UMass Boston

Vision Studies: Orientation & Mobility Certificate

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Gain the skills to assist individuals with visual impairments to become safe, efficient, independent travelers.

UMass Boston’s Orientation and Mobility Certificate focuses on training professionals to assist blind or visually impaired individuals to reach their goal of becoming safe, efficient, independent travelers. It’s designed for teachers and other professionals who want to work with people with visual impairment and help them lead safe, productive and independent lives. You’ll gain the skills necessary to evaluate needs of adults and children with visual impairments. You’ll also learn how to teach them how to use equipment, such as the long cane, and low vision aids, as well as the integration of a professionally trained dog guide so they may orient themselves and travel safely with confidence. Explore cutting-edge learning technologies and gain practical hands-on experience through fieldwork. Apply these skills to assist people of all ages in different settings — from state and federal agencies to public and private schools.

This program prepares you to sit for national professional exams through the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation & Education Professionals.

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How to Apply

In addition to the criteria listed below, applicants must also meet general graduate admission requirements.

  • Transcripts. Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended. A 3.0 undergraduate GPA is required.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation. Emphasis should be on academic and professional references.
  • Statement of Interest and Intent (Required Writing Sample). Submit a two-part essay:
    • Explain your reasons for wishing to pursue graduate studies (approximately 300 words).
    • Indicate your specific interest in Orientation and Mobility, and discuss the type of work you would like to do in this field (at least 1,200 words).
    • This statement will be reviewed for both your overall message and your ability to write at the graduate level. Proofread your writing carefully; it is ranked according to its clarity, grammar, and syntax.
  • Personal Interview with Faculty Member. When the Office of Graduate Admissions has notified us of your completed application, we will contact qualified candidates to arrange an interview (either in person or via teleconference).

Deadlines & Cost

Deadlines: March 1 for summer

Application Fee: The nonrefundable application fee is $75. UMass Boston alumni and current students that plan to complete degree requirements prior to graduate enrollment can submit the application without paying the application fee.

Program Cost Information: Bursar's website


Required Courses (28 Credits)

  • VISN 601 - Physical and Functional Aspects of Visual Impairments 3 Credit(s)
  • VISN 603 - Braille I 3 Credit(s)
  • VISN 604 - Eye Anatomy and Disease 3 Credit(s)
  • VISN 605 - Clinical and Functional Assessment of Vision 3 Credit(s)
  • VISN 621 - Orientation and Mobility Assessment and Instructional Strategies: Children 4 Credit(s)
  • VISN 622 - Orientation and Mobility Assessment- Adult 4 Credit(s)
  • VISN 625 - Methods of Orientation and Mobility 3 Credit(s)
  • VISN 628 - Orientation and Mobility Praxis Lab 1 Credit(s)
  • VISN 629 - Orientation and Mobility Practicum 4 Credit(s)

Graduation Criteria

Complete 28 credits from nine required courses. Those who have a background in visual impairment may be eligible to waive up to 9 credits.

Minimum grade: No course with a grade below B- may be applied toward the program.
Statute of limitations: Three years.


Graduate Program Director Laura Bozeman
laura.bozeman [at]

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