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How Do I Become a Low Vision Therapist?

A low vision therapist examining a patient's eyes.
A magnifying glass may be very helpful for individuals who suffer with vision issues.
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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 03 August 2014
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There are four requirements to become a low vision therapist: complete post-secondary education, receive low-vision training, obtain experience in the field and complete the certification process. A low vision therapist is a health specialist who provides instruction on the use of technology and techniques designed to assist people with low vision. The role of low vision therapists is a very important one, and they form a critical member of the medical support team that allows people with disabilities to remain independent and fully functioning members of society.

Low vision therapists work closely with clients to determine their current level of independence, limitations due to other illnesses or diseases and available support structure. They provide training in the use of devices, such as high magnification glasses, telescopes and closed circuit TV. Additional support is available should the level of vision decrease even further to include devices for the blind, such as Braille or screen reader software.

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In order to become a low vision therapist, candidates must have a bachelor degree from an accredited college or university. This degree can be in any field, but would preferably include a specialization in low vision therapy. Ideally, the degree should be completed at a school that provides the low vision therapy courses required by the certification agency. Candidates who have a degree in another field must take a minor in low vision therapy from an accredited school in order to become a low vision therapist. The issuing school must be offer a fully accredited program, which provides assurances about the course quality, academic policies and administrative practices.

During the low vision specialization portion of the degree, there are opportunities for cooperative job sessions, intern roles and volunteer positions. This experience is essential in order to become a low vision therapist. In total, 350 hours of clinical work experience is required before you can write the certification exam necessary. This certification is required when applying for a position as a low vision therapist.

Field experience can be gained in a hospital, rehabilitation center, social services agency or home support services firm. It is important to note that all the hours must be under the direct supervision of a medical doctor or optometrist. At the end of the work placement, make sure that the supervisor writes a complete evaluation report, as this is an integral part of the certification process.

The low vision therapist written exam is issued and administered by The Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals ACVREP). These exams must be scheduled in advance. Schools that offer low vision training programs often coordinate study classes and other groups to assist in the preparation for this exam.

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anon163073
Post 3

Please which universities offers fellowship or diploma programs in LVT and what is the tuition and duration of the program for international od students who prefer on the site education.

anon72994
Post 2

The article is helpful, but perhaps posting a list of schools/universities that provide this career track would be more beneficial.

anon33622
Post 1

What universities offer the LVT program?

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