David L. Jeppson, M.Ed., BSW, COMS

About David


David Jeppson

David Jeppson is a nationally-known consultant and expert on the impact of blindness on a person's life and on issues of blind rehabilitation. He is experienced in providing expert consultation and testimony on these matters and in evaluating the validity and efficacy of life care plans. His expertise also extends to tailoring plans to the unique lifelong needs of persons with severe vision loss.

He received his BA in Social Welfare and M.Ed. in Special Education, both from California State University, Los Angeles. He is a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS) and a graduate of the Academy for Executive Leadership, National Executive Leadership Institute at the University of Oklahoma as well as from the Rehabilitation Management Institute at the University of Arkansas where he received a Certificate in Management.

David's professional work began with providing orientation and mobility instruction for children and adults. He worked as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, determining eligibility for services and mapping out plans for vocational rehabilitation of visually impaired clients. For more than 20 years he has directed state regional offices that provide a wide range of services to consumers of all ages who are blind. In this capacity he also represented the agency in disputes and fair hearings.

He is a much sought-after consultant by architectural and design advisory committees seeking expertise on accessibility in public buildings. He has advised on projects ranging from hotels, the DFW International Airport, transportation systems and sports areas such as the American Airlines Center, home for the Dallas Mavericks and the Dallas Stars, and the new Dallas Cowboys stadium.

He is active in the rehabilitation community, having served in leadership positions of professional organizations on blindness, rehabilitation advisory committees and workforce and other Boards of Directors. He also actively promotes collaboration with other professional organizations in increasing outreach and in partnering with employers resulting in successful job matches and employment outcomes.

Professional Experience


Executive Director—Computers for the Blind, Richardson, TX

Direct administration, financial, risk and facilities management, donor development, program, product and service delivery, oversees design, marketing, promotion, delivery and quality of programs, products and services. (October 2013-present)

National Consultant—Self employment dba Experts on Blindness

Provide expert opinions and consultations regarding a person's employment, lifestyle, and blind rehabilitation. Experienced in providing consultative services and case reviews for attorneys representing plaintiffs and defendants. Also experienced in evaluating the validity of life care plans as well as tailoring plans to the unique lifelong needs of persons with severe vision loss. (2000-present)

Field Director—Division for Blind Services (formerly TCB), Dallas-Ft. Worth Area, TX

Direct regional activities that lead to the achievement of the agency's mission and goals. Supervise Blind Children's, Transition, Vocational Rehabilitation, and Independent Living Programs. Handle fair hearings and appeals. Teach Orientation and Mobility to consumers, family members, staff and others during group skills trainings. (July 1988-September 2013)

Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor—Texas Commission for the Blind (TCB), Beaumont, TX

Determine eligibility, plan adjustment and/or vocational training, provide employment assistance, work towards vocational rehabilitation of blind and visually impaired consumers. (December 1985-July 1988)

Orientation and Mobility Consultant—Region V Education Service Center, Beaumont, TX

Provide Orientation and Mobility instruction to blind and visually impaired children. (September 1984-November 1985)

Self-employed contract Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS) for the Texas Commission for the Blind

Provide Orientation and Mobility instruction to blind and visually impaired adults. (January 1985-November 1985)

Supervisor of Professional Services, Orientation and Mobility Specialist, Yuma Center for the Visually Impaired, Yuma, AZ

Itinerant and center-based supervision of Rehabilitation Training and Orientation and Mobility Instruction to visually impaired adults. (August 1982-September 1984)

Education, Certifications & Memberships


Education

Graduate - Academy for Executive Leadership, National Executive Leadership Institute

University of Oklahoma (1998-1999)

Certificate in Management

University of Arkansas (1994-1995)

Master's Degree in Education, Department of Special Education, Orientation and Mobility/Blind Rehabilitation Program

California State University, Los Angeles (1981-1982)

Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare

California State University, Los Angeles (1980-1981)

Service & Awards


Access Award

American Federation for the Blind, 2017, awarded to David Jeppson as Executive Director of Computers for the Blind for making affordable computers accessible to thousands of persons with visual impairments who otherwise would not be able to obtain computer access due to affordability.

Outstanding Service Tribute

Colleyville Texas Lions Club, September 2013, for over 27 years of commitment and service to the blind and visually impaired of Texas.

It Takes A Village Award

Presented, for outstanding community collaboration, at the July 2011 statewide Independent Living Conference, Austin, TX in recognition for the August 28, 2010 daylong seminar: "Living Well and Independently with Vision Loss – Information, Resources, Technology, and Networking." University of North Texas Health Science Center, North Texas Eye Research Institute. (See Presentations)

Board of Directors

Worksource for Dallas County, 2004-2007

Foundations for the Future Awards

Texas Commission for the Blind, 2000

President

Texas Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, 1995-1996

Accessibility Advisory Committees

  • Dallas Cowboys Stadium
  • DFW Airport International Terminal and Sky Link
  • American Airlines Center
  • Reunion Arena

Chairman

Consortium of Agencies Serving the Visually Impaired, Dallas

Advisory Committees

  • Rehabilitation Sciences Advisory Committee - University of North Texas
  • UT Southwestern Medical Center - Rehabilitation Center
  • Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind
  • Easter Seals Greater Northwest Texas

Merit Badge Counselor

Disability Awareness and Emergency Preparedness, Boy Scouts of America.

