Visual Impairment Credential: Special Education

The Education Specialist Preliminary Credential program in Visual Impairment (VI) prepares highly qualified educators to teach and empower a diverse range of blind and low vision students aged birth to 22 and their families. Students with visual impairments are a heterogeneous population and include individuals with additional disabilities including deafblindness, and from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Blind and low vision learners benefit from educational experiences that take into account their unique learning needs that require the acquisition of nonvisual or low vision conceptual knowledge and skills using tactile, visual, and auditory strategies. Teachers of blind and low vision students may work in a wide range of curricular and placement options, including: general education, resource room, and school for the blind; employment may be in an itinerant (1:1) or classroom setting.

Our program prepares educators to bridge current evidence-based literature with practice-oriented instructional strategies that are focused on promoting students’ access to core and expanded core curriculum areas, while emphasizing barrier-free membership in school, home, and community settings. We commit to exercising culturally responsive pedagogy as aligned with principles of anti-racism and anti-ableism. Candidates are expected to demonstrate skills in working with an array of professionals as well as families in order to facilitate learner participation and growth within the context of their educational experience. Graduates exercise proficiency in holistic assessment and instruction to promote literacy including braille, access technology, and design and instruction of multimedia accessibility. The 600 hours of supervised clinical fieldwork and practicum experiences ensure that teacher candidates are intrinsically motivated to apply the knowledge and skills acquired through course content and assignments to the instruction of students with visual impairments in a variety of school settings. Program curricula include an integrated approach to instruction, with content delivered via weekly online synchronous instruction and once per semester in-person Lab Weekends.

Visual Impairment Credential: Special Education

Core (18 units)

E ED 784Curriculum and Instruction in Mathematics (CLAD Emphasis)3
SPED 747Physical Disabilities and Sensory Impairments3
SPED 763Transition Planning for Students with Disabilities3
SPED 788Law, Ethics, and Instructional Planning3
SPED 801Development, Diversity, and English Language Learners: Special Education3
Health Education Requirement 13

Advanced Methods Courses (31 units)

SPED 655Basic Orientation and Mobility for Learners with Visual Impairments3
SPED 735Technology for Blind and Low Vision Students3
SPED 749Medical, Educational, and Rehabilitative Implications of Visual Impairment4
SPED 750Assessment for Learners with Visual Impairments3
SPED 751Instruction for Learners with Visual Impairments3
SPED 752Issues in Visual Impairment3
SPED 753Living Skills Assessment and Instruction for Learners with Visual Impairments3
SPED 754Basic Communication Skills for Learners with Visual Impairments3
SPED 757Visual Impairment: Special Populations3
SPED 758Advanced Communication Skills for Learners with Visual Impairments3

Clinical Fieldwork & Student Teaching (12-15 units)

SPED 701Education Specialist Intern Teacher Support Seminar 23
SPED 723Workshop: Student Teaching Support Sessions for Extensive Support Needs or Visual Impairments3
SPED 730Student Teaching: Special Education9