National Certification in Rehabilitation Teaching for the Blind

Overview
Eligibility
Application Process
Application
Prerequisite Immersion Training
Verification Of Rehabilitation Teaching Competency
Code Of Professional Ethics
Examination Process
Recertification
Fees
Appealing Certification Decisions
Grievance Process
Discipline Procedures

 

Overview

The National Blindness Professional Certification Board (NBPCB) offers the National Certification in Rehabilitation Teaching for the Blind (NCRTB) as a five-year renewable certification awarded to those who successfully meet all established requirements. Individuals who are interested in applying for NCRTB certification are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with all of the information included here.

 

The NCRTB is the only certification which can attest to an individual having met rigorous standards in the area of rehabilitation teaching for the blind using Structured Discovery methods and principles. This paradigm is grounded in the Consumer-Based Model of Rehabilitation and has had unsurpassed outcomes for more than half a century. One of the key tenants of this approach to rehabilitation teaching is that successful rehabilitation professionals must master the nonvisual skills for independent living that they are expected to teach. They must also possess problem solving strategies to confront societal and environmental ambiguities and maintain an understanding of how his or her own internalized attitudes--as well as public attitudes--about blindness and the effect that such attitudes have on personal expectations and aspirations.

 

Since its inception, the NBPCB has recognized that competent instruction in Rehabilitation Teaching skills starts with personal mastery of nonvisual Rehabilitation Teaching skills. Consequently, the preparation process for individuals teaching under the Structured Discovery Rehabilitation Teaching model is heavily focused on the development of personal experience in learning and using the skills that blind persons depend on for safe and effective living. Beyond theoretical and academic exposition, Structured Discovery Rehabilitation Teaching is based on hands-on learning, trust in the effectiveness and appropriateness of nonvisual skills, and an unwavering conviction in the normalcy and capacity of individuals who are blind to maintain their own independence and make decisions about their activities of daily living.

 

Successful applicants who earn the designation of NCRTB are entitled to all rights and responsibilities therein as long as he or she maintains active certification status and upholds the NBPCB Code of Professional Ethics. Individuals and employers may check the certification status of any NCRTB online or by contacting the NBPCB office. Only the certificant’s name, certification status, and state of residency are made available to the public. Contact information or other personal information about any NBPCB certificant is not made available to anyone without prior consent of the certificant.
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Eligibility

Individuals who wish to become NCRTB credentialed may become eligible in one of two ways. They can successfully matriculate through an NBPCB approved university program (Category A); or by meeting all requirements of an approved NBPCB supervised agency apprenticeship (Category B).

 

Category A: University Preparation


Applicants under Category A must have successfully completed requirements of an NBPCB Approved University Program in Rehabilitation Teaching for the Blind. NBPCB approved programs must: (1) have core content that is based on Structured Discovery Rehabilitation Teaching methods and principles; (2) be consistent with a Consumer-Based Model of Rehabilitation for the Blind; (3) require students to undergo a minimum of 480 hours of prerequisite immersion training, and (4) include a 300-hour internship teaching with Structured Discovery Rehabilitation Teaching methods and principles. Applicants must have completed all core coursework in the curriculum and be actively working to complete internship requirements prior to applying for certification, and application must be made to the NBPCB office within two (2) years of program completion to avoid additional eligibility requirements. Note: an applicant may sit for the NCRTB exam as long as he or she is in good standing in his or her internship, however, certification will not be granted until all program requirements have been satisfied.

 

Category B: NBPCB-Supervised Agency Apprenticeship


Applicants under Category B must have completed all requirements of the NBPCB-Supervised Rehabilitation Teaching for the Blind Apprenticeship, including: (1) have earned at least a high school diploma (or equivalent); (2)  must have successfully completed the 480 hours of prerequisite immersion training at a NBPCB approved center; (3) secure an apprenticeship at an NBPCB-approved agency; and (4) complete a minimum of 800 hours of rehabilitation teaching under the supervision of an NBPCB-approved individual within the last two (2) years prior to application. Note: an applicant may sit for the NCRTB exam as long as he or she is in good standing in his or her apprenticeship, however, certification will not be granted until all program requirements have been satisfied.
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Application Process

Once an individual has successfully completed either an approved university program or a NCRTB Supervised Agency Apprenticeship, he or she may apply for NCRTB certification and complete the examination process. The NBPCB office will review all completed applications and determine whether applicants meet all eligibility requirements and have completed all application procedures. No application will be processed without all supporting documentation, including: (1) a completed application, (2) Verification of Immersion form, (3) Verification of Rehabilitation Teaching Competency form, (4) signed NBPCB Code of Professional Ethics Agreement form, and (5) appropriate fees.
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Application

