Service: Adult Day Health Care Services

Definition: Provision of a structured program of health care and socialization designed to meet the needs of legally blind persons who might otherwise be institutionalized. The services must be provided in a Medicaid-approved Adult Day Health facility and will only be provided to clients who have been determined to be ineligible for MCB Medical Assistance.

Availability: Region V and Region VI availability subject to sufficient agency funds. Limited to a maximum of four (4) days per week of service to each client.

Eligibility: Legally blind clients who have been determined to be ineligible for MCB Medical Assistance but who otherwise meet the financial eligibility requirements for Independent Living Social Services.

For clients with a goal of protection from abuse, neglect, or exploitation, this service is provided regardless of income.

Where to Apply: Region V Office, Region VI Office

Method of Delivery: Purchased


Service: Advocacy

Definition: To advocate for, and help to secure, those resources available outside of the Commission. Includes such activities as advocating in the Chapter 766-TEAM process; assisting the client in the application and/or redetermination process for SSI, Medicaid, Food Stamps; working with the Executive Office of Elder Affairs and other State agencies to obtain service for clients; advocating for and researching availability of housing for clients; securing Visiting Nurse Association and other Home Care services for clients; advocating for volunteer services for clients. Also includes advocating for protective services for elder clients, and children insuring their protection from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

Availability: Statewide

Eligibility: All legally blind persons who need this service.

Where to Apply: MCB Regional or Central Offices

Method of Delivery: Direct


Service: Camps

Definition: A summer program designed to provide educational and/or rehabilitation skills to enhance the child's social, physiological and behavioral adjustment.

Availability: Statewide (Subject to sufficient agency funds)

Eligibility: All financially eligible legally blind children who meet the following criteria:

  • Services must be necessary toward achievement of an objective stated in client's Individual Service Plan.
  • Client will benefit - as a result of the service -socially, physiologically, or behaviorally.
  • Service must provide for an environment where the client's strengths will be enhanced.
  • Service may be provided in order to continue an ongoing rehabilitation and/or education program beyond the normal school year.

Where to Apply: MCB Regional or Central Offices

Method of Delivery: Purchased (Alternative funding sources must be exhausted first.)


Service: Community Reintegration Services for Legally Blind Elders

Definition: Provision of a ten-week program for legally blind persons who are age 55 or older. The goal of the program will be to assist legally blind elders to increase their self-esteem, sense of purpose and confidence through an integrated program that emphasizes reintegration of the individual into groups and community activities.

Availability: Statewide, subject to the availability of funds and contractual arrangements with vendors.

Eligibility: All legally blind persons who are age 55 or older and who need this service.

Where to Apply: MCB Regional or Central Offices

Method of Delivery: Purchased


Service: Case Management

Definition: Coordination of the specialized service components as needed by the client and assurance of progress through the rehabilitation process. The professional services of MCB's Independent Living Social Service Staff include case management as an integral activity with clients.

Availability: Statewide

Eligibility: All legally blind persons who need this service.

Where to Apply: MCB Regional or Central Offices

Method of Delivery: Direct


Service: Counseling

Definition: Assess and identify client needs and goals, and provide supportive counseling around the issues of blindness. Referral to outside resources when other issues are present. Designed to assist the individual and/or family unit in attaining the goals specified in the Individual Service Plan.

Availability: Statewide

Eligibility: All legally blind persons who need this service.

Where to Apply: MCB and Regional or Central Offices.

Method of Delivery: Direct and Purchased


Service: Diagnosis and Evaluation

Definition: Services necessary to establish eligibility or to aid in the development of an appropriate Individual Service Plan. This service can include such evaluations as medical, eye exams, low vision evaluation and follow-up, audiological exams, and occupational therapy evaluations.

Availability: Statewide (Subject to sufficient agency funds)

Eligibility: All legally blind persons who meet the financial eligibility requirements for Independent Living Social Services:

  • Recipients of SSI-BI, SSI-DI, SSI-OAA, or AFDC.
  • Income eligible persons, including persons on Medicaid, whose income is within the MCB limit.
  • For clients with a goal of protection from abuse, neglect, or exploitation, this service is provided regardless of income.

Where to Apply: MCB Regional or Central Offices

Method of Delivery: Purchased and Direct


Service: Essential Skills Training to Meet Emergency Needs

Definition: Provision of short-term (two weeks or less) essential skills training to meet emergency needs of legally blind adults and children when needed to prevent physical harm to the client. The training may be provided for a maximum of two weeks. Examples of such services are training in diabetic self-management, training in self-preservation techniques, etc. In order to be provided, such essential skills training services must be recommended by the MCB direct service worker, and the service must be approved in writing by the Deputy Commissioner for Services.

Eligibility: Statewide (Subject to sufficient agency funds.)

ELIGIBILITY: Legally blind children and adults who need the service.

