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Visual Impairment Training Program

Student under blindfold, learning White Cane skills
An O&M student learning White Cane skills

Grant Funding Opportunity

From October 2013 through September 2018, tuition and stipends are available for students in the Visual Impairment Training Program. We have a collaborative effort with the state of Georgia to increase O&M specialists within the state. Check out the links for more information.

Tuition/Stipend Funding for Candidates
Georgia Tuition/Stipend Funding for Candidates

Our Program

The Visual Impairment Training Program (VITP) at North Carolina Central University prepares professionals to serve the needs of children and adults with visual impairments.  The Graduate and Licensure Programs in Special Education with an emphasis in Visual Impairment enable students to apply for state licensure as a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI) or to apply for national certification as an Orientation and Mobility (O&M) specialist.  There is a significant demand for certified TVIs and O&M specialists in North Carolina and across the country.  The number of open positions significantly exceeds the professionals available.

The VITP is a distance education program with courses offered through on-line study, and on-campus weekend and summer work allowing students to continue working during the school year. The number of face-to-face meetings vary by course.  Students admitted to the VITP will begin with a fall cohort of students they will continue with throughout their program.  As part of every program, candidates will complete a minimum 350-hour internship in their specialty area.

This program was developed based on the knowledge, skills, and professional standards identified by the Council of Exceptional Children, the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP), and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. The VITP is approved for its TVI and O&M programs through the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired. 

What does a Teacher of the Visually Impaired do?

The TVI provides instruction to students with visual impairments in the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC), which is the knowledge and skills students’ require to access the regular education curriculum and to function at a level comparable to their peers with and without disabilities. The ECC includes instructional and assessment methods for children who are visually impaired, reading and writing braille (UEB), and understanding visual impairments.

What does an O&M specialist do?

The O&M specialist is responsible for providing instruction to children or adults with visual impairments related to knowledge and skills for independent travel.  These learning and instructional topics include the use of canes and dog guides, instructional and assessment techniques for independent travel, and advanced skills for street crossings, bus travel, and other complex environments

Degree Programs

Master's of Arts in Teaching (MAT) - Visual Impairment Focus - The MAT Program is a 57 credit hour program of study for individuals who do not have a teaching credential and are seeking initial teacher licensure in special education general curriculum and visual impairments.

Master's of Education (MEd)- Visual Impairment Focus - The MEd Program with focus on teaching students with visual impairments is a 47-50 credit hour program with requirements for eligibility to apply for state licensure as a TVI.

Master’s of Education (MEd)– Orientation and Mobility Focus - The MEd with focus in O&M is a 47-50 credit hour program leading to eligibility to apply for certification through ACVREP.

Non-Degree Programs

For licensure only students, specific program plans are established on an individual basis, with requisite courses determined by previous degree(s) earned and prior university coursework.

Visual Impairment Licensure Add-On Program Requirements - The add-on licensure program is designed to enable a person with a teaching license to obtain licensure as a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments.

O&M Certification-Only Program - The O&M program is designed to enable a person with a degree in a related field to become eligible for certification in O&M through ACVREP.

Personal/Professional Development - Most courses offered within the program may be taken for personal or professional enhancement or to meet continuing education requirements. Admission for courses would be as a Special Student and require approval from program faculty.

Complete VITP Course ListingPlease Note: VITP classes are held via Distance Education or on the NCCU Campus in Durham. Not all classes may be available in any given semester.

Admission information for the Visual Impairment Training Program can be found through the following link.   Visual Impairment Training Program (VITP) - Admission Requirements

For additional information, please contact Dr. Dorothy Singleton, Interim Department Chair, at  919-530-6689 and dsingleton@nccu.edu

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