Opportunity for the blind and visually impaired through vocational rehabilitation


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Opportunity for the blind and visually impaired through vocational rehabilitation
Physical Description:
20 p. : ill. ; 21 cm.
U.S. G.P.O.
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Washington, D.C.
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Blind -- Employment   ( lcsh )
Blind -- Services for   ( lcsh )
Blind -- Rehabilitation   ( lcsh )
People with visual disabilities -- Employment   ( lcsh )
People with visual disabilities -- Services for   ( lcsh )
People with visual disabilities -- Rehabilitation   ( lcsh )
federal government publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


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Cover title.

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 027982350
oclc - 52861675
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Full Text
vs 1i/6,

for the BLIND and
Visually Impaired
through Vocational Rehabilitation

Social and Rehabilitation Service
Rehabilitation Services Administration
Washington, D.C. 20201

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
states: "No person in the United States shall, on
the ground of race, color, or national origin, be
excluded from participation in, be denied the
benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination
under any program or activity receiving Fed-
eral financial assistance." Therefore, any pro-
gram or activity supported by grants from the
Rehabilitation Services Administration, like
every program or activity receiving financial
assistance from the Department of Health, Edu-
cation, and Welfare, must be operated in com-
pliance with this law.

SOME 420,000 fellow Americans are blind. De-
spite progress in the prevention of blindness,
about 40,000 more lose their sight each year, and
there are thousands more whose sight is so limited
as to be a handicap for employment.

For years the public attitude toward visually
handicapped persons has been shaped by the com-
mon misconception that blindness means helpless-
ness. This more than any other factor has been the
barrier separating blind persons from the freedom
to work and to share in a full life.

This booklet is addressed to the blind, including
the partially sighted who have severe visual limita-
tions-especially those within the ages of normal
employment. But the information also is of interest
to families and friends of the blind-those whom
they depend upon daily to help in lightening the
burden of blindness.

Years of experience by rehabilitation specialists
have proved that men and women who are blind
have a real chance for success in seeking careers in
business, agriculture, or the professions. Blind per-
sons compete successfully in gainful employment
with fellow workers who can see. Many public
agencies are ready to help blind persons in starting
a new career, or in picking up the threads of a
former career interrupted by loss of sight, with the
cooperation of increasing numbers of labor and
management officials.

Your firm determination is the key factor in
acquiring a new approach to life and the confidence
needed for useful and productive work.



At the University of Cincinnati, a project sup-
ported by an RSA grant showed that an intelligent
and well-adjusted blind person may have traits
that qualify him particularly for operating elec-
tronic computers.
And out on the job-in the office, the farm, and
in the laboratory-blind persons are working in a
wide variety of occupations. Some are in the pro-
fessions, operating independent farms, or they have
succeeded in businesses of their own.
The question, "Are there worthwhile jobs open
to the blind?" is answered more by evidence than
by words. There are blind persons who are clerks,
typists, dictaphone operators, skilled and semi-
skilled machine operators, manufacturers, salesmen,
engineers, lawyers, physicians, teachers, writers,
publishers-engaged in such a variety of occupa-
tions it is not possible to list them here.
It is his ability, not disability, which determines
what sort of work a blind person can do. Many of
the blind have natural skills and abilities while
others, through special training, develop new skills.
In case after case, it has been found that all a blind
person needs to become self-sufficient is some expert
help and encouragement-plus determination to
achieve his goal.



The State-Federal system of vocational rehabili-
tation for restoring disabled persons to employment
can help the blind. It helps blind persons in select-
ing the type of work they are capable of perform-

ing, training for the work, and placing them ir
suitable jobs.
This program has agencies in each State. Thirty
five States have separate rehabilitation agencies
serving only the blind and visually impaired. Ii
other States there is one rehabilitation program
serving all types of disabled people, including th,
blind. In addition to those who are blind, the Stati
agencies provide services for those with badly im
paired eyesight. (Addresses of the State agencies
are listed in back of this pamphlet.)
The Federal Government administers a grant
program and supplies leadership and technical in
formation. The actual rehabilitation services ar
carried out by the State agencies.
Many services are free. In all cases, those service
(such as medical examination) which are necessary
to evaluate your problem are free of cost to th
applicant. Individual counseling and guidance
services are also free, as well as job placement assist
ance. You may be asked to share in the cost of othe
services if you are able to do so.
Financial assistance may be provided to help pa
such costs as room and board during diagnosis:
physical restoration, or training.



