Family Support Division
Rehabilitation Services for the Blind
Independent Living Rehabilitation
Rehabilitation Services for the Blind (RSB) provides services to people with varying degrees of visual impairment, ranging from those who cannot read regular print to those who are totally blind.
Through the Independent Living Rehabilitation Program, rehabilitation teachers provide instruction in techniques used by blind and visually impaired people. These techniques enable them to continue doing most of the things around their homes and community that they have done in the past.Services might include:
- Adaptive techniques in cooking, sewing, and housecleaning
- Braille for communication, reading and entertainment
- Instruction in the use of the white cane for safe travel
- Counseling for adjustment to visual loss
- Rehabilitation and educational advocacy services to pre-school and school-age children
These teaching services are provided at no cost to children and adults who are blind or visually impaired.
Many of the people with whom we work experience one of the following vision disorders:
- Macular degeneration: more prevalent in older people: causes loss of central vision, making it difficult to read or recognize faces.
- Cataracts: clouding of the lens, may vary in size and density and may cause substantial loss of vision, including problems with glare, blurred images, etc.
- Glaucoma: Often associated with increased pressure in the eye; can cause a loss of side vision.
- Diabetic eye diseases: may involve leaking of blood vessels in the eye; it is vitally important for diabetics to see their eye doctor on a regular basis to prevent vision loss.
Adaptive sewing aids, marking laundry dials, techniques for identifying coins and currency, teaching basic home maintenance, identifying and administering medications, applying make-up, and coordinating one's clothes are examples of the services provided in the area of personal/home management.
Dialing a phone, telling time, writing checks and maintaining a check ledger...learning new ways to perform these tasks can make life much easier. Magnification devices may assist in reading printed material. Braille may be used for keeping personal records, phone numbers, labeling, reading, etc.
Counseling and Guidance
The rehabilitation teacher is available to assist in learning more about visual disabilities, understanding feelings and fears about visual impairment and learning ways to cope. This counseling and guidance may also help in developing ways to understand the public attitude toward blindness as well as personal perceptions of one's own blindness. These skills contribute to building self-confidence and self-worth.
Marking the stove and other appliances, labeling canned goods, developing methods to read recipes and pre-packaged food instructions, demonstrating cooking aids...safe meal preparation will be much easier once these skills are learned.
Playing cards, Bingo and board games are some of the leisure time activities available in Braille or large print.
Instruction can be provided in the use of a long white cane to locate landmarks, detect curbs and steps, and cross streets. With training, it is possible to run errands, visit friends, and take walks. Some may find it helpful to use a white support cane. Others may learn skills to travel confidently with their friends and family.
If you are interested in the services offered by the Business Enterprise Program, please call Toll Free: 1-800-592-6004, or send Email to firstname.lastname@example.org