Rehabilitation Professionals

NFB Rehabilitation Training Initiative

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) provides high-quality professional training to state rehabilitation agencies serving blind and visually impaired consumers. Under the dynamic leadership of former Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) Commissioner Joanne Wilson, courses concentrating on improving or enhancing residential rehabilitation training programs are offered. Similarly, a curriculum catering to Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors (VRCs) and other program administrators is available. Both training tracks focus on enabling vocational rehabilitation professionals to empower blind and visually impaired consumers through promoting a progressive, consumer-based model of rehabilitation, emphasizing high expectations and infinite possibilities for each program participant. For further information, please see documents describing these programs:

NFB Rehabilitation Training Flyer (Word doc)

NFB Detailed Rehabilitation Training Proposal (Word doc)

NFB Organizations for Rehabilitation Professionals

The National Association of Blind Rehabilitation Professionals (NABRP) is the nation-wide division of the NFB, which focuses on blindness rehabilitation policy, and the interests of blind people working within the rehabilitation community. This association provides an excellent forum for both blind and interested sighted rehabilitation professionals to share ideas and innovative approaches about providing high-caliber rehabilitation services to blind and visually impaired consumers. For further information about the NABRP, please visit: National Association of Blind Rehabilitation Professionals (contact information)

Orientation & Mobility Group

This informal group operating within the NFB provides a specialized forum for Orientation & Mobility professionals (cane travel teachers and the like) to network with one another. For further information, please visit: Orientation & Mobility Group (contact information)

NFB Training Centers

There are three NFB-affiliated training centers that provide comprehensive residential rehabilitation training services to blind an visually impaired consumers. Drawing on the model perfected and championed by Kenneth Jernigan at the Iowa Commission for the Blind during the middle years of the 20th-century, these three visionary facilities feature a curriculum of intense instruction in fundamental skills of blindness along with a thorough immersion in blindness philosophy and positive attitudes. It is this philosophy, these attitudes, and an understanding that involvement with the NFB will yield the greatest success and emotional adjustment for graduates that distinguishes these three centers from other conventional residential training facilities. Despite their common foundations, each of the three NFB-affiliated centers offer unique experiences and opportunities based on their geographical locations, developed specialties, and assembled faculties.

For further information, please visit:
Louisiana Center for the Blind
Blindness: Learning In New Dimensions (BLIND) Inc.
Colorado Center for the Blind

Allied Entities:

The National Blindness Professional Certification Board (NBPCB) was created to certify qualified specialists in work with the blind. At present, this Board offers one certification-the National Orientation and Mobility Certification (NOMC). It emphasizes nonvisual instruction, Structured Discovery learning and performance-based certification. Other certifications will be developed as needed.

Once the NOMC process was tried, tested, proven and in place, it was determined that an entire, new national body made up of blindness professionals possessing diverse backgrounds and experiences and with broad representation from around the country should be created to handle and oversee not only NOMC certifications but also many others which are urgently needed in the blindness field. Thus, the National Blindness Professional Certification Board, Inc. was created.

This new agency was incorporated under the laws of Maryland on June 15, 2001. For further information, please visit:

For further information, please visit: National Blindness Professional Certification Board (NBPCB)

The Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness (Institute on Blindness) is a department in the College of Education at Louisiana Tech University and is a joint venture between the university and the Louisiana Center for the Blind.

The Institute was established by the Louisiana Center for the Blind in 1999 and became a department at Louisiana Tech University in October, 2001. The purpose of the Institute is to provide leadership in creating programs and conducting research that recognizes the socially constructed assumptions underpinning the current structure of the blindness system and research being done on blindness. As a result, the Institute on Blindness provides alternative programs and research that expands the boundaries of the blindness field. Currently the Institute on Blindness offers two graduate programs

For further information, please visit: The Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness

Suggested Readings On Rehabilitation

Many leaders in the NFB who have distinguished themselves as professionals in the field of blindness rehabilitation have published extensively. These writings today have significantly influenced the field of blindness rehabilitation. They clearly articulate and set the standard for the Consumer-Based Model of Rehabilitation (CBMR), Structured Discovery theory, and much more. For further information, please visit: