To register for the upcoming low vision certification exam, please fill out the information below and return this form, along with a check for the test fee of $75.00 to:


230 Washington Avenue Extension

Suite 101

Albany, NY 12203

Phone:  518.449.7300

Fax:      518.463.8656




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The NYSOA Low Vision

Competency Examination

The competency examination is mandated by the New York State Department of Health. Passing this test allows the optometrist to be paid from the Medicaid program and the Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped.  The purpose of the examination is to prove competency in providing low vision evaluations, knowledge of the low vision aids available, and an understanding of the rehabilitation system in general as well as the programs offered by CBVH. As part of the rehabilitation ‘team’ you must have a working knowledge in all aspects of low vision care as you will be asked to make important decisions regarding the client’s educational, domestic, and financial future. Your recommendations help the rehabilitation counselor decide if a college program is feasible for a consumer, or may make the difference in an elderly person staying in their own home or having to move into a nursing home.  To sustain your low vision certification, you must perform 5 hours of continuing education every 2 years. The courses must be directly related to low vision. Courses relating to ocular disease, such as ARMD, are not applicable.  Random audits will monitor the requirement. If you do not have proof of attending continuing education, your certification will be suspended.

The Test

The test is in three parts.  The first part is a written examination consisting of objective type questions which include all aspects of low vision theory and practice.  The test includes some questions on basic optics, evaluation techniques, low vision devices, pathology and programs in CBVH. There is no time limit for this section.


(2 pts) A telescope is rated 6×16. The size of the exit pupil is__________.

(2 pts) A CCTV viewed at the patient’s habitual reading distance is an example of

A.  Relative size magnification

B.  Relative distance magnification

C.  Angular magnification

  1.                  D. Rated magnification

\(2 pts) What is the proper bracketing lenses to start with in a refraction of a low vision                     patient with an acuity of 20/400?

a. +/- 1.00 D

b. +/- 2.00 D

c. +/- 3.00 D

d. +/- 4.00 D

(2 pts) What is the role of the rehabilitation teacher?

A good resource text is Functional Assessment of Low Vision by Bruce P. Rosenthal, O.D. and Roy Cole, O.D. Mosby. Available through the Lighthouse.

The second part of the test is a practical low vision evaluation in which you will prove basic competency. You may bring your own low vision evaluation form. This section will be limited to 1 hour.

The third part is a written case report of a low vision patient that you have seen in private practice.  It should represent the summary of all your work with the patient from the initial visit to the date of discharge.  It should include a summary of the case history and examination findings, your rational of treatment, your disposition of the case and a summary of the follow-up visits. The case reports should be submitted at the time you report for the written and practical portions of the test. This should be concise.

Each section of the test can be passed individually such that if the candidate fails a single section, they only need to pass that section on a subsequent examination.

We have changed the test sites to include New York City, Long Island, Albany and Rochester. This is to make the process easier and more convenient to the candidates. Special arrangements can be made for individual evaluations, if necessary.

Registration is on a first come, first serve basis. The cost of taking the examination is $75.00 and is refundable prior to 4 weeks before the test date. Within the 4 weeks the fee is not refundable unless we can get another candidate to fill the spot on short notice.

There is a low vision fee schedule for aids and devices which can be obtained from the CBVH Low Vision Coordinator, Joe Nye at (518) 474-5686.  The fee schedule has many low vision devices in it but it is important to note that ANY device is available to your patients with prior approval. These special requests would be directed to the appropriate non-profit agency or the CBVH Rehabilitation Counselor who will forward them to Joe Nye.

For information regarding the test, call the NYSOA Office at (800) 342-9836 or (518) 449-7300.  Feel free to e-mail Al Morier OD at amorier1@nycap.rr.com .


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