Families and educators outside the vision field often are confused about the difference between a TVI (Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments) and a Vision Therapist. It is one of the top misconceptions we get when asked what we do as a TVI. In its simplest form, vision therapy is medical and carried out in a medical setting under the care of an eye doctor. Educational vision services take place in the student’s learning environment with TVIs who are certified teachers.
PaTTAN created a document that helps us navigate the differences.
When requesting support for a student’s vision impairment in a school setting, the team must understand the difference between a TVI and a vision therapist. Specific visual support and adaptations in their educational environment to access learning is what drives the need for vision support services. Using the PaTTAN document can provide guidance and understanding.