We have three experts joining us today. They are Dr. Adele Crudden, Kendra Farrow, and B. J LeJeune. Here is a snapshot of their experience.
Adele Crudden, PhD. is a professor in the social work program and has been on the research staff at the NRTC since 1994. She has her PhD and MS in Counseling from MSU and her MSW from LSU. The former director of the Addie McBryde Rehabilitation Center for the Blind in Jackson, MS, she has worked for both private and state rehabilitation agencies. Currently, she is the Director of the OIB-TAC and she teaches courses in social work research methods, is investigating issues associated with job retention and career advancement among persons with vision loss, and is supporting the OIB project in program evaluation activities. Adele is a state licensed social worker and counselor and a CRC.
Kendra Farrow is a certified vision rehabilitation therapist. After completing her degree at Western Michigan, she worked for 14 years in direct service. In 2014 she joined the team at the National Research and training center (NRTC) on blindness and low vision at Mississippi State University. In this role, Kendra designs and conducts training activities, develops plain language summaries for the web site, is an integral member of the older blind technical assistance and training team, and leads several older blind program evaluation projects. Kendra’s personal experiences in working with a multi-disciplinary model have convinced her of the importance of providing quantifiable evidence for the results of services provided to individuals who are blind or vision impaired. She strives to promote best practice, contribute to the literature, and validate tools that will benefit direct service staff and their consumers.
BJ LeJeune is the Retired Project Director for the OIB-TAC at the NRTC. She supervised and provided national training activities for the NRTC. She draws from her direct service experience as well as her research experience with Program Evaluation of individual state OIB Programs and her leadership experience as Project Director for a NIDILRR funded project, Persons Aging with Hearing and Vision Loss, to provide leadership for the OIB-TAC. She has a variety of expertise with all ages groups and special populations such as those with dual sensory impairments. She is a Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, and worked for a number of years as a Certified Interpreter of the Deaf.