Become a Teacher of Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired

Dominican College offers two pathways that prepare you for certification as a Teacher of the Visually Impaired

Why Become a TVI

  • Currently, the field of blindness is experiencing a great shortage of teachers, approximately 5,000 nationwide.
  • Starting salaries for TVIs are competitive. These jobs come with great benefits, job security, and the opportunity to improve the lives of blind or children with visually impaired.

The Dominican College Advantage

  • Online Program: Benefit from the flexibility and convenience of an online degree program. On- campus residence is required for a total of only 3 days at the end of June, with hotel accommodations provided! (pending grant approval)
  • Learn from Top Educators: Classes are taught by expert faculty who are active in the field of visual impairment and blindness and who are fully committed to your success.
  • Personalized Attention: Smaller cohorts allow faculty to provide you with personalized attention and superior training.
  • Employment Opportunities: Graduates have a 95% employment rate prior to graduation.

Graduates of the Dominican College TVI Program are well-prepared to meet the academic needs of their students in Pre-K-12 educational settings using a wide range of assistive technology, devices for braille literacy instruction and low vision magnification accommodations.

In-depth methods instruction is also provided to prepare teachers in training to meet the needs of students with a wide range of disabilities in addition to visual impairment.

TVI Curriculum Pathways

Dominican College offers two different pathways that will allow you to receive the coursework and instruction needed for preparation for NYS certification.

36- Credit, M.S. in Education Pathway:

  • Available to all applicants who hold a state teaching certificate in the area of special education, early- childhood, childhood, middle or adolescence education.
  • Provides an MS in Education degree as Teacher of Students with Blindness and multiple impairments along with recommendation for NY State Certification.
  • Coursework prepares you to work with students with multiple impairments, blindness and deaf-blindness.
  • Coursework can be completed in fewer than 24 months.
  •  ITI Tuition Remission is available for those who plan to teach in NY after coursework completion.
  • Financial Aid, the TEACH Grant and Scholarships may be available to students.

9-24 Credit Pathway:

  • This coursework is a non-matriculating pathway that prepares you to sit for the State Exam to obtain a state teaching certification as a TVI.
  • Available to applicants who hold a state teaching certificate in any educational area.
  • Courses include Assistive Technology, Orientation and Mobility and Nemeth Code.
  • Coursework can be completed in 12-18 months.
  • ITI Tuition Remission is available for those who plan to teach in NY after coursework completion.

About the Coordinator

Yvette M. Blitzer, M.S Ed., is Coordinator of the Program, Teachers of Students Who Are Blind and Visually Impaired .

A graduate of Dominican College and the TVI program, Ms. Blitzer joined the faculty after 15 years of service in the field of low vision and blindness.   She has held a variety of roles in the field of education including classroom teacher, educational coordinator, and program director for after school programs, curriculum designer and writer for visual and performance arts programs in Arizona and New York City.  Mrs. Blitzer continues to remain active in service as well as in the area of research, as she aims to complete her doctoral studies in “Educational Leadership and Management” with Capella University.  Furthermore, her time and service extends to several committees such as New York State Chapter for the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, the Association for the Visually Impaired in Rockland County along with the Council for Exceptional Children’s Diversity Division.

Meet the Graduate Teacher Education Faculty and Staff

TVI Career Paths

Graduates of the Teachers of Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired (TVI) Program are employed in diverse educational settings:

Early Intervention Programs
Colleges/Universities
Government Agencies
Itinerant teaching settings
Public and Private School Districts
Residential Schools for the Blind

Course Information


Course Descriptions

SE 537 Introduction to American Sign Language (A.S.L.) (3)
Students will demonstrate receptive and expressive mastery of targeted, context specific commands, questions, statements and dialogue, using the manual alphabet and signing Exact English. Stu-dents will develop cross-cultural skills and understanding of the deaf community. Offered as a hybrid/ online course.

SE 616 Research in Special Education (3)
Presents an overview of research design as applicable to students with disabilities, including those with multiple and severe disabilities. Examines use of computer software as research tool. Students prepare either a paper based on an original research design, or a paper based on analytical/historical outline of a question or problem specific to the target population and a journal article of publishable quality based on the paper. Offered as a hybrid/online course.

SE 621 Adaptive Methods for Developing Motor Skills in Students with Health and/or Physical Disabilities (3)
Addresses the needs of students with physical and/or health impairments in order to promote optimal participation in the educational setting. Skills in positioning and physical handling techniques, methods for developing daily living skills competence, modification and adaptation of curriculum and instructional materials, and teaming efforts with related service providers are addressed. Field experience required. Offered as a hybrid/online course.

SE 623 Positive Behavior Approaches (3)
Application of behavioral principles and paradigms utilized in the classroom including Positive Behavior Supports, Applied Behavior Analysis and TEACH; intervention and scheduling; changing, maintaining, and transferring new behaviors. Assessing behavior in environmental context and utilizing positive practices for prevention of behavioral excesses. Field experience required.
Offered as a hybrid/online course.

