Iowa Department for the Blind

Independent Living Program

Newsletter Ė Vol. 2, 2007


The Iowa Department for the Blind is the state agency that provides comprehensive services to Iowans with vision loss.Services are confidential, free and available statewide.


The Independent Living Program is an important part of the over-all package of services available from the Iowa Department for the Blind.†† Rehabilitation Teachers and project specialists travel throughout the state to help clients obtain the confidence and techniques they need to live independent, productive lives.

As you may have guessed, the Independent Living Program draws on other agency programs to provide comprehensive services to Iowaís elders with vision loss.Some of the services include:



The library provides reading materials free of charge to Iowans who cannot use standard print because of blindness, physical disability, or reading disability.Books and magazines are available on cassette tape, in Braille, and in large print to eligible borrowers throughout the state.

The library also circulates videos enhanced with audio descriptions, known as descriptive videos.Videos are available for all ages and range in subject from popular movies to documentaries.For more information, visit


Located at the Department for the Blindís Des Moines office, the aids and devices store sells adapted items useful to persons who are blind or visually impaired. White canes, Braille and talking watches and clocks, Braille-writing equipment, magnifiers, measuring devices, Braille and large-print playing cards, games, cooking and sewing aids, and other items are available for sale.Items are sold at cost, and the store is an elderly waiver provider.For more information, visit



At times, during the process of receiving independent living services, a client will express the desire to return to work.If this happens, the rehabilitation teacher will request assistance from a vocational rehabilitation counselor.

Vocational rehabilitation (VR) services help individuals to prepare for, obtain, and retain employment.Applicants are made eligible based on their visual disability, their need for VR services, and their intent to work. The VR counselor and the eligible individual jointly identify a vocational goal and the services needed to achieve it. Services may include:

v   Training

v   Assessment, demonstration, and training in the Assistive Technology Resource Center  

v   Job placement services

v   Rehabilitation technology services

v   Post-employment follow up

For more information, visit


The Adult Orientation and Adjustment Center is a residential training program for adults who are blind.Located in Des Moines, the Center provides in-depth, individualized blindness training to students so that they can return to their home communities to live independently and work competitively. Students receive training in four areas:

v   Self-confidence

v   Blindness skills

v   Job readiness

v   Public education

For more information, visit

If you know someone who could benefit from the services available through the Department for the Blind, if you would like to set up an in-service with a Department for the Blind representative, or if you simply want more information, call the Department for the Blind at 800-362-2587 or visit our web site at

Upcoming Events

To find out what is happening at the Department and in your area, choose the Upcoming Events link.

Upcoming Events

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INDEPENDENT LIVING PROGRAM NEWSLETTER  is published by the Iowa Department for the Blind. Please direct questions and suggestions to the Iowa Department for the Blind, 524 Fourth Street, Des Moines, IA 50309-2364, 515-281-1333.