Training

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 Funded by the United States Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR).

Training Activities

Vision Specialist Certificate Program

Vision Specialist in Vocational Rehabilitation: (funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration) providing a 12 semester-hour graduate certificate in blindness and low vision rehabilitation for rehabilitation counselor. Applications received June 1- October 1 annually.

Training and Technical Center for Older Individuals who are Blind Programs

The National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision (NRTC), at Mississippi State University, has been awarded the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) Training and Technical Assistance (T & TA) Center Grant for older individuals who are blind that was established under the 2014 Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA). The T & TA Center Project provides support to state agencies that provide services to older individuals who are blind and receive funding under the Independent Living for Older Individuals who are Blind (OIB) program. Such T & TA is designed to improve the administration, operation, and performance of the OIB program. This goal will be accomplished by providing the T & TA necessary to improve program and consumer outcomes and to enhance service providers' knowledge and professionalism so they can achieve excellence and accountability in the financial and programmatic operation of the OIB program. The project will provide T & TA in the areas of best practice, community outreach, budget management, and data collection and management. Partnering with the NRTC in this grant are the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults (HKNC), and VisionServe Alliance. Click here for more information about the new Training and Technical Assistance projects.

Online Independent Study Courses

National Online Training Curriculum for Randolph-Sheppard (R-S) Business Enterprise Program (BEP) Staff: Designed to help orient new BEP staff members to the Randolph-Sheppard Program, this course is composed of 14 individual modules, each covering an important aspect of the R-S program. An overall certificate of completion may be requested when a student successfully completes and passes all module quizzes with a score of 80% or better. There is no fee associated with taking and completing individual modules or the entire course.

Online Short Courses

The following continuing education courses can be found here.

More will be available in the coming months.

  • Adjustment to Blindness (1.5 CRC Credits)
  • Anatomy & Physiology of the Eye (1 CRC Credits)
  • Common Children's Eye Conditions (1.5 CRC Credits)
  • Common Adult Eye Conditions (3.5 CRC Credits)
  • How to Read an Eye Report (1 CRC Credits)
  • Introduction to Blindness and Low Vision (1 CRC Credits)
  • Employer Knowledge and Attitudes (1 CRC Credits)
  • Low Down on Low Vision (1.5 CRC Credits)
  • SSDI Outcome Predictors (1.5 CRC Credits)
  • Understanding and Overcoming Transportation Barriers (1 CRC Credits)
  • Working with Employers (1 CRC Credits)
  • Working with Businesses (1 CRC Credits)
  • Technology Accessibility in the Workplace (1 CRC Credits)
  • Accessing Textbooks and Reading Materials (1 CRC Credits)
  • Introduction to the Older Individuals who are Blind Program (1 CRC Credits)
  • Employment Mentoring for College Students with Vision Impairments (1 CRC Credits)
  • The Basics of Brain Injury and Vison Loss (1.75 CRC Credits)
  • Overview of Assistive Technology for BVI (1 CRC Credits)
  • An Introduction to Community Outreach (1 CRC Credits)
  • Community Outreach: Creating Targeted and Accessible Presentations (1.5 CRC Credits)
  • Introduction to Best Practices for Older Individuals who are Blind Programs (1.5 CRC Credits)

State and Regional Training Programs

Programs can be designed and tailored to fit the needs of individual professional development programs. Popular topics include (but are not limited to) Medical Aspects of Vision Loss, Adjustment to Vision Loss, Ethics, Low Vision, Transition-Age Youth, Independent Living for Seniors with Vision Loss, Seniors with Dual Sensory Loss, Deaf-Blindness, Traumatic Brain Injury, and/or Diabetes. Our Training staff includes Kendra Farrow, Nikki Jeffords, and B.J. LeJeune. You may contact our Training Coordinator at bjlejeune@colled.msstate.edu or 662-325-2694.

2018 Workshops and Training Activities (Completed and Planned)

Farrow, K., Bedsaul, D., & Tomlin, W. (2018, July). Community of practice for serving older individuals with vision loss. Association for the Education and Rehabilitation for the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) International Conference. Reno, NV.

Farrow, K., LeJeune, B.J., & Tomlin, W. (2018, July). How do other programs do …? Association for the Education and Rehabilitation for the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) International Conference. Reno, NV.

Crudden, A., LeJeune, B.J., & Farrow, K. (2018, July). Older Individuals who are Blind-Best Practices in Service Delivery. Association for the Education and Rehabilitation for the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) International Conference. Reno, NV.

Crudden, A., LeJeune, B.J., & Farrow, K. (2018, April). Best Practices in Administration of the OIB. American Foundation for the Blind Leadership Conference. Oakland, CA.

Crudden, A. (2018, March). Aging and vision loss: Family response and service availability. MS chapter of NASW annual conference. Biloxi, MS.

Crudden, A., LeJeune, B.J., & Farrow, K. (2018, April). Older individuals who are blind – best practices in service delivery. American Foundation for the Blind Leadership Conference. Oakland, CA.

LeJeune, B.J. & Tomlin, B. (2018, April). OIB-TAC matrix profile of states and territories. OIB Program Mangers’ Meeting, American Foundation for the Blind Leadership Conference. Oakland, CA.

Farrow, K., McMahon, J., Tomlin, T., & Perez, S. (2018, March). Tools for Success for the Washington OIB Program. Workshop. Topics included Understanding the big picture, Telling the client’s story, Developing SMART goals, and Developing a mission statement. The Washington State Department of Services for the Blind, Seattle, WA.

McDonnall, M., LeJeune, B.J., Steverson, A., Kershaw-Patilla, S., & Auer, A. (2018, February). Workshop: Improving Business Development Skills: Training for Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors. North Carolina Services for the Blind, High Point, NC.

