The need for Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments (TSVIs) is as great as the opportunity they have to make a difference in children's lives. TSVIs - also referred to as "teachers certified in visual impairment" and "teachers of visually impaired," or "TVI" - are educators who specialize in providing support and instruction to students with blindness or visual impairments. TSVIs help students overcome barriers to equal opportunities for success, build independence, thrive in their daily lives, and reach their full potential.
Why Become a TSVI?
- You will make a profound and lasting impact on children and their families' lives.
TSVIs not only help students advance in their academic pursuits, they also help them thrive in daily life. TSVIs play a pivotal role in student development that extends far beyond the classroom, empowering young people to take on challenges, discover their passions, and build a foundation for lifelong success.
- You can develop long-term relationships working with students across multiple years.
TSVIs often have the opportunity to work with the same students for many years, helping them learn and flourish across the various stages of their lives. They might help a student navigate the transition from elementary to middle school or guide them as they exit K-12 education and explore their career or postsecondary next steps.
- You will experience near 100% job placement throughout the U.S.
TSVIs are in great demand throughout the country. This demand is here to stay because of a longstanding shortage and pervasive needs that show no signs of diminishing. TSVIs can typically find a job anywhere they want to live. This flexibility means that you can build a fulfilling career in any location you choose to call "home."
- You can have variety in the students you teach and in your day-to-day work.
As a TSVI, each day is a little different. You can work with a range of students and professionals across diverse settings throughout the day. Each of your students, including those with multiple disabilities, will have their own unique skills, abilities, and needs. One hour, you may be working with a baby in their home with their parents and the next you could be teaching geometry to a high school student.
- You get to work in a collaborative environment.
Being a TSVI means working with a whole community - from teachers, to parents, to doctors, to local businesses - to help students with blindness or visual impairments flourish. They work alongside other special education teachers and classroom teachers across grades and subject areas to develop and implement learning plans for their students.
- You will have ongoing learning opportunities.
As a TSVI, there is always something to learn - whether you are honing a skill to better meet a student's unique needs or learning the latest technology to enhance learning for students with blindness or visual impairments. And, as a TSVI, you'll get to learn and teach Braille - a code that unlocks literature and learning for students and equips them with a lifelong skill that fosters independence.
What Does a TSVI Do?
From teaching daily life skills to providing academic support, TSVIs help children with blindness or visual impairments thrive.
Many TSVIs travel from school to school to meet with students and help them learn alongside peers who don't have visual impairments, but they may also work at a specialized school for visually impaired students or in other settings. They can support students in both special or general education classrooms and often engage with students and their families in their homes and communities.
TSVIs support students with blindness or visual impairments in accessing the general education curriculum and teach an expanded curriculum that includes life skills such as career development, personal care, self-management, and social interaction. TSVIs teach specialized skills including Braille and use the latest technologies to make a meaningful difference in students' lives in and out of the classroom.
Join the TSVI Profession
Follow your passion for making a difference in children's lives by becoming a TSVI. Whether you're a current or future teacher or are interested in making a career change, there's a program for becoming a TSVI that's right for you.
"Our field is a hidden gem. It is the best job in education. You have the opportunity to connect with students for their entire educational career. These relationships live on past graduation." - Current TSVI
"This is such a needed area! You can make a huge difference in the lives of your students and their families! If you like problem-solving, advocating, and providing necessary resources and information, this field is for you!"- Current TSVI