Participating Universities

Peabody College, Vanderbilt University
Program in Visual Disabilities

Current Research

Alphabetic Braille, Contracted Braille Study (ABC Braille Study). This is a 5-year longitudinal study of young Braille readers. The research questions focus on the initial code taught to children. Researchers are trying to learn whether initial instruction in contracted Braille or initial instruction in contracted Braille will result in better acquisition of literacy skills and better literacy experiences for children who are blind. This project involves 7 universities in the U.S. and Canada as well as the California School for the Blind, major organizations and local school districts. Major funding for this study comes from the American Printing House for the Blind. Dr. Anne Corn is the Principle Investigator for this project.

Seeing in the Periphery of Youth (The SPY Project). This project explores whether there are differences in how children with low vision and children with normal vision use their peripheral vision. Further, it looks at whether there are differences in the use of peripheral vision of children with intact peripheral retinas and those with compromised peripheral retina. All subjects have visual acuities between 20/100 and 20/400 and visual fields of at least 140 degrees. Dr. Joseph Lappin (Psychology) and Dr. Anne Corn are working on this project.

Providing Access to the Visual Environment (Project PAVE). This is the eleventh year of Project PAVE. This is a multidisciplinary project, funded by the Tennessee Department of Education. Project PAVE is located at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute at Vanderbilt Medical Center. Services to children in Tennessee public schools include clinical low vision evaluations, provision of prescribed optical devices, and instruction by TVIs in the use of optical devices at the children’s schools. There is a research component to this project. Literacy skills, access to the visual environment, and other research topics are undertaken. Dr. Jeffrey Sonsino (Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences) and Dr. Anne Corn work on this project.

Additional research is conducted on a project-by-project basis. Doctoral students are welcome to participate in faculty research as well as conduct their own original studies.

Dissertations (1994-2005)
2005 Peg Cummins   Strategic use of spatial representations to maintain orientation by individuals who are congenitally totally blind and blindfolded sighted people. (Dr. John Rieser, Chair)
2004 Karen Blankenship  Looking for success:  Transition planning for students with visual impairments in Iowa. (Dr. Anne Corn, Chair)
2003 Wendy Sapp  Cognitive mapping of large scale simple environments in 10-17 year old children who are blind. (Dr. Anne Corn, Chair)
2001 Young-il Kim  The Effects of assertiveness training on enhancing the social skills of adolescents with visual impairments (Dr. Anne Corn, Chair)
1999 Robert Wal  A biomechanical analysis of long cane technique use. (Drs. Anne Corn and Dan Ashmead, Co-Chairs)
1998 Moniqueka Gold  The effects of the physical features associated with albinism on the self-esteem of African-American youth with albinism (Dr. Anne Corn, Chair)
1994 Linda DePriest  Families who are satisfied and families who are dissatisfied with their children's placement at special schools for childrn with visual disabilities. (Dr. Anne Corn, Chair)

Christopher Craig 

Family support of emergentliteracy practices for children with visual impairments (Dr. Randall Harley, Chair)