Thinking Outside the Box

SVRI Innovation Inspiration Expo Presentation
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This presentation will discuss the lessons learned over almost two years of providing remote blindness skills training at the McDowell Center for the Blind, in Louisville, Kentucky.  Pivoting quickly to remote training at the start of the pandemic in 2020 made it essential for McDowell Center instructors to collaborate, brainstorm, reach out to colleagues across the country, and attend professional trainings to rapidly develop training materials and virtual training techniques for both a summer transition program, as well as the adult training program. Now in a second year of the pandemic, the Center has continued to adapt, develop best practices, and introduce new policy to the combined agency that ensures consumers can continue to participate in remote training.  

Meet the Presenter: 

Mary Harrod is a graduate of the Kentucky School for the Blind, Class of 2000.  Mary attended the University of Louisville where sheMary Harrod Photo graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology in 2005 and then pursued a Master’s of Arts in Psychology at U of L graduating in 2008.  During her studies, she worked as a houseparent at KSB.  After finishing her degrees, she started her career with the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation-Division of Blind Services as the Consumer Services Coordinator for the Charles W. McDowell Center.  Mary then pursued further education at the University of Kentucky where she earned her Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling.  She currently works at the McDowell Center as an Administrative Section Supervisor for the Vocational Preparation Unit.  Her hobbies include running, hiking, and enjoying the outdoors with her children.