All application forms are available by contacting the NBPCB office. These include an actual application as well as the following supporting documents:

  • Verification of Immersion form (Submitted directly by supervisor)
  • Verification of Teaching Competency form (Submitted directly by supervisor)
  • Signed copy of NBPCB Code of Ethics
  • Applicant’s personal essay explaining interest in becoming a rehabilitation professional
  • Two letters of support from persons who can speak to motivation, teaching ability, and professionalism

 

Once the NBPCB office has received all of the necessary documents, applicants will be notified and arrangements will be made for a test taking opportunity. Documents should be submitted as separate attachments to admin@nbpcb.org.

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Prerequisite Immersion Training

Prior to receiving formal training in rehabilitation teaching for the blind, regardless if through a university program or apprenticeship, all individuals must successfully complete 480 hours of prerequisite immersion training at an NBPCB-approved site. This will ensure the immersion experience is conducted in a training setting that includes: (1) nonvisual training for all students; (2) has a core curriculum based on Structured Discovery methods and principles; (3) employs the use of blind role models on the instructional staff; (4) is consumer-focused in its approach to rehabilitation; and (5) includes proactive instruction for students in understanding personal and public attitudes and expectations about blindness. Prerequisite immersion training must have occurred within the last five years prior to application. The list of NBPCB approved centers is available on the NBPCB website.

 

A Verification of Immersion Training form must be signed by the orientation center program supervisor. This form not only documents that the individual has completed the 480 hours satisfactorily, but that the individual also possesses the skills, attitude, and disposition to be recommended for matriculation as a rehabilitation teacher for the blind. This form may be obtained by contacting the NBPCB office.
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Verification Of Rehabilitation Teaching Competency

The individual who held primary responsibility for supervising the applicant during his or her internship or apprenticeship must provide verification of the applicant’s ability to successfully teach using Structured Discovery Rehabilitation Teaching methods and principles. A Verification of Rehabilitation Teaching Competency form can be obtained by contacting the NBPCB office.
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Code Of Professional Ethics

Applicants must read, understand, and be willing to abide by the NBPCB Code of Professional Ethics pertaining to Certified Blindness Professionals. Signing the code of ethics agreement form is a legal agreement to abide by this code, and certification may be revoked or suspended if any violations to this code are made. Both the NBPCB Code of Professional Ethics and its Agreement form are available from the NBPCB office.
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Examination Process

Once an application has been successfully processed, the individual will sit for a computer-based examination that is proctored by an NBPCB approved individual. Examination questions may include, but are not limited to, the following ten domains:

 

A. Medical Aspects of Blindness and Low Vision Throughout the Lifespan;
B. Rehabilitation Process of Blind and Visually Impaired Adults and Transitional Youth;
C. General Counseling and Psychosocial Aspects of Blindness and Vision Loss;
D. Rehabilitation Training in the Area of Personal Management;
E. Rehabilitation Training in the Area of Home Management;
F. Rehabilitation Training in the Area of Communication (non-electronic);
G. Rehabilitation Training in the Area of Electronic Communications;
H. Basic Structured Discovery Cane Travel
I. Exercise and Recreation; and
J. Consumers with Multiple Disabilities.

 

The exam will evaluate each individual's ability to assess consumer’s current functioning, develop appropriate goals and objectives, teach specific skills effectively, measure the outcomes of learning, and make appropriate referrals to maximize the consumer’s independence.

All examinations will be evaluated by a panel of no fewer than three qualified professionals.
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Recertification

NBPCB recognizes the need for Certified Blindness Professionals to continue their education and training in order to remain current on innovations and policies in the field. Therefore, individuals must reapply every five years for recertification in order to maintain active NCRTB status. The Recertification process is designed to ensure that all certificants maintain their skills and knowledge as Rehabilitation teachers, and to promote continuous education within the profession.

 

Recertification can be met by either retesting or providing documentation of a minimum of 100 Continuing Education credits throughout the five-year certification period. The following activities are examples of opportunities which may be helpful in a crewing continued education credits:

  • Professional Conferences and Presentations
  • Contribution to published works in the field of rehabilitation for the blind
  • Providing professional preparation
  • Engaging in relevant training
  • Conducting research in the field of rehabilitation of the blind
  • Providing community service including rehabilitation of the blind
  • Governmental Affairs
  • Professional Ethics (10 points must come from this category)

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Fees

Applications to test for NCRTB will not be processed if the fees are not paid in full at the time of testing unless specific arrangements have been made directly with the NBPCB office.

