Higher Education (Colleges and Universities)

HEAC MISSION STATEMENT: As a Commission, we are dedicated to ensuring that institutions of higher education prepare professionals for successful employment where they provide services of the highest quality to individuals who are blind and those who have low vision.    

The AER Accreditation Program for institutions of higher education is designed to ensure that colleges and universities across the United States and abroad are offering O&M, TVI, LVT, VRT and AT personnel preparation programs that meet Absolute Standards (administrative/management standards and certified professional standards) and Curricular Standards. 

Accreditation is awarded in the following categories: 

Full Accreditation requires that 100% of Absolute Standards be fully met and 95% of Curricular Standards.  AER Accreditation Program reviews the accredited programs’ Annual Reports, required in December of each year following the year accreditation is awarded, to ensure continuous quality.   

Provisional Accreditation is conferred if between 85% and 94% of curricular standards are met or 1 core absolute standard is not met; an institution that is provisionally accredited has one year to correct the flaws and become fully accredited.   

Denial of Accreditation occurs when Programs do not meet the requirements of Full or Provisional Accreditation.   

The following program types are eligible for consideration through the AER Accreditation Program:

Assistive Technology (AT)
Low Vision Therapists (LVT)
Orientation & Mobility (O&M)
Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI)
Vision Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT)

Want to know more about the AER Accreditation Program for College and University Programs?
HEAC Frequently Asked Questions

Higher Education Accreditation Application Form
Annual Program Report Form

Core (Administrative/Management)
Assistive Technology (AT)
Low Vision Therapy (LVT)
Orientation and Mobility (O&M)
Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI) rev 2020
Vision Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT)

Considering a degree program?

Considering a degree program?  The map below shows which states in the US and provinces in Canada offer personnel preparation in one or more of the disciplines known as Vision Impairment Specialties:  Orientation and Mobility (O&M), Vision Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT), Assistive Technology (AT), Low Vision Therapy (LVT) or Teacher of Students with Vision Impairments (TVI, TCVI or TSVI).  The map distinguishes between States or Provinces with AER accredited programs and those whose programs are non-AER accredited.

A link to detailed information for each State or Province is here.

Scroll down to see a list of all AER-accredited programs.

Map of United States and Canada that shows locations of accredited programs. For more details than found on the map, see link above.

AER Accredited Programs and Expiration Dates

*Note: Accredited status remains in effect during the review

Accreditation Decision Summaries and Reports

Orientation & Mobility (O&M) Programs

Missouri State University—Full Accreditation through 9/29/2026 
North Carolina Central University—Full Accreditation through 6/30/2025
Northern Illinois University —Full Accreditation through 5/31/2024
Portland State University—Full Accreditation through 12/21/2025
Salus University—Full Accreditation through 4/1/2022
San Francisco State University—Full Accreditation through 1/31/2025
Texas Tech University—Full Accreditation through 7/28/2026
University of Arkansas at Little Rock—Full Accreditation through 4/30/2025
University of Massachusetts at Boston—Full Accreditation through 10/31/2023
University of Pittsburgh—Full accreditation through 5/31/2023
University of Northern Colorado—Full Accreditation through 6/30/2024
Western Michigan University—Full Accreditation through 1/31/2023

O&M Reviews in Progress
California State University Los Angeles
Florida State University
Stephen F. Austin University
University of Kentucky
University of Montreal
Western Michigan University
Salus University
University of Pittsburgh
The Ohio State University

Vision Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT) Programs

Northern Illinois University—Full Accreditation through 8/31/2024
Salus University—Full Accreditation through 6/30/2022
University of Massachusetts at Boston—Full Accreditation through 12/31/2025
Western Michigan University—Full Accreditation through 10/14/2025

VRT Reviews in Progress
Salus University

Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) Programs

Missouri State University—Full Accreditation through 9/26/2026
North Carolina Central University — Full Accreditation through 8/18/2026
Northern Illinois University—Full Accreditation through 12/2/2025
University of Arizona—Full Accreditation through 3/3/2026
University of Northern Colorado—Full Accreditation through 12/31/2022
University of Pittsburgh—Full Accreditation through 8/31/2023

TVI Reviews in Progress
Florida State University
The Ohio State University
University of Northern Colorado

Low Vision (LVT) Programs

Salus University—Full Accreditation through 4/14/2026

LVT Reviews in Progress
University of Montreal

Assistive Technology (AT) Programs

AT Reviews in Progress

Western Michigan University