Stephen F. Austin State University

Visual Impairment

Visual Impairments

The Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI) program prepares the student to teach children with visual impairments from birth through 22 years of age. The program focuses on 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 in mind. Approximately one calendar year is required to complete the requirements of the program. Students are admitted once per year in cohorts that begin during the summer. Required classes include:

• SPE 517 - Braille Reading and Writing
• SPE 516 - Structure and Function of the Visual System

These two classes are taught here at SFASU and delivered to remote locations through participating Education Service Centers over TETN. After this six-hour block has been completed, students are expected to take the Texas Examination of Educators Standards (TExES) test in Braille (TExES 183- Braille) in order to fulfill the requirements for emergency certification as a TVI. Once emergency status has been granted, they may serve as a district TVI while completing their training in:

• SPE 515 - Foundations in Visual Impairment
• SPE 552 - Instructional Methods for Students who have Multiple Impairments including Vision
• SPE 518 - Basic Orientation and Mobility
• SPE 551 - Methods for Working with Students with Visual Impairments

A three to six semester hour practicum, SPE 558, is also required. Students are also expected to take the state test in Visual Impairment (TExES 182 - Visually Impaired) at or near the end of their spring classes. Students must successfully complete ALL instructional classes, examinations, and practicum assignments before being eligible to earn permanent certification.

Grant funding is usually available for students in the TVI program. Funded slots are, however, allocated on a competitive basis. Applications for the grant funds are due the third Monday of March each year.


It is the mission of the Visual Impairment Preparation (VIP) Program to train Teachers of students with Visual Impairments (TVIs) and Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists (COMS) who are practically and pragmatically prepared to meet the needs of persons with visual impairments across the state of Texas and in the nation as a whole. We believe that completers from our program should be equipped to effectively deliver instructional services which provide opportunities for students and clients with visual impairments to be more independent, lead more meaningful lives, and participate to a greater extent in society at large. In order to meet these goals, we believe that it is our responsibility to mentor and educate our graduates in the importance of exhibiting caring and compassionate approaches to instruction and positive beliefs about the worth of all individuals regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation or level of disability.

If you would like more information please contact:
Mr. Michael Munro
HSTC 222
PO. Box 13019 SFA Station
Nacogdoches, TX 75962
Phone: 936.468.1036

Course Sequence

Faculty & Staff

Mr. Michael Munro - Program Director
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

Additional Information and VIP Program Handbook for O&M and TVI

For additional information click on the following link for a Q&A and links to the applications needed: