Texas Tech University

The Virginia Murray Sowell Center for Research and Education in Sensory Disabilities

The Sowell Center promotes quality research to address the academic and social needs of school-age students with sensory disabilities and provides public service to assist local, national and international constituencies.

Student Information & Deadlines

Curriculum Change for O&M Students Working on a Master's Degree

In Summer 2020, the comprehensive examination will change from the UKAT/RASW project to a comprehensive research paper.

For current students who are working on a master's degree and have completed the UKAT/RASW project for internship, you will be given the option of using the project as your comprehensive examination or completing the comprehensive research paper. All new students starting Spring 2020 will be required to complete the comprehensive research paper.

More details about the comprehensive examination will be provided during spring semester 2020.

EDSP 5093 Course fee

Attention students in the teacher of students with visual impairments' program and orientation and mobility specialist's program:

Effective Fall semester 2012, all students who register for EDSP 5093, Internship in Special Education, who are not covered by a grant, will pay a course fee of $750.00 in addition to the tuition cost of the course. This money will cover costs incurred by the university internship supervisor's expenses, who will observe you teach.

Orientation & Mobility Division Donald Blasch Scholarship

Download the Scholarship Application Form

The Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Division of AER 2020 Donald Blasch Scholarship Application opens February 1, 2020.

AER's O&M Division sponsors an annual scholarship competition for students enrolled in AER accredited O&M programs. The scholarship recognizes the vital contributions of the late Donald Blasch to the profession of O&M during his long tenure at Western Michigan University.

Individuals selected for the scholarship receive an unrestricted award of $1,000.00. Two scholarships are awarded each year (depending on availability of funds).

The application deadline is March 16, 2020.

All O&M students enrolled in AER-accredited programs are encouraged to apply.

University Scholarships

Apply now for Texas Tech University scholarships at www.scholarships.ttu.edu. This application will get you considered for academic and need based scholarships, but your college or department is probably using this application too! Maximize your scholarship opportunities by completing the Current Student Scholarship Application.

Reach Across Texas Application Information

Learn more about the Reach Across Texas program.

Financial Aid for Students With Disabilities

OnlineSchools.org has compiled a list of financial aid options for students with disabilities. View the complete guide here.

News & Events

Rona Pogrund wins President's Excellence in Engaged Scholarship Award

Dr. Rona Pogrund

Rona Pogrund, a professor in the Special Education Program and coordinator of the program for teachers of students with visual impairments in the Virginia Murray Sowell Center for Research and Education in Sensory Disabilities, received the Texas Tech University President's Excellence in Engaged Scholarship Award.

Read the full story

New Partners in O&M Book (Edited by Rona L. Pogrund and Nora Griffin-Shirley)

Partners in O&M book

Partners in O&M: Supporting Orientation and Mobility for Students with Visual Impairments was published by AFB Press in summer of 2018. (Co-Editors: Rona L. Pogrund & Nora Griffin-Shirley). It will help people who work with individuals who are visually impaired learn the skills needed to move about, travel safely, and live independently in their home, school, and community. Orientation and mobility (O&M) specialists are the experts who teach these skills, but what about when they aren't around? Partners in O&M not only provides a solid foundation for future O&M specialists and teachers of students with visual impairments, but helps parents, special and general education teachers, physical and occupational therapists, paraeducators, and others. The book brings together O&M experts from across the country who contributed to this needed resource. It can be used as a textbook in personnel preparation in a Basic O&M course and can be used by all of the many partners who work with children who are blind or visually impaired. It is a long overdue resource needed in the field of visual impairment. It can be purchased from American Printing House for the Blind or on Amazon.

Pogrund, R.L., & Griffin-Shirley, N. (Eds.) (2018). Partners in O&M: Supporting Orientation and Mobility for Student with Visual Impairments. New York: AFB Press.

Contact Information

Virginia Murray Sowell Center for Research and Education in Sensory Disabilities
P.O. Box 41071
Lubbock, TX 79409
806-742-2326 FAX