The Prevent Blindness Children’s Vision Screening Certification Course provides participants with a 3-year, nationally recognized certificate based on current national guidelines and best practices on evidence-based vision screening tools and procedures for school- and preschool-aged children.
The course also provides 5 contact hours for professional development.
Why Should You Take This Course?
Unless the children’s vision screener is trained and certified in a standardized program that promotes evidence-based protocols, children and students may participate in vision screening with different tools and procedures depending on where they reside or which programs and schools they attend. This leads to potential under-referrals and inconsistencies that can drive inequalities in children’s vision, eye care, and eye health in the United States.
Video Screenshot from the Prevent Blindness Children’s Vision Screening Certification Course
Training and certification helps to ensure:
- Children and students receive consistent vision screening and follow-up procedures when they do not pass vision screenings.
- All screeners within programs and school districts screen consistently by using evidence-based tools and best-practice procedures developed and approved by national groups and professional organizations, including the:
- Expert Advisory Committee of the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness.
- American Academy of Pediatrics.
- American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.
- American Academy of Ophthalmology.
- American Association of Certified Orthoptists.
Who Should Take the Course?
The Prevent Blindness Children’s Vision Screening Certification Course is appropriate for professionals in early care and education programs, as well as school, childcare, public health, and primary healthcare settings.
The Prevent Blindness course content will meet the vision screening needs, for example, of the following individuals:
- Nurses/School Nurses
- School Health Clerks
- Head Start Program Staff
- Medical Assistants
- Public Health Nurses
- Primary Healthcare Providers
- Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
- Family Nurse Practitioners
- Physician Assistants in Pediatrics
- Early Care and Education Staff
- Community Volunteers
What Will You Learn?
Participants will learn:
- Common vision disorders in children,
- How to use evidence-based and age-appropriate tools for vision screening,
- How to enhance your screening programs to improve follow-up to eye care for referred children, and
- How to gain access to several educational resources.
What is Certification, and How Long is it Valid?
Successful completion of the course will result in a three-year nationally recognized certification in Children’s Vision Screening provided by Prevent Blindness.
The course provides 5 contact hours for professional development.
How to Enroll
Prevent Blindness offers training and certification in Children’s Vision Screening through two methods:
- In-Person class arranged for a group of a minimum of 10 individuals (for some state-specific courses).
- Online modules for individuals and groups with virtual skills assessment sessions (e.g., Zoom).
If you want to enroll a group of 10 or more learners in either national course at a discounted rate, contact [email protected]
Please note, all learners should enroll in our national course unless you work in one of the states listed below, in which the course is implemented by our affiliate, or you work in a state that provides its own vision screening training. If you work in one of the states listed below, you will need to take the state-specific training class to receive certification. Click on the state link for enrollment information.
If you conduct vision screenings in a state that does NOT have an affiliate-led course, or state-specific training, then you may enroll in either our national preschool course OR our combined national preschool and school-age course.
- In Massachusetts, all vision screeners, except school nurses, may enroll in the Massachusetts course.
- School nurses seeking licensure through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) as a School Nurse must complete the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) approved training through the Boston University: School Health Institute for Education and Leadership Development (BU SHIELD).
- Please contact BU SHIELD at [email protected] or 617-358-5005 for additional guidance or questions regarding vision screening training specifically for MA school nurses.
Online Vision Screening Training Courses
Prevent Blindness Children’s Vision Screening Training Course for Professionals in Public Health/Childcare/Educational Settings (School-Aged and Preschool-Aged Children)
Individual Enrollment Price: $175 (Group discounts are available)
This version of our certification training course includes an additional lesson 9 covering topics relating specifically to screening school-aged children.
Prevent Blindness Children’s Vision Screening Training Course for Professionals in Public Health/Childcare/Educational Settings (Preschool-Aged Children)
Individual Enrollment Price: $175 (Group discounts are available)
The online course is password-protected and access is provided via a personalized link once the course fee is paid. Please do not send payment information by email.
Recertification for Children’s Vision Screening Training in Public Health/Childcare/Educational Settings
Individual Enrollment Price: $98
This course includes a review of lesson materials from our online course and a single online assessment for individuals whose vision screening certification has expired. Recertification for Prevent Blindness Children’s Vision Screening is valid for three years from the date of successful completion of the Prevent Blindness Children’s Vision Screening Recertification Course. The Prevent Blindness Children’s Vision Screening Recertification Course includes a review of lesson materials from our online course and a single online assessment. Upon successful completion of the assessment, certification for Prevent Blindness Children’s Vision Screenings will be issued for an additional three years.
The online course is password-protected and access is provided via a personalized link once the course fee is paid – $98 per individual, with discounts available for screeners who have already re-certified at least once. If your original certification was obtained in 2018 or earlier, please contact Prevent Blindness, [email protected], or call 1-800-331-2020, for authorization to enroll in the recertification course.
In-Person Children’s Vision Screening Training Class
Prevent Blindness will work with groups of individuals to arrange for our certified Trainers to provide on-site training. The Prevent Blindness Children’s Vision Screening Certification Course runs approximately 3 to 4 hours. We cover:
- ABCs (appearance, behavior, and complaint) of possible vision disorders;
- An overview of vision disorders in the target age group;
- An explanation of age-appropriate, Prevent Blindness-approved vision screening tools;
- How to set up the vision screening environment;
- How to use the vision screening tools;
- Referral protocols; and
- Suggestions for improved follow-up on referrals.
We can accommodate 10 to 20 individuals per class and trainer. Class size is limited because we provide time to practice with the screening equipment and role play to demonstrate learned skills. We may also cover other topics depending on geographical needs and interests, such as an overview of educational resources for staff, parents, and students.
Training fees include:
- Professional fee per day for trainer;
- Per person charge for materials; and
- Travel expenses, including mileage or Coach class airfare, ground transportation, hotel, and meal per diem.
Please contact Dr. Kay Nottingham Chaplin at [email protected] regarding training fees and services for your area and/or to schedule a workshop.
How Our Children’s Vision Screening Training is Developed
Prevent Blindness is the only organization to offer a national training and certification program in children’s vision screening and screening program implementation. All Prevent Blindness screening programs are based on: medically accepted and scientifically tested screening techniques and technologies; standardized training, testing and reporting; and continual program evaluation.
To ensure our vision screening program is well designed, Prevent Blindness engages the guidance of its Scientific Advisors who are members of the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health Advisory Committee, The committee and its sub-committees are leading experts in child health and vision care from across the country, including ophthalmologists, optometrists, pediatricians, public health strategists, family representatives, vision and eye health researchers, and others.
Hearing Screening Certification Resource
“If you also perform hearing screenings, you can access a certification course from the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention program of the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management at learntoscreen.org.
Prevent Blindness would like to thank Zenni for funding full scholarships in 2022 and the Delta Gamma Foundation for funding full and partial scholarships for the children’s vision screening training course in 2021.