Blind and Low-Vision Services assists with job readiness and independent living skills to ensure success in employment. Orientation-and-mobility specialists assist Blind Services’ consumers in gaining independent travel skills and orientation to the work environment.
The program also works with Alabama employers in maximizing their resources by hiring qualified blind and visually impaired job applicants. Vocational Rehabilitation counselors visit work sites to assess job tasks and perform job analyses to determine positions that can be performed by qualified blind workers.
Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Services are provided by professionals who are trained in the unique communication issues, technology and culture of this population. Anyone facing a substantial barrier to employment due to these impairments is eligible and will receive assistance in preparing for a job, getting a job, and/or keeping a job.
All rehabilitation counselors for the deaf and hard of hearing are proficient in American Sign Language (ASL). In addition, staff interpreters can assist in communicating directly with consumers who use ASL as their primary mode of communication.
OASIS (Older Alabamians System of Information and Services) is a federally funded program designed to assist individuals age 55 and older who are blind or visually impaired to live more independently in their homes and communities. OASIS offers older Alabamians:
- Guidance in adjusting to living with vision loss or blindness
- Instruction in independent living skills
- Low-vision examinations and devices
- Mobility instruction in the home and the community
- Training in using adaptive equipment and technology
- Information and referral to appropriate agencies
These services are provided through a network of Vision Rehabilitation Therapists and Orientation and Mobility Specialists located throughout Alabama. OASIS also develops local support groups to encourage older adults who are losing their vision to share information and support others who are adjusting to vision loss.
For more information on OASIS, call 1-800-441-7607 or email.
The Business Enterprise Program (BEP) provides qualified blind individuals with job training and employment opportunities through the management and operation of small businesses that are designed to provide independence through self-employment.
Created in 1936 by the federal Randolph-Sheppard Act, Alabama’s BEP provides employment for over 100 blind vendors who operate delicatessens, snack bars, cafeterias, vending machine facilities, vending routes, a gift shop, and five federal dining hall operations statewide. BEP sites include the Alabama Department of Transportation’s welcome centers and rest areas as well as commissaries and vending operations at Department of Corrections facilities.