Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

This is Vision Rehabilitation Therapist Week: April 14 to 21, 2024

In her work with Helen Keller, Anne Sullivan became one of the first pioneers of vision rehabilitation. To commemorate her role and the importance of this profession, each year Vision Rehabilitation Therapist Week is observed during the week of April 14th to remember Sullivan’s birthday on April 14, 1866. Anne Sullivan was the teacher who worked closely with Helen Keller to develop the skills Keller used later on as a lecturer and advocate internationally for individuals with vision and hearing loss. A graduate of Perkins School for the Blind, Sullivan began to work with Keller as a Home Teacher, the title at the time for the profession now known as Vision Rehabilitation Therapist (VRT). Today most VRT’s have completed a Master’s level education and additional training and accreditation to provide the primary rehabilitation skills training for people with blindness or vision loss, including adaptive living skills, low vision devices, communication (including braille, as needed), using assistive technology, and more. VRT’s continue to work with clients at home as well as “center based,” where they offer instruction on site at an organization. These professionals work in various settings, including Veteran’s Administration hospitals, nonprofit agencies, or state agencies. For additional information about the commemoration and how to join in celebrating, visit Vision Tech’s webpage on Vision Rehabilitation Therapist Appreciation Week. Individual states have joined in the commemoration as well, with proclamations available online that were issued to date by the governors of Maine and Vermont.

Additional Resources on Vision Rehabilitation

To learn more about the profession, in particular for individuals who have a visual impairment, read the APH Connect Center article on Teaching Environments for a Vision Rehabilitation Therapist (VRT) Who is Blind/Low Vision. APH Connect Center also helps to locate vision rehabilitation services through its Directory of Services.