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Special Education: Visual Impairment

Bachelor of Science in Education, Teacher Certification

Play an important role in students’ and families’ lives as a teacher of the visually impaired. You will learn how to help students – who otherwise may struggle with academic performance – build the necessary skills and find adaptations that enable them to have the richest possible educational experience.

Specializing in visual impairment

Teachers of the visually impaired receive specialized training to support students who are blind or visually impaired. They are certified to provide vision support from birth to age 21. This is an instructional position – not a vision therapist or medical provider.

Such teachers have the flexibility to provide instruction either in a small classroom or in a 1:1 individualized setting. They learn Braille and how to use specialized technology that supports students with visual impairments.

What makes Kutztown University’s program unique

KU is one of only six institutions in the U.S. to offer a program focused on preparing teachers of the visually impaired at the undergraduate level, and the only one at a state university in Pennsylvania.

Employment facts

  • 100% job placement for 2021 graduates
  • More than 75% of teachers at Overbrook School for the Blind graduated from KU
  • More than 60% of teachers at Maryland School for the Blind graduated from KU

As a special education major pursuing a B.S. in Education/Visual Impairment, you will be part of an extraordinary network of students and faculty who make this program outstanding among others of its kind.

KU students have presented research studies at state and national conferences across the U.S., served as representatives on national boards, and even become supervisors themselves.

Quotation Mark

The thing I liked most about the program was the hands-on experience with real students. This program made me feel prepared for student teaching, as well as in the field, by having comprehension knowledge of different eye conditions, and how to serve students to their individual needs. Every student is different and this was stressed throughout my entire time at the program.

Kenady O'Neil, 2021 graduate

Our dedicated Vision Lab includes the following equipment:

  • Braille Embosser
  • BrailleNote Touch note taker
  • 15 Perkins Brailler writers
  • Vision Simulation Goggles
  • Freedom Scientific wireless Braille display
  • An iPad that features apps used in the field, such as KNFB Reader and CVI applications
  • Various magnifiers from MaxiAids

Dual certification opportunity

Students can choose to pursue a single certification in visual impairment or dual certification with elementary education. The program ensures all elementary certification requirements are met for students enrolled in the dual certification program. Field experiences are provided and teacher candidates will experience them in both elementary education and visual impairment settings.

For more information, please email Dr. Nicole Johnson or call 610-683-4297.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Teacher Certification Programs (BSEd) (includes Elementary Education, Secondary Education and Special Education programs)

    All initial teacher certification programs use the ten InTASC standards (required by CAEP accreditation) as their Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs). The ten InTASC standards are organized in 4 domains (The Learner and Learning, Content Knowledge, Instructional Practice, and Professional Responsibility).

    1. Learner Development - The teacher candidate will understand how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.
    2. Learning Differences - The teacher candidate will be able to use understandings of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.
    3. Learning Environments - The teacher candidate will be able to work with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.
    4. Content Knowledge - The teacher candidate will be able to understand the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content.
    5. Application of Content - The teacher candidate will be able to understand how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.
    6. Assessment - The teacher candidate will be able to understand and use multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher candidate's and learner's decision making.
    7. Planning for Instruction - The teacher candidate will be able to plan instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.
    8. Instructional Strategies - The teacher candidate will be able to understand and use a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.
    9. Professional Learning and Ethical Practice - The teacher candidate will be able to engage in ongoing professional learning and use evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.
    10. Leadership and Collaboration - The teacher candidate will be able to seek appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.

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