Membership with the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) means you are a part of a community of excellence dedicated to supporting those who provide services to people with blindness and visual impairments. We provide professional support, advocacy, networking and more. It also means you have access to some great discounts and special services offered exclusively to members. Becoming a member can move your career forward by connecting you with high-quality training, the latest tools, and trends, exposure to leading-edge thinking and unparalleled peer networking. Explore the many benefits offered in the NEW: AER Membership Guidebook
Networking at its finest! With a membership base that is growing, AER is a one-stop networking shop! From our biennial conference to our chapters and our numerous listservs and Divisions, we provide many ways for you to meet and build relationships with your fellow professionals.
AER divisions are professional Learning Communities, which enable members to focus on specific topics of interest and expertise. We encourage you to join as many Learning Communities as you want – the first three are included with your membership and there is a nominal fee for each additional ones.
International and chapter conferences are the premiere events connecting our members with their colleagues across the nation. Members receive a substantial discount on their conference registration fees. AER also offers a variety of ways to learn such as international, interest-specific, chapter conferences and other online options. All at members-only discounts.
Professional and Career Development – AER offers continuing education by offering you educational sessions online and at your convenience. Also, you can now receive CEs by simply reading select JVIB articles! We also offer webinars and live watercooler chats that cover topics of interest to vision professionals.
Publications – AER members have access to some of the most well-respected and prestigious publications in the field: the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness (JVIB) from the American Foundation for the Blind, The Voice, AER’s newly launched members-only monthly e-newsletter, AERODYNAMICS (quarterly newsletter for our Canadian members), and AER Viewpoint (weekly online newsletter).
AER bookstore provides members access to a range of topics related to working with those who are blind and visually impaired
Scholarships – AER offers 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. Scholarship recipients are recognized during the biennial conference.
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’ contributions to the field through biennial awards, including the Allen, Bauman, Bledsoe, MacFarland, McAulay, Shotwell and Welsh Awards, and the AER Outstanding Chapter Award. Award winners are recognized at the biennial conference. Our history of recognizing our members goes back 50 years!
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.
Advocacy – AER advocates for our field on behalf of our members and the clients whom we serve. We join in on the efforts aimed at educating the decision-makers at the state and federal levels about the importance of specialized services for people who are visually impaired. We are stronger, together!
Be a part of something great!
As an AER member, you can be proud of your affiliation with the premier organization for the education and rehabilitation of the blind and visually impaired. Take advantage of the benefits of being an AER member.