Re: Certifications in the Field of Blindness and Low Vision.

Resolution: 2019 Resolution 04

WHEREAS, State Agencies, Schools and other training centers serving individuals who are blind or have low vision, perennially struggle to fill vacancies for teacher of blind students or teacher of the visually impaired Positions, including positions providing specialized instruction in orientation and mobility, braille, and assistive technology; and

WHEREAS, for many years now, Arizona school systems currently only accept the specialized teaching positions for the blind offered by the certification from the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals, which only gives the state agency the personnel resources to provide vision-centered orientation and mobility services, one of two major forms of orientation and mobility; and

WHEREAS, Many Arizona school districts and the Arizona State School for the deaf and Blind are unaware or have not recognized the Teachers of Blind Students, National Orientation and Mobility Certification (NOMC), Certification on unified English Braille (NCUEB) as well as other certifications from the National Blindness professional Certification Board (NBPCB); and

WHEREAS, the NBPCB offers a widely accepted and crucial style of training known as Structured Discovery, a service which can only be provided by a professional certified by the NBPCB; and

WHEREAS, for decades, Structured Discovery Cane Travel has been empowering blind adults across the United States, helping them build confidence and feelings of self-respect as they navigate their world safely and without shame about their blindness; and

WHEREAS, the methods and principles that undergird Structured Discovery Cane Travel come from the lived experiences of blind men and women who have shared their experiences, attitudes, and techniques with each other since 1940, leading to instructional services consisting of non-visual techniques, problem-solving strategies, experiential learning, confidence building experiences, and the role modeling of non-visual techniques, which demonstrate their effectiveness, while correcting misconceptions about blindness; and

WHEREAS, the Arizona Rehabilitation Agency has officially recognized both the ACVREP and the NPBPC as Qualifications for Providers of Blind Services –2019; Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED, by the National Federation of the Blind of Arizona in convention assembled this thirty-first day of August, 2019, in the city of Phoenix, Arizona, that this organization demand that equal acceptance and recognition of both the ACVREP and NBPCB certification qualifications for teachers in the field of blindness and low vision be equally considered for individuals seeking employment; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we urge the Arizona State School for the Deaf and Blind and other school district offices of Human Resources, to publicly recruit both ACVREP and NBPCB professionals to work in our state.