A teacher of the vision impaired needs:
- to enjoy working with young people
- patience and understanding
- good organisation and time management skills
- excellent interpersonal and communication skills
- the ability to motivate and guide others
- a working knowledge of braille.
Teachers of the vision impaired usually work as visiting teachers within a region in the State. They may visit students at their home, at a designated school, or in their classroom to provide assistance and support to students. They may also advise and consult with the students’ teachers, educational assistants and parents. They may be required to travel to different schools to visit a number of students.
On average, teachers of the vision impaired can expect to earn between $1,437 and $1,981 per week ($74,760 and $103,049 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience.
Teachers of the vision impaired may teach students how to use a number of assistive technologies such as braille writers, talking calculators and braille computers. They may also help students to use magnification aides, video magnifiers such as closed circuit television viewers, and screen reading software.
To become a teacher of the vision impaired, you usually need to study a degree in primary or secondary education, specialising in special needs teaching.
Alternatively, you can complete a degree in a relevant study area, followed by a postgraduate qualification in education. You may also need to undertake further postgraduate study in special needs education to specialise in teaching sight impaired students.
All universities in Western Australia offer relevant undergraduate teaching courses.
Macquarie University offers a two-year Master of Disability Studies (Vision Impairment) via distance education. Flinders University offers a Graduate Certificate in Education (Vision Impairment).
Contact the universities you are interested in for more information. Learn more about your study options.
To work as a teacher of the vision impaired in Western Australia, you will need to obtain registration with the Teacher Registration Board of Western Australia (TRBWA). You will need to obtain a Working with Children Check from the Department of Communities and undergo a National Police History Check (NPHC) conducted by the Department of Education Screening Unit.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.
If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
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If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.