Mississippi State University's Center on Blindness and Low Vision has been selected by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) as the federally-designated Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Employment Outcomes for Individuals Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired. This RRTC will focus on six research projects:
* Customized Transportation Intervention - will utilize a quasi-experimental design to develop and evaluate a new intervention addressing transportation barriers to employment for persons who are blind or severely visually impaired.
* Business Mentoring Intervention - will utilize a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a business mentoring program relative to employment outcomes of college seniors who are legally blind.
* VR Agency-Employer Practices - will utilize survey methodology and secondary data analyses to evaluate the effectiveness of existing practices used by VR agencies to interact with employers in their states.
* Randolph-Shepard (R-S) Program Evaluation - will utilize survey methodology to evaluate the current status, present needs, and future possibilities of the R-S Business Enterprise Program.
* Outcomes of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Beneficiaries - will involve analyses of RSA-911 data to contribute to new knowledge about employment outcomes of SSDI beneficiaries served by State Vocational Rehabilitation.
* Accessibility in the Workplace - Subcontractor American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) will test and evaluate accessibility to individuals who are blind or visually impaired for two common elements of contemporary workplace technology: multifunction document centers and Voice over Internet Protocol.
For more information about this new NIDRR grant, see the MSU press release at the website.
Riitta Lahtinen is currently doing her Phd. Research work in "Holistic & Interactive Communication Methods with Acquired Deafblind People and Families". She is involved in running International Workshops on Communication for deafblind people, couples, interpreters and professionals in Europe and Scandinavia, focusing on the needs of deafblind people, and training interpreters, planning University academic courses and publications.