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.
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:
In addition, an individual must:
Blind/Visually impaired services available through the Vocational Rehabilitation Program may include, but are not limited to:
Services available through the Older Blind/Visually Impaired Program:
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
Currently the Randolph-Sheppard Business Enterprises Program has a total of 72 vending facilities located statewide. During State Fiscal Year 2011, over 4,500 individuals age 55 or older received services through the Older Blind Program.