The diagnoses of legally blind comes as a shock. A foggy cloud of devastation and helplessness may come over you. But learning about the many resources out there will help you feel more empowered and hopeful. As you see ways of adapting and gaining independence.
First start by contacting your local Social Services office. They should be able to help direct you to government assistance programs in your local area. Each county and state are different so just Google the contact info for your local Social Service office. They will probably give you some of the resources I am about to list too.
In Home Support Services (IHS)
– California Only
depending on circumstances and income, you may be qualified to receive aid from a person of your choice to help you with tasks such as laundry, food preparation,personal care needs, cleaning or other things you need a little help with. They will assess your needs and allot you a number of hours they will pay for to have someone assist you. You may choose a friend or family member or choose from there list.
The Social Security Administration has special benefits and allowances for individuals who are blind. They have an online estimator to see if you may qualify for benefits. But be sure to contact them as soon as you can because determination of qualification and applying can take some months.
National Federation for the Blind – Free White Cane
The National Federation for the Blind has a program to receive a free white cane. This is a simple cane that is good for identifying you as having trouble seeing so people can be more helpful and cautious towards you. The white cane does not collapse, making it very cumbersome to carry around. But it is a quick, free way to try out what a white cane feels like. This cane is will not give you any balance support, rather is meant for you to extend out to feel what is around you. To pick a a good length of cane the general guideline is that if it is straight up, pareille to you, it should reach the top of your shoulder.So measure from the ground to the top of your shoulder to find the right length in inches for you.
Maxi AIDS Products for the Blind
This online store is great for all kinds of accessible products. You can find items to help you identify things, better white canes, lights and magnification devices, kitchen tools, even games. Plus free shipping!
Hadley Institute For The Blind and Visually Impaired
Hadley offers courses on adapting to vision loss, braille, hobbies, business, and more through the mail or online. Allot of the classes are free for the blind. This is a great way to get started learning braille. The first course in braille literacy helps you develop your sense of touch and at least knowing the alphabet in braille is very useful for labeling items for identification. Check back soon for an article about Why to learn braille.
National Library of Congress for The Blind
Borrow audio or braille books or magazines from the National Library of Congress. They can lend you a digital talking book reader as well. Personally I love their ap, BARD, which lets you download audio books very easily. And again this is all freee.
United States Postal Service – Free Matter for the Blind
Mailing material in large print, braille, or sound recordings is heavy and bulky. Fortunately the USPS has a provision for sending these materials free of charge. This is very helpful for receiving and receiving materials from the Hadley Institution r the National Library of Congress.
National Parks and Federal Recreational Land Access Pass
This access pass gets you into national parks for free and gives you a significant discount for camping and other features. Check if your state has another access pass for state parks.
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