Where to Apply: MCB Regional or Central Offices

Method of Delivery: Purchased


Service: Homemaker

Definition: Provided to legally blind persons under the age of 60 who have a serious medical problem in addition to their blindness that is preventing them from performing necessary homemaking tasks. Services are provided on the basis of priority of need. In order to be determined to be in the highest priority category for this service, a legally blind person must:

  • Live alone; or
  • live with minor children only; or
  • live with another severely disabled adult, who is incapable of performing these tasks, only.
  • need assistance in preparing meals, grocery shopping, or laundering clothes.

Other legally blind persons who are eligible for homemaker services will receive them only if sufficient funds are available and based on priority of need as determined by the Commission.

Availability: Statewide, with the following restrictions:

  • Subject to sufficient agency funds.
  • Similar benefits must be exhausted before the service is provided by MCB.
  • Limited to a maximum of four (4) hours per week. If unusual circumstances are present, the Regional Director has the authority to waive this limit to provide up to six (6) hours per week. If extraordinary circumstances are present, the Deputy Commissioner has the authority to waive this limit.

Eligibility: Legally blind persons who meet the financial eligibility requirements for independent living social services:

  • Recipients of SSI-BI, SSI-DI, SSI-OAA, or AFDC
  • Income eligible persons, including persons on Medicaid, whose income is within the MCB limit.
  • Substantial secondary disability
  • For clients with a goal of protection from abuse, neglect or exploitation, this service is provided regardless of income.

Where to Apply: MCB Regional or Central Offices

Method of Delivery: Purchased


Service: Information and Referral

Definition: Provision of information about available services both internal and external to MCB; includes referral to the most appropriate service. This service is the most widely utilized of all primary Independent Living Social Services and can range from providing a client with a brochure of services to identifying the appropriate outside resource, referral to that resource, and follow-up on the services delivered.

Availability: Statewide

Eligibility: All legally blind persons who need the service.

Where to Apply: MCB Regional and Central Offices

Method of Delivery: Direct


Service: Interpreter Services

Definition: Provided to the Deaf-Blind/Multihandicapped client for purposes of 1) facilitating communication between the client and his/her Deaf-Blind/Multihandicapped Services Counselor; or 2) enabling the client to benefit from other social services provided, whether purchased or directly provided; 3) facilitating communication for MCB Deaf-Blind/Multihandicapped Unit staff working with Multihandicapped client.

Availability: Statewide (Subject to sufficient agency funds).

Eligibility: All legally blind persons with severe hearing impairment who need the service, and MCB Deaf-Blind/Multihandicapped Unit staff who need reasonable accommodation to work with eligible Multihandicapped clients.

Where to Apply: MCB Deaf-Blind/Multihandicapped Unit - Boston Office

Method of Delivery: Purchased


Service: Orientation and Mobility

Definition: Provided to enable the client to negotiate his/her environment in a safe and effective manner. Activities may include providing sensory and conceptual training within the home, or immediate environment. Familiarizing clients with work and home settings; providing clients with and instructing them in the use of, prescriptive canes and/or mechanical devices suitable to individual needs; instructing client in the use of sighted guides; and maximum use of all senses. For registrants residing in institutional settings a consultant is available to introduce staff of the facility with issues surrounding Orientation and Mobility for blind residents.

Availability: Statewide (Subject to sufficient agency funds.)

Eligibility: All legally blind clients who need and can benefit from the service.

Where to Apply: MCB Regional and Central Offices

Method of Delivery: Purchased and Direct


Service: Recreation (Adults and Children)

Definition: A program of recreational services designed to meet the psycho-social and rehabilitative needs of the blind person on an individual or group basis. The program may be designed exclusively for blind individuals or it may be a program that incorporates the blind and the sighted.

Availability: Statewide (Subject to sufficient agency funds.)

Eligibility: Legally blind individuals whose Individual Service Plan specifies this service as an objective and who meet the financial social services:

  • Recipients of SSI-BL, SSI-DA, SSI-OAA, or AFDC.
  • Income eligible persons, including persons on Medicaid, whose income is within the MCB limit.

For clients with a goal of protection from abuse, neglect, or exploitation, this service is provided regardless of income.

For services provided on a group basis.

  • All legally blind clients who need this service.

Where to Apply: MCB Regional and Central Office

Method of Delivery: Purchased


Service: Recreational/Skills Training for Deaf-Blind Adults

Definition: Provision of Recreational/Skills Training designed to meet the psycho-social and rehabilitative needs of Deaf-Blind adults. Clients will receive the service by referral to and participation in a community based group specifically set up to help Deaf-Blind adults enjoy recreation and learn new skills.

Availability: Statewide

Eligibility: Legally blind persons with severe hearing impairment and over the age 55 who need this service.

Where to Apply: MCB Deaf-Blind/Multihandicapped Unit -Boston Office

Method of Delivery: Purchased


Service: Rehabilitation Teaching

Definition: A range of services in the areas of daily living skills, communication, and the use of leisure time. Evaluation of skill levels is conducted. Activities may include: assessing abilities and skills of client in specific areas, such as ADL/home management, personal care, communication, therapeutic recreational activities and then providing instruction in these areas when needed. Rehabilitation Teachers are also actively involved with on the job training and teaching computer skills to consumers. Rehabilitation teachers also provide consumer support and education related to the use of low-vision services. Pre-screening (including use of standardized, written assessment tools), encouragement, and provision of training in the use of prescribed low-vision devices may be provided as part of the rehabilitation teaching service. Demonstration of common non-prescription low vision aids may be provided.

