Background Image Alternative Text: Karma Marshall conducting a blindness experience training exercise with a blindfolded participant.

Blindness Experience Training

 

           

The Blindness Experience Training aims to help participants recognize and overcome negative perceptions about people who are blind or have low vision (B/LV), increase knowledge of how individuals who are B/LV live and work independently, and understand the importance of training and advocacy.  

This training was created to help new or experienced rehabilitation professionals who have not had a hands-on B/LV learning experience. It may also be useful for family members or other professionals who work with people who are B/LV. Note that this training does not qualify participants to provide instruction in techniques or assistive devices for consumers who are B/LV.

The Blindness Experience Training is an 8-hour program that can be provided over one or two days and tailored to meet an agency’s needs. It can be provided onsite upon request by an agency. It will also periodically be offered as a “Train the Trainer” opportunity on the campus of Mississippi State University (MSU). The train the trainer component is an option to prepare agency staff to incorporate the training and activities into their own onboarding programs.

The training provides information on the impact of vision loss, an introduction to blindness and common causes, hands-on activities, and how to put everything that was learned from the training into perspective.

Sample Agenda (Note: training can be customized)

Click here for a downloadable version of the agenda.

Day 1: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Note: At MSU, lunch will be provided and incorporated into training activities. For implementation with agencies, the content of this day could also be customized over two days.

  • Objectives: Increase knowledge about blindness and low vision to include common causes, adjustment to blindness and myths and misconceptions. Provide experiential learning activities in braille, orientation and mobility, human guide techniques and independent living skills.
  • Impact of Vision Loss
    • Statistics about B/LV in general
    • Statistics about B/LV and employment
  • Panel/” Lived Experience” Discussion and Overview
    • Internal and external factors impacting independence & employment.
    • Attitudes about blindness
    • Transportation barriers
    • Adjustment to blindness – why is work important?
  • Overview of causes of blindness and low vision
  • Introduction to Blindness Experience
    • Discuss possible benefits and drawbacks of the activities.
  • Experiential Learning Activities (Note: blindfold/sleep shade will be used for some activities)
    • Braille overview
    • Human guide overview
    • Orientation and mobility (O&M) overview
    • Preparing and eating a meal
    • Other household chores
    • Personal care
    • On the job tasks
  • Debriefing – Exploring your feelings about the training.
  • Evaluation and conclusion

Day 2: 8:00 am to 12:30 pm (optional Train the Trainer component)

  • Objectives: Participants will practice aspects of the Day 1 training to build capacity to take the knowledge and activities back to their own agencies.
  • Overview of training materials
    • Resource materials for information
    • Supply list
    • Logistics of activities
    • Suggestions for panel/” lived experience” discussion.
  • Experiential Learning Activities
    • Participants will lead activities presented in Day 1
  • Debriefing and Conclusion

If you have additional questions or would like to discuss bringing Blindness Experience Training to your agency, please contact our Training and Outreach Coordinator Karma Marshall at kmarshall@colled.msstate.edu.

The NRTC periodically offers the Blindness Experience Training on the campus of Mississippi State University.

Cost for training on campus:      

  • $400 per participant for day 1
  • $200 per participant for "Train the Trainer" workshop on day 2

Please note: each agency will need to coordinate and provide for participants’ travel, lodging, and meals. The NRTC will provide information about local resources and recommendations to participating agencies.

On campus training will be limited to 12 participants to ensure the experience is meaningful and impactful. We offer online registration and payment. Please click below to register and pay by credit card for our next training.

Register

If you are unable to attend our next on campus Blindness Experience Training, please continue to check back for our next dates.  Please contact our Training and Outreach Coordinator, Karma Marshall, at kmarshall@colled.msstate.edu with any questions or if you would like to be added to our training listserv.