VI 532 Psychosocial Aspects and Evaluation of Blindness and Visual Impairment (3)
Changing nature of population; definitions; history of services; legislative history; attitudes towards the blind; adjustment to blindness; effects of blindness on cognitive, physical, psychological and social development during early childhood, adolescence, transition, and adulthood; formal and informal evaluation procedures.
Field experience required.

VI 533 Assessment and Functional Implications of Visual Impairment (3)
Anatomy and development of the eye; nature and degrees of impairment; optical and non-optical devices for low vision; vision testing in clinical and educational settings; assessment of visual perceptual functioning; learning media assessment; functional vision assessment. Field experience required.

VI 534 Orientation and Mobility for Teachers (3)
Special skills required for successful independent travel. Skills to be stressed are concept development, orientation and spatial awareness, exploration of the environment, and precane techniques. Students will participate in a variety of movement experiences using occluders which simulate both total and partial vision loss.
Field experience required as well as 2-day residency on campus.

VI 535 Literary Braille and Instructional Strategies (3)
Reading and writing of standard English Grade II Braille, using both Braille writer and slate and stylus. Preparation of assignments in both “hard” Braille and “simulated” Braille using computer programs. The teaching of Braille reading and writing, with attention to the New York State Learning Standards for the English Language Arts. Field experience required.

VI 538 Nemeth and Other Specialized Braille Codes (2)
Continuation and reinforcement of literary Braille; instruction in reading and writing of Nemeth code for scientific and mathematical notation; instruction in utilization of Cranmer abacus for math calculation. Braille formatting, foreign language codes, music Braille, and computer Braille code are introduced. Strategies for Braille reading and writing instruction are further developed, with continuing attention to the New York State Learning Standards for English Language Arts. Field experience required.

VI 539 Assistive Technology for Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired (1)
Overview of assistive technology for persons who are blind or visually impaired–Braille, enlarged print, speech. Lecture and “hands-on” experience with screen readers, Braille note takers, Braille translation programs, and screen magnifiers. Representatives from technology companies, the American Printing House for the Blind, and local distributors will explain and demonstrate use of products and assist with instruction of selected devices and programs. Offered as a week-long, on-campus institute in July.

VI 641 Methods for Academic Learners Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired (3)
Principles of materials development and teaching strategies for children with visual impairments and total blindness. A sampling of all K-12 subject areas is examined, and special emphasis is placed on reading readiness, reading, the language arts, and visual stimulation. Instruction in developing tactile graphics; students will create tactile graphics to enhance lessons presented in class and/or online. Students will examine means of assuring that New York State Learning Standards in all identified areas are met by all learners.

VI 642 Methods for Young and/or Multiply Impaired Learners Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired (3)
Assessment and intervention strategies for working with young and/or older multiply disabled learners who are blind or visually impaired. Emphasis on developing compensatory skills in young children, and functional skills in older blind and visually impaired children with multiple disabilities; perspective is teaming and collaboration. The New York State Learning Standards and Alternate Performance Indicators for Students with Severe Disabilities will be identified and addressed in curriculum planning.

VI 717 Student Teaching and Advanced Seminar (3)
Student teaching either during the academic year, if the student is employed working with learners who are visually impaired, or during the summer. Placements will be determined in consultation with faculty. The seminar refines topics such as working with the para-educator, working with families, developing appropriate I.E.P. goals and objectives, conducting functional vision assessments, learning media assessments, transition plans, and preparing community presentations.


Course Schedules

Teachers of Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired (TVI) Course Schedule:

The program is based on a quarter term system beginning in the Fall.

YEAR 1:
QUARTER 1:
VI 532       Psychosocial Aspects of Blindness and Visual Impairment (3)
VI 535       Literary Braille and Instructional Strategies (3)

QUARTER 2:
(Literary Braille and Instructional Strategies continues through Quarter 2)

QUARTER 3:
VI 533       Assessment and Functional Implications of Visual Impairment (3)
VI 538       Nemeth Code and Other Specialized Braille Codes (3)

QUARTER 4:
VI 641        Methods for Academic Learners Who are Blind or VI (3)
VI 534        Orientation and Mobility for Teachers (3)
VI 539        Assistive Technology for the Blind and VI (3)

YEAR 2:
QUARTER 5:
SE 621        Adaptive Methods for Developing Motor Skills in Students with Health and/or Physical Disabilities (3)
VI 717        Student Teaching and Advanced Seminar (3)

QUARTER 6:
VI 642        Methods for Young and/or Multiply Impaired Learners Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired (3)
SE 623        Positive Behavior Approaches (3)

QUARTER 7:
SE 537        Introduction to American Sign Language (3)
SE 616        Research in Special Education (3)


Speak to us about applying to a Graduate Program at Dominican College today!

Contact Heather Karsenty today for more information about applying to the Teachers of Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired (TVI) program.

Heather Karsenty
Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions
Phone: (845) 848-7908
Email: heather.karsenty@dc.edu

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