The National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision

The National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision at Mississippi State University received a 5-year grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR grant H133B100022) to conduct six research studies on increasing employment outcomes for people who are blind or visually impaired, one of which is solely dedicated to the Randolph-Sheppard Program.

This project will develop materials to include (a) a general BEP informational brochure for individuals who are not familiar with the Program such as government officials, property managers, and the general public; (b) a resource guide on best strategies for working with and accommodating entrepreneurs who are deaf-blind in the BEP and developing marketing tools to promote referrals of deaf-blind individuals to the Program (c) identify promising practices in the recruitment of young adults who are blind or visually impaired and also interested in business opportunities and create informational and marketing tools to stimulate recruitment activities; (c) develop a national online training curriculum for new and current SLA staff; and (d) collect entry-level standards for blind entrepreneurs across all BEP state programs and develop baseline standards for facility performance such as minimum gross revenue, net profits, operations costs, etc. for facilities depending upon type of facility, location, etc. These products will be designed to improve performance and expand employment opportunities in the R-S BEP.