|A Rehabilitation Teacher works primarily with blind and visually impaired adults. This highly specialized career requires university preparation and adherence to a Code of Ethics and certification standards. Certification is administered through The Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP). The Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER), Division 11, Rehabilitation Teaching provides membership benefits as well as university certification standards.
Consider this definition from the Rehabilitation Teaching University Personnel Preparation Guidelines:
Rehabilitation Teachers provide instruction and guidance in adaptive independent living skills, enabling adults who are blind and visually impaired to confidently carry out their daily activities. Rehabilitation Teachers are active members of multidisciplinary service teams, providing consultation and referrals utilizing community resources.
The job description of the Rehabilitation Teacher may include the following:
"Rehabilitation Teachers constitute a cadre of university-trained professionals who address the broad array of skills needed by individuals who are blind and visually impaired to live independently at home, to obtain employment, and to participate in community life. As a discipline, Rehabilitation Teaching combines and applies the best principles of adaptive rehabilitation, adult education, and social work to the following broad areas: home management, personal management, communication and education, activities of daily living, leisure activities, and indoor orientation skills." (Crews & Luxton, 1992)
- Assessment and evaluation of clients'/consumers/index.html' needs in home, community, educational, and vocational environments;
- Teaching adaptive independent living skills;
- Case management and record keeping;
- Identification and utilization of community and national resources;
- Utilization of community support services;
- Facilitation of psychosocial adjustment to vision loss.
- Assessing and evaluating the independent living needs and abilities of individuals with impaired vision for meeting immediate and lifelong goals;
- Developing individualized rehabilitation teaching plans in conjunction with the learner;
- Teaching adaptive skills needed for independent living in areas of personal management, household management, communication, education, leisure activities, orientation and movement in the indoor environment, and use of low vision devices and training techniques;
- Coordinating the implementation of the Rehabilitation Teaching service plan;
- Teaching problem solving and resource utilization, including the acquisition of adaptive equipment;
- Facilitating the individual's and family's psychosocial adjustment to impaired vision;
- Case management and case recording;
- Providing consultation, public education, and in-service training.
Through the teaching of new skills and adaptive methods to reinstate old skills, the Rehabilitation Teacher seeks:
- To restore the adult who is newly visually impaired to his/her accustomed lifestyle
- To assist the person who is developmentally disabled or multiply impaired and visually impaired in reaching his/her highest potential for independent living
- To demonstrate to other professionals the knowledge, skills and attitudes which make services for persons who are blind and visually impaired more effective
- To provide instruction to persons who are blind and visually impaired in such areas as home and personal management; adaptive communications skills including braille, typing and computer access, such as how to start a class blog; orientation in the home; home mechanics; diabetic and health management; and community resources.
Rehabilitation Teachers provide services in a variety of settings to persons who are blind and visually impaired:
- Agencies serving people who are blind and visually impaired
- Residential schools for children who are blind and visually impaired
- Local school districts providing services to children who are blind and visually impaired
- Centers for people with developmental disabilities
- Centers for Independent Living (CILs)
- State Vocational Rehabilitation Services
- Hospital and clinic rehabilitation teams
- Community-based rehabilitation teaching services