Availability: Statewide

Eligibility: All legally blind clients who need this service.

Where to Apply: MCB Regional and Central Offices

Method of Delivery: Direct


Service: Respite Care

Definition: A temporary service to provide relief for the family/primary caregiver of a disabled blind person. The service may be provided in the primary caregiver's home, in the respite worker's home, or in a residential facility that provides respite care. Priority will be given to those families where an emergency situation necessitating the caregiver's absence has occurred.

Availability: Statewide, with the following restrictions:

  • Subject to sufficient agency funds.
  • Similar benefits must be exhausted before MCB funds can be accessed.
  • Limited to a maximum of 48 hours per quarter (maximum 168 hours per year). If extraordinary circumstances are present, the Deputy Commissioner has the authority to waive the limit.

Eligibility: Families with legally blind individuals up to age 60 years who are not eligible for respite care services from other Agencies such as the Department of Public Health, Departments of Mental Retardation, and the Department of Social Services, or are eligible but have expended the maximum number of days available under that agency's funding.

  • Recipients of SSI-BI, SSI-DI, SSI-OAA, or AFDC.

Where to Apply: MCB Regional and Central Offices

Method of Delivery: Purchased


Service: Self Advocacy/Recreation Services For Deaf-Blind Persons

Definition: Provision of advocacy/recreation services for deaf-blind persons. Clients will receive the service by referral to and participation in a self-help group specifically designed to help deaf-blind persons provide support to one another.

Availability: Statewide

Eligibility: Legally blind persons with severe hearing impairment who need this service.

Where to Apply: MCB Deaf-Blind/Multihandicapped Unit - Boston Office (617) 727-5550 ext. 4209 or Toll Free 1-800-392-6450 TDD 1-800-392-6556

Method of Delivery: Purchased


Service: Socialization Services for Legally Blind School-Age Children

Definition: Provision of a program of 300 hours annually for legally blind school-age children who are under age 16. The goal of the program is for the children to develop appropriate social skills and self-confidence to facilitate their participation in integrated community recreation and enrichment programs.

Availability: Statewide, subject to the availability of funds and contractual arrangements with vendors.

Eligibility: Legally blind children under the age of 16 who are attending school (grades 1 through 12) and who need this service.

Where to Apply: MCB Regional or Central Offices.

Method of Delivery: Purchased


Service: Self-Help Group Counseling Services for Newly-Blind Persons

Definition: Provision of self-help group counseling services for persons who have recently become legally blind. Clients will receive the service, through referral to, and participation in, existing self-help counseling groups which are designed to help persons cope with recent vision loss.

Availability: Statewide

Eligibility: Legally blind persons who need this service.

Where to Apply: MCB Regional or Central Offices.

Method of Delivery: Purchased


Service: Support Services/Vision Utilization

Definition: The provision of assistive listening devices and/or low vision aids/devices to eligible clients. Prescription devices must be deemed necessary by a physician or optometrist or audiologist and the aid/device is documented (in the ISP) as necessary to assist the client in achieving his/her highest degree of independent functioning. Closed circuit television devices (CCTV's) may be provided when necessary for independent living and when the consumer has been determined to have the necessary motivation and physical capacity to use the device successfully. Any CCTV provided will be the least expensive model that will enable the consumer to read. Only "black and white" machines will be provided. These services are termed "support" services because they are provided as an integral and subordinate part of primary services.

Availability: Statewide (Availability of service subject to sufficient agency funds).

Eligibility: Legally blind persons who meet the financial eligibility requirements for independent living social services:

  • Recipients of SSI-BI, SSI-DI, SSI-OAA, or AFDC
  • Income eligible persons, including persons on Medicaid, whose income is within the MCB limit.

For clients with a goal of protection from abuse, neglect or exploitation, this service is provided regardless of income.

Where to Apply: MCB Regional or Central Offices.

Method of Delivery: Purchased


Service: Transportation

Definition: Provided where appropriate public or other transportation is not available, utilized to provide access to Orientation and Mobility Services, or Recreation Services, or Low Vision Services, or Vision Utilization Services when one of these services is specified in the client's Individual Service Plan.

Availability: Statewide (Availability of service subject to sufficient agency funds).

Eligibility: Legally blind persons who meet the financial eligibility requirements for Independent Living Social Services:

  • Recipients of SSI-BI, SSI-DI, SSI-OAA, or AFDC
  • Income eligible persons, including persons on Medicaid, whose income is within the MCB limit.

For clients with a goal of protection from abuse, neglect or exploitation, this service is provided regardless of income.

Where to Apply: MCB Regional and Central Offices

Method of Delivery: Purchased and Direct


This information is provided by the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind .