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 MDRS Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Center for the Blind and Employment Awareness Month

​​MDRS Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Center for the Blind and Employment Awareness Month

In 1970, the Addie McBryde Memorial Rehabilitation Center for the Blind was named in honor of Adeline Wiseman McBryde who believed in the abilities of persons who are blind. Mrs. McBryde traveled across the state teaching skills to blind Mississippians, which opened doors of opportunity for independence in earning their livelihood. By teaching alternative skills training, providing education and employment opportunities, she improved services for all persons who are blind, deafblind, or visually impaired in Mississippi. The Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services and our Office of Vocational Rehabilitation for the Blind are honored to carry on her legacy through our work at the Addie McBryde Center-located on the campus of the University of Mississippi Medical Center in downtown Jackson.

The Addie McBryde Rehabilitation Center, established in 1972, is a comprehensive personal adjustment center for adults who are blind, visually impaired or deaf-blind. Through a program of training offered to both residential and day clients, individuals participate in classes, learning skills which enable them to successfully live and work independently. The facility has a dormitory capacity for 28 clients, a gymnasium, a client library and classrooms equipped with specialized technology for the blind and visually impaired. Certified instructors individualize training to meet a client's needs.
Classes include but are not limited to: Orientation and Mobility, which is training in use of the long white mobility cane, residential and business travel, use of public transportation, sighted guide and protective techniques; Personal Management, includes meal planning and preparation, nutrition, shopping, storing and labeling, including organization and safety in the kitchen; Communication/Advanced Communication, specializes in training in Braille, adaptive equipment, handwriting, keyboarding, use of the personal computer utilizing both magnification and screen readers, and many more daily life skills such as laundry, housekeeping and physical conditioning. Additional services provided include GED Preparation, Vocational Evaluation, Low Vision Assessment, Diabetic and Medical Management, and Vocational Training in Emergency Dispatch. On a daily and weekly basis our fellow Mississippians who are blind, deafblind, and visually impaired travel to Jackson, MS, and receive blindness training in order to be able to live in their communities and work. Blindness training in Mississippi is only done because of the heart and work of Adeline Wiseman and that lives on with the dedicated staff of the Addie McBryde​ Center.  

The Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services is a state agency that provides resources to help Mississippians with disabilities find new careers, live more independently, overcome obstacles, and face new challenges. October is nationally known as Disability Employment Awareness Month an integral month to highlight the many programs we implement to help Mississippians with disabilities gain opportunities for independence in the workplace.

Our Office of Business Development seeks to support employers in sourcing, hiring, and retaining qualified candidates with disabilities. We train these job candidates to ensure they are a good fit for a potential employer. Our goals this month and every month are: to promote diversity in the workplace by recruiting and retaining individuals with disabilities, to help individuals with disabilities have the opportunity to obtain and succeed in jobs and careers, to sponsor employer-focused education and identify areas of need in supporting employees, to provide resources, information and access to qualified job candidates, promote best practices and ultimately bring and sustain talent in Mississippi's workplace.


"We are so thankful to employees with disabilities and employers in Mississippi who have entrusted us to assist them in employment needs whether it be placing an individual in a job, training that individual, training the business who is employing an individual with a disability or assisting in staffing needs for a business who employs individuals with disabilities. Our Office of Workforce Development that includes our Office of Business Development, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and Office of Vocational Rehabilitation for the Blind works together to give employers quality job candidates and individuals with disabilities opportunities for independence in the workplace, it is the core of what we do," Chris Howard, Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services.

POSTED: 10/20/2022