Blind & Visually Impaired
NOTICE: Request For Funding Announcement for Independent Living Services for Older Individuals who are Blind or Visually Impaired (OIB Program)
Please see the document below for instructions related to the Request for Funding announcement (RFF) issued by the Family and Social Services Administration, Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services, Blind and Visually Impaired Services. Electronic proposals must be received no later than 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time on April 21, 2023.
To register to receive all DDRS updates, click here.
BVIS provides services to eligible Hoosiers that are blind or visually impaired.
For information regarding Blind and Visually Impaired Services contact staff at: BVIS@fssa.in.gov or at 877-241-8144.
White Cane Safety Day proclamation
Governor Holcomb has signed a proclamation to declare October 15, 2022, as White Cane Safety Day. This acknowledges the importance of the safety of individuals who are blind or visually impaired while traveling and is nationally recognized as an instrument of independence. Click here to read the proclamation.
Randolph - Sheppard Business Enterprise Program
The Randolph-Sheppard Business Enterprise Program provides entrepreneurial opportunities for legally blind clients of Vocational Rehabilitation Services. These blind entrepreneurs manage a wide variety of food service operations, including cafeterias, coffee shops, vending locations, and highway area vending sites. Through this program, individuals receive training and opportunities to become productive, tax-paying citizens and independent licensed managers.
For information regarding resources for the business enterprise program click here or contact:
BVIS Program Manager at 800-545-7763
*Indiana Business Enterprise Program is actively recruiting for a 2022 Training Class. Interested candidates are encouraged to review the qualifications and information by clicking on the link here. Contact BEP staff via email at BVIS@fssa.in.gov for additional questions and to get your referral into the program started!
Older Independent Blind Program
The Older Independent Blind/Visually Impaired 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, Older Blind Program, Indiana Blind and Visually Impaired Services provide funding to contractors across the state in order to provide in-home independent living training to older individuals with significant vision loss.
Click here for a listing of OIB providers by county.
For information regarding the Older Independent Blind/Visually Impaired Program please contact the OIB program director at BVIS@fssa.in.gov or 877-241-8144
Confidential Report of Blindness
Effective January 1, 1992, the Indiana State Department of Health was mandated by the legislature to maintain a registry of blind/visually impaired individuals in the state of Indiana.
Every physician, holding an unlimited license to practice medicine, or licensed optometrist, is required to report each individual who is diagnosed with blindness or visual impairment of a degree to interfere with the person’s ability to function in school, employment, or other activities of daily living.
All information in the report will be kept confidential and will be used only for determining eligibility for assistance. Participation in any program or acceptance of services is completely voluntary. A copy of the blank form can be found here: Confidential Report of Blindness or Visual Impairment.
Vision Loss Support Groups take place regularly in a number of different counties across Indiana. Vision loss is handled differently for each person, attending a vision loss support group allow for individuals experiencing similar situations to have a place to connect and share resources, experiences, and thoughts with like-minded individuals. Click here for a listing of Vision Loss Support Groups in Indiana.
Blind and Visually Impaired Services of Indiana has compiled a list of additional resources that you may find helpful. Please browse the list for additional information on any of the following topics:
- Accessible documentation
- Adaptive sports programs in Indiana
- Audio services
- Awareness and advocacy
- Bioptic driving
- Centers for rehabilitation and community services
- Continued education/professional development
- Education resources
- Employment resources
- Equipment and technology