VisionAware's Featured Resource: OIB-TAC at the National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision at Mississippi State University

Date Posted: 08/01/2017

August’s featured resource is the Older Individuals who are Blind Technical Assistance Center (OIB-TAC) at Mississippi State University's National Research and Training Center on Blindness & Low Vision.

OIB-TAC logo Older Individuals who are blind technical assistance center

Rehabilitation Services Administration Funds Center

As many states work to improve services to older persons who are blind and sometimes struggle to make the best use of increasingly limited resources available for their OIB programs, the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) funded a center to provide training and technical assistance (T&TA) to assist designated state agencies (DSA) and others serving OIB populations. The National Research & Training Center (NRTC) was awarded this grant (# H177Z150003) in October 2015. Major collaborative organizations include the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults (HKNC), Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and VisionServe Alliance.

The Center, known simply as OIB-TAC: Older Individuals who are Blind Technical Assistance Center, utilizes intensive technical assistance, electronic training, interagency collaborations, a newly formed Community of Practice (CoP), and a communication and dissemination network to support improvements of state OIB programs by addressing four key topics:

  • community outreach;
  • best practices in provision and delivery of services;
  • program performance, including data reporting and analysis; and
  • financial and management practices, including administrative compliance.

Community of Practice Launched

The OIB-TAC Community of Practice launched on April 24th and already has registered users from over 30 states. This interactive community will facilitate training, technical assistance, interagency collaboration, and electronic discussion among OIB service providers, including subcontracting certified rehabilitation practitioners (CRPs) and related agencies. All CoP activities will promote communication, quality service delivery, program administration, linking resources, and professional support.

The interactive learning community provides subject matter expertise, a toolbox of useful assessments and curricula as well as up-to-date information on best practices and models of service delivery, and opportunities to mentor or be mentored by leaders in the field. The forum provides access to valuable resources and peer advice as well as the opportunity to share personal successes.

Visit www.OIB-TAC.org for more information and to gain access to the forum.

Twenty-First Century Agenda on Aging and Vision Loss

The OIB-TAC is part of the 21st Century Agenda on Aging and Vision Loss, which was established to raise awareness, facilitate increased and improved services, and protect and promote the rights of seniors with vision loss to lives of enjoyment, inclusion, and independence. The OIB-TAC is particularly involved in goal two of the agenda, ensuring availability and quality of professional services. Find out more about the Agenda and how you can become involved.

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