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Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired
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The Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CBVI) offers independent living training designed to help people of any age who are blind or visually impaired gain the skills of daily living needed to lead a full and productive life.  Through a joint partnership between the blind or visually impaired individual and the instructors, an assessment, and plan of instruction is developed. Areas of instruction include, rehabilitation teaching, orientation and mobility, eye health education, and low vision.  There are specific programs that are geared to seniors age 55 and older.

Independent Living Needs Assessment

CBVI staff will assess a person's strengths and needs and provide information about the resources available through CBVI/and or the community. Together with the individual, CBVI provides and/or coordinates services appropriate to meet needs that have been identified.

 
 
Rehabilitation Teaching

Rehabilitation Teachers provide instruction in activities of daily living, this may include how to use specialized adaptive equipment, communication skills such as Braille, typing, and writing guides and assistive technology use. Kitchen safety, meal preparation as well as recreation and leisure activities are also taught in the home, and or school.

 
 
Orientation and Mobility

Orientation and mobility instruction teaches methods for safe, independent travel training at home, school, work, and in the community for all ages. Accessing various modes of transportation such as para-transit, access link, and train travel, are taught. “Orientation" refers to the ability to know where you are and where you want to go, whether you're moving from one room to another or walking downtown for a shopping trip. 

 
 
Eye Health

Eye Health nurses offer education and instruction on proper eye care, diabetic education, nutrition and adaptive devices such as talking glucometers and talking blood pressure machines. The nurses will assist individuals with identifying medications, and arranging medical care necessary to restore vision and/or prevent further vision loss for those individuals with emergent eye health needs and who meet eligibility requirements.

 
 
Low Vision

Low vision is the term used to describe significant visual impairment that cannot be corrected fully with glasses, contact lenses, medication or eye surgery.  CBVI will help people with low vision acquire visual aides appropriate for their degree of vision loss in social situations, at work, school, and when involved in leisure time or recreational activities.

Independent Living Older Blind – Services specifically for those receiving independent living services that are age 55 and over.

 
 
Library Equal Access Program (LEAP)

LEAP offers speech and magnification assistive technology training to consumers age 55 and over.   Assistive technology  has been placed in libraries throughout the state. Classes are being offered in basic and intermediate computer and iPad skills. This initiative is a collaborative effort between The NJ State Library Talking Book and Braille Center, Advancing Opportunities, and the NJ Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired.  For more information, please use this link:  LEAP (Technology Classes Age 55+)   

 
 
Assistive Support Programs for Independence, Renewal and Education (ASPIRE)

ASPIRE programs are peer support programs geared towards those individuals that are blind and visually impaired who are that are 55 and older. Each groups focus is dependent upon the desires of the participants.  Many groups address adjustment to vision loss and community intergration. have speakers, educational resources and encourage social activities. The ASPIRE network has peer led support groups throughout all 21 counties within New Jersey.

 
 
SENIOR HANDS-ON RETREAT EXPERIENCE (SHORE)

This retreat program is for blind or visually impaired CBVI participants who are 55 and better.  The week-long event will take place in NJ Shore community.  A SHORE Thing is an all-inclusive program that provides real-life experiential learning.  Participants in this program will obtain information and an introduction to skills in: independent living, coping with vision loss, assistive technology, self-advocacy, health and wellness, orientation and mobility, leisure activities and confidence building.

 
 

For additional information about Independent Living, contact Elizabeth DeShields, Coordinator of Independent Living Services at 609-441-3013 or email Elizabeth.DeShields@dhs.nj.gov.

 
 
 
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