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Family and Social Services Administration

DDRS Home > Rehabilitation / Employment > Blind & Visually Impaired Blind & Visually Impaired Services

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About BVIS

Blind and Visually Impaired Services (BVIS) is a program of the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS), a Division of Disability & Rehabilitative Services (DDRS). BVIS provides services to eligible Hoosier’s that are blind or visually impaired.

Randolph - Sheppard Business Enterprise Program

The Randolph-Sheppard Business Enterprise Program provides entrepreneurial opportunities for legally blind clients of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS). These blind entrepreneurs manage a wide variety of food-service operations, including cafeterias, coffee shops, vending locations, and highway area vending sites. Through this program, blind individuals receive training and opportunities to become productive, tax-paying citizens and independent business owners.

For information regarding resources for the Business Enterprise Program contact:

BVIS Program Manager at 1-800-545-7763

*Indiana Business Enterprise Program is actively recruiting for a 2016 Training Class. Interested candidates are encouraged to review the qualifications and information provided on the webpage linked above. Contact BEP staff via email at BVIS@fssa.in.gov for additional questions and to get your referral into the program started!

Older Independent Blind Program (OIB)

The Older Independent Blind/Visually Impaired Program expands independent living services for people who are age 55 and older, and have a severe visual impairment. Through a grant from the Department of Education, Older Blind Program, Indiana Blind and Visually Impaired Services provide funding to various contractors across the state. 

For information regarding resources for Blind Services in Indiana and the Older Independent Blind/Visually Impaired Program contact:

Julia Anderson: Julia.Anderson@fssa.IN.gov or 1-800-545-7763 

Confidential Report of Blindness

Effective January 1, 1992, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) was mandated by the legislature to maintain a registry of blind/visually impaired individuals in the state of Indiana.

Every physician, holding an unlimited license to practice medicine, or licensed optometrist, is required to report each individual who is diagnosed with blindness or visual impairment of a degree to interfere with the person’s ability to function in school, employment, or other activities of daily living.

All information in the report will be kept confidential and will be used only for determining eligibility for assistance. Participation in any program or acceptance of services is completely voluntary. A copy of the blank form can be found here: Confidential Report of Blindness or Visual Impairment (State Form 48126)

Events

2016

Vision Loss Support Groups take place regularly in a number of different counties across Indiana. Vision loss is handled differently for each person, attending a vision loss support group allow for individuals experiencing similar situations to have a place to connect and share resources, experiences, and thoughts with like-minded individuals. Click here for a listing of Vision Loss Support Groups in Indiana last updated January 2016.

June 23-25 2016 Turnstone Center for Children and Adults with Disabilities and the City of Fort Wayne, Indiana will partner to host the 2016 United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) Goalball National Championships. Click here for the press release. Click here to learn more about goalball.

2015

The Indiana Vision Expo, held annually at the Indiana State Library, connects people with vision loss and their families and friends to assistive technology vendors and low-vision service providers. For more information please visit: http://indianavisionexpo.library.in.gov/

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month; click here for a copy of the 2015 Proclamation from Governor Mike Pence. For more information about National Disability Employment Month, click here.

October 15th is recognized as International White Cane Safety Day; click here for a copy of the 2015 Proclamation from Governor Mike Pence. For more information on White Cane Safety Day as A Symbol of Independence, click here.

Resources

Blind and Visually Impaired Services of Indiana has compiled a list of additional resources that you may find helpful. Please browse the list for additional information on any of the following topics:

  • Accessible Documentation
  • Adaptive Sports Programs in Indiana
  • Audio Services
  • Awareness and Advocacy
  • Bioptic Driving
  • Centers for Rehabilitation and Community Services
  • Education Resources  
  • Employment Resources
  • Smartphone Apps and Technology