Biography

Dr. Rebecca Sheffield is a teacher, professor, researcher, advocate, and subject-matter expert in the field of blindness and visual impairment. She designs and teaches graduate courses to prepare future teachers of students with visual impairment and recently served as the teacher of students with visual impairments for the St. Thomas-St. John school district in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

From 2013-2018, Rebecca was the Senior Policy Researcher at the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB). She holds a Ph.D. in Special Education from Texas Tech University and was a fellow in the National Leadership Consortium in Sensory Disabilities. Rebecca represented the American Foundation for the Blind in leadership roles within the World Blind Union and the International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment and is the District 6 Representative on the Board of Directors for the Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired. Her research interests center on the national and international implications of listening to people with visual impairments of all ages in order to study the extent to which policies, programs, and services actually improve quality of life.

Professional Career

Education & Training

  • Ph.D. 2014

    Doctor of Philosophy, Special Education

    Texas Tech University College of Education

  • M.Ed. 2011

    Master of Education, Special Education

    Texas Tech University College of Education

  • B.A. 2003

    Bachelor of Arts, Psychology

    Rice University

Honors and Awards

  • 2019
    Exemplary Advocate Award
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    National recognition from the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division on Visual Impairment and Deafblindness (DVIDB)
  • 2011-2014
    National Leadership Consortium in Sensory Disabilities
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    Selected for fully-funded doctoral fellowship through the National Leadership Consortium in Sensory Disabilities, a project of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs
  • 2013
    Helen DeVitt Jones Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award