Following is a description of some of the services
available from your State agency to help a blind
person secure employment. He might receive more
than one service at a time, depending on the need.
Services may also be provided to members of the
individual's family when it is essential for his re-
habilitation, as indicated.

At the outset, a rehabilitation counselor is as-
signed to the blind person. The counselor becomes
his friend and helper throughout the entire re-
habilitation process. Through interviews with the
blind person-his "client"-as well as family mem-
bers and other associates, the counselor tries to
learn everything necessary for providing intelligent
aid. He guides the client throughout all phases of
the program. Counselors-some are themselves
blind-are especially trained to understand the
problems and potentials of the blind.

The counselor arranges for a complete medical
examination, not only to determine the exact na-
ture of the visual impairment but to uncover any
other disability. For example, the client may also
have a chronic ailment, such as a heart condition,
diabetes, or incipient arthritis. If so, the physician
decides whether it can be corrected so that it will
not interfere with the person's ability to hold a


The vocational diagnosis or individual evaluation
process includes interviews with the counselor,
medical examinations, and other evaluation pro-
cedures as necessary. These may be special work
evaluations in facilities, the administration of ap-
titude tests which are especially developed or
adapted for the blind, etc. Evaluation is a con-
tinuous process aimed at planning a rehabilitation
program and a vocational goal.

The physical examination might show that medi-
cal treatment can remove some barrier to holding
down a job. Preventive surgery may be provided.
Also corrective surgery, such as removal of cat-
aracts, may be undertaken. If optical aids or special
devices such as hearing aids and artificial eyes are
needed, these will be made available. Generally,
necessary hospitalization can be provided for as
long as required. Psychiatric or psychological serv-
ices also are available if needed.

Persons who do not have effective sight some
times find it difficult to handle some of the simple
chores demanded in the ordinary course of living.
Some quit trying.
But to undertake a job, a blind person must
surmount these obstacles and learn to function like
the sighted person as much as possible. Important
to a man is learning to do such things as shaving,
and for women the application of cosmetics and
the proper selection of clothing. Blind persons must

learn how to move about with freedom and assur-
ance-to make use of public transportation, eat in
restaurants, and to shop at stores. Mobility training
is part of the program for personal adjustment,
especially for the newly-blinded. These services will
be given by skilled specialists in a public or private
rehabilitation center serving blind persons or in the
client's home. Special instruction is given on an
individual basis.

When the blind person, with the help of the
counselor, decides upon the type of work he is
suited for and would enjoy, the next step is pre-
paring for the job. Special education and training
may be provided on an actual job, in a university,
trade school, or other educational institution. For
certain vocations, the training may be given at
home. The counselor will be in touch with the blind
person throughout the training period, giving help
and advice.

When the client is trained and ready for work,
the counselor will help in finding a suitable job-
in the client's home community, if possible. The
counselor may receive help from an employment
specialist. In their effort to develop job openings
for blind persons, employment specialists are in
constant touch with employers, labor officials, rep-
resentatives of agriculture, and local civic organiza-
tions. The placement service has an outstanding
record of placing blind or near-blind persons in
paying jobs geared to their capacities and interest.

In establishing a small, independent business the
blind person may be furnished free (if his financial
resources are insufficient) such things as the tools,
equipment, initial stock, and licenses necessary to
give him a fair start. In the case of farm operators,
necessary livestock also can be provided under the
same conditions. Occupational tools and licenses
may also be provided as necessary for entry into
certain types of employment.

State rehabilitation agencies for the blind also
establish vending stands and other small businesses
which provide employment for blind persons. In
this type of business operation the State agency pro-
vides the blind person with the help needed in
managing the business to make certain it will be a
profitable, continuing employment opportunity for
him and other blind persons.

Until the blind person is firmly settled in his job
and has demonstrated his ability, his counselor will
continue to give him whatever senrices are neces-
sary. This also applies to those setting up inde-
pendent businesses.

