Texas Tech University

Pogrund honored for ‘groundbreaking’ work in visual impairment

Robert Stein

May 3, 2022

Rona Pogrund

Professor Rona Pogrund received the Corinne Kirchner Research Award from the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) for “groundbreaking” work improving educational services for children with visual impairments. She was recognized Tuesday (May 3) at the 2022 AFB Leadership Conference.

Pogrund, a professor in the Department of Special Education, led a team of researchers whose work culminated in the Visual Impairment Scale of Service Intensity of Texas (VISSIT), a new and widely used way for teachers of students with visual impairments (TSVIs) to determine the appropriate type and amount of service each student with a visual impairment should receive.

“VISSIT has been validated nationally and is now being implemented across the United States,” AFB said in its award announcement. “This kind of guidance allows for more confidence that TSVIs will have adequate amounts of time to provide quality services to students with visual impairments and that the service time recommendations are determined by a research-based tool."

The Corinne Kirchner Research Award honors those whose leadership and dedication illuminate the most pressing needs of people with vision loss through timely, innovative and authoritative research. Also on Pogrund's award-winning team were researchers Shannon Darst of Stephen F. Austin State University and Michael Munro of Region 6 Educational Service Center.