Visual Disabilities

 

Teaching Individuals with Visual Impairments—Unlike Any Other Type of Teaching!

 

The Curriculum and Instruction: Visual Disabilities program at Florida State prepares you to teach children and/or adults who are visually impaired (blind or low vision). Both public and private institutions have tremendous demand for teachers of the visually impaired. Our highly sought-after graduates enjoy a 100% employment rate throughout Florida and the nation!

FSU’s Visual Disabilities program teaches the specialized strategies and skills necessary to help individuals who are blind or who have low vision learn about and participate fully in school, employment, and the community.

Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments (TVIs) and Orientation and Mobility Specialists (OMS) enable and empower students and clients. In their classrooms and the community, these important professionals equip their students with all the skills every adult needs, regardless of ability. These dynamic teachers do more than teach educational and practical skills; they also teach children and adults with visual impairments the skills necessary to navigate social situations, independent living, careers, and their environments.

Florida State University’s Visual Disabilities program offers the following options for those seeking to teach children and/or adults who are blind or who have low vision:

 

Become a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (B.S./M.S. Pathway)

This is a traditional in-person program offered at FSU’s main campus and is designed to prepare new, pre-service teachers to work with children who are visually impaired. College students begin this combined pathway program at the beginning of their junior year and earn both the Bachelor of Science and the Master of Science degree within three years by completing the required coursework.

Financial support through grants and scholarships are available for eligible students. For information about this program, visit https://education.fsu.edu/visual-disabilities.

 

Master's Degree Leading to Certification in Orientation and Mobility 

Orientation and Mobility Specialists are the professionals who teach the skills used by individuals who are visually impaired to physically navigate through their environments and includes skills such as helping a toddler who is blind to explore their room to find their favorite toy, teaching a child to safely play with friends on the playground, and teaching the use of the white cane while crossing streets or using public transportation to independently travel to work.

Courses for this specialization within the Visual Disabilities program are offered in a combination of online and face-to-face content. Students who complete the O&M specialization are eligible to apply for professional certification from the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP) to become certified orientation and mobility specialists (COMS) and may be eligible for the O&M endorsement from the Florida Department of Education.

Financial support through grants and scholarships are available for eligible students.

 

Master's Degree Designed for General and Special Educators who are or want to become Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments

This program is designed for teachers and paraprofessionals with experience in general or special education who seek to refine or expand their professional skills to include working with children who are visually impaired. This online program offers current teachers an ideal choice for continuing education while providing enough flexibility to continue working.

 

Specialist Degree Program for Visual Disabilities-Related Professionals

Experienced professionals who have completed a Master of Science degree and seek an advanced degree to refine their skills in this area can consider completing this program. If interested in pursuing an Education Specialist degree in the area of Visual Disabilities, please contact Dr. Eileen Bischof to discuss options and a program of study based on your prior experience and completed coursework.