McDonnall, M., Steverson, A., Kershaw-Patilla, S., & Auer, A. (2018, February). Workshop: Improving Business Development Skills: Training for Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors. New Mexico Commission for the Blind, Albuquerque, NM.

2017 Workshops and Training Activities

Farrow, K. & McMahon, J. (2017, October). Workshop: Tools for Success in the Michigan OIB Program, Topics included Elements of Documentation, Art of Assessment, Working with Older Adults, Community Outreach, and The Low Down on the 7-OB. Michigan Bureau of Blind Services, Kalamazoo, MI.

Crudden, A., Steverson, A., & McDonnall, M. (2017, October). Job retention and WIOA changes: Results from a survey of NCSAB members. National Council of State Agencies for the Blind annual conference. Greenville, SC.

Crudden, A., Sui, Z., & Steverson, A. (2017, September). Job retention among persons who are blind or have low vision. Rehabilitation Association of Mississippi training conference. Natchez, MS.

LeJeune, B.J. (2017, September). Workshop: Ethics, Serving Consumers with Secondary Disabilities, and Employment-Oriented VRT Instruction. Virginia Department for Individuals who are Blind or Visually Impaired, Statewide Staff Meeting, Richmond, VA.

Crudden, A., LeJeune, B.J., & Farrow, K. (2017, July). Person-centered strategies for aging with vision loss. Envision conference. Glendale, AZ.

LeJeune, B.J. (2017, June). Updates and resources for serving older individuals who are blind. Mississippi State-Wide OIB Training Workshop for New Employees. Jackson MS.

LeJeune, B.J. (2017, June). Adjustment and acceptance of blindness and low vision. Mississippi State-Wide VR Training Workshop. Jackson.

McDonnall, M., Auer, A, LeJeune, B.J. & Steverson, A. (2017, May). Workshop: Improving Business Development Skills: Training for Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors. New Jersey Commission for the Blind. New Brunswick, NJ.

McDonnall, M., Auer, A, LeJeune, B.J. & Steverson, A. (2017, May). Workshop: Improving Business Development Skills: Training for Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors. Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Lincoln, NE.

McDonnall, M., Auer, A., Jeppson, D., Kershaw, S., LeJeune, B.J. & Steverson, A. (2017, May). Workshop: Improving Business Development Skills: Training for Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors. Vision Specialist Program. Starkville, MS.

Richert, M. & LeJeune, B. J. (2017, May). A National Conversation of Aging and Vision Loss. Pennsylvania OIB Online In-service.

Farrow, K. R & LeJeune, B.J. (2017, April). Best Practice in the OIB Program Task Force. NCSAB Spring Conference, Bethesda, MD.

Richert, M., Rogers, P., LeJeune, B. J., & Sheffield, R. (2017, March). Advancing Policy Priorities: Continuing Our National Conversation on Aging and Vision Loss (Part 2). American Foundation for the Blind Leadership Conference, Washington, DC.

Richert, M., LeJeune, B.J., et al. (2017, March). Recalculating Our Route: Updating Our GPS to Navigate the Future of Services and Opportunities for People with Vision loss. American Foundation for the Blind Leadership Conference, Washington, DC.

2016 Workshops and Training Activities

Saner, P. & LeJeune, B. J. (2016, November). Services and Resources for Older Individuals who are Blind. National Council of State Administrators for the Blind. San Diego, CA.

LeJeune, B.J. (2016, November). The OIB-TAC at the National Research and Training Center at Mississippi State. Vision Serve Alliance National Fall Conference. San Antonio, TX.

LeJeune, B.J. (2016, October). Ethics Roundtable. Mississippi Association for the Education and Rehabilitation for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MAER) Fall Conference. Jackson, MS.

LeJeune, B.J. (2016, August). Serving individuals with vision loss and traumatic brain injury. Oklahoma Association for the Education and Rehabilitation for the Blind and Visually Impaired (OAER). Oklahoma City, OK.

LeJeune, B.J. (2016, August). Know your code of ethics. Oklahoma Association for the Education and Rehabilitation for the Blind and Visually Impaired (OAER). Oklahoma City, OK.

LeJeune, B.J. (2016, August). What research tells us about serving students who are in transition from high school or college to work. Oklahoma Association for the Education and Rehabilitation for the Blind and Visually Impaired (OAER). Oklahoma City, OK.

Farrow, K., Mayros, R., & Runk, B. (2016, July). Trends in older blind services. Association for the Education and Rehabilitation for the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) International Conference. Jacksonville, FL.

LeJeune, B.J., Steverson, A., Crudden, A., McDonnall, M., Honan, L. (2016, July). Availability of Mental Health Services for Persons who are Deaf or Deafblind. Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired. Jacksonville, FL.

LeJeune, B.J. (2016, July). Training and technical assistance programs for older blind programs. Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired. Jacksonville, FL.

Farrow, K. (2016, August). Solutions and resources for working with individuals with dual sensory loss. Association of Vision Rehabilitation Therapists conference. Birmingham, AL.

LeJeune, B.J. (2016, August). Back to the Future: VRTs on the Move. Keynote Address. Association of Vision Rehabilitation Therapists. Birmingham, AL.

LeJeune, B.J. (2016, August). Best Practices for Serving Older Blind Adults. General Session. Association of Vision Rehabilitation Therapists. Birmingham, AL.

LeJeune, B.J. (2016, April). Overview of the Older Individuals who are Blind Training and Technical Assistance Center. AFB Leadership Conference. Program Director’s Pre-Conference Session. Arlington, VA.