Training Opportunity

All-expense Paid Opportunity to Become a TVI or O&M

  • Training for a Rewarding Career
  • Generous Student Financial Assistance
  • Teaching Children who are Blind or Visually Impaired, Providing Orientation and Mobility Services for Those Children, and/or Specializing in Assistive Technology for Children who are Blind or Visually Impaired

Northern Illinois University (DeKalb, Illinois) offers a nationally regarded program at the graduate level for individuals who wish to join a rewarding career in teaching children who are blind or visually impaired as a teacher of students with visual impairments, orientation and mobility instructor, or assistive technology specialist for children with visual impairments. There is an overwhelming need for teachers who specialize in instruction for students who are visually impaired. As a consequence, there are many job opportunities in all regions of the United States. Individuals who choose this career path can anticipate having no difficulty obtaining life-long employment with great job security! In addition to numerous job opportunities, good pay, and excellent job security, individuals who choose this career path experience a sense of fulfillment not commonly found in other careers. These teachers play a significant role in the lives of children who are visually impaired and their families.

Generous student financial assistance is available. We will pay all in-state or out-of-state tuition, all fees, health insurance, and a stipend of $5,520 per calendar year for qualified individuals who wish to come to Northern Illinois University to enroll in the Visual Disabilities Graduate Program focusing on special education for children who are blind or visually impaired with an additional emphasis in assistive technology.

For more information, go to the following YouTube link:

Also, go to the following website to read about the program:

Interested individuals can contact the Project Director, Stacy Kelly, at the following e-mail: 
Or by calling 815-753-4103

Admissions requirements are as follows:
Online application with a fee of $60
GRE scores of 30%tile verbal and 30%tile quantitative ($205 fee)
Official transcripts of all previous academic work
GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
ACT score of 22
Two letters of recommendation
Personal statement
The link to the online application process for the Graduate School can be found on the page,

The direct link to the online application can be found on the page,

This is not an online program. All courses except for the field experiences (e.g., student teaching and the internships) are taken on campus in DeKalb, Illinois, the home of Northern Illinois University. DeKalb is conveniently located 60 miles west of Chicago, Illinois. 

Students progress through the program in cohorts. Each cohort begins in the fall of each academic year. The generous financial assistance is awarded on a first come, first served basis to qualified applicants. Be sure to notify Stacy Kelly ( of your intent to apply to ensure that your name is included in the pool of candidates! 

Camp VITALL: Visually Impaired and Assistive Technology for ALL

The Summers-Only Assistive Technology Component for Practicing Vision Professionals

If you are currently licensed/certified as a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI), Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS), or Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist (CVRT), you may be eligible to study in the Camp VITALL summers-only program which will prepare you to be eligible for the new ACVREP AT credential (Certified Assistive Technology Instructional Specialist for People with Visual Impairments–CATIS) without an interruption in employment! 

This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity includes full tuition, fees, and a $920 per summer stipend for two consecutive summer sessions. On-campus courses will take place during an 8-week session starting summer of 2019 (summer 1). A full time, approximately 12-week internship will be completed during the summer of 2020, at any approved site in the contiguous 48 states (summer 2). 

Act now if you are interested! This will not be a continual offering; this is cohort opportunity based on federal funding. Be sure to notify Stacy Kelly ( of your intent to apply as soon as the decision is made to ensure that your name is included in the pool of candidates!

For additional information on the NIU Visual Disabilities Program, please visit our website:

For the online Graduate School application, please visit the NIU Graduate School Admissions website:

The Camp VITALL summers-only program is an opportunity open to certified/licensed TVIs, COMS, and CVRTs. It is designed to enable professionals in the visual disabilities field to earn credentials in the area of Assistive Technology without an interruption in employment as teachers. 

Funding is available for Camp VITALL cohort participants to be awarded graduate assistantships which will pay in-state or out-of-state tuition, fees, and a stipend of $920 for each of the 2 summers of this program. The graduate assistantships will be awarded on a competitive basis (combination of undergraduate GPA, GRE scores, recommendations, etc.). 

In order to be awarded a graduate assistantship, students must be fully admitted to The Graduate School at NIU and selected for this federal funding opportunity. Requirements include: 
– A bachelor’s degree from an accredited 4-year institution with a minimum 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale 
– A passing score on the Graduate Record Exam General Test (verbal and quantitative); and 
– 3 letters of recommendation 
– In addition, admission to this particular summers-only cohort requires evidence of current certification in the visual disabilities area, as a TVI, COMS, and/or CVRT. 

The application process is started with submission of the actual application and a $60 application fee. This can be accomplished online at the following website:

The 8-week NIU summer session always begins mid-June and ends early/mid August. In summer 2019 (summer 1), the 8 weeks of summer classes begin June 17 and end August 9. The 2nd summer has to be approximately 12 weeks (in a full-time internship at any approved site in the contiguous 48 states), so has to start mid-May.

Please contact the Project Director, Stacy Kelly, if you have any questions.