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At a Glance: Visually Impaired Learner Program

A special education license with a vision focus

Some of the most rewarding work in education is in unique specialty areas. PSU's Vision Impaired Learner program prepares you to adapt curriculum and lessons for children with sight-impairment or blindness. This special population is mainstreamed with other students in todays modern classroom, presenting unique challenges for instructors.

PSU's VIL program is one of very few in the country serving this population, and it is unique in that it is one of a few accessible at a distance. There is a nationwide shortage of VIL specialists, which makes demand for these skilled specialists very high.

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Program benefits

As a member of this program, you will:

  • Learn to adapt curriculum for usage with students who are blind and vision impaired
  • Understand the unique challenges and rewards of working with this population
  • Have the flexibility of completing your coursework online
  • Be in high demand for employment

As a graduate, you will be in high demand in school districts, and service agencies around the country. You will be a valued resource for students, teachers and parents


This program may offer scholarships for tuition and for housing on PSU campus (for the eight-week summer intensive program).

Who is this for?

The program prepares candidates for initial licensure or licensed teachers for endorsement. The program also prepares Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists (COMS).

Program format

  • Courses are offered online
  • One summer intensive at PSU’s downtown campus
  • Teachers of students with visual impairments (TVI) program: 54-60 required credits
  • Orientation and mobility program: 31 hours
  • Can combine with a master's degree

Orientation and mobility certification

The program offers specialization in Orientation and Mobility with cohorts beginning in odd numbered years. This program is separate from the TVI licensure program. Read more.

Orientation and mobility prerequisites

Applicants must currently hold licensure or have completed an approved program for a Teacher of the Visually Impaired; Rehabilitation Teacher for the Blind; or Certified Low Vision Therapist. Applicants without this prior training cannot be considered.

Get started

Cohorts begin every other year. TVI cohorts begin in even numbered years and the orientation and mobility cohorts begin in odd numbered years. The admission deadline is Apr 1. For initial TVI licensure there are 24 quarter credits of prerequisites: Sped 518 Survey of Exceptional Learners; ED 511 Reading and Literacy; ED 420 Foundations of Education; MTH 211, 212, 213; and PSY 311 and the CBEST, Praxis I or WEST-B exam. Candidates with a current license are exempt from the prerequisite courses. You can begin the enrollment process in a few simple steps:

  1. Have a current Oregon Teaching License or take the CBEST, WEST-B, or PPST test
  2. Have an accumulative GPA of at least 2.75
  3. Take the prerequisite courses, if necessary
  4. Schedule your in-person appointment or attend an information session
  5. Begin the application process


Holly Lawson
Program Coordinator
1-800-547-8887 ext. 55495
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