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

Effective June 1, 2018 COMS Category 2 Eligibility is revised as follows:

CATEGORY 2

Eligibility to sit for the certifying examination:

Path A

Proof of completion of Orientation and Mobility graduate level preparation courses from an accredited university or college that meets the 13 Domain Knowledge areas

Path B

Proof of completion of an Orientation and Mobility professional preparation program that is approved by a national government body that approves such professional preparation programs that meets the 13 Domain Knowledge areas

The 13 Domain Knowledge areas are as follows:

  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:

Coursework verification:

Path A.

Official transcripts documenting the completion of the graduate level program of study in Orientation and Mobility meeting the 13 Domain Knowledge Areas including any official transcripts required to be admitted to the graduate level courses

Path B.

Official documentation of the completion of an Orientation and Mobility professional preparation program that is approved by a national government approval body for such professional preparation programs that meets the 13 Domain Knowledge Areas including documentation of the national government approval of the professional preparation program.  

Completion of the O&M Core Domain Area Chart For Both Path A and B:

Demonstrating how each Domain Knowledge Area has been met.(see Appendix B in the COMS Certification Handbook),

 

For Category 1 and for Category 2 Path A Candidates:

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). 
  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 onsite 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).

 

For Category 2 Path B Candidates; 

EITHER:

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). 
  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 onsite 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)

OR:

For a limited time until closed by ACVREP: 3,200 direct service hours in Orientation and Mobility in the most recent 3 years.

Supporting documentation required:

  1. Employer Verification Form(s) verifying the 3,200 hours of direct service in O&M in the most recent 3 years (see Appendix C in the COMS Certification Handbook)
  1. Strong letter of recommendation from the Employer(s) in the most recent 3 years addressing the candidates competency of applied O&M skills in the 13 Domain Knowledge Areas.

 

For ALL Candidates

Eligibility for ACVREP COMS certification:

  1. Pass the COMS Specialist certification exam.
  2. Certification is issued upon completion of all requirements.