-.^ ;.ql


After a blind person has been through the re-
habilitation process and has gone to work, what is
he up against?
In the first place, he need not fear any difficulty
in making good on the job under actual working
conditions-and with entire safety to himself and
his co-workers. No one is placed on a job through
the rehabilitation program until he is thoroughly
Second, he will be in the job because of his ability,
and not out of sympathy for his handicap. In itself,
this should give him the confidence needed.
Third, as is the case with any newcomer on a
job, if he is friendly, cooperative, and does not trade
on his disability, associates and supervisors will
quickly accept him as "one of the gang."
Nearly all employers testify that blind persons
produce as much, as well, and as safely as do other
employees. They have proved to be conscientious
and loyal, and have excellent attendance records.
The vast majority of them get along well with

Anyone meeting these qualifications is eligible for
vocational rehabilitation:
He has lost a sufficient amount of his sight so
that his disability interferes with employment.
He has a reasonable chance after rehabilitation
of engaging in gainful employment and he
must want to work. Gainful employment in-
cludes: employment in the competitive labor
force; practice of a profession; self-employ-
ment; homemaking, farm or family work
(including work for which payment is in kind

rather than in cash); sheltered workshop em-
ployment; and home industries or other home-
bound work of a remunerative nature.
It should be noted that the cause of a person's
lack of sight has no bearing on his eligibility. It
makes no difference whether it is the result of an
injury, a disease, or a natural deformity. Nor does
the fact that he may have previously collected dam-
ages, insurance, or disability insurance affect it.
If a person's visual loss is not severe enough to
qualify for services of an agency serving the blind,
he may still be eligible for services from the general
If a person has any question about his eligibility,
his doubts can be cleared up in an interview with a

,..p "..

"This sounds all right, but would anyone give
me a job?"
Such doubts prevent thousands of blind persons
from taking the necessary first step-getting in
touch with the nearest State agency and talking to
the person who can help find the answers to their
personal problems.
Listed at the back of this booklet are the ad-
dresses of the State agencies main offices. These
agencies usually are located in the State capital,
with branch offices in other cities. The name of the
vocational rehabilitation agency serving blind per-
sons in any State is listed in the telephone directory
under the State office listings.
Make up your mind to act now. Find out whether
vocational rehabilitation can help you become a
self-supporting member of your community. It
could mean a new life.



The only complete answer to the problem of
blindness, of course, is to prevent its occurence.
When blindness occurs, the only complete compen-
sation is the restoration of sight.
Increasing efforts are being made in both pre-
vention and restoration. But in spite of these efforts,
the majority of blind persons probably will live with
their disability for the rest of their lives. For them,
the State-Federal system of vocational rehabilita-
tion of blind persons meets a real need.
In recent years this system has been greatly ex-
panded through a substantial increase in funds
voted by Congress. Training courses for counselors
I and other skilled personnel have been enlarged.
Special research and demonstration projects have

been developed, and sheltered workshops are being
developed for those who may never be able to com-
pete in the "outside" labor force. Adjustment and
rehabilitation centers are being set up to help blind
persons prepare for work. There is close cooperation
with other public and private agencies serving the
Of major importance are recent developments in
optical aids for persons who retain some part of
their sight. Through use of special aids, many blind
persons now are able to read letters, instructions,
menus, and other valuable information necessary in
everyday activities. Many persons who had low
vision now have new hope to secure jobs which re-
quire some measure of sight.
Through its selected demonstration program, the
Social and Rehabilitation Service has made avail-
able a number of grants to assist public and vol-
untary agencies to set up specially equipped optical
aid clinics with trained personnel necessary to op-
erate them. The clinics have been established in
many cities, and it is hoped that before long they
will be available in many more communities
throughout the country. Your counselor will be able
to tell you about these developments.

insurance company who em-
Z:a totally blind broker: He has
Itnew clients in all parts of the
i s to service his accounts in a
t.. Aory manner than many in-
sithout that handicap.
4 Mn aircraft company: Our blind
especially fine jobs. Some perform
l ork, and their supervisors have
iem again and again. Based on merit
l.~ received repeated increases in pay
.aes in responsibility .... The
.... I the blind are often very sur-
I xerienced in their employ-
:*wn, fact that they learn to use
: the proficiency beyond that
hi average person. They are
Jlgiy complicated electrical, hy:
Assemblies with a lower
,jf... a "higher rate of production
employee. They have often com-
if production hours without the
it& due toa n industrial mishap.
'pr of washing machine manufac-
iftommenting on blind employees:
i`" entity of their work is equal to,
p ,; r.the work of sighted people.
r rector of machinery manufacturing.
About newly employed blind bear-
-,,4attendance and strict adherence to
H .fe example to our employees, and his
[i*quite proud of the fact that he is one

