Faculty Focus: Kerry Lueders, MS ‘99, COMS, TVI, CLVT
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Faculty Focus: Kerry Lueders, MS ‘99, COMS, TVI, CLVT

These days, Kerry Lueders, MS ‘99, COMS, TVI, CLVT, looks at the world in terms of accessibility. And, in that context, she wants to discover everything she can about how people learn and how educators should teach.

Kerry LuedersThe director of two graduate programs - the Low Vision Rehabilitation (LVR) program and the programs that prepare Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI) within the Department of Blindness and Low Vision Studies (BLVS) at Salus University, Lueders is currently enrolled in an online education doctoral program in Instructional Systems Technology (IST) at Indiana University at Bloomington.

In that program she is exposed to a variety of different methodologies and technologies as they relate to education and instruction, with the end result hopefully designing instructions and educational experiences that will specifically benefit the University’s BLVS students.

“A big part of the IST program is understanding how people learn,” said Lueders. “My hope is to do some research related to the actual personnel preparation of people like me - the instructional design students - as it relates to offering content and materials that are accessible to all individuals, but with a particular interest in visual impairment.”

Lueders graduated in 1999 from the Orientation and Mobility (O&M) master’s program in what was then called the Department of Graduate Studies at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO), the forerunner of the BLVS department at Salus.

At the time, she was required to have a teaching certificate to teach O&M to children in schools. She also went on to secure her Teacher for the Visually Impaired (TVI) certificate from PCO in 2002 and a certificate in Low Vision Rehabilitation in 2007, also from PCO. She eventually started doing some part-time work at PCO, took some time off to start a family, then rejoined PCO/Salus and has been here ever since. 

Kerry Lueders in clinicAdditionally, you’ll find her at The Eye Institute (TEI) on most Tuesdays during the year providing low vision therapy through the William Feinbloom Vision Rehabilitation Center, where she also mentors LVR interns and fourth-year Doctor of Optometry students.

“I like mentoring students. It’s such a unique field and for Salus to be able to offer it, it’s really unique to our area,” said Lueders. “I think back to when I was first getting involved and how excited I was to get started. That plays into why I keep doing what I’m doing. I like sharing my knowledge by helping the students find their paths.”

She believes Salus BLVS students are in high demand and among the best-prepared in the field.

“There is a shortage of personnel in our field and our programs are kind of unique across the country,” she said. “We need more students, we need to recruit, and we need to get the word out more that this is such an important need.”

Lueders is currently active within professional organizations, including the Pennsylvania/Delaware chapter of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually impaired, where she serves as board member and co-chair of the Communications Committee. And, when she’s not teaching or being a student herself, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

But it’s the whole accessibility thing that’s caught her attention at the moment and how she can use that information to become a better teacher.

"I hope to study how universities are preparing future instructional designers who are so well positioned to impact the learning experiences of all students, including those who are visually impaired,” she said.

Kerry Lueders with colleagues

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