 

  • Professional Testing Fee - $300.00
  • Recertification fees $300.00
  • Certificate Replacement Fee - $20.00


All fees can be paid online by using a Credit Card or PayPal account. The option to pay online as part of the test registration process, or at any time by visiting the NBPCB home page, www.nbpcb.org.

 

Fees may also be paid by personal check or money order. These payments should be mailed to:


NBPCB
101 South Trenton Street
Ruston, LA 71270

 

A fee of $25.00 will be charged for any returned check. Fees must then be paid by bank draft or money order. No services will be provided by NBPCB until all fees are paid in full.
 
If you do not wish to take the exam after submitting your registration, 50% of the total fee will be refunded upon request. All other fees are non-refundable.
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Appealing Certification Decisions

Eligibility criteria for certification are established by the Board of Directors of the NBPCB with recommendation from the Certification Committee.

Unsuccessful candidates will receive a written denial of certification. A process of appeal upon written submission is available to any denied candidate who feels that the eligibility criteria have been inaccurately, inconsistently, or unfairly applied.

The process of appeal does NOT permit:

 

  • Additional time to acquire education, employment experience, or supervision required for certification.
  • Additional time to submit the documentation required for certification.

 

There are two levels of appeal in the event of denial of initial certification or recertification. The first is to the Certification Committee and the second is to the Board of Directors. This structure assures:

 

  • A review of the relevant facts
  • A second, independent evaluation of the materials presented
  • Fair and consistent application of eligibility criteria

 

The appellant must send to the Certification Committee a written request for appeal, by certified mail postmarked within 30 days of official receipt of the letter of denial. The request for appeal must include in a single packet: a signed statement of the grounds for appeal and all relevant documentation in support thereof. Only documentation included with the first appeal request will be considered at either level of appeal.

 

The decision will be made by majority vote of the Certification Committee. All documentation will be reviewed and discussed by each member of the Certification Committee before an appeal is voted on. If the Certification Committee upholds denial of certification, the appellant has the right to petition for a second level of appeal.

 

The appellant must send to the President of NBPCB a written request for a second level appeal, by certified mail postmarked within 30 days of receipt of the decision on first appeal. The request for a second level of appeal must set forth specific objections to the determinations made by the Certification Committee in rendering its decision in the first appeal. No additional documentation may be included.

 

The President will forward the appellant's written request and all documentation accompanying the request for the first level of appeal to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will review the appeal and have a majority vote. The decision of the Board of Directors will be final and cannot be appealed further.
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Grievance Process

An allegation of a violation of the Code of Professional Ethics shall be submitted in writing to the President (or his/her designee) for action. Where there is incontrovertible evidence of a violation of the Code by a current certificant which is not supported by written allegation, the Board has the authority to proceed with prosecution of the issue as though a complaint had been filed.

 

Within ten days of the receipt of a written allegation of violation of the Code of Professional Ethics, the President (or his/her designee) shall name a three-member panel to review the allegation and shall furnish each member with a written copy of the complaint. The three reviewers must be members of the NBPCB Board of directors. The President shall name one of the three appointees as chairperson of the review panel.

 

Within twenty days of receipt of the written allegation, the Chairperson of the review panel shall report the findings and recommendations of the panel to the President (or his/her designee) in writing, and the President shall notify the respondent in writing of the findings and recommendations of the panel.
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Discipline Procedures

Any intentional violation of any section of the Code of Professional Ethics shall be prima facia evidence of a certificants affirmative decision to choose voluntarily to relinquish NBPCB certification and to forfeit all rights or privileges which inure to a person by reason of holding NCRTB certification. Where the finding of the panel has been either to recommend suspension or revocation of certification, the respondent may request that the entire NBPCB Board review the decision of the panel. This request must be in writing and submitted to the President within ten days of receipt by the respondent of the panel's adverse decision.

 

If certification has been revoked, the respondent may apply for re-certification after one full year has elapsed following the final revocation. It will be the responsibility of the respondent to demonstrate to the Board that a good faith effort has been made to correct the acts or practices giving rise to the revocation. A written request for re-instatement of certification must be submitted directly to the President, and the Board shall determine whether or not to reinstate certification. The respondent may not simply apply for certification through the usual certification application process.
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