The mission of AER Accreditation Program is to advance excellence in the field of blindness and low vision services by ensuring that:
- organizations and specialized schools that provide direct services to individuals who have a visual impairment deliver high quality direct services, and
- institutions of higher education prepare professionals to provide services of the highest quality to individuals who have a visual impairment.
Accreditation is a process under which services and operations are evaluated by an external team to determine if standards that are deemed indicators of quality performance, measures of sound practices and that generate the best results are met. Accreditation is a value added process that ensures that consumers (i.e. clients and students) are provided services under quality based conditions and operations. The standards for accreditation are set by a peer Council whose members include professionals who are skilled and experience with program administration, systems, educational and rehabilitation protocols and service delivery. The accreditation system includes: Agencies/Schools and Colleges/Universities.
Since its inception, AER has had one primary purpose and that is to elevate the conditions that drive to excellence. Whether it is supporting professionals who deliver services or supporting professionals who provide instruction to emerging professionals, AER recognizes the role standards play in achieving short and long term goals. AER believes that the greatest results will be achieved by a conflated approach. Thereby in 2017, the AER Board of Directors voted to adopt an accreditation program. The program, previously managed by the National Accreditation Council Incorporated is now under the executive management of AER. Building on its experience with the AER University Review Program, AER launched the AER Accreditation System in 2018—combining its efforts under one umbrella.
Click here to read the AER Accreditation Council Policies and Procedures
Click here to review the Higher Education (Colleges and Universities) Standards
Click here to review the Organizations (Schools and Agencies) Standards
The AER Accreditation Council
The Accreditation Council has chief responsibility for setting and enforcing standards set forth in the Accreditation Program. The Council acts as the overseeing body that ensures that the standards are current, relevant, and advance excellence in service delivery and that those entities seeking accreditation meet the standards. The primary responsibilities of the Council include:
- Approve and or deny accreditation.
- Define standards and criteria for evaluation of entities and programs and assure compliance to the standards.
- Develop methods for measuring the effectiveness of standards and the accreditation process.
- Establish guidelines and policies applicable to the accreditation and approval process.
- Hear and decide appeals related to the denial of full accreditation.
- Establish the re-evaluation of standards cycle and make improvements to the standards as needed.