Reader’s Digest Grant for Internships
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Reader’s Digest Grant for Internships

OM Grant Pic1The University’s Orientation and Mobility (O&M) program received a grant from the Reader's Digest Partners for Sight Foundation to support their internship programs.

And, according to Jamie Maffit, MS, COMS, CLVT, RYT, director of the O&M program, there are a lot of “firsts” associated with the grant: it’s not only the first time the program has received this grant; but it’s the first time the program has had full-time O&M services at the William Feinbloom Vision Rehabilitation Center housed at The Eye Institute (TEI); and it’s the first time the program has supported full-time O&M interns at Salus.

OM Grant Pic2“This is a beautiful partnership that supports the acquisition of skills for O&M graduate students completing the required program for their degrees all while under the supervision of an experienced, certified professional providing much needed services to patients in the area that need O&M,” said Maffit.

​The one-year grant is for $84,680. The program kicked off earlier this summer and is currently supporting six interns. Betsy O’Donnell, MS ‘86, is the clinical educator supervising the interns through the duration of the project.

According to the University’s grant application, this program will improve the O&M instructor pipeline and significantly reduce a growing list of adults and older adults with visual impairments who are waiting for O&M skills training at the Feinbloom Center and referring regional organizations.

The proposed models’ interprofessional service delivery by providing graduate O&M interns supervision, training, and an environment where related professionals such as optometrists, social workers, and occupational therapists work collaboratively to provide comprehensive care. Interns will then be recruited from the University O&M program (Master’s and Certificate).

Maffit said the grant allows the O&M program to increase the number of intern placement options in the Philadelphia area, which had virtually disappeared because of COVID and have become even more difficult to secure. She added that the program hopes to get an extension of the grant for a second year.

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