With a rich history, the Association was formed in 1984 as the result of a consolidation between the American Association of Workers for the Blind and the Association for Education of the Visually Handicapped. The AER Bylaws and Policies and Procedures Manual detail AER’s purpose, structure, and procedures.  The AER Board of Directors approved an AER Code of Ethics in 2015, which is part of the Policies and Procedures Manual. The Association uses a number of standing committees and ad hoc committees to design and carry out its many programs and services. Resolutions passed by the association’s membership provide insight into where the association stands on specific issues.

AER is committed to serving our members, affiliated chapters, and divisions through effective strategic planning conducted at all levels within the organization. AER’s Strategic Plan guides the association into the future and is periodically updated to ensure we are meeting the members’ and association’s needs.

The Mission of AER:
The mission of AER is to be the unifying voice of specialized education and rehabilitation professionals, yielding the highest quality services to people who are blind or have low vision. 

The AER Vision Statement: 
Professionals serving people who are blind or who have low vision are one community and speak together, powerfully, with one voice around issues of critical importance to the profession and its ability to provide consistently high-quality services across the lifespan. 

Our work is guided by five Core Values:

    • Welcoming: The richness of our diversity of viewpoint, personal backgrounds, lived experience and cultivated expertise governs our inclusiveness and guides our principled decision-making. We celebrate differences but reject divisiveness.
    • Accessible:  We hold ourselves and others accountable for the effective removal of all barriers.  We avow equal participation in the mission and work of our Association. We are intolerant of exclusion, elitism, and lack of transparency.
    • Engaged: We listen to each other and actively respond to the issues that matter to us and those we serve. We strive to protect and advance specialized services to people who are living with blindness or low vision.
    • Effective: In everything we do, internally and externally, we seek the best available evidence, we adhere to recognized standards and promising practices, and we evaluate the results achieved.
    • Collegial: Bound by common cause, we are each other’s most valiant champions and most conscientious critics. We provide each other the sturdy shoulders on which we lean for support and on which we stand to reach for new heights of professional excellence and personal growth. 
We are AER!

AER Bylaws Document
Policies & Procedures Manual
AER Code of Ethics Document

AER Chapters

Communication and networking on a local level are achieved through automatic membership in Chapters.

Division Memberships

Enable members to focus on specific topics of expertise, including Administration and Leadership; Rehabilitation Counseling and Employment; Multiple Disabilities & Deafblind; Psychosocial Services; Information & Technology; Low Vision Rehabilitation; Infant & Preschool; Orientation & Mobility; Education Curriculum; Vision Rehabilitation Therapy; Division on Aging; Itinerant Personnel, Personnel Preparation, International Services & Global Issues, and Physical Activity & Recreation.


The AER Accreditation Program involves 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.