Effective October 3, 2016, the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) will start expanding their services to include qualifying low vision individuals. Under this new guideline, low vision individuals will be eligible to receive Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services to help them obtain and maintain employment under a newly established low vision category for individuals with a progressive visual impairment (including dual sensory loss) with a diagnosis leading to legal blindness. MCB shall provide all VR services to individuals who qualify for services under the low vision category in accordance with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as most recently amended.
- A visual acuity of 20/70 or less in the better eye after best correction, due to a condition that is expected to lead to legal blindness; or
- A visual field no greater than 40 degrees’ radius in the better eye with correction, due to a condition that is expected to lead to legal blindness.
Individuals who believe that they meet the standards described above will be asked to provide an eye report from an ophthalmologist or optometrist that details their eye condition (acuity and field of vision) and prognosis (whether the condition is progressive and expected to lead to legal blindness).
Services Not Covered
Individuals who are not legally blind will not be registered with MCB and will not receive statutory benefits such as:
- MCB identification card;
- Certificate of blindness for purposes of obtaining tax abatements;
- MBTA or other regional travel identification cards (reduced or free travel on public transportation); or
- Any other benefits that are available to legally blind consumers registered with MCB.
If you have any questions, please contact MCB Central Registry at 617-626-7426 or Deputy Commissioner at 617-626-7509.