Ifanager of large department store
I:indid packer in the distributing de-
1 ; felbw employees have:never re-
4 burden. As a matter of fact, they are
taerotmaneA and independence.
^a*"**^".* 5 '' *-


ALABAMA Vocational Rehabilitation, 2129 East South
Boulevard, Montgomery 36111, Tel. (205) 269-7571

ALASKA Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Pouch F.
Alaska Office Building, Juneau 99801
Tel. (907) 586-3270

ARIZONA Division of Rehabilitation for the Visually
Impaired, Department of Public Welfare, State Office
Bldg., 112 North Central Avenue, Phoenix 85004
Tel. (602) 271-4354

ARKANSAS Rehabilitation Services for the Blind, 900
West 4th Street, Little Rock 72201
Tel. (501) 371-1501

CALIFORNIA Department of Rehabilitation, 714 P
Street, Sacramento 95814, Tel. (916) 445-4074

COLORADO Division of Rehabilitation, 705 State
Services Bldg., Denver 80203, Tel. (303) 222-9911,
Ext. 2255

CONNECTICUT Board of Education and Services for
the Blind, 170 Ridge Road, Wethersfield 06109
Tel. (203) 249-8525

DELAWARE Delaware Commission for the Blind, 305
West 8th Street, Wilmington 19801
Tel. (302) 655-4444

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Department of Vocational
Rehabilitation, 1331 H Street NW., Washington 20005,
Tel. (202) 629-4965

FLORIDA Florida Council for the Blind, The Larson
Bldg., 200 East Gaines, Room 618, Tallahassee 32304,
Tel. (904) 222-4398

GEORGIA Office of Rehabilitation Services, 270 State
Office Building, Atlanta 30334, Tel. (404) 688-2390

GUAM Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Depart-
ment of Education, Government of Guam, P.O. Box
157, Agana 96910, Tel. 42-4271 and 42-5112

HAWAII Department of Social Services P.O. Box 339,
Honolulu 96809, Tel. (808) 507711

IDAHO Idaho Commission for the Blind, State House,
Boise 83707, Tel. (208) 344-5811, Ext. 580

ILLINOIS Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, 623
East Adams Street, Springfield 62706
Tel. (217) 525-2093

INDIANA Indiana Agency for the Blind, 536 West 30th
Street, Indianapolis 46223, Tel. (317) 923-3363

IOWA Commission for the Blind, 4th and Keosauqua,
Des Moines 50309, Tel. (515) 283-0153

KANSAS Services for the Blind, State Department of
Social Welfare, State Office Bldg., Topeka 66612
Tel. (913) 235-0011, Ext. 703

KENTUCKY Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, State
Office Bldg., High Street, Frankfort 40601
Tel. (502) 564-4440

LOUISIANA Division for the Blind, Department of
Public Welfare, P.O. Box 44065, Baton Rouge 70804,
Tel. (504) 389-6261

MAINE Division of Eye Care and Special Services,
Department of Health and Welfare, State House, Au-
gusta 04330, Tel. (207) 623-4511, Ext. 548

MARYLAND Division of Vocational Rehabilitation,
2100 Guilford Avenue, Baltimore 21218
Tel. (301) 383-3010, Ext. 8941

MASSACHUSETTS Commission for the Blind, 39
Boylston Street, Boston 02116, Tel. (617) 727-5580

MICHIGAN Division of Services for the Blind, Depart-
ment of Social Services, 520 Hollister Bldg., Lansing
48933, Tel. (517) 373-2062

MINNESOTA State Services for the Blind, Department
of Public Welfare, Centennial Office Bldg., St. Paul
55101, Tel. (612) 221-2687

MISSISSIPPI Vocational Rehabilitation for the Blind,
528 North State Street, P.O. Box 4321, Jackson 39216,
Tel. (601) 354-6411

MISSOURI Bureau for the Blind, Division of Welfare,
State Office Bldg., Jefferson City 65101
Tel. (314) 635-8111

MONTANA Division of Visual Services, State Depart-
ment of Public Welfare, P.O. Box 1723, Helena 59601,
Tel. (406) 442-3260, Ext. 481

