transcript MCB Services for Individuals who are Blind and DeafBlind


Title: Massachusetts Commission for the Blind VR/SR/DBES Vlog

Speaker: MCB Commissioner David D’Arcangelo

Hello, this is David D’Arcangelo, Commissioner for the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB.) I hope you and your families are all staying safe and well.

Last year, our staff returned to offering in-person services for our communities along with our virtual and remote options that continue to be part of our new delivery system.  I am here today to provide some updated information on the services we provide.

The goal of our Vocational Rehabilitation team is to provide access to employment opportunities.  Whether it is keeping a current career or finding a new job, our consumers must meet the following requirements to qualify to receive our VR services. 

An individual must have:

  • A disability of legal blindness that constitutes or results in any difficulty regarding employment
  • A requirement of VR services to prepare for, secure, retain, or regain employment.
  • A determination that an individual can benefit in terms of an employment outcome from VR service.

We also offer Social Rehabilitation (SR) services to those in our communities. Through SR services, community members can work with our staff to learn ways to navigate their environments and increase their independence while living in their own homes, with others, in senior residences, assisted living communities, or nursing homes. Services include:

  • Low-vision evaluations
  • Low-vision devices to maximize an individual’s residual vision
  • Orientation and Mobility instruction
  • Rehabilitation Teaching to share new ways of completing daily functions
  • Distribution of and education on the use of assistive devices
  • Peer support groups for those who are legally blind

The DeafBlind Extended Support Unit (DBES) within MCB is the department that provides support services to consumers who are DeafBlind and/or legally blind with cognitive/intellectual issues via skilled counselors who can communicate with basic American Sign Language (ASL) and/or a variety of adaptive communication methods.

The following specialized services of the DBES unit may also be available:

  • Residential supports may be an option for individuals who are DeafBlind who have turned age 22 and MCB is identified as the State of Massachusetts lead agency.
  • Respite
  • Flex Funding
  • Transition from school to living in the community, a process that often requires coordination with other service providers and state agencies.

For more information and to begin the process of receiving support via any of our programs and services, visit us online at Reach out with questions via email to or by telephone at 1-800-392-6450.

Thank you, have a great day.