New OT grad cert in low vision rehabilitation to launch fall 2016

Depiction of macular degeneration

The WMU Department of Occupational Therapy will offer a new graduate certificate in low vision rehabilitation beginning this fall.

"The new certificate program will provide training on the unique needs of individuals with vision loss," said Dr. Ben Atchison, chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy. "Students will also learn about the impact vision loss has on occupational performance as well as compensatory techniques to help a person adapt."

Courses will be offered in a hybrid format. Students will complete most coursework online. In addition, they will spend time over two weekends at the Henry Ford Health System’s Center for Vision and Neuro Rehabilitation and Research in metro-Detroit to complete training and labs for skill competency.

The program, developed in coordination with the Department of Blindness and Low Vision Studies, will target practicing occupational therapists who wish to specialize in the field of vision rehabilitation.  Although students completing their graduate training in occupational therapy could take courses in the certificate program as electives, most coursework would likely be completed after graduation and after working in field.

Through the graduate certificate program, occupational therapy clinicians will be trained in assessment and intervention principles for clients with low vision while incorporating OT theory and evidence-based research from the vision rehabilitation field.

Students enrolled in the program could decide to continue on for a Master’s Degree in Orientation & Mobility or Vision Rehabilitation Therapy.

For more information, visit the OT department website.