NRTC Celebrates 40th Anniversary

The National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision (NRTC) at Mississippi State University is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Housed within the College of Education since 1981, the NRTC has focused on research, training, technical assistance, and dissemination activities to enhance employment and independent living outcomes for individuals who are blind or have low vision (B/LV). 

NRTC logo with text 1981 to 2021. NRTC Celebrates 40 years

The only federally-funded center focused specifically on employment outcomes for people who are B/LV, the NRTC produces field-leading research and serves as a valuable resource to professionals, employers, and individuals with B/LV. The NRTC has a long history of contributing literature and resources to the field through peer-review publications, reports, online courses, products available for download from the website, and training opportunities.

Currently led by Dr. Michele McDonnall, the NRTC is excited to continue its efforts in the field following the award of two five-year grants that extend through 2025. McDonnall says “We’re proud to have provided assistance to people with B/LV and the professionals who work with them over the past 40 years. We look forward to continuing our research, training, and technical assistance efforts as we pursue our mission.”

One of the new federally-funded grants allows for the continued work of the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Employment of People Who are Blind or Have Low Vision, the center that founded the NRTC. The other grant allows for the continued work of the Older Individuals Who are Blind Technical Assistance Center (OIB-TAC), which provides training and technical assistance to designated state agencies and other organizations serving older individuals who are B/LV through the federally-funded OIB program.

The NRTC was established with a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), and NIDILRR continues to be its primary funding source. Additional funding has been provided by the Rehabilitation Services Administration, the Institute of Education Sciences, the Office of Special Education Programs, the National Institutes of Health, the Helen Keller National Center for Deafblind Youth and Adults, and multiple state agencies.

See our infographic for more information about NRTC activities over the past 40 years!

A screen reader version is available here.