Mission

The mission of the Western Michigan University Department of Blindness and Low Vision Studies is to offer instruction, research and service in an effort to prepare professionals to serve persons with visual impairments. We are dedicated to the utilization of best practices, to the responsible use of human and economic resources to the advancement of people with disabilities in society, and to playing a significant global role. 

We are committed to excellence in pre-service education in order to facilitate dignity, independence and respect among individuals who are blind or have low vision. To that end, we base our academic programs on the following assumptions:

  • Support of self-worth and self-determination are essential in rehabilitation and education.
  • Individualized assessment and instruction are essential for success in rehabilitation and education.
  • Individuals with impairments have the potential to achieve the same quality of life as all individuals.
  • Specialized training among blindness and low vision professionals is superior to generalized training.

We believe we must recruit and retain high-quality students and that they must leave us knowing the best instructional practices. 

We value our strong commitments to research and science as they serve a critical role in the development of our professions and in guiding our instruction.

We believe in maintaining a collegial, supportive, accessible environment for faculty and students.

We believe in fostering positive relationships with employers, agencies, consumer groups, our internship partners, and other human services programs to meet our mutual needs.

We will demonstrate leadership in our field by educating the communities we serve about blindness and low vision and other disabilities, by committing our faculty to active involvement in our national professional organizations, and by sharing research that increases knowledge worldwide. 

Vision

Our intent is to strengthen our leadership positions in pre-service instruction and research in the field of visual impairment to enhance the seamless integration of individuals with visual impairments into their desired roles in society and to facilitate their socio-economic and vocational equality.