Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired
COMPREHENSIVE SERVICES FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED
AND BLIND INDIVIDUALS OF ALL AGES
If you have a vision problem that prevents you from carrying out the activities of daily living, getting an education or a job, there is help. The Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired can provide many services to persons with severe visual impairments.
The goal of vocational rehabilitation services is to help you get a job, retain or return to employment.
You could receive:
- Individual counseling and guidance, and vocational assessment.
- Orientation and mobility instruction to develop independent travel skills.
- Other training, devices, treatment, job placement and follow-up services to enable you to succeed in a job.
- Starting at age 14, VR services are also available to assist students in transitioning from high school to work. See our Youth and Transition page
Extended Support Programs
The Extended Support Programs (Basic Support and Head Injured Support) provide services to persons with the most severe disabilities in order that they may maintain jobs in community-based supported employment settings gained through their participation in either of the two VR Programs the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services offers.
Business Enterprise Program
Provides training and support to manage snack bars, cafeterias and vending machine facilities on state federal and municipal properties.
Visit the Business Enterprise Program homepage for more information
- Adaptive skill training provides alternative skills to accomplish activities of daily living.
- Homemaking skills training may include meal preparation, shopping, and cleaning.
- Individuals may be trained in a variety of personal management skills, such as managing money, dialing a telephone, and telling time.
- Mobility instruction assists individuals to travel safely through the use of alternative techniques.
- The services are provided by our multidisciplinary staff in conjunction with vision rehabilitation therapists from the IRIS Network.
Comprehensive services for children and families begin as soon as a child is identified as blind or visually impaired. Our multidisciplinary staff, in conjunction with teachers from Catholic Charities Maine, work with parents and schools to develop and implement an individualized education program.
Any person legally blind and in need, may apply for SSI or SSDI at the nearest Social Security Office. For information, please call: 622-8348 or 1-800-772-1213
Real Estate Tax Exemption
Persons who are legally blind may receive a real estate tax exemption of up to $4,000.00 on their property valuation by applying through your local town office. You must provide a medical report that states you are "legally blind"
Fillable Blindness Registration Card
Upon examination at a clinic, hospital or other institution, or elsewhere, by the physician, optometrist, institutional superintendent or other person conducting the examination can fill out the card. The visual acuity of a person to qualify for this card must be of 20/200 or less in the better eye, or if the peripheral field of the person’s vision is found to have contracted to a 20-degree diameter or less, regardless of visual acuity. Fillable Blindness Registration Card
I.D. Cards for Individuals who are Visually Impaired and Blind
A card is available to visually impaired people who do not have a driver’s license. This card is acceptable identification for cashing checks, and other transactions. It may be obtained at any Department of Motor Vehicles office. The fee is $5.00.
Maine State Library Talking Book Program provides books and magazines in a recorded cassette or disc format to people who are visually impaired, blind, or physically handicapped. Applications are available from the Maine State Library and from public library service centers throughout the state, or by calling the Special Services toll-free numbers:
DBVI State Rehabilitation Council
The mission of the State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind and Visually Impaired is to provide leadership and diverse viewpoints in partnership with the Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired to develop and evaluate programs and services; to identify priorities that help create opportunities, increase independence and broaden access to the workplace for citizens of all ages who are blind or visually impaired.
For more information, please call the Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired office nearest you. Visits the BRS Office Directory for a list of office locations and contact information.
If you have suggestions for improving this website or have difficulty accessing any of its content, please contact: Webmaster.BRS@Maine.gov