Personnel Preparation Division (Division 17)

Welcome to the AER Personnel Preparation Division.

Here you will learn more about our Purpose, How to Get Involved, Leadership, Awards, and Resources.


The purpose of our division is to assist in the promotion, development, and improvement of all phases of personnel preparation in education and rehabilitation of blind and visually impaired persons. Division members include University faculty, adjunct professors, graduate students, and other professionals concerned with the preparation of qualified personnel.

We have several active committees that address various issues related to personnel preparation, including:

  • Nominations Committee
  • Awards Committee
  • Program Committee
  • University Review Committee
  • Membership Committee
  • Legislative Committee


Chair: Nicholas Casias
Chair-Elect: Dawn Anderson
Secretary/Treasurer: Eden Hagelman
Immediate Past Chair: Tessa McCarthy


Nominations Committee
Committee Chair: Wendy Sapp
This committee solicits nominations and runs elections for the officers of Chairperson-Elect and Secretary for each biennial election.

Awards Committee

Committee Chair: Wendy Sapp
The Personnel Prep Division offers one regular award: the Josephine L. Taylor Award. The awards committee solicits nominations, selects a deserving recipient from the nominees for the award, and arranges for the presentation of the award.

Program Committee

Committee Chair: Amy McKenzie
During each International AER biennial conference, the Personnel Prep Division is allotted a certain number of presentation slots for presentations that relate to personnel preparation. The program committee reviews submitted presentations and selects suitable programs for the Division biennial meetings

University Review Committee

Currently, the Personnel Prep Division reviews University programs to train teachers of students with visual impairments and is reviewing and updating the standards and process. This committee evaluates requests for certification of university programs in teacher education and to oversee other issues related to university certification

Membership Committee

Committee Chair: Patty Myers
The purpose of the committee is to send initial welcome and contact information to new members, remind current members of any lapse because of unpaid dues, and send all members updated information at least every 6 months.

Legislative Committee

Committee Chair: Lisa Moses
The committee studies the legislative needs and proposals related to personnel preparation and keeps the Division informed on legislative issues.



Josephine L. Taylor Award
This award is presented to to an individual who has significantly contributed to the preparation of personnel in the fields of rehabilitation , orientation and mobility, and teaching students with visual impairments through: innovative practices that have led to increased or improved services, pre-service training of parents, professionals, or paraprofessional, and in-service training of parents, professionals, or paraprofessionals.



Personnel Prep Division Listserv
Join our Listserv — a forum for university personnel, including adjunct faculty, and others to communicate, ask questions, and share ideas about personnel preparation. You must be a member of the Personnel Prep Division to participate in the listserv. Click here to join.

Personnel Prep Division Discussion Recording
Listen to the discussion recording from the October 29, 2021 “Personnel Prep Division Discussion: Functional Vision Assessment Validity,” moderated by Penny Rosenblum, PhD.

Personnel Prep Division Discussion Recording
Listen to the discussion recording from the March 7, 2022 “Forum on Increasing and Diversifying the Professional Pipeline.” View the chat discussion from the March 7 forum.