Mississippi State University, The National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision

General Information

Mississippi State University, The National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision
P. O. Box 6189
Mississippi State Mississippi 1 39762
(662) 325 2001

Brief Description

The mission of the NRTC is to enhance employment and independent living outcomes for individuals who are blind or visually impaired through research, training, education, and dissemination.


Doug Bedsaul,Research and Training Coordinator,dbedsaul@colled.msstate.edu

BJ LeJeune,Training Supervisor,bjlejeune@colled.msstate.edu,662 325 2694

Angela Shelton,Coordinator,ashelton@colled.msstate.edu,662 325 1494

Services Offered

  • Consultation/Technical Program Assistance
    • Conducts a National Training Conference annually and provides in-service training in technology and rehabilitation to state agencies serving persons who are blind/visually impaired.
  • Distance Education
    • A library of online short courses are designed for professionals who are working in or with the field of rehabilitation of persons who are blind or visually impaired, although anyone is welcome to take them. They cover a wide variety of topics, including types of visual impairment, adjustment to blindness, and best practices based on the latest research. All courses may be viewed at http://ntac.blind.msstate.edu/courses/. In order to get continuing education credit, either Certified Rehabilitation Counselor or Continuing Education Units, the student must complete a full course, pass the quiz with a score of at least 80%, and complete a course evaluation. Quizzes may be retaken until the passing score is earned. Certain smaller units are bundled into courses for CRC or CEU credits, with only one quiz per course. There is no fee for CRC credit. For more information on CEU credits, including costs and bundling, contact Angela Shelton at ashelton@colled.msstate.edu. When you successfully complete a quiz, you will receive a CRC Certificate which also serves as a certificate of completion. For those not wanting continuing education credit, you may complete individual units and there is no need to take the quizzes.
  • Employment/Job Training
    • Career Advantage for V.I.P.s is an an employment preparation primer for individuals who are blind or visually impaired. It consists of eight instructional modules which you can explore at your own pace. Portions of the program require advanced reading levels, which those with a high school degree typically have. The first four modules provide tools to take you, step by step, through the processes of self-assessment, career exploration, development of effective job search techniques, and decision-making about resume design and development. Information about job accommodations, talking to employers about vision loss, and the interview process are covered in modules 5 through 7. The final module of Career Advantage offers information, suggestions, and activities to help you move beyond learning new skills to applying them as an effective job-seeker.
  • Information and Referral
    • The Information and Referral Resource Project provides information and network links by state on the following topics: low vision services, organizations, products, publications, radio reading services, rehabilitation and blindness resources, sports and recreation.
  • Personnel Preparation
    • In-service training and continuing education programs, graduate credit offered for vision specialists in vocational rehabilitation program.
  • Professional Training
    • The Vision Specialist in Vocational Rehabilitation program consists of four graduate courses designed to train vocational rehabilitation counselors to become more effective in their work with consumers who are blind or visually impaired. These increased professional skills enable graduates to help consumers with vision loss learn independent living skills and assist them in becoming employed. Graduate students and practicing Rehabilitation Counselors interested in attending the program can find more information by contacting BJ LeJeune at 325-2694, or through the Vision Specialist web site at www.distance.msstate.edu/vision/index.html. Applications are accepted from June 1st through October 1st, for the program that starts in early January.
  • Transportation Services
    • The Transportation Guide for Persons who are Blind or Have Low Vision contains helpful information about finding and using transportation options, and is designed for persons with vision impairments or those who serve them. Forward the link or print copies of the document as needed. Students or researchers may prefer to use the version with in-text citations, located on our Publications for Download page at http://www.blind.msstate.edu/research/nrtc-publications/download/.