Independent Living Rehabilitation
Rehabilitation Services for the Blind (RSB) provides services to peoplewith varying degrees of visual impairment, ranging from those who cannotread regular print to those who are totally blind.
Through the Independent Living Rehabilitation Program, rehabilitationteachers provide instruction in techniques used by blind and visually impairedpeople. These techniques enable them to continue doing most of the thingsaround 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 adultswho are blind or visually impaired.
Many of the people with whom we work experience one of the following visiondisorders:
- 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 identifyingcoins and currency, teaching basic home maintenance, identifying and administeringmedications, applying make-up, and coordinating one’s clothes are examplesof the services provided in the area of personal/home management.
Dialing a phone, telling time, writing checks and maintaining a checkledger...learning new ways to perform these tasks can make life much easier.Magnification devices may assist in reading printed material. Braille maybe used for keeping personal records, phone numbers, labeling, reading,etc.
Counseling and Guidance
The rehabilitation teacher is available to assist in learning more aboutvisual disabilities, understanding feelings and fears about visual impairmentand learning ways to cope. This counseling and guidance may also help indeveloping ways to understand the public attitude toward blindness as wellas personal perceptions of one’s own blindness. These skills contributeto building self-confidence and self-worth.
Marking the stove and other appliances, labeling canned goods, developingmethods to read recipes and pre-packaged food instructions, demonstratingcooking aids...safe meal preparation will be much easier once these skillsare learned.
Playing cards, Bingo and board games are some of the leisure time activitiesavailable in Braille or large print.
Instruction can be provided in the use of a long white cane to locatelandmarks, detect curbs and steps, and cross streets. With training, itis possible to run errands, visit friends, and take walks. Some may findit helpful to use a white support cane. Others may learn skills to travelconfidently with their friends and family.
If you are interested in the services offered by the Business EnterpriseProgram, please call Toll Free: 1-800-592-6004,or send Email to [email protected]