Rehabilitation Services_Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who are Blind

To provide independent living services to individuals aged 55 or older who are blind, whose severe visual impairments make competitive employment extremely difficult to obtain, but for whom independent living goals are feasible.

Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Projects have extended services to subgroups of the older blind population that are vulnerable to premature or unnecessary institutionalization as well as to older deaf-blind persons.

These projects provide services in both rural and urban areas and about half of the grantees make subgrants to community nonprofit agencies to deliver services.

In addition to in-home and/or facility- based service provisions, mobile units and community minicenters are available near the residences of persons being served.

All projects provide comprehensive independent living services.

Agency - Department of Education

The Department of Education ensures equal access to education and promotes educational excellence through coordination, management and accountability in Federal education programs. The Department works to supplement and complement educational efforts on all levels, encouraging increased involvement by the public, parents and students.

Selected Recipients for this Program

RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
Labor, Maine Department Of $ 225,000   2019-10-012020-09-30
Employment, Training And Rehabilitation, Nevada Department Of $ 271,296   2019-10-012020-09-30
Massachusetts Commission For The Blind $ 661,467   2019-10-012020-09-30
Children & Family Services, New York Office Of $ 1,848,259   2019-10-012020-09-30
Tennessee Department Of Human Services $ 635,035   2019-10-012020-09-30
Administracion Rehabilitacion Vocacional $ 346,047   2019-10-012020-09-30
Indiana Family And Social Services Administration $ 612,691   2019-10-012020-09-30
Government Of Guam- Department Of Administration $ 40,000   2019-10-012020-09-30
Labor And Workforce Development, Alaska Department Of $ 225,000   2019-10-012020-09-30
Division Of Services For The Blind $ 283,719   2019-10-012020-09-30

Program Accomplishments

Funding was received by 56 projects in FY 07.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Federal funds are used to improve or expand independent living services.

Among the services provided are those to help correct or modify visual disabilities, provide eyeglasses and other visual aids, provide services and equipment to enhance mobility and self-care, provide training in Braille and other services to help older individuals who are blind adjust to blindness, provide teaching services in daily living activities, and other supportive services that enable individuals to live more independently.

Funds can also be used to improve public understanding of the problems faced by visual older individuals who are blind.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Any State agency (including territories/possessions designated by the State as the State agency) authorized to provide rehabilitation services to blind individuals may apply.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Individuals aged 55 or older whose severe visual impairments make gainful employment extremely difficult to obtain but for whom independent living goals are feasible and beneficial.


Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

The standard application forms as furnished by the Federal agency and required by OMB Circular No.

A-102 must be used for this program.

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

Any application for a grant must contain assurances that the designated State unit will seek to incorporate any new methods and approaches relating to services for older individuals who are blind into the State plan for Independent Living Services. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110.

Award Procedures

Awards are made on approval of the Commissioner of Rehabilitation Services and the Assistant Secretary, OSERS, based on a review of findings of Federal and nonfederal reviewers.


Contact the headquarters office for application deadlines.


Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, Title VII, Chapter 2, 29 U.S.C. 796j-7961.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 90 to 120 days.




Awards are made on an annual basis. Projects may be continued for up to 4 additional years based on annual review of accomplishments, submittal of a continuation application, and the availability of funds. Renewals are available only through the new application process.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Cost-sharing of $1 for each $9 of Federal grant funding is required.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Projects in fiscal year are generally approved for a period of up to five years with funding approved on a 12 month basis. Renewals are subject to availability of appropriations.

Post Assistance Requirements


As required by the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) for direct gt programs (34 CFR 75).

Generally, annual performance and financial reports are required.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


As required by EDGAR for direct grant programs (34 CFR 75). Generally, records related