Independent Living Social Services are provided for Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) consumers who need assistance to become more independent. Specialized services, including instruction in adaptive techniques and the use of assistive devices, can often vastly improve a consumer’s quality of life. Each consumer referred to the program works with a professional case manager. Services are planned and provided individually based on the person's unique needs.
Services May Include
- Low-vision evaluations and the provision of low-vision devices to maximize the consumer’s residual vision.
- Orientation and Mobility instruction to bring the individual back to the independent travel one had before vision loss, or to provide the more experienced traveler with orientation to a new environment.
- Rehabilitation Teaching to help the consumer learn new ways of performing activities of daily living.
- The provision of assistive devices such as reading lamps, large print calendars, and talking clocks and watches, to improve daily living.
- Peer support groups to allow individuals to meet and discuss issues they have in common as legally blind persons.
Consumers receive services in their own homes, while living with others, in senior residences, assisted living, or in a nursing home. A social worker assists in selecting the services most appropriate to each consumer’s needs and arranges, coordinates, and follows through with an individual service plan.
Information is provided regarding the other services offered by the MCB, Social Security, the Council on Aging, and other community agencies. A social worker can explain these services and make appropriate referrals. Services are provided free of charge. However, there are some purchased services available to only those consumers who are within the financial eligibility standard.
- Counseling: The Commission offers counseling services to help consumers adjust and cope with problems resulting from legal blindness. The service assesses and identifies a consumer’s needs and goals and provides supportive counseling around the issues of blindness. If long-term counseling is appropriate, the social worker assists in setting up counseling services in the community.
- Homemaker Services: Homemaker Service may be provided to consumers less than 60 years of age who, without this assistance, could not remain in their home. In order for MCB to provide homemaker service, consumers must be financially eligible and have a serious illness or injury in addition to legal blindness.
The local area agency on aging is responsible to provide homemaker services to consumers 60 years of age or older. Eligibility for those individuals is based on financial resources. An agency social worker can assist in contacting elder service resources for homemakers and other services available through the elder service program.
- Protective Services: Services are provided to consumers who may have suffered emotional or physical injury caused by neglect, maltreatment, or denial of their rights. Protective Services include counseling, arranging for guardianship, if necessary, and arranging medical or recreational services.
Call the MCB regional office in your area for more information.
This information is provided by the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind.