William Penrod, Ed.D.
Associate Professor, Special Education


Special and Early Education (SEED)


  • Ed.D., University of Louisville Educational Foundations and Leadership
  • M.Ed., Peabody College at Vanderbilt University
  • M.Ed., University of Louisville
  • B.S., Murray State University


William Mefford Penrod, Ph.D. is a retired certified teacher of the blind and visually impaired (TVI) and a certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS) with over twenty-eight years teaching experience in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Prior to coming to NIU he directed both the TVI and orientation and mobility programs at the University of Louisville for over nine years. He is also a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve.

He is active in the Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) where he is on the Publications Committees, the University Review Committee, and the Executive Committee for University Review. He was the program chair for the 2011 AER Regional Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. He is also very active in the Academy for the Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP) where he sits on the Subject Matter Expert (SME) committee for the field of orientation and mobility.

Research Interests

  • Electronic travel aids and orientation aids for persons who are blind.
  • Best practices for teaching Orientation and Mobility to persons who are blind.
  • Spatial organization skills of persons who are blind.

Courses Taught

  • SESE 320/520 Disability in Film
  • SEVI 410/510 Anatomy, Pathology, and Functioning of the Eye
  • SEVI 430/530 Basic Orientation and Mobility for Teachers of Persons with Visual Impairments
  • SEVI 570 Advanced Orientation and Mobility
  • SEVI 585 Internship in Orientation and Mobility Instruction of Persons with Visual Impairments

Recent Publications

Penrod, W. et. al., (2020). The orientation and mobility specialist and braille: Point-counterpoint   arguments for and against the need for the knowledge of braille. Journal of Visual Impairments and Blindness, 114(2), 127-137.


William Penrod


Graham 232A