Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS) Handbook, Section 6, Criteria for Eligibility

Note: Applicants for ACVREP certification who previously held American Association of Workers for the Blind (AAWB) and/or Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) certification must apply for eligibility under Category 1 and do not have to submit the "Clinical Competency Evaluation Form". All other ACVREP certification requirements are applicable.

CATEGORY 1

Eligibility to sit for the certifying examination:

  • Proof of a minimum of a Bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college with an emphasis in Orientation and Mobility.

Supporting documentation required : Official transcripts documenting degree.

  • In conjunction with the university program, successful completion of 350 hours of "discipline specific, supervised practice that includes, but is not limited to, direct service hours, and related phone calls, meetings, observations, report writing, etc." The practice must be supervised by a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS®).

Supporting documentation required:

  1. Clinical Competency Evaluation Form completed and signed by the COMS practice supervisor (see Appendix A in the COMS Certification Handbook).

    Please note: Applicants completing multiple internships in order to meet the minimum hour or competency requirements must submit a Clinical Competency Evaluation Form for all internships completed, signed by the COMS practice supervisor(s).

  2. If the COMS practice supervisor is offsite, the "COMS Off-Site Supervision Contract" must also be completed, signed by the off-site COMS supervisor, the on site O&M supervisor, and COMS applicant, and approved by the ACVREP office prior to the practice taking place (see Appendix E in the COMS Certification Handbook).
  • Sign the Statement of Endorsement agreeing to uphold high ethical and professional standards and the Statement of Integrity (COMS Eligibility Application).

Eligibility for ACVREP COMS® certification:

  • Pass the ACVREP Orientation and Mobility Certification Examination demonstrating knowledge of O&M principles and applications.
  • Certification is issued upon completion of all requirements.

CATEGORY 2

Eligibility to sit for the certifying examination:

  • Proof of a minimum of a Bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college in any field of study and proof of completion of an Orientation and Mobility certification preparation program from an accredited university or college that meets the following 13 core domain areas (also see Section 3 of the COMS Handbook - O&M Body of Knowledge):
  1. Know Professional Information
  2. Understanding Relevant Medical Information
  3. Understand and Apply Learning Theories to O&M
  4. Plan and Conduct O&M Assessment
  5. Plan O&M Programs
  6. Teach O&M Related Concepts
  7. Teach Orientation Strategies and Skills
  8. Teach Mobility Skills
  9. Teach Use of Senses
  10. Teach Consumers who have Additional Disabilities
  11. Teach Diverse Consumers
  12. Analyze and Modify Environment
  13. Know the Psychosocial Implications of Blindness and Visual Impairment

Supporting documentation required :

  1. Official transcripts documenting degree and the completion of the certification preparation program of study in Orientation and Mobility.
  2. Completion of the O&M Core Domain Area Chart (see Appendix B in the COMS Certification Handbook), demonstrating where each core domain has been met in their coursework (include course numbers and titles); and course catalogue descriptions or course syllabi.
    Please note: The applicant may meet a maximum of two of the 13 core domain areas through alternative learning activities (e.g., continuing education courses)./li>
  3. O&M Alternative Learning Approval Form (see Appendix C in the COMS Certification Handbook). The applicant needs to complete this form and submit it with the eligibility application.

For All Candidates

  • In conjunction with the university program, successful completion of 350 hours of "discipline specific, supervised practice that includes, but is not limited to, direct service hours, and related phone calls, meetings, observations, report writing, etc." The practice must be supervised by a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS®).

Supporting documentation required:

  1. Clinical Competency Evaluation Form completed and signed by the COMS practice supervisor (see Appendix A in the COMS Certification Handbook).
    Please note: Applicants completing multiple internships in order to meet the minimum hour or competency requirements must submit a Clinical Competency Evaluation Form for all internships completed, signed by the COMS practice supervisor(s).
  2. If the COMS practice supervisor is offsite, the "COMS Off-Site Supervision Contract" must also be completed, signed by the off-site COMS supervisor, the on site O&M supervisor, and COMS applicant, and approved by the ACVREP office prior to the practice taking place (see Appendix E in the COMS Certification Handbook).
  • Sign the Statement of Endorsement agreeing to uphold high ethical and professional standards and the Statement of Integrity (COMS Eligibility Application).

Eligibility for ACVREP COMS® certification:

  1. Pass the COMS Specialist certification exam demonstrating knowledge of O&M principles and applications.
  2. Certification is issued upon completion of all requirements.