Low Vision Awareness Month – A Quick Look at Blindness/Low Vision Research from the NIDILRR Community

February is Low Vision Awareness Month and the National Eye Institute encourages everyone to learn more about low vision and vision rehabilitation services. We thought this would be a good moment to shine a light on the NIDILRR-funded projects focusing on blindness and low vision and to introduce the newest members of this group.

Four new projects made their debut in this year’s NIDILRR Program Directory:

  • Kinetic Braille Keyboard Adapter is a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) project creating a non-electronic keyboard that can mount on a tablet or smartphone to improve input of Braille writing.
  • Transition Adventure is another SBIR to develop and test an interactive fiction game for visually impaired students to improve pre-employment skills.
  • Cross-Sensory Digital Map Development Project is a three-year project to develop a cross-sensory digital web-based map component that can be inserted into any webpage and be accessed visually and in audio.
  • Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Employment of People Who are Blind or Have Low Vision is a familiar center but with all new activities dedicated to improving employment opportunities and outcomes for people who are blind or have low vision. The 2020-2025 center’s projects include exploring the use of assistive technology in the workplace over time, evaluating virtual interview training and teaching job search skills via videoconference, and examining barriers and facilitators of labor force participation, among others.

In addition to these new grants, five other projects are working in this area:

These are just a handful of the 300+ NIDILRR-funded projects conducting research and development to support the full participation of people with disabilities in learning, working, and living in their communities. Explore the current and completed projects to learn more!

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