Independent Living Services and Older Individuals Who Are Blind Services



Independent Living Services 

Independent Living Services is a rehabilitation program of the Division of Blind Services within the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. The Independent Living program is designed to provide a broad range of individualized services enabling individuals with vision impairments to achieve their maximum level of independence within the home, community and/or workplace. Together with each program participant, Independent Living Services works towards solutions that are unique to an individual's situation.

Older Individuals Who Are Blind Program

The Older Individuals Who Are Blind Program expands independent living to individuals age 55 and older. The goal of the Older Invidividuals Who Are Blind Program is to provide opportunities for individuals to learn skills that will allow the individual to remain as independent as they want to be.
Customized training is offered to help individuals of all ages learn adaptive daily living skills. This training focuses on many important activities which include, but are not limited to:

  • Communication skills such as writing and using a telephone;
  • Daily living skills including time telling and home management skills;
  • ​Use of tactile markings; and
  • Assessment and use of low-vision devices and assistive technology
The Older Individuals Who Are Blind Program begins by conducting an individualized needs assessment. Together with the individual, we look at the blindness-related problems and work toward solutions that will help the individual achieve greater independence in the home, community and/or workplace. Instruction is given in the use of adaptive techniques enabling the individual to continue doing many of the things they were doing in the past or to learn new skills.  In addition, individuals can be connected to other local, state, and national blindness related resources.   

Because OVR values self-determination, the Independent Living and Older Individuals Who Are Blind programs share a goal of encouraging individuals to learn skills that will allow them to achieve their desired level of independence. Services are free and can be provided in the individual's home, OVR offices, or other locations the individual may prefer in every Kentucky county.

If you would like more information about how Independent Living Services can help you improve your independence and make activities of daily life more accessible, please see the video below. It tells the story of consumer Lisa describing how these services helped her. 


Resources from KY Independent Living and Older Individuals Who Are Blind

Click here to view a PDF of Safety Tips                                                                        Click here to view a PDF of Travel Tips

Useful web resources:

Older Individuals Who Are Blind – Technical Assistance Center
The Older Individuals who are Blind Technical Assistance Center is a part of the National Research & Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision (NRTC) at Mississippi State University, focused on agencies serving older individuals who are blind (OIB). This project is funded by two grants (#H177Z200001) and (#H177Z150003) from the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA)​ under the U.S. Department of Education. The OIB-TAC team provides a variety of training and technical assistance activities to state OIB programs to improve administration, operation, and performance of OIB programs by addressing the areas of community outreach; best practices in provision and delivery of services; program performance, including data reporting and analysis; and financial and management practices, including administrative compliance.
Founded in 1920 by William Hadley, an educator who lost his eyesight later in life, Hadley offers practical help, connection and support free of charge to anyone with a visual impairment, their families and professionals supporting them. Providing online, large print, braille and audio media, Hadley serves nearly 150,000 individuals each year, reaching all 50 states and 100 countries. And more people learn braille from Hadley than from any other organization worldwide. 
Are you or a family member having difficulty seeing? Or perhaps been diagnosed with an eye condition such as macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, or diabetic retinopathy? If the answer is yes, you’re not alone: vision problems affect 25 million Americans and they are on the rise.​ VisionAware is a free, easy-to-use informational service for adults with vision loss, their families, caregivers, healthcare providers, and social service professionals.

The KTBL provides free library service to people who cannot read traditional print because they have a visual, physical, or reading disability.  Audio and Braille materials are sent to and from users by postage-free mail, or can be downloaded from the internet. A special Talking Book player is provided on loan. KTBL has been in operation since 1969 and is part of a national network of libraries administered by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, a branch of the Library of Congress. 

Read the Talking Books and magazines you want when you want them—24 hours a day/7 days a week—even from your mobile devices!  New books are available on BARD first, and there is no due date for downloaded books.  You must first be a registered patron of the Kentucky Talking Book Library and have an NLS digital player or BARD-compatible device. 

Covia, an organization based in California, offers programs to assist people age 60 and over to connect with services and relationships no matter where they live in the United States.  Two primary programs are provided to enhance the engagement of older adults across the country.Well Connected offers phone and online group conversations, classes, support groups, lectures and more. Social Call​ matches individuals for regularly scheduled one-on-one friendly phone conversations.​

​​​​Visit these links for more information about services:


​​​​Need​ more help? Contact us

Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation
Central Office
Mayo-Underwood Building
500 Mero Street 4th Floor NE
Frankfort, KY 40601
800-372-7172 (V/TTY)

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