Older Independent Blind Program
The Older Independent Blind Program expands independent living services for people who are age 55 and older, and have a severe visual impairment. Through a grant from the Department of Education’s Older Blind Program, The Bureau of Rehabilitation Services and Blind and Visually Impaired Services provide funding to various contractors across the state.
Older Blind Programs are in partnership with statewide community programs administering a wide array of services for older individuals with vision impairments. Among the services provided are those to assist in correcting or modifying visual disabilities, including optical vision aids, in-home training, orientation and mobility, Braille instruction, adaptive skills training, information and referral, peer counseling, and other appropriate services designed to assist an older individual who is blind with daily living activities.
Services provided by individual OIB contractors are dependent upon budget parameters and staffing. Interested consumers should contact the OIB community program for specific services and availability.
Older Independent Blind community programs and a list of counties they serve:
- accessABILITY - Phone: 317-926-1660, Counties: Boone, Hamilton, Hendricks, Marion, Hancock, Morgan, Johnson, Shelby
- Bosma Enterprises - Phone: 317-704-8254, Counties: All Indiana counties
- Future Choices, Inc. - Phone: 765-741-8332, Counties: Grant, Howard, Tipton, Madison, Delaware, Randolph, Blackford.
- Independent Living Center of Eastern Indiana - Phone: 877-939-9226, Counties: Henry, Wayne, Rush, Fayette, Union, Decatur, Franklin, Jennings, Ripley, Dearborn, Jefferson, Ohio, Switzerland
- League for the Blind and Disabled, Inc. - Phone: 800-889-3443, Counties: St. Joseph, Elkhart, LaGrange, Steuben, Marshall, Kosciusko, Whitley, Noble, Dekalb, Allen, Huntington, Wells, Adams, Jay
- The WILL Center - Phone: 877-915-9455, Counties: Vermillion, Parke, Putnam, Vigo, Clay, Owen, Sullivan, Greene, Knox, Daviess, Martin, Pike, Gibson
Additional information and services may be available to individuals 55 and older who have a significant visual loss through the resources below:
- Centers for Independent Living provide services and advocacy in line with the Independent Living Philosophy that “individuals with disabilities should have the same civil rights, choices, options and control over choices in their own lives as do individuals without disabilities.” Contact your local Centers for Independent Living for further assistance.
- Indiana’s 16 Area Agencies on Aging deliver services to older adults and people with disabilities of any age and their caregivers. AAA’s staff will help you plan how best to meet your long-term services and support needs, including attendant care, legal services, caregiver support, guardianship, wellness activities, respite care, nutrition services, transportation, adult day care, in-home care, options counseling and home modifications. Call 800-986-3505 to contact your local AAA or visit their webpage here for an Indiana coverage map and contact information.
- Aging.gov launched July 2015 and serves as a national webpage to provide older Americans, their families, friends and other caregivers with a one-stop resource for government-wide information on helping older adults live independent and fulfilling lives.
- Vision Loss Support Groups are available across Indiana. Many of them cater to topics relevant to those who are older and experiencing vision loss. Many groups provide educational speakers, recreational activities and information on local resources; contact the specific group for more information.
For information regarding the Older Independent Blind Program, please contact the OIB program director at BVIS@fssa.in.gov or at 877-241-8144.