The loss of vision is a challenge faced by Ohio’s aging population, but Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) can help citizens overcome this challenge and maintain their independence. OOD’s ILOB team assist Ohioans with meeting their specific needs through providing independent living (IL) services to older individuals who are blind. OOD supports the provision of IL services, for eligible individuals to maintain independence in the community. The provision of services to support an individual’s goal of Independent Living may include:
- Information and Referral;
- Providing Adaptive Aids and Equipment, with Supported Training;
- Independent Living Skills Training; and
- Supportive Services and Rehabilitation Teaching Services.
An individual seeking to remain independent in their home, may qualify for services based on the following eligibility criteria:
- Individual is age 55 or older;
- Individual has a documented severe visual impairment, which makes competitive employment extremely difficult to obtain;
- Individual’s independent goals are feasible; and
- The individual requires and can benefit from Independent Living services in order to obtain or maintain independent living.
Starting the Process:
A referral for services can be made by utilizing the following methods:
- Calling the OOD main office at 800-282-4536 and speaking to the ILOB team;
- Sending an email to ILProgram@ood.ohio.gov and providing basic contact information; or
- Completing and mailing an ILOB Program Referral Form or ILOB Documentation of Visual Impairment Form (completed by a doctor) to ILOB Program, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, 400 East Campus View Boulevard, Columbus, OH 43235; or
- Faxing a completed Referral Form to 614-985-7914.
Independent Living Skills Training
Independent Living Skills Training addresses the education and training required for deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind individuals to live in a community of their choosing and participate in community activities. Training promotes self-awareness and self-esteem and develops advocacy and self-empowerment skills for the target population. Services may include, but are not limited to:
- Conducting group trainings on budgeting and financial planning, stress management, medical management, and other healthy living topics;
- Providing one-on-one advocacy and education;
- Providing mentoring opportunities;
- Teaching deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind individuals to advocate for themselves and their community; and
- Encouraging early intervention and planning for young or new members to the target population