Blindness and Visual Impairment


Michigan State University provides services and accommodations to persons with visual disabilities for both academic and workplace settings. The Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities fosters independence by helping students and employees harness appropriate strategies and resources for success. We look forward to maximizing your experience at MSU!

The RCPD is a state and national leader in providing opportunity, autonomy and self-sufficiency for individuals with visual disabilities, ranging from partial sight to total blindness. 

Getting Started with RCPD (MyProfile)

Log on to the MyProfile page with your MSU NetID and password to register with the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities. MyProfile provides online forms and initiates communication with a Disability Specialist.


Documentation of a disability must appear on official letterhead from a licensed medical or diagnostic professional and include a diagnosis, scope or degree of involvement (including visual acuity in both eyes, field loss in both eyes, any movement disorder of the eyes), and summary of related functional limitations. RCPD provides a downloadable Visual Impairment form that may be used by medical providers to document conditions. 

After documentation of a disability has been provided and a needs assessment is completed, reasonable accommodations are determined. RCPD will provide a verification letter that includes: (a) verification of disability and status as a student or employee registered with the RCPD (b) an outline of reasonable accommodations.

Students will receive a Verified Individualized Services and Accommodations letter, otherwise known as a VISA.

Employees will receive a Statement of Employee Accommodation Determination letter, otherwise known as a SEAD.


RCPD adheres to strict standards of confidentiality in the management of student and employee information. Since RCPD is the only holder of disability documentation, all disability-related documentation should be directed to RCPD (not other campus departments).


RCPD recognizes that accommodations may be required in order to assist students and employees in maximizing their educational and workplace experience at MSU. While the university is required to provide reasonable accommodations, it is not required to change essential academic requirements or job functions.

Before Requesting Accommodations, students and employees must Identify and Register as a person with a disability and provide appropriate documentation of their disability to RCPD. Employees should refer to the MSU Disability and Reasonable Accommodation Policy, for the procedure on requesting worksite accommodations.

Students and employees with blindness/visual impairment may be eligible to receive the following accommodations facilitated by RCPD:

RCPD Specialists are committed to an active partnership with students and employees who make reasonable accommodation requests through our office. In the case you experience a disagreement regarding disability determination or appropriateness of accommodations, you may consider taking the steps outlined in our dispute resolution process.


Building Community

MSU provides many venues for collaboration and community building on disability issues. Please consider becoming involved in the following organizations:

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have further questions that have not been answered on this page, please refer to the Blindness/Visual Impairment FAQ Page.

Blindness and Visual Impairment in the News:

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Mobility Enhanced: The Road to the Guide App

“The challenge is designing an app so that anyone who uses it thinks that it was designed for them” so the app accommodates a wide array of abilities.

State News Features RCPD Student with Visual Impairment

Matthew Miller is an RCPD student with a visual impairment with a love for the game of ice hockey. Despite his disability, Matthew is able to enjoy watching the game due to the lighting and sounds that allow him to follow the plays.

Independence in STEM Technology for All

The purpose of the RCPD is firmly centered on maximizing the opportunities at Michigan State for students of all abilities. In this spirit, we are working ardently to produce results with the help of a new grant. “The 2017-18 Creative Excellence Grant” supports our “Enhancing the Accessibility of Mathematics and Symbolic Content” initiative.