Low Vision Therapists, Orientation and Mobility Specialists, and Vision Rehabilitation Therapists

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About the Job

Provide therapy to patients with visual impairments to improve their functioning in daily life activities. May train patients in activities such as computer use, communication skills, or home management skills.

It is also Called

  • Certified Low Vision Therapist
  • Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS)
  • Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist
  • Low Vision Therapist
  • Orientation and Mobility Specialist
  • Orientation and Mobility Therapist for the Blind
  • Rehabilitation Teacher
  • Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI)
  • Teacher of the Visually Impaired
  • Vision Rehabilitation Therapist (VRT)

What They Do

  • Train clients to read or write Braille.
  • Administer tests and interpret test results to develop rehabilitation plans for clients.
  • Teach independent living skills or techniques such as adaptive eating, medication management, diabetes management, and personal management.
  • Obtain, distribute, or maintain low vision devices.
  • Provide consultation, support, or education to groups such as parents and teachers.
  • Participate in professional development activities such as reading literature, continuing education, attending conferences, and collaborating with colleagues.
  • Identify visual impairments related to basic life skills in areas such as self-care, literacy, communication, health management, home management, and meal preparation.
  • Refer clients to services, such as eye care, health care, rehabilitation, and counseling, to enhance visual and life functioning or when condition exceeds scope of practice.
  • Design instructional programs to improve communication using devices such as slates and styluses, braillers, keyboards, adaptive handwriting devices, talking book machines, digital books, and optical character readers (OCRs).
  • Train clients to use adaptive equipment such as large print, reading stands, lamps, writing implements, software, and electronic devices.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: SIR.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Social interests, but also prefer Investigative and Realistic environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Relationships, but also value Achievement and Independence in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

LMI Region

Wages

In 2013, the average annual wage in New Jersey was $88,170 with most people making between $62,700 and $119,010

Outlook

1.69%
avg. annual growth

During 2008, this occupation employed approximately 3,250 people in New Jersey. It is projected that there will be 3,800 employed in 2018.

This occupation will have about 55 openings due to growth and about 55 replacement openings for approximately 110 total annual openings.