What We Do
Information, Research and Professional Development (IRPD) is a department within the Helen Keller National Center (HKNC) that gathers and disseminates information relevant to improving the lives of people who are DeafBlind. Our team works to ensure that HKNC’s services are research-based and accessible. We also offer access to high quality professional learning for those seeking to advance their knowledge and skills.
We disseminate a wide range of information that is useful for people who are DeafBlind, their family members, service providers, educators, employers and the community at large. IRPD coordinates publications, newsletters, online resources and tours of our headquarters in Sands Point, NY. You can also contact us and we will do our best to connect you with the information that you need.
The IRPD Department offers a diverse array of in-person and online professional development opportunities. Our online Learning Center is the gateway to many of our courses and online resources.
IRPD conducts empirical research on topics related to deafblindness and also consults with organizations and institutions of higher education to improve the representation of people who are DeafBlind in research projects. Visit our research page (coming soon) for information about our current research.
IRPD also oversees the Older Adult Program. Older Adult Services at HKNC include in-person or virtual Confident Living Program (CLP) for older adults 55 and better to come together to learn skills to help them maintain their independence across core rehabilitation areas with combined hearing and vision loss.
Our older adult specialist and 11 HKNC regional representatives are available to provide information about resources and training opportunities that are available to them locally and nationally.
Confident Living Program
Participants in the Confident Living Program connect with our national Older Adult Specialist, Jenee Alleman, who provides resources, consultation, and trainings across the U.S. and U.S. territories: Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and Northern Mariana Islands.
Who We Are
The IRPD department is comprised of professionals and researchers with a mix of professional and personal experience in the field of deafblindness. This collective wealth of knowledge makes IRPD a great resource for professionals, researchers, and DeafBlind community members.