Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA Orientation and Mobility blind training program receives $500,000 grant

November 19, 2009 - Office of Public Affairs

The Orientation and Mobility Training Program at Stephen F. Austin State University was re-awarded a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to continue its unique training for the blind and visually impaired through 2014.

The program trains students for careers that provide direct services to adults and children with visual disabilities, enabling them to move independently in familiar and unfamiliar environments with the use of a long cane. Students receive hands-on learning experiences with visually impaired individuals through clinical-type courses and internships in rehabilitation and educational settings.

The program has been awarded external funding from the Rehabilitation Services Administration for four decades.

According to program director and SFA human services Professor Bob Bryant, SFA is the only university in the United States currently offering orientation and mobility certification at the undergraduate level.

"The longevity of the program is only possible because of the excellent support of the SFA administration and the external funding the program has received," Bryant said. "The recent funding will be extremely valuable for providing stipends for students who are majoring in O and M for the next five years."

SFA's Orientation and Mobility program is part of the Department of Human Services within the James I. Perkins College of Education. For more information about the program, contact Bryant at (936) 468-1145 or bbryant@sfasu.edu.