Certified Assistive Technology Instructional Specialist for Individuals with Visual Impairments (CATIS)

CATIS Description


A Certified Assistive Technology Instructional Specialist for Individuals with Visual Impairments, (CATIS), is a highly trained expert who specializes in working with individuals who are blind, low vision or who have functional visual limitations, and empowers them to achieve their life goals for education, employment, avocation and independence through the use of assistive technology.

CATIS engage in a comprehensive approach to vision rehabilitation addressing visual, physical, cognitive, and psycho-social aspects related to training and integration of existing and emerging technologies for individuals of all ages, as well as diverse needs and abilities. They are educated in a range of instructional techniques and how to recognize which approach is best suited to a particular learner. These techniques include Socratic questioning and metacognitive prompting. CATIS recognize that there is no single instructional strategy or assistive technology that would be best for everyone.

CATIS use a guided exploration and problem-solving approach that is customized to the goals and skills of the learner. Methods and strategies include the use of visual techniques including the optimization of reliable remaining vision and non-visual techniques (auditory and tactual).

Strategies and problem-solving skills are taught through the use of various assistive technology (AT) devices and solutions including braille displays, braille notetakers, screen readers, screen magnification and mobile devices with tactile, auditory or enhanced visual outputs.

The CATIS has met a rigorous standard by passing the certification exam. The exam was developed in collaboration with PhD level psychometricians following scientific, best practices standards for certification exams. In addition to passing the exam the CATIS has successfully completed a 350+ hour internship under the supervision of an experienced CATIS.

A CATIS will recertify every two years to ensure that they maintain current knowledge in an everchanging field.


CATIS Certification Handbook

Microsoft Word iconClick here to download the CATIS Certification Handbook in Microsoft Word format

Steps to CATIS Certification

1. Create an Account

Create an account on the ACVREP website.

2. Apply for Eligibility

Category 1

  • Log into your account and click on the link for Apply for Eligibility
    1. If you are a student in a ATIS Master's or Certificate program, no documentation is required at this time but must be uploaded with your Application for Certification.
    2. If you are a graduate you must upload your Clinical Competency Evaluation form with your application at this time
    An official transcript of your ATIS Master's or Certificate program must be received in our office prior to Certification.

    Category 2

    1. Log into your account and click on the link for Apply for Eligibility
    2. All documentation except for your official transcripts MUST be uploaded or you will not be allowed to submit your application.

      The following documentation must be uploaded at the time of your application
      1. Core Domain Education Checklist
      2. Work experience verification
        1. For employees a letter(s) in the form provided as [Appendix] from your place of employment (s) on their letterhead stating the cumulative hours of direct professional service while in their employment. Total hours verified must equal the hours required based on your educational background, and reflect the appropriate approved percentages of services provided
        2. For Independent Contractors either copies of contracts that verify hours supplied, invoices paid or letter(s) from the contract parties verifying direct service hours provided to their clients
      3. ACVREP CATIS Clinical Competency Evaluation Form signed by a CATIS

    3. You MUST request Official Transcripts from your educational institution (s) evidencing all of your education be sent directly to ACVREP. We cannot declare you Eligible until the transcripts have been received and reviewed.

    3. Schedule Your Exam

    In order to facilitate a scheduling process that is efficient and fair to all candidates, ACVREP has implemented a scheduling procedure that allows all candidates to sit for the certification examination following a mandatory 30 calendar day waiting period (or any business day thereafter based on candidate preference).

    1. Log into your online ACVREP account
    2. Select the "Schedule Your Exam" link to the right of the page. This will take you to the examination options. Select the appropriate certification exam that you are applying for.
    3. Once you have selected the appropriate exam, fill in the requested Exam Registration Form.

      1. If You Do Not Require Accommodations or Private Proctoring

        If you do not require accommodations or a privately proctored exam, on the Payment Confirmation page you will be provided a link to create/log into your account on the Webassessor test taker platform. The payment page will also include the Exam Scheduling Voucher Code that you will need to use to schedule your exam.

        Please note that if you schedule an exam date and then want to change that date you will be required by the system to wait another 30 days. You will receive an automatic email confirmation of your scheduled date, time and location. Review the information carefully and let ACVREP know if there are any problems.

      2. If You Require Accommodations or Private Proctoring

        If you check the box on the Exam Registration form indicating that you either need accommodations or a privately proctored exam you will be asked to provide three (3) preferred dates, times and locations.

        You will also need to create a Test Taker Account. Please click on the link. ACVREP will not be able to schedule your exam until you create this account.

        The Certificate Services Specialist will then contact you to make arrangements for scheduling your exam. Please allow seven business days for ACVREP to process your request and provide you with a confirmation of location, date and time.

        If you need special accommodations for your exam, please upload the appropriate required document from a physician or school counselor as to your need for accommodations. ACVREP cannot schedule you for the exam until all supporting documents have been received. Upon review of your accommodations request, ACVREP will notify you of the accommodated exam procedures.

    If you do not pass the exam the first time you are allowed one free retake of the exam. As soon as you have been notified that you failed the exam, you will be able to schedule an Exam Retake by logging into your account and clicking on Schedule your Exam. The database will recognize that this is your second and free retake of the exam and you will not be charged a fee.

    4. Apply For Certification

    Once you have been notified that you have passed the exam you will be able to log into your online account with ACVREP and apply for certification using the Apply for Certification link.

    Allow 5 business days for ACVREP to review your application to determine it is complete.

    If there is missing documentation you will be notified by email that we are requesting missing information. Once you have been Certified you will receive a notification that your status has changed.

    Once you have been certified a digital copy of your certificate will be placed in the My Documents section of your account. Allow up to 14 days from Certification to receive your original certificate through the mail.

    Other Important Information

    The fees for the Certified Assistive Technology Instructional Specialist for People with Visual Impairments Certification:

    Eligibility Fee: $130.00
    Exam Fee: $490.00
    Certification Fee: $115.00

    A full or parital scholarship may be available to assist you with the payment of the exam fee.


    Create your account in the ACVREP database and complete the online application.

    Register/Apply For Eligibility