Blind Services

Blind Services is a section of Louisiana Rehabilitation Servicesí Vocational Rehabilitation Program that provides services to eligible individuals who are blind or visually impaired. The Randolph-Sheppard Business Enterprise Program and the Older Blind/Visually Impaired Program are parts of Blind Services.

The Older Blind/Visually Impaired Program expands independent living services for people who are age 55 or older and have a severe visual impairment. Through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education Older Blind Program, Louisiana Rehabilitation Services provides funding to three contractors: Affiliated Blind of Louisiana, Lighthouse for the Blind in New Orleans and LA Center for the Blind, to coordinate statewide services.

The Randolph-Sheppard Business Enterprise Program provides entrepreneurial opportunities for consumers of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program who are legally blind to manage their own businesses. This includes a wide variety of food-service operations, including cafeterias, coffee shops, vending locations, and highway rest area vending sites. Through this program, blind persons receive training opportunities to become productive, tax-paying citizens and proud business owners.

How do I qualify for services?

To be eligible for the Older Blind/Visually Impaired Program you must be age 55 or older and have a severe visual disability or be legally blind.

To be eligible for the Randolph-Sheppard Business Enterprise Program an individual with a significant visual disability must be able to benefit from vocational rehabilitation services in terms of achieving employment. Therefore, applications for services are accepted at the time an individual with a disability reaches or nears the minimum age of legal employability.

To be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, the individual must:

  • have a physical or mental disability which for the individual constitutes or results in a substantial impediment to employment; and
  • be able to benefit from vocational rehabilitation services in terms of employment; and
  • require vocational rehabilitation services to prepare for, enter, engage in or retain gainful employment.

In addition, an individual must:

  • be blind (verified by documentation)
  • be a U.S. citizen residing in Louisiana
  • be 18 years of age or older
  • have completed all services on their Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE)
  • have documentation of independent living skills
  • be a high school graduate or have a GED
  • have basic math skills
  • successfully complete the Business Enterprise Training Program

What services are available?

Blind/Visually impaired services available through the Vocational Rehabilitation Program may include, but are not limited to:

  • Vocational guidance and career counseling
  • Evaluation of rehabilitation potential
  • Restoration (physical/mental)
  • Vocational and other training services
  • Rehabilitation technology, including assistive technology services, assistive technology devices and rehabilitation engineering
  • Occupational tools and equipment
  • Transportation to access other vocational rehabilitation services
  • Job Placement into suitable employment
  • Orientation and Mobility training
  • Randolph-Sheppard Business Enterprise

Services available through the Older Blind/Visually Impaired Program:

  • Low Vision Screening
  • In home or classroom training in skills to help maintain independence
  • Aids for independent living
  • Orientation and Mobility training (sighted guide and use of white cane)
  • Peer Counseling
  • Braille
  • Information and referral services
  • Confidence building activities

Where do I apply for services?

For information about resources for Blind Services in Louisiana contact the nearest LRS Regional Office. You can locate this information through the Regional Office Directory or you can contact:

Kevin Monk, Executive Director for Blind Services
Louisiana Rehabilitation Services
950 N. 22nd Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
(225) 219-2943 or 1-800-737-2958

For information on the Older Blind/Visually Impaired Program, contact:

Affiliated Blind of Louisiana
409 W. St. Mary Blvd.,
Lafayette, LA 70506
(337) 234-6492

Lighthouse for the Blind in New Orleans
123 State Street
New Orleans, LA 70118
(504) 899-4501

Louisiana Center for the Blind
101 South Trenton Street
Ruston, LA 71270
(318) 251-2891 or 1-800-234-4166

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