University Consortium Member
Northern Illinois University
Gaylen Kapperman received the doctorate in special education from the University of Northern Colorado in 1974. He was awarded the master’s degree in special education for visually disabled children in 1968 from that same institution. Kapperman taught blind youngsters mathematics at the Kansas School for the Visually Handicapped from 1969 through 1972. Previous to his employment as a teacher, he studied at the University of Heidelberg (Heidelberg, Germany) as a Fulbright Fellow for one academic year (1968/69). He was the first visually disabled person to receive a Fulbright Fellowship.
Since 1974, Kapperman has been a professor in the College of Education at Northern Illinois University. Currently he holds the rank of professor and is the coordinator of the program for training teachers, rehabilitation specialists, and orientation and mobility instructors for work with persons who are blind or visually impaired. Kapperman’s major professional interests are the conduct of research and development efforts which center on mathematics instruction and assistive technology used by individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Given that he is severely visually disabled, Kapperman is a proficient user of a vast array of assistive technology hardware and software. Among his many duties, he developed and continues to be the major instructor in the university’s effort to provide cutting edge training in assistive technology for persons who are blind. He has written extensively on issues in his areas of interest.
Kapperman has taught a graduate level course on the Nemeth Code and instruction in mathematics for individuals who are blind for the past 36 years. For the past 24 years, he has taught a graduate course on assistive technology twice per year. He has authored 58 publications which include refereed journal articles, book chapters and two books. He has made a total of 108 conference presentations on various topics dealing with rehabilitation and education of persons who are blind or visually impaired.
For the past 34 years, Dr. Kapperman has been the project director for numerous government‑sponsored grants and contracts. To date, the total amount of federal funds for which he has had responsibility is approximately $13,000,000. The most recent grant award which he received is congressionally directed funding in the amount of $600,000 to develop and carry out a program for training specialists to provide vision rehabilitation services for veterans who are severely visually disabled.