General O&M Program Information
The Vision Studies program at UMass Boston, is a part of the School for Global Inclusion & Social Development and has been preparing Orientation and Mobility Specialists at the graduate level since 1990. It is a regional program with a strong commitment to New England and surrounding states; however, the Vision Studies program accepts students from other states that do not have training programs (with an established collaboration).
UMass Boston offers both a Master’s of Education in Vision Studies: Orientation and Mobility or an O&M Graduate Certificate. Designed to be taken part-time, students take two courses each semester and start gaining foundational knowledge about visual impairments through core courses like VISN 603 Braille I, VISN 604 Visual Functioning, and VISN 640 Psycho-social Aspects of Visual Impairment. Advanced courses such as VISN 625 Methods of O&M, VISN 628 O&M Praxis, and the Adult/Child Assessment and Instructional Strategies courses focus on skills and techniques needed to teach. The program culminates in a 350 hour field-based practicum under the direct mentorship of an experienced O&M Specialist.
Graduates are prepared to work with individuals of all ages and are eligible for international certification through the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP).
Explore the Programs of Study section to see a sample of courses and course sequence.
The majority of O&M classes are online, with the exception of O&M Praxis, which is only offered in-person, face-to-face. Students are required to travel to the Boston area for this course unless UMass Boston is able to offer a section in their home state.
Note: Students in the Vision Studies Program must earn a B- or better in each vision core course on their program of study. Students who earn a C+ or below must repeat the course at their own expense and pay any associated fees.
Federal tuition scholarships may be available for qualifying students pursuing a master’s degree but alternate sources for tuition or financial aid are encouraged. Federal tuition scholarships are not available for the O&M Certificate.
For more information about federal tuition scholarships, contact the Program Coordinators: Darick.Wright [at] umb.edu, Paula.Kosior [at] umb.edu.
UMass Boston Graduate Financial Aid https://finaid.umb.edu/graduate-student-aid