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We Need You!

Vision Rehab Podcast logo closeup of an eyeThe Vision Rehab Podcast is a short monthly podcast about topics and issues related to vision rehabilitation therapists and vision rehab. You can also listen on your smart speaker, just ask for, “Vision Rehab Podcast.”

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There’s a shortage in our field of vision rehabilitation. If you have an interest in making a positive impact on other people’s lives, vision rehab may be the profession you probably never heard of that will fill that desire. Let me share this quote from Dr. John McMahon, who has been a vision rehabilitation therapist for the past 38 years, as he shared on the YouTube channel Recruit CVRT,

“The significance of the impact and the immediate intensity of the impact is something that I was not prepared for and when you see, literally in 15 minutes the life-changing, transformative things that we do for clients… and they take control of their lives–to be in the middle of that is about the coolest job I have ever had.”

How’s that for having a positive impact on another person’s life?

This shouldn’t be a secret, but I’m afraid it is—there is grant funding from the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) for the graduate programs that provide masters degrees in vision rehabilitation `therapy, or orientation and mobility, two of the professions in vision rehabilitation. So, this is really good news for anyone looking for financial assistance to get that graduate degree–there are scholarships available for some of these college programs.

What do vision professionals do? In short, the vision rehabilitation therapist (VRT) most often has a master’s degree in blindness rehabilitation, a national certification, and teach independent living skills. As a result of blindness or a recent vision loss clients learn a wide variety of adaptations for daily living skills used for work, recreation, tech, etc. For example, learning to read a book or magazine using alternatives like audio books, magnification, or text to speech on a computer or tablet.

The orientation and mobility specialist (O&M or COMS), also most often has a master’s degree and national certification. These professionals teach individuals how to travel independently and safely in their environment.

Both the vision rehab therapists and orientation and mobility specialists follow an educational model of skills training with clients, and this is different than a medical model. It is not a diagnostic model in which a person is being “fixed.” Instead, client’s goals are identified and skills training based on each individual’s functional abilities. So, for example, if the client has remaining vision, and the goal is reading, the training might be with electronic or optical magnifiers. The client with little to no vision, may be using audio books or some sort of text to speech technology to read digital text out loud.

Sound like something that interests you? Check out the many options on one of the professional association pages and look for the button labeled, “Becoming a Vision Professional.” You can always send an email to for more information, and be sure to check out the videos on YouTube at RecruitCVRT. Join our profession, it’s truly a career with meaning.




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