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

Training and Technical Assistance Activities

Principal Investigator: B.J. LeJeune, bjlejeune@colled.msstate.edu

With the support of this RRTC grant, the NRTC will serve as a national center of excellence on employment issues for people who are blind or visually impaired. As a component of that, NRTC training and technical assistance activities will share center research findings with a diverse audience, including Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) professionals, educators, employers, researchers, and individuals who are blind or visually impaired and their families. In order for research findings to transfer into practice and affect policy, it is important to offer them in a variety of formats to meet the needs of busy professionals. One primary format used to offer training and technical assistance (T & TA) opportunities for professionals in the field is through our TA website, the National Technical Assistance Center on Blindness and Visual Impairment (NTAC-BVI) (www.ntac.blind.msstate.edu), which provides research-based information as well as basic information about practice and policy issues. It features practical information created for employers, service providers, and consumers; plain language summaries of research results; opportunities for Continuing Education through free online courses; and links to numerous related sites and resources. In addition, the NRTC’s primary website features information about various research and training activities, products available for professional and consumer use, center publications, and links to NRTC staff.

T & TA activities associated with the RRTC will also include workshops with state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies; the development of multiple online continuing education courses; a State of the Science Conference in the fourth year of the grant; presentations at state, regional, and national conferences; and opportunities to speak directly to research and technical assistance staff through our web-based "Ask the Experts" button and our toll free number (800-675-7782). In addition, the NRTC is committed to training the next generation of researchers through the Anne Sullivan Macy Fellowship for doctoral candidates and newly graduated doctoral researchers.