impaired (K-12). There is a tremendous demand in Florida and across the country for teachers with this certification; our graduates have a 100% job placement rate and establish relationships with their students that last for years, becoming invested in them, their families, and the community.

    Admission Requirementsexpand menu

    For specific admission requirements, go to Teacher Education Undergraduate Admissions.

    Degree Requirementsexpand menu

    For specific degree requirements, please see the FSU Academic Guide.

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    Students in the Visual Disabilities Education program may be eligible for grant support from the U.S. Department of Education. Eligible students can get half of the cost of in-state tuition covered, plus a stipend of $1000 per semester (undergraduates) or $2500 per semester (graduates).  Acceptance of these funds requires a commitment to work with students with visual impairments (ages birth to 22) in the United States. Please contact Dr. Sandy Lewis for more details.

    To learn more about other financial aid opportunities for College of Education students, please see Scholarships and Aid.

    Career Opportunitiesexpand menu

    Every year in Florida, jobs go unfilled and students go unserved because so few people know about this rewarding and satisfying field of education.

    Results from a recent study indicate that there is a need for 5,000 new Teachers of Children with Visual Impairments (TVIs) and a need for 10,000 new Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Specialists to work with children and adults with visual impairments across the U.S.

    These teachers and specialists help children and adults who are blind or who have low vision to achieve their educational goals and prepare for the future. They work with individuals with visual impairments and their parents, educators, rehabilitation centers, and community agencies.

    According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for special education teachers is expected to grow by 6 percent (as fast as the national average for all occupations) through 2024. That translates into 27,042 new jobs.
 The median national annual salary for special education teachers is $56,800 per year. Your income as a special ed teacher may be slightly higher than that of a general classroom teacher, depending on the school district in which you teach.

    Program Course Sequenceexpand menu

    For program course specifics, please see the FSU Academic Guide.

    Admissions Contact:

    Frank Amidon
    Mapping Coordinator
    OASIS- 2301 Stone Building
    (850) 644-3767

    Program Contact:

    Dr. Sandy Lewis
    2205L Stone Building
    (850) 644-8409

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