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Mississippi State University, The National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision - AFB Directory Profile

General Information

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

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.

Hours of operation: Mon.-Fri. 8:00 AM-5:00 PM (Central Time)
Number of staff: 16
Staff description: Senior research staff have extensive backgrounds in blindness rehabilitation, research and statistics. Training staff have backgrounds in rehabilitation therapy of the blind, deaf-blind, low vision, computer access technology, web design and accessibility, and consumer advocacy. About 95% of research and training staff are certified rehabilitation counselors. One staff member is also a certified vision rehabilitation therapist.
Geographic area served: National
Publications: research monographs, informational brochures Worksite Newsletter


National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision
Industrial Education Building Room 150
108 Herbert South
Mississippi State, MS 39762


Karla Antonelli, Postdoctoral Associate, (662) 325-3151,
Doug Bedsaul, Research and Training Coordinator,
Jennifer Cmar, Assistant Research Professor, (662) 625-2778,
Adele Crudden, Research Professor, (662) 325-2173,
Kendra Farrow, Research Associate, (662) 325-8694,
BJ LeJeune, Training Supervisor, (662) 325-2694,
Michele McDonnall, Director, (662) 325-7831,
Angela Shelton, Coordinator, (662) 325-1494,
Anne Steverson, Research & Training Coordinator, (662) 325-2555,
Bill Tomlin, Project Manager, (662) 325-0461,

Services Offered

Services for Adults

  • 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.
  • 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

Services for Children

  • Education Services
    • The Transition Activity Calendar lists tasks which students who are blind or visually impaired need to complete as early as middle school in order to be ready to attend college. From taking the right high school courses, to learning to use the most appropriate assistive technology, to career exploration and finding the colleges best suited to the selected course of study, to what the student is looking for in campus life, the demands of good preparation start early and continue through 12th grade and the summer before the first Fall semester of college. It can be found at

Services for Professionals

  • 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.
  • 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 Applications are accepted from June 1st through October 1st, for the program that starts in early January.
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