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Visually Impaired Learner Program

Summer 2016 Cohort Application deadline: November 1 (early) or February 1 (regular)

VIL Webinar - October 8, 2015

6 pm to 7 pm
To join the teleconference only:
Call-in number: 571-392-7703
Participant PIN: 350 206 269 924

Sign up for the webinar here.

Join the session here.

Add this Blackboard Collaborate session to your calendar here.

Portland State University is the regional university preparation program for the Pacific and Northwest Consortium for Vision Education (PNWCVE). The consortium is currently comprised of 5 states: Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Idaho, and Montana. Applicants from consortium member states receive priority admissions, resident tuition and federal grant funding when available. Applicants from non-member states are welcome to apply and are accepted on a space available basis.

States and territories from the northwest quadrant of the country and the Pacific are welcome to join the consortium.

Portland State University offers a comprehensive, graduate level program for the preparation of teachers of students with vision impairments (TVIs) and leading to teacher licensure or endorsement. The program to prepare TVIs is a 2-year, distance education hybrid program that begins with an on-campus summer session in even numbered years.

The next TVI cohort begins summer 2016.

Student using PacMate electronic note-taker Noah practices using the new PacMate electronic notetaker. Along the wall behind him are several Perkins Braille writers, the industry standard since 1951.

Did you know?

  • There is currently a critical need for teachers of students with visual impairments.
  • Portland State University offers the only program for TVIs in the Pacific Northwest and one of three national distance programs.

Vision professionals

Teachers who work with blind or partially sighted students are in high demand. Nationwide there is a severe shortage of professionals who typically work with vision impaired students in their home school districts. PSU offers help with job placement, making students who obtain the Visually Impaired Learner endorsement highly likely to find employment.

Scholarships available

Scholarships for this program may be available for both coursework and for summer session housing through PSU. Many states have designated funds available for special education and vision impaired programs. For more information about Special Education scholarships, it is recommended that you consult student services Student Financial Assistance page within the Student Resources menu.

More information about teaching visually impaired children

2016 prospective student webinar

Dr. James Bickford, former director of the VIL program, spoke at length with radio host Paul VanDyck on the show "Sounds of Awareness" on KBOO FM on "the challenges of teaching visually impaired children and the difficulties of learning in a sighted world."

To listen to the program visit the KBOO program page or download a recording (27 minutes, 25MB MP3 file, used with permission of KBOO) or a transcript in Word, plain text, or PDF format.


Click here for information on available scholarships, financial aid, and estimated program costs.