Training & Educator Resources

Children’s Vision Screening Certification

The Prevent Blindness Children’s Vision Screening Certification Course

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.

Prevent Blindness Children's Vision Screening Certification Course Video - Screenshot
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.

“The Prevent Blindness Children’s Vision Screening Certification Course is so amazing and I hope that all schools, clinics, or any place that does vision screenings are able to get this resource and incorporate this course into their training.

I have been screening vision for eight years now and I can truly say that this course emphasized how critical poor vision can impact children and their behaviors, as well as their learning.

I work with children in Head Start, so I was reminded how critical the follow-up process for failed vision screenings are. Poor vision can lead to blindness if not followed up.  Everything I learned from this course will definitely be incorporated into my screenings.”

Zong Her, CMA-Child Wellness Service Provider, Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties Head Start, MN

“Thank you for offering this wonderful program. It was so nice to explore in depth the how and why behind vision screenings in the school environment and comforting reassurance that we are conducting these screenings using best practice. Kay was exceptional and always available to answer questions and provide clarification. Prior to this course I questioned my vision screening techniques, the validity of the charts/tests we were using in our district and if we were conducting the screenings following up to date, best practice. Now I can be confident in my vision screening assessment, which is so important when screening students during such a critical period in their academic development – it should seriously be mandatory for all school nurses!

Thank you!”

Dorice Groshon RN, BSN, CPN

How to Enroll

Prevent Blindness offers training and certification in Children’s Vision Screening through two methods: 

  1. In-Person class arranged for a group of a minimum of 10 individuals (for some state-specific courses).
  2. 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]  

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. 

Please Note:

If you work in one of the states listed below, you will need to take the state-specific training class implemented by Prevent Blindness affiliates in order to receive certification. Click on the state link for enrollment information.

North Carolina

Prevent Blindness Online Vision Screening Training Courses

Group discounts are available. If you are planning to make multiple purchases of the course, please contact us about group discounts.

After purchasing a course or courses, please email each learner’s name, agency name, and email address to [email protected].

PLEASE NOTE: The school-aged version of our certification training course is for ALL AGES 3-18. If you purchase this course, you do NOT need to take the preschool-aged course separately.

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