Role of the Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI)

brailleTeachers of students with visual impairments are trained and certified to teach students with a visual impairment, including those with additional disabilities, the disability specific skills that they need to learn in order to participate in the least restrictive environment. This teacher will also work with the other members of the child’s education team to help them understand the best ways of working with a child who is blind or who has low vision.

TVIs teach a wide variety of skills and subjects, and have a variety of responsibilities. The particular service your student receives will depend on his or her individual needs and abilities, but they may include the following:

Assessment and Evaluation

  • Determine eligibility and re-eligibility to receive vision services
  • Determine need for alternative media in the areas of reading and writing, such as Braille or large print, through a Functional Vision Assessment and Learning Media Assessment
  • Determine whether or not an Orientation and Mobility Evaluation is needed
  • Interpret eye reports


  • Determine which classroom materials are needed
  • Provide strategies to teachers in order to enhance student learning
  • Create the appropriate learning environment for the student
  • Reinforce the travel skills and concepts that an O&M instructor may be teaching (if appropriate)

Direct Instruction

  • Provide direct instruction of alternate media in the areas of reading and writing (e.g., Braille or large print) 
  • Provide direct instruction of vision specific technology
  • We do not teach the core curriculum (i.e., reading, math, science, social studies, history).


  • Provide in-service training for para-educators, teachers, families, and other team members, as needed

Administrative and Record Keeping

  • Prepare or obtain textbooks and other instructional materials
  • Report progress on vision related goals
  • Census data and submission
  • Professional obligations (e.g., professional development, inventory, training, presentations)

Contact Information:

  • Special Services Center
    2284 Hwy 35
    Pelham, Al. 35124
  • Valinda Pate, M.A., TVI/COMS
    Teacher of Students with a Visual Impairment
    Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist
    Office: 205-682-6170
  • Barbara “Bobbie” Wilfong- Fletcher, M.A., TVI/COMS
    Teacher of Students with a Visual Impairment
    Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist

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