AER Individual Membership Benefits
Networking – Learning from peers is probably the most valuable benefit of membership in AER. The networking opportunities through active involvement in the association on the chapter, division, and international level can aid in professional growth, career advancements, and continued education. Communication and networking on the local level are achieved through automatic membership in North American Chapters.
Division memberships enable members to focus on specific topics of expertise, including Administration and Leadership, Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling & Employment Services, Multiple Disabilities & Deafblind, Psychosocial Services, Information & Technology, Low Vision, Infant & Preschool, Orientation & Mobility, Education Curriculum, Vision Rehabilitation Therapy, Division on Aging, Itinerant Personnel, Personnel Preparation, International Services & Global Issues, Physical Activity & Recreation, and Neurological Visual Impairment (provisional). Members may join up to three divisions at no charge. Membership in additional divisions is available for a modest fee.
International and chapter conferences provide the opportunity for professional development as well as support.
AER members-only listservs provide a mentoring forum as well as a convenient way to obtain opinions on practices and advice on services that work best for clients’ needs. AERNet is the main listserv for general information. Other listservs focus on special interest groups.
AER is active on social media with lively discussions on Facebook and postings on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Professional and Career Development – Continuing Education is an important part of professional development, and AER strives to provide information on the latest topics and techniques to help vision professionals succeed in their daily lives. AER offers a variety of ways for professionals to learn such as international, interest specific, and chapter conferences as well as online options. AER is a Registered Provider of Professional Learning and Education (RPPLE©) Program through the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation & Education Professionals (ACVREP), which qualifies the association’s learning opportunities for CE credit. AER also seeks CE credit approval from other organizations for specific learning events.
To enhance career development, AER members have access to AER Job Exchange, the most up-to-date and active on-line listings of job openings in the field.
Publications – AER provides several publications that contribute to members’ knowledge base. The online interactive AER Report keeps members informed about Association news, policy, and issues. AER buys a subscription for members to the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness (JVIB) from the American Foundation for the Blind. It is an essential professional resource for information about visual impairment and blindness and is now the official journal of AER. AER Viewpoint is a weekly online newsletter with current AER news and articles of interest to the profession. AERODYNAMICS is a quarterly newsletter for members based in Canada. Several divisions and chapters also produce communications with news about timely topics. AER books provide members access to a range of topics related to working with those who are blind and visually impaired.
Advocacy – AER gives professionals and consumers in the field a collective voice in Washington, D.C., to keep the focus on the importance of maintaining specialized blind services for consumers of all ages. AER participates in campaigns aimed at educating the public and decision makers at the state and federal levels about the importance of specialized services for visually impaired people. Membership in AER means support and development of the professionals in the field of providing services to individuals with visual impairments.
Insurance Programs – Through its membership in the Trust for Insuring Educators, a professional liability insurance program is available to AER members based in the United States, along with a comprehensive insurance program package with many other important insurance coverages (also available in some Canadian provinces), administered by Forrest T. Jones & Company.
Professional Recognition – AER recognizes its members’ outstanding contributions to the field through biennial awards, including the Allen, Bauman, Bledsoe, MacFarland, McAulay, Shotwell and Welsh Awards, and the AER Outstanding Chapter Award. AER Divisions and Chapters also honor members through awards.
Recruitment – AER recognizes the critical need for additional professionals to join the field. With the aging population and increase of individuals with visual impairments, it is vital to keep vision professionals in the spotlight and encourage young people to enter the field. AER dedicates a significant commitment of time, energy and resources to the issue of professional personnel shortages.
Shop.com – Earn cash back shopping online while supporting AER. Make a purchase on www.shop.com/aerbvi. AER receives royalties and you earn up to 35% cash back on qualified purchases from sites such as Walmart, Macy’s, and Bed, Bath & Beyond. Benefits don’t stop there. You earn 0.5% cash back on the purchases of everyone you refer to the website. Take advantage of the convenience of online shopping while feeling good about helping AER.
Scholarships – AER provides two scholarships to students who are legally blind and are studying for a career in the field of services to the blind or visually impaired. The AER Ferrell scholarships are named in honor of William and Dorothy Ferrell. They are awarded in the even number years.
AER Organization Membership
While the majority of AER members are individual professionals, organization membership is growing in importance to the association. AER offers organization members a way to reach industry decision makers and individuals who are on the front line in serving those who are blind and visually impaired. These vision professionals represent schools, agencies, associations, businesses, and individual providers of services. Members are primarily located in the U.S. and Canada, with more than 10 other countries represented.
AER provides an environment that gives organization members an opportunity to network with industry professionals through local venues and online communities as well as on an international stage at the association’s biennial International Conference and on the local level at AER Chapter Meetings. Organization members add their voice and influence to issues of major importance in the field of blindness and visual impairment.
Organization Member Benefits Include:
- Subscriptions to:
- AER Report, AER’s interactive quarterly newsletter
- JVIB – Journal of Vision Impairment and Blindness
- AER Viewpoint, AER’s weekly online news brief
- Job Exchange
- Opportunities to post announcements of job openings at a significant discount in our newsletter and online job listings
- Significant discounts on advertising in AER Report
- Discounts on advertising in AER’s International Conference material
- Access to special sponsorship packages at AER conferences and meetings
- Discounts on:
- Exhibit booth space at AER’s Biennial International Conference and other AER conferences
- Membership list rentals plus one list rental annually @ 50% off – a $262 value
- Delegate registration fees for up to three employees to attend the AER International Conference at member rates – a $390 value
- Web site recognition:
- An organization description and a link to your Web site from AER’s site
- Up to three FREE Division memberships – a $30 value
- A Certificate of Membership recognizing your organization’s valuable support of the field