Welcome to AER Division 17

Financial Opportunities through Illinois AER

IAER Workshop Grant

Illinois AER invites professionals in the field of low vision and blindness to host a workshop with the purpose of providing continued education and/or training to individuals who are blind or visually impaired or to professionals that serve in the field.  IAER offers financial assistance to its members who embark in hosting a workshop that targets increased skills in Assistive Technology, Expanded Core Curriculum, Vocational Training, Self-Autonomy, and other skill areas that ultimately lead to increased accessibility and independence for individuals with low vision or blindness.  If awarded financial support for a workshop, all receipts must be submitted for reimbursement by June 1st of the same fiscal year (July 1 through June 30). Collaboration with other agencies is highly recommended.  All Illinois AER Members are eligible to apply.

Proposed execution date for workshop must be stated in the application.  Receipts must be submitted to Allyssa Harpst no later than June 1 of the same fiscal year of the project.  If receipts are submitted late, workshop grant recipients may be at jeopardy of not receiving reimbursement. IAER board and committee members will evaluate your proposals and funded applications will be notified by mail or email.

Download the Application Form


Allyssa Harpst

701 Hawk Drive

Mahomet, IL 61853




IAER Scholarship


The IAER awards yearly scholarships, up to $750, to student(s) holding junior or senior, graduate student, or post graduate status who is enrolled in class(es) leading to certification areas in the field of education/ rehabilitation of persons who are blind or visually impaired.  The applicant should reside and/or attend school in the state of Illinois.



Scholarship applications can be obtained through any of the IAER board members, at Northern Illinois University, at Illinois State University, and at Western Michigan University. You may also download it here: Scholarship Application


The deadline for scholarship applications is December 8, 2017.

Please have the application, essay and official transcripts sent to:


Dayna Grismanauskas, IAER Scholarship Chairman

Hines VA Blind Rehabilitation Center

5000 S. 5th Ave

Bldg 113

Hines, IL 60141

or email to:





IAER invites its members to apply for mini-grants to financially assist them in projects that serve the field of low vision and blindness. Grants may be awarded for, but are not limited to curriculum development, research, improvement of a particular area of service, and the implementation of unique activities or ideas. The deadline for application submission is May 1st. If awarded a mini-grant, all receipts must be submitted for reimbursement by June 1st of the same fiscal year. For more information see the Mini-Grant application. Questions about mini-grants


The IAER Stipend program is designed to provide financial support to a person attending a conference or workshop. Stipends are usually allotted as a partial reimbursement for expenses related to attendance. Each person receiving a stipend will be asked to write an informative article, which may be included in an upcoming IAER Newsletter, sharing what he or she has learned. Stipends are capped at $100 for national and state conferences and $200 for international conferences. For more information, see the Stipend Application.

Space Camp

Do you want to go to Space Camp? Illinois Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (IAER) is once again offering a scholarship for Space Camp 2017! The 2017 sessions for SCI-VIS (Space Camp for Interested Visually Impaired Students) will be held September 23rd to September 28th, 2017 (travel home September 29th) at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. SCI-VIS gathers academically oriented, visually impaired students, from around the world. Braille, large print, low vision devices, CCTV’s, refreshable braille displays, synthetic speech, and support from certified teachers of the visually impaired are a
vailable during this week to allow the best experience for children with visual impairments.

While at SCI-VIS, students live in a simulated space station called Habitat 1. They have the opportunity to practice their leadership and teamwork abilities as they prepare for two Space Shuttle missions. 

Space Camp is open to students from 4th grade (age 10) through high school.  There are four separate programs available, including Space Camp, Aviation Challenge (Mach I, II, & III), Space Academy, and Advanced Academy. Aviation Challenge, Space Academy and Space Camp cost $795, while the cost for Advanced Academy is $895.

More information is available at http://www.scivis.org/

The Illinois AER scholarship covers the cost to attend.  Parents would need to cover travel cost and spending money. 

For more information regarding this opportunity and to obtain the scholarship application, contact Elizabeth Budzik at 847-436-4553 or budzike@d62.org   


Space Camp 2017 Application - Word

Space Camp 2017 Application - PDF



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