State of the Science Conference on Improving Employment Outcomes for Individuals who are Blind or VIsually Impaired. April 9th through 10th, 2014.

The National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision (NRTC) presented a State of the Science Conference in Bethesda, MD on April 9–10, 2014 in conjunction with the annual NCSAB Spring Conference. Interactive sessions provided NIDILRR-funded research findings on a variety of topics that focus on improving employment outcomes for individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Some of these topics include transportation, employment mentoring for college students, VR agency-employer interactions, accessibility in the workplace, employment outcomes for SSDI beneficiaries, and best practices for the Randolph-Sheppard Business Enterprise Program (BEP). See the agenda below for PowerPoint, braille, audio, or summaries of the presentations.

State of the Science Conference ReportView our Advisory Council

Wednesday, April 9th

  • Opening Session (Haverford/Baccarat Ballroom)



    John Tschida, NIDILRR Director

    Michele McDonnall, The NRTC

    Achieving Success through Inclusion, Equity, Opportunity & Research (summary)

    Janet LaBreck, RSA Commissioner

    Employment Statistics about the Population with Vision Difficulties (.ppt | .brf) | summary)

    Matthew Brault, U.S. Census Bureau

  • Introduction to Clickers

    Jamie O'Mally, The NRTC

  • Break

  • Session 1: Employer Considerations

    Moderator - Angela Hartley, NIB

    VR Agency — Employer Interactions (.ppt | .brf | audio | summary)

    Michele McDonnall, Interim Director, The NRTC

    Accessibility in the Modern Workplace (.ppt | .brf | audio | summary)

    Darren Burton, Director, AFB TECH

    Discussion Panel

    Kathy West-Evans, CSAVR

    Juanita Barker, Texas DARS

    Bobby Druesedow, Texas DARS

    Brian Charlson, Carroll Center for the Blind

  • NCSAB Wrap-up

  • LexMark Demonstration

  • NCSAB Reception

Thursday, April 10

  • Registration

  • Welcome (Haverford/Baccarat Ballroom)


    The NRTC

  • Session 2: Special Programs

    Moderator - Dorothy Young, Mississippi DRS

    Best Practices in the Business Enterprise Program (.ppt | .brf | audio | summary)

    Jacqui Bybee, Research Associate II, The NRTC

    Terry Smith, BEP Consultant

    Predictors of Outcomes for SSDI Recipients (.ppt | .brf | audio | summary)

    Marty Giesen, Senior Research Scientist, The NRTC

    Brenda Cavenaugh, Research Professor, The NRTC

    Discussion Panel

    Ray Hopkins, Virginia DBVI

    Daniel Frye, New Jersey CBVI

    Joe Ashley, Virginia DRS

    Catriona Macdonald, Linchpin Strategies, LLC

  • Break

  • Session 3: Employment Interventions

    Moderator - Jennipher Wiebold, AER

    A Customized Transportation Intervention (.ppt | .brf | audio | summary)

    Adele Crudden, Professor, The NRTC

    Mentoring and Employment Preparation for College Students (.ppt | .brf | audio | summary)

    Jamie O’Mally, Assistant Research Professor, The NRTC

    Discussion Panel

    Donna Smith, Easter Seals Project ACTION

    Sean Whalen, National Association of Blind Students

    Joey Richey, Alabama DRS

    Joe Strechay, AFB

  • Session 4: Knowledge Translation Activities (.ppt | .brf)

    BJ LeJeune, Training Supervisor, The NRTC

    Kendra Farrow, Research and Training Associate, The NRTC

  • Working Luncheon
    and Closing Remarks (Lalique Room)

    NIB Sponsors

    Roxann Mayros, VisionServe Alliance

    Donna Smith, Easter Seals Project ACTION

    From Dream to Action: Evidence-Based Practice in VR Service Delivery (summary)

    John Lui, RRTC on Evidence-Based Practice- Uni. of Wisconsin-Stout

    Future Research Directions

    Michele McDonnall, The NRTC