Office of Vocational Rehabilitation for the Blind

Dorothy Young, Director

MDRS offers programs and services administered through the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation for the Blind (VRB) that specializes in working with blind and low vision impaired individuals to optimize their opportunities for inclusion into the workforce, community, and home.  OVRB has rehabilitation counselors who specialize in providing services to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Counselors provide/coordinate services leading to employment which include assessment, personal adjustment and vocational training, counseling, physical restoration, low vision aids, and job placement and follow-up. 

Services provided for blind or visually impaired individuals include but are not limited to:

  • Orientation and mobility
  • Meal planning and preparation
  • Computer instruction
  • Communications
  • Recreation and physical conditioning
  • Independent living services for persons who are blind
  • Deaf-blind services
  • Vocational rehabilitation counseling

Mississippi EMERGE Center

Located in Long Beach, Mississippi

Structured Discovery is a unique blindness skills training model that differs substantially from traditional approaches intended to help blind and low vision people to become self-sufficient. Structured Discovery training programs teach non-visual techniques and encourage problem solving through experiential  learning and confidence-building activities. From time to time, the staff wear learning shades (blindfolds) to demonstrate their personal belief in the effectiveness of non-visual techniques. Staff walk the talk and function confidently with or without sight.  

The Training Center uses Structured Discovery teaching strategies across all areas of training, including cane travel, Braille reading and writing, home management, and technology. The consistent use of Structured Discovery principles helps the participants confront and challenge the negative social attitudes about blindness that unnecessarily limit the lives of far too many blind people.  


Addie McBryde Rehabilitation Center for the Blind offers traditional instruction that helps a student manage with the sight they have, including use of magnifiers, ranging from hand-held devices to computer image magnification software and closed-circuit television systems for printed image enlargement.

The Business Enterprise Program (BEP) provides support for self-employment opportunities in the food service industry for Mississippians who are legally blind.

The Independent Living Services for the Blind Program provide services that enable blind or visually impaired individuals to meet their independent living goals. 

Mississippi Partners for Informed Choice (M-PIC)  This program provides Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) services funded by the Social Security Administration (SSA) under the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999.
The purpose of M-PIC/WIPA is to enable all SSA beneficiaries with disabilities to make informed choices about work.

For more information go to office locator or call 1-800-443-1000. To request services, click here.

VR/VRB Return on Investment Report