Expertise and certification
Our frontline team is made up of highly skilled professionals trained in a range of vision loss rehabilitation therapy disciplines. The majority of our frontline service staff hold one of the following roles:
- Assistive Technology (AT) Specialists: These professionals help clients discover the wide world of technology products that can make life with vision loss easier. They participate in ongoing learning and provide assessments and recommendations on technologies that meet the client’s needs, and teach clients how to use these assistive technologies with confidence.
- Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapists (CVRTs): These therapists provide instruction and guidance in compensatory activities of daily living and assistive technology, enabling individuals living with vision loss to independently carry out daily activities. Their work focuses on areas that enhance vocational opportunities, independent living, and educational development.
- Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists (COMSs): These therapists provide instruction to individuals with vision loss in negotiating safe movement from one place to another using their remaining senses to determine their position within their environment, often with the assistance of a white cane or guide dog.
- Certified Low Vision Therapists (CLVTs): Working with individuals who have some remaining vision, these therapists perform functional vision assessments, which include education regarding vision-related topics, training in the use of low vision devices, and instruction on how to maximize residual vision.
- Client Navigators: These professionals provide concentrated coordination of services, both internal and external, that remain consistent throughout the client’s care journey. Our client navigators include service coordination specialists, as well as client care coordinators, schedulers, and registrars. Client navigation activities including receiving referrals, completing intake assessments, coordinating and assigning services, and referring clients for external support.
- Early Intervention Specialists/Child Family Counsellors: These therapists work with children (birth to kindergarten), families, and community resources to understand the child's vision loss and potential developmental concerns. They focus on function and everyday application of sensory skills, communication, play skills, socialization, movement, and literacy. They also facilitate a child's transition into the community and daycare, pre-school, and school settings; and they connect families and the child's team to beneficial resources and programs.
- Employment Specialists: These professionals deliver employment counselling to assist people with vision loss in attaining and maintaining meaningful employment. They also assist clients with identifying and achieving individualized post-secondary employment goals.
- Occupational Therapists: These therapists help clients improve their ability to perform tasks in their daily living and working environments for optimal functioning. They work with individuals who are blind or partially sighted of all ages who have additional complex needs, and support them with identifying and engaging in the occupations of life.
- Vision Rehabilitation Assistants (VRAs): These professionals are responsible for a broad range of duties designed to enhance the provision of Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada services. The position requires a highly competent and well-organized health care professional who values safety, security, and patient wellness above all else.
All Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada service specialists and therapists must achieve and maintain certification from the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP), the industry standard for best-in-class vision rehabilitation therapy. Depending on their area of work, that certification is in one of three disciplines: vision rehabilitation therapy, orientation and mobility, or low vision therapy.
These certification programs are designed to offer professionals the means to demonstrate critical knowledge and skills that promote the provision of quality services and ethical practice. ACVREP-certified professionals possess a level of quality and care that is unmatched in the field.
All service staff are also encouraged, and in some cases required, to undertake regular professional practice development to continually improve their skills. This education is provided either externally by an accredited organization, or by our own experts in a “train the trainer” model, as Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada is also proud to be an ACVREP member organization, approved to provide educational activities to promote continuous learning opportunities for staff.