The Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI) program will prepare you to teach children with visual impairments from birth through 22 years of age. This 21 credit-hour program (7 courses) trains graduate level students who already hold a valid Texas teaching certificate. Instructional arrangements and schedules are designed with the needs of the non-traditional student or working adult in mind. The requirements of the program can be completed in approximately one calendar year. TVI candidates are primarily admitted once per year in cohorts beginning during the summer term (admission at other times is limited to courses without prerequisites). Training begins with two summer classes:
- SPE 517 - Communication Skills for Students with Visual Impairments (aka the "Braille Course")
- SPE 516 - Structure and Function of the Visual System (aka the "Eye Course")
These two classes are taught here at SFASU and are delivered to remote locations through participating Education Service Centers (ESCs) over the TETN video conferencing platform. After these six credit hours have been successfully completed, your school district can apply for an emergency permit so that you may serve as their Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI) while you continue enrollment in your training program. Candidates will be eligible to work and perform all duties of a TVI under the emergency permit. Instructions for obtaining an emergency permit as a TVI are linked below. All candidates beginning their TVI careers receive onsite support from experienced TVI mentors and from university supervisors.
Upon completion of the braille course, Texas candidates are permitted to take the Texas Examination of Educators Standards (TExES) test for Braille (TExES 183- Braille), one of two TExES tests required for full certification in Visual Impairment in the state of Texas.
After passing the two summer courses described above, the following courses* must be successfully completed in order to fulfill TVI certification requirements:
- SPE 515 - Foundations in Visual Impairment (Fall semester)
- SPE 552 - Instructional Methods for Students who have Multiple Impairments including Visual Impairment (Fall semester)
- SPE 518 - Basic Orientation and Mobility (Spring semester)
- SPE 551 - Methods for Working with Students with Visual Impairments (Spring semester)
*The fall and spring courses listed above are delivered in evenings via the Internet, and do not require travel to your local ESC.
- SPE 558 - Practicum in Visual Impairment (a three to six semester hour practicum) is also required to complete the program. You will enter practicum in whatever semester you begin providing TVI service to students with visual impairments.
Those of you living/working in Texas are expected to successfully complete the state certification test in Visual Impairment (TExES 182 - Visually Impaired) at or near the end of your spring semester classes.
Candidates must successfully complete all instructional classes, examinations, and practicum assignments in order to be eligible to add "Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments" to their official educator certificate. Candidates from other states should contact the program faculty to work collaboratively to ensure that local requirements are met.
Grant funding is available for Texas candidates in the TVI program. These funds pay for tuition and most fees. Funds are limited, and are allocated on a competitive basis. Applications for this grant funding are due the third Monday of March each year. If selected, your grant funding is "paid back" through subsequent work in the field of visual impairment in Texas, as detailed in the grant agreement.
Candidates may wish to continue training and add certification as an Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS). This is referred to as dual certification. There may be funding assistance to add training toward national certification in O&M. Candidates may also obtain a Master's degree in Special Education with an emphasis in Visual Impairment and/or Orientation & Mobility. Currently, grant funds from our program can only be used cover courses required for certification, but most of these certification courses will count toward completion of the M.Ed. Candidates may seek outside funds or self-pay for their required Master's degree coursework.
If you would like more information please contact:
Mr. Michael Munro
PO. Box 13019 SFA Station
Nacogdoches, TX 75962
- Master's in Special Education with Visual Impairment Certification
- Masters in Special Education with Dual Certifications as a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments and Orientation & Mobility Specialist
- Graduate Level Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments - Certificate Only
Ms. Deborah 'Cricket' Cady - TVI/COMS
Ms. Tracy Hallak - COMS/TVI
Dr. Phoebe Okungu - TVI
Ms. Heather Munro -TVI/COMS
Ms. D.J. Dean - TVI/COMS
Ms. Donna Wood - Program/Grant Specialist
Visual Impairment Preparation Program
PO Box 13019-SFA Station
Nacogdoches, TX 75962 www2.sfasu.edu/visual-impairment/