Staff

OIB-TAC Staff

The OIB-TAC staff aims to provide information and resources that guide programs toward best practice in promoting independence, community involvement, and well-being for older individuals who are blind or have low vision.

Kendra presenting

Our Staff

Kendra Farrow

Project Director

Kendra brings experience as a certified vision rehabilitation therapist, providing direct services, a national perspective on older blind program administration, and experience working with the OIB-TAC since its beginning in 2015. In her current position as Project Director for the OIB-TAC, Kendra provides technical assistance on various topics, including program evaluation, completing the 7-OB report, consumer assessment and service provision, community outreach, and financial and management practices. She oversees all grant activities of the OIB-TAC, like recruitment of programs for intensive technical assistance, course development, and content offerings on the website. Kendra also coordinates collaboration activities with organizations from the fields of aging and vision rehabilitation.

Contact Info

Education

  • B.A., Eastern Mennonite University
  • M.A., Western Michigan University

Jennifer Ottowitz

Older Blind Specialist

Jennifer brings over 29 years of experience providing direct service to adults who are blind or who have low vision. She is co-editor of the Foundations of Vision Rehabilitation Therapy textbook and has presented at state and national conferences on a variety of topics related to working with adults living with vision impairment.

Jennifer is excited to be a resource and support for direct service providers and program administrators through listening, learning, training, and promotion of best practices.

Contact Info

Education

  • M.S. Ed in Special Education for the Visually Impaired from Northern Illinois University
  • B.S Ed Special Education for the Multiply and Orthopedically Handicapped from Kent State University

Polly Abbott

Older Blind Specialist

Polly brings more than 20 years as a CVRT to her work at OIB-TAC. She has worked in direct service and in management, serving youth and adults with blindness and low vision. Her current duties make use of her subject matter expertise in the field of vision rehabilitation as she manages projects related to online courses and website content.

Polly enjoys knowing that she impacts individuals by supporting the direct service professionals and program administrators who provide quality services according to best practice.

Contact Info

Education

  • Instructor for Blind and Visually Impaired—Orientation and Mobility, Mohawk College, Brantford, Ontario Canada
  • Instructor for Blind and Visually Impaired—Rehabilitation Teacher, Mohawk College, Brantford, Ontario Canada
  • Bachelor of Education & Teacher of French as a Second Language (FSL), Nipissing University, North Bay, Ontario Canada
  • Bachelor of Arts & Honors equivalent, University of Guelph, Ontario Canada

Renee Brannon

Business Manager

Renee is responsible for all business operations, invoices, federal reporting, and operations. Renee has 15 years of experience combined working with federal and state funding agencies. She has been involved in all stages of securing and maintaining funding for projects, beginning with proposal preparation, administration of projects upon award, financial and program reporting, securing resources to perform the work, and closing upon completion.

Renee has been a part of the OIB-TAC team for seven years. She enjoys working with a group of people who share a strong work ethic toward providing quality services to others and meeting the goals of the project.

Contact Info

Phone

Education

  • B.A., Mississippi State University

Tina Clark

Business Coordinator

In her role, Tina assists the NRTC with fiscal administrative support for the OIB-TAC and RRTC on Employment of People who are Blind or Have Low Vision grants. Before joining the center, she worked at the Webster County School District for seven years, most recently as their business manager during the 2022-2023 school year. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Banking and Finance from Mississippi State University.

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Phone

Education

  • Bachelor's Degree, Banking and Finance, Mississippi State University

Brittany Greer

Communications Coordinator

Before joining the center, Brittany worked in communications and marketing for eight years, most recently as Project Support Coordinator for the Mississippi Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities and the Mississippi Parent Training and Information Center. She is passionate about improving the lives of individuals with disabilities and looks forward to contributing to the success of the NRTC. Currently, she manages all external communications for the center, including disseminating research results and interacting with stakeholders.

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Phone

Education

  • Bachelors of Arts, Journalism, Delta State University

Karie Pinnix

Communications Specialist

Karie will utilize her experience in communications to manage social media, strategically disseminate research results to stakeholders, and update the center’s newsletters. She previously served as a Communications Assistant for a Connecticut-based public relations and communications agency. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communication with an emphasis in public relations and print and digital journalism from Mississippi State University.

Contact Info

Phone

Education

  • Bachelors of Arts, Communication, Mississippi State University