NEBRASKA Services for the Visually Impaired, State
Capitol Building, Lincoln, 68509, Tel. (402) 477-5211,
Ext. 508

NEVADA Services to the Blind, Department of Health,
Welfare and Rehabilitation, 311 North Curry, Room
113, Carson City 89701, Tel. (702) 882-7415

NEW HAMPSHIRE Division of Welfare, Services to the
Blind, Department of Health and Welfare, State House
Annex, Concord 03301, Tel. (603) 271-3537

NEW JERSEY Commission for the Blind, 1100 Ray-
mond Boulevard, Newark 07102, Tel. (201) 648-2324

NEW MEXICO Division of Services for the Blind,
Department of Public Welfare, 408 Galisteo Street,
Santa Fe 87501, Tel. (505) 827-2301

NEW YORK Commission for the Blind and Visually
Handicapped, New York State Department of Social
Services, 15 Park Row, New York 10038
Tel. (212) 488-5862

NORTH CAROLINA State Commission for the Blind,
410 North Boylan Avenue, P.O. Box 2658, Raleigh
27602, Tel. (919) 829-4231

NORTH DAKOTA North Dakota Division of Vocational
Rehabilitation, 418 East Rosser Avenue, Professional
Building, Bismarck 58501, Tel. (701) 224-2907

OHIO Division of Services for the Blind, Department of
Public Welfare, 85 South Washington, Columbus
43215, Tel. (614) 469-4272

OKLAHOMA Vocational Rehabilitation Division, 307
Will Rogers Memorial Office Bldg., State Capitol Com-
plex, Oklahoma City 73105, Tel. (405) 521-3374

OREGON State Commission for the Blind, 535 SE
12th Avenue, Portland 97214, Tel. (503) 226-2161

PENNSYLVANIA Bureau of Visually and Physically
Handicapped, Office of Family Service, Department of
Public Welfare, 901 Seventh Street, P.O. Box 2675,
Harrisburg 17120, Tel. (717) 787-6176

PUERTO RICO Vocational Rehabilitation Division,
Vick Center, 867 Munoz Rivera Avenue, 4th Floor, D
Building, Rio Piedras 00927, Tel. 765-2660

RHODE ISLAND Rhode Island Division of Services for
the Blind, 46 Aborn Street, Providence 02903
Tel. (401) 861-7950

SOUTH CAROLINA Commission for the Blind, 1400
Main Street, Columbia 29201, Tel. (803) 758-2595

SOUTH DAKOTA South Dakota Service to the Blind
and Visually Handicapped, 222 East Capitol Avenue,
Pierre 57501, Tel. (605) 224-3318

TENNESSEE Blind Services Section, Department of
Public Welfare, 303 State Office Building, Nashville
37219, Tel. (615) 741-3163

TEXAS State Commission for the Blind, 318 Sam
Houston State Office Bldg., Austin 78701
Tel. (512) 475-3122

UTAH Office of Rehabilitation Services, 1200 Uni-
versity Club BIdg., 136 East South Temple, Salt Lake
City 84111, Tel. (801) 328-5991

VERMONT Division of Services for the Blind and
Visually Handicapped, Department of Social Welfare,
128 State Street, Montpelier 05602
Tel. (802) 223-2311, Ext. 581

VIRGINIA Virginia Commission for the Visually Handi-
capped, 3003 Parkwood Avenue, Richmond 23221
Tel. (703) 770-2181

VIRGIN ISLANDS Division of Vocational Rehabilita-
tion, c/o Department of Education, P.O. Box 630, St.
Thomas 00801, Tel. (809) 774-2835

WASHINGTON Services for the Blind, State Depart-
ment of Public Assistance, 3411 South Alaska Street,
Seattle 98118, Tel. (206) 722-6695

WEST VIRGINIA Division of Vocational Rehabilitation,
West Wing, State Capitol Bldg., Charleston 25305
Tel: (304) 348-2375

WISCONSIN Division of Vocational Rehabilitation,
Department of Health and Social Services, 1 West
Wilson Street, Room 830, Madison 53702
Tel. (608) 266-3017

WYOMING Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, 123
Capitol Building, Cheyenne 82001
Tel. (307) 777-7389, Ext. 388

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