Independent Living/Older Blind Services
The IL/OB program provided intensive training to 549 individuals, and basic services to an additional 331 persons. The majority of persons served were 55 or older.
The IL/OB program includes eight Independent Living teachers and a Deputy Director who manages the program. They serve the entire state reaching out to underserved populations in rural areas. They provide training and guidance to encourage consumers to assume more active and productive lives, including many individuals who are participating in the Commission’s vocational rehab-ilitation program. The instruction includes training in Braille, how to travel using a white cane, how to use public transportation, and personal and home manage-ment skills. This latter area can include instruction in meal preparation, diabetes management using non-visual or low-vision techniques, identification of money, telling time, the use of NEWSLINE, and the State Talking Book Library. The training also includes provision of basic assistive technology devices such as white canes, Braille writing equipment, talking calculators, and Braille or talking watches.
“. . . In these days of budget cuts and complaints and questions about social service programs claimed to be wasteful, ineffective and unnecessary, I want you to know YOUR PROGRAM WORKS!” — Independent Living consumer