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Special Education, Specialization in Visual Impairment, MA or M Ed

M.A., M. Ed.

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

  • Course Delivery
    Blended
  • Total Credits
    39
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit
    $325.50
  • Out of State Tuition Per Credit
    $609.00

Earn your degree from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Get the same diploma as on campus students

The Visual Impairment program will prepare you with the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively address the specific educational needs of students with visual impairment or blindness. 

This unique program is structured with a specialized visual impairment course offered each fall and spring and two courses each summer across a two and a half year period. The summer courses are taught in a combination of distance and on-site for several weeks at the Nebraska Center for the Education of Children who are Blind or Visually Impaired.

This program fosters a small, supportive learning community. Students are admitted every year and proceed through a specially structured sequence of classes. Upon completion of courses in the visual impairment core, your elective courses will afford you the opportunity to focus on a supporting area of special education such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, Deaf Education, Early Childhood Special Education, or Mild/Moderate Disabilities, to name a few.

This program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (a merger of TEAC and NCATE).
Mackenzie Savaiano
Assistant Professor of Practice

Dr. Savaiano coordinates the graduate program in Visual Impairments and her courses focus on assessment, educational planning and instructional methods for teachers of students with visual impairments (TVIs). Dr. Savaiano completed her teacher certification program in English Education at New York University, her masters degree in Teaching the Visually Impaired from CUNY Hunter College and she received her Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. Her primary interest is braille literacy.

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. A bachelor's degree

  2. 2.50 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale

  3. Taken the GRE

  4. Taken the TOEFL or IELTS

    (Only required if English is not your native language)

  5. A written personal statement

  6. 3 letters of recommendation

  7. Official transcripts from all previous schools

NOTE: If you reside in state(s) KY and NC, please contact a program adviser before applying.

To apply to this program:

  • Apply and be admitted to Graduate Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Pay the non-refundable $50 application processing fee
  • Submit one set of official transcripts from each college or university you have attended to Office of Graduate Studies
  • Apply and be admitted to the department
Apply Now

Application Deadlines

Fall Semester
January 15

In addition to the required courses listed here students will also choose, in consultation with their adviser:

  •  Six credit hours electives
  • One additional 800/900 level course
  • One research course

Core Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
SPED 846Foundations of Visual Impairments3

Course Number: SPED 846

Prereq: Admission to visually impaired program; hold or concurrently earn subject/field endorsement Current educational programs and services for children with visual impairments, as well as children with multiple disabilities. History of educational services, developmental characteristics, psycho-social aspects, history of legislation, and grade I Braille.

SPED 847Introduction to Eye Anatomy of Students with Visual Impairments3

Course Number: SPED 847

Prereq: SPED *846 or permission Structure and function of the visual system, conditions that effect visual ability, and the functional and environmental implications of low vision. Strategies for enhancing visual ability in children with visual impairments and children who have additional disabilities.

SPED 849Braille Codes and Material Adaptations for Students with Visual Impairments3

Course Number: SPED 849

Prereq: SPED *846 and *847, or permission Basic skills in literary Braille transcription and codes. Acquire competence in reading and writing Braille and using the Perkins braillewriter and slate/stylus.

SPED 851Intermediate Braille Codes and Instructional Material Adaptations for Students with Visual Impairments3

Course Number: SPED 851

Prereq: SPED *846, *847, and *849 Advanced skills in Nemeth (mathematics code) and/or Literary code. Basic activities in braille formatting, foreign language, music and identification of braille technology devices and resources.

SPED 852Instructional Methods for Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments3

Course Number: SPED 852

Prereq: SPED *846, *847, *849, and *851 Methods and materials for educating children who are totally blind or have low vision, including students with multiple impairments. Practical skills in selecting, designing, and/or modifying materials for content area subjects: mathematics, science, social studies, creative arts, foreign language, and other subjects.

SPED 852AsApplied Technology Methods for Students with Visual Impairments (Summer)1

Course Number: SPED 852As

Prereq: SPED 846 and 847, or equivalents This course provides theory and practical experience in the selection and use of technology for persons with visual impairments. Key knowledge and skills covered include: technology assessments, data collection, equipment features, sources of equipment, funding sources, write technology instructional plans, and demonstrate skills to use equipment. Course sessions include lecture and practice of adapted equipment. (distance and on-site )

SPED 852BApplied Instructional Methods to Teach Students with Visual Impairments (Summer)2

Course Number: SPED 852B

Prereq: SPED *846, *847, *849, *851, and *852; or equivalents This course provides the student with basic skills in selecting, designing and/or modifying materials for content area subjects, including, but not limited to: mathematics, science, social studies, creative arts and foreign language (distance and on-site).

SPED 853Orientation & Mobility Skills for Students with Visual Impairments3

Course Number: SPED 853

Prereq: SPED *846, *847, *849, *851, and *852 Theory and applied practice in basic orientation and mobility techniques for use with students with visual impairments. Practical methods for work in concept development, orientation skills, travel skills and techniques, personal safety and independent travel. Needs of specific populations such as people with low vision and individuals with additional disabilities. Vision simulators and occluders. An introduction to the history and development of the profession.

SPED 882Specialized Instruction for Students with Severe and Multiple Disabilities3

Course Number: SPED 882

Lec 3. Prereq: SPED *881 for the Severely/Multihandicapped endorsement program or SPED *862 for Preschool Handicapped endorsement program; and permission. Majors in severe disabilities must parallel with SPED 896P (1 cr). SPED *882 requires observations in schools and applied assignments. Selection, design, and implementation of best practice instruction for students with severe disabilities, multiple disabilities, or deaf-blindness.

SPED 897VStudent Teaching: Exceptional Learners1-9

Course Number: SPED 897V

Prereq: Permission Laboratory and teaching experience in visual impairments.

Cost for Nebraska Residents

  • Per Credit Hour

  • Tuition: $325.50
  • Fees: $42.25
  • Total: $367.75
  • 3 Credit Hours

  • Tuition: $976.50
  • Fees: $126.75
  • Total: $1103.25

Cost for Out of State Residents

  • Per Credit Hour

  • Tuition: $609.00
  • Fees: $42.25
  • Total: $651.25
  • 3 Credit Hours

  • Tuition: $1827.00
  • Fees: $126.75
  • Total: $1953.75

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