By Carmen Willings
April 9, 2020
As a vision professional, you will want to become involved in organizations that are designed specifically to address issues related to serving individuals who are blind or visually impaired. While membership costs money, the benefits to your career will help you excel as a professional. The following are overarching benefits of professional memberships:
The Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) is a professional membership organization dedicated exclusively to professionals who provide services to persons with vision loss. Their mission is to promote and support the professions by advocating for evidence-based practices, high quality standards, value-added resources and giving voice to issues of critical importance. AER provides professional development via face-to-face conferences, virtual offerings and publications to strengthen the knowledge, skills and abilities of professionals within the field. AER provides networking, mentoring, connectivity, awards and scholarships for professionals to advance excellence within the field. Their focus is to ensure that persons with vision loss will have optimal gains and greater independence by giving timely, intentional and value-added support to professionals in the field.
An AER membership provides automatic membership in an AER Chapter at no additional cost. Chapters provide unique opportunities to connect with local professionals who provide services and resources that enable individuals who are blind or visually impaired to achieve their educational, employment and personal independence goals. However, even if you are not a member of AER, you can still attend meetings and conferences. Visit AER for a list of chapters and websites to view online resources.
I currently serve on the Georgia Chapter's AER board. Visit our GaAER website for resources in Georgia and information on upcoming conferences.
Council for Exceptional Children/Division of Visual Impairments
The primary purpose of this Council for Exceptional Children Division of Visual Impairments and Deaf-Blind is to advance the education of individuals with visual impairments and to promote related educational, scientific, and charitable purposes. Specifically, the Division assists and provides support to The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) in all its efforts on behalf of persons with exceptionalities, and participates in all appropriate governance activities of CEC subject to the general supervision and control of CEC.
International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment
The International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI) is a global association of individuals and organizations that promotes equal access to appropriate education for all children and youth with visual impairment so that they may achieve their full potential. Their website includes information that is relevant not only to ICEVI in general, but, most importantly, to the activities that take place in the seven regions of ICEVI: Africa, East Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America/Caribbean, Pacific, and West Asia.
American Rehabilitation Counseling Association
ARCA is an organization of rehabilitation counseling practitioners, educators, and students who are concerned with improving the lives of people with disabilities. Its mission is to enhance the development of people with disabilities throughout their life span and to promote excellence in the rehabilitation counseling profession. Its goal is to provide the type of leadership that encourages excellence in the areas of rehabilitation counseling practice, research, consultation, and professional development.
The National Rehabilitation Association (NRA) is the oldest professional member organization in the United States that advocates for the rights of individuals with disabilities while also promoting high quality, ethical, and collaborative practice across the rehabilitation profession. It is a membership organization for professionals in the field of rehabilitation and as an advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities.
Sign up for free membership to access the FREE downloadable handbooks and handouts on the Free Program Printables page along with access to the Goal Bank pages. Simply click on the Log In | Register link in the navigation bar. If you haven't joined yet, you will be prompted to create a password. Below are just a few examples of the many free printable resources.
Itinerant teaching is very rewarding, but it can present many challenges as well. TVI’s must be able to work well with a variety of personalities to best support students and their teams. It is just as essential to be organized, flexible, reliable, and a team player as it is to be knowledgeable in your field. This hour-long presentation is packed full of tips and strategies from Carmen Willings who has been a full time Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments for over 20 years. This webinar is perfect for TVI's just entering the field and for all TVI's as they start the new school year!
Sign up for free membership to access the FREE downloadable handbooks and handouts on the Free Printables page along with access to the Goal Bank pages. Simply click on the Log In | Register link in the navigation bar. If you haven't joined yet, you will be prompted to create a password.
Purchase the TVI's Guide to Teaching the ECC Complete Set and immediately unlock the pages within the ECC Complete Set Bonus including bonus printables, interactive sensory stories, interactive matching activities, interactive choice making activities, job task box activities and MORE! This is my way of continuing to support you and say "Thank you!" for choosing to purchase the Complete Set.
ECC Instructional Resources
VI Job Posting Service