Tech partnership helps ‘narrow gap’ for blind students

Jul 7, 2022 | Education and Human Sciences, Faculty/Staff, General News, Students

Louisiana Tech and The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) have partnered in a new innovative program that will train 13 Maryland teachers to better instruct, inspire, and support blind students.

The “Narrowing the Gap for Blind and Low-Vision Students in Maryland Teacher Preparation” program will allow the teachers full funding to attend Tech’s Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness that trains teachers of blind students.

“The Institute on Blindness is proud to be partnering with the NFB to provide graduate education to teachers in Maryland,” Dr. Eddie Bell, Director of Tech’s Institute, said. “The reputation of Louisiana Tech for excellence in preparing teachers of blind students is known nationwide, and this partnership is a testament to our commitment to increasing the qualifications of teachers across the country.”

“Our Institute under Dr. Bell’s direction continues to provide innovative and meaningful services to our community, state, and nation,” Dr. Don Schillinger, Dean of Tech’s College of education, said. “The College of Education is very proud of the research and instruction conducted by Dr. Bell and his outstanding team.”

Founded in 1996 with the help of an experimental/innovative grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Tech’s Institute prepares highly qualified professionals to educate and rehabilitate individuals who are blind or visually impaired, conducts research that broadens and deepens an understanding about blindness, and practices the best methods for increasing independence for individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

Through the partnership, the hope is that the program will both enhance the education of blind students and serve as a template for programs nationwide.

The program is funded in partnership with the Maryland Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.

Founded in 1940, the NFB defends the rights of blind people of all ages and provides information and support to families with blind children, older Americans who are losing vision, and more.