Out of this world! NIU's new Project JEDI receives $2.5 million grant, will provide financial …

Out of this world! NIU’s new Project JEDI receives $2.5 million grant, will provide financial assistance to train 80 Visual Disabilities professionals with social justice focus

November 27, 2023

Stacy Kelly

DeKalb, IL – Blindness and visual disabilities do not discriminate.

Anyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or creed, can face a lifetime of limited vision or no sight at all. For some, it begins at birth. For others, it can come with age, disease or accident. No one is immune.

Members of that population have for 60 years been served well by professionals prepared in the NIU College of Education’s Visual Disabilities program.

Now, thanks to $2.5 million in federal grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education, that tradition will continue while also infusing students with a heightened understanding of, and best practices for, diversity.

Project JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) will equip 80 graduate students with master’s degrees that provide the necessary knowledge and skills while also emphasizing concepts of belonging.

Specialties are available in Teacher of the Visually Impaired and in Orientation and Mobility; the grant covers 40 students in each area for a total of 80 funded scholars over the five-year duration of the project.

NIU [...]

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