Aubrey Boyd Tipps Memorial Award - 1998

For consistently providing outstanding services in the field of placement of persons who are blind or visually impaired, either in competitive employment or sheltered workshops. Presented to the Dallas Region by the Texas Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired. (TAER).

Commendation

President's Committee on Employment of Persons with Disabilities, 1991

Publications


  • Featured in Aging and Vision Loss, A Guide for Families, by Alberta L. Orr and Priscilla Rogers (2006), American Foundation for the Blind (AFB Press), pages viii, 87,115.
  • Featured on VisionAware website, "An Introduction to Orientation and Mobility Skills."
  • Rogers, P., et. al., (2002). "Successful Placement of the Older Consumer with Visual Impairment—A Training Curriculum," National Agenda on Vision and Aging. Curriculum development committee member. The training curriculum was used to develop an online course at Mississippi State University.
  • Jeppson, D.L. (1990) "Summer work experience program." Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, 84, 149. The article describes the beginning of the Summer Work Experience Program, which the Texas Commission for the Blind, the Dallas Independent School District, and the Dallas County Human Services jointly developed in Dallas in 1989.
  • Jeppson, D.L. (1992) "Summer employment for youth." RE:view, 24, 29-32. This article outlines the progress of Summer Work Experience Program (SWEP), which the Texas Commission for the Blind (TCB), the Dallas Independent School district (DISD), and Dallas County Human Services jointly developed in Dallas in 1989. Clicking the link above will download the article in PDF format to your computer.

Presentations


  • "Vocational Strategies for Persons who are Blind and Visually Impaired." Webinar for the University of North Texas, July 23, 2015.
  • "Do you have students that need an affordable computer with assistive technology to use at home?" Texas Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (TAER) annual conference, March 27, 2015, Arlington, TX. Co-presenter, Bobby Lakey. 99% of sighted high school students use the internet compared to less than 50% of students who are severely visually impaired. This presentation targeted Teachers of Visually Impaired (TVIs) to help them recognize the importance of computer access at an early age, to help shorten this gap.
  • "Blindness—It's More Than Meets the Eye." Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, International Conference, August 2, 2014, San Antonio, TX. Co-presenter, Jennifer Harnish, PhD., Assistant Director of Rehabilitation Services at the Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, MA. The purpose of the training session was to educate attendees about Father Thomas Carroll's The Twenty Losses of Blindness so they could have a greater understanding and empathy for those they serve, leading to successful outcomes in adjustment, education, employment, and independent living.
  • "Blindness—It's More Than Meets the Eye." Texas Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, Annual Conference, March 28, 2014, Austin, TX. Co-presenter, Billy Brookshire.
  • Award Winning Seminar. Recognized for outstanding community collaboration with the "It Takes A Village Award" presented at the July 2011 statewide Independent Living Conference, Austin, TX.
  • "Living Well & Independently with Vision Loss—Information, Resources, Technology, and Networking." University of North Texas Health Science Center, North Texas Eye Research Institute, August 28, 2010, Fort Worth, TX. Planned one-day seminar utilizing national experts on blindness, and 20 community partners. Welcomed attendees, introduced keynote speaker, moderated plenary session, and presented breakout session "DBS, Who We Are and What We Do" which qualified for Continuing Education Credits through the Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology and the Texas Optometry Board.
  • "Blindness 101: Independent Travel." DARS Metroplex Region Annual Conference, March 31-April 1, 2010, Arlington, TX. Breakout session designed for vocational rehabilitation professionals who primarily serve persons with disabilities other than blindness. This session was an introduction about blindness and the ways that people who are visually impaired travel independently.
  • "Transitioning from the School System to Vocational Rehabilitation." Video Conferencing Presentation to 20 Education Service Centers in Texas, November 18, 2009, originating from Region XI Education Service Center in Fort Worth, TX. This statewide video webcast provided information to blindness education professionals from throughout the state about vocational rehabilitation and the opportunities and challenges facing students with visually impairments. The value of collaboration in developing group skills experiences was emphasized as was the development of strong blindness, social, and technological skills.
  • "Providing Qualified Applicants to Businesses, a Win/Win Solution", Easter Seals Employment Symposium, October 29, 2009, Euless, TX. Presentation to employers and vocational rehabilitation professionals about the value of developing long term relationships designed to meet the employment needs of the businesses. This dual customer approach (employer and consumer) results in satisfied employers hiring pre-screened qualified applicants ,thus creating a win/win solution for all.
  • "Life After High School." Texas Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, Annual Conference, March 27, 2009, San Antonio, TX. Breakout session designed to educate Teachers of the Visually Impaired and Orientation and Mobility Specialists about the educational and vocational opportunities available to students as they exit high school. The eligibility criteria for vocational rehabilitation was outlined as well as the process used to identify and provide the services needed by persons to develop the independent living and vocational skills which will enable them reach their vocational goals.
  • "Work Incentives for Persons with Disabilities." Texas Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, Annual Conference, March 26, 2009, San Antonio, TX. Breakout session designed to educate professionals in the field of blindness about the wide variety of of work incentives available through the Social Security Administration to recipients of Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
  • "C4: Competence x Confidence x Collaboration = Careers! Using the C4 Philosophy to Launch Careers, Either Your Students or Your Own." Texas Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, Annual Conference, March 30, 2012, Houston, TX.
  • "The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts: Integrating Family Systems Models in the Provision of Educational and Counseling Services for Students Who are Blind and Visually Impaired." Texas Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, Annual Conference, March 23, 2013, Dallas, TX. Co-presenter, Janice Moran.