- Special and Early Education
- Graduate Programs
- Assertive Technology Instructional Specialist Certificate of Graduate Study
Assistive Technology Instructional Specialist Certificate of Graduate Study
We are the first university to offer a course of study for the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP)'s Certified Assistive Technology Instructional Specialist for People with Visual Impairments (CATIS) credential. The CATIS certification sets a national standard in the area of assistive technology instruction for people who are visually impaired.
Our standards-based program leads to a Certificate of Graduate Study in Assistive Technology Instructional Specialist through courses in assistive technology for existing vision professionals (teachers of students with visual impairments, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists and/or Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapists.
For more information, please visit the ACVREP website.
This program presumes extensive prior knowledge; these admission requirements contribute to evidence of this prior knowledge.
- An application to the NIU Graduate School, Special Education M.S.Ed., specialization in Visual Rehabilitation Therapy (Blind Rehabilitation).
- A separate application to the Visual Disabilities Program Assistive Technology Instructional Specialist Certificate of Graduate Study.
- Official transcripts from all previous academic work.
- A bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year institution with a minimum 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.
- Current licensure or certification as a teacher of students with visual impairments, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist and/or Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist.
- Copies of all current licensures and certifications (e.g., TVI, COMS, CVRT).
- Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.
- Three letters of recommendation citing successful professional experience, positive dispositions and potential for success as an Assistive Technology Instructional Specialist.
- Completed ACVREP CATIS Core Domain Area Checklist. Note that documentation (e.g., official transcript or certificate of completion/attendance) must be provided for each Core Domain Area on the checklist.
To help track your application, a printable checklist is available.
Grant funding that pays for all tuition, fees and a small living stipend is available for select applicants. (Grant funding is not required to enroll in this certificate program.) Students who do receive grant dollars must, upon exiting the training program, maintain employment in a special education school-based setting related to the training received for at least twice the time funded by the grant.
The program is comprised of four three-semester-hour courses, with 12 hours of internship experience associated with the program of courses:
- SEVI 550: Assistive Technology for Persons with Visual Impairments (3)
- SEVI 551: Assistive Technology for Persons with Visual Impairments: Advanced Topics (3)
- SESE 552: Assistive Technology for Learners with Multiple Disabilities (3)
- SEVI 596: *Seminar in Vision Assistive Technology for 21st Century Workforce Readiness (3)
- SEVI 585D: *Internship in Assistive Technology Instruction of Persons with Visual Impairments (9)
It is a summers-only program designed to limit the interruption in employment for practicing teachers.
Eight weeks from Mid-June through Mid-August- SEVI 550, SEVI 551, SESE 552, and SEVI 596*
Summer - Full-time approx. Twelve-week internship - SEVI 585D*
* Exact Course titles TBD
In addition to the program of courses, a passing score on the ACVREP CATIS exam required for those seeking the certification. This ACVREP requirement is not met until after all required CATIS-specific coursework is completed. For more information about the ACVREP CATIS credential requirements, including the exam, visit the ACVREP website.
Courses include Assistive Technology for Persons with Visual Impairments, Assistive Technology for Learners with Multiple Disabilities and Seminar in Assistive Technology for the Workforce Readiness of Persons with Visual Impairments.
The courses for the certificate are offered during the summer. Some classes are offered in a hybrid format, consisting of weekly online class sessions with two or three in-person meetings at the DeKalb campus.
This Certificate of Graduate Study is only for currently licensed/certified vision teachers or vision rehabilitation specialists. It is an abbreviated program of courses that presumes and requires extensive previous knowledge pertaining to instruction of individuals with visual impairments. Those who are new to the vision profession are not eligible but are encouraged to explore our full-length vision master's degree programs leading to initial licensure/certification.
Students who complete this course sequence, and are also licensed teachers of students with visual impairments, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists or Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapists are eligible to take the Certified Assistive Technology Instructional Specialist for People with Visual Impairments exam.
Graduates can work at sites nationwide, including public school districts; schools for individuals with blindness and low vision; and hospitals.
- Graduate Programs
- Early Childhood Education (M.S.Ed.)
- Special Education (M.S.Ed.)
- Special Education: Behavior Analysis (M.S.Ed.)
- Special Education: Visual Disabilities (M.S.Ed.)
- Assistive Technology Instructional Specialist for People with Visual Impairments (Certificate)
- Behavior Analyst (Certificate)
- Director of Special Education (Certificate)
- Early Childhood Special Education (Approval)
- Short-term Emergency Approval in Special Education (Approval)
- Special Education (Endorsement)