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NC Department of Health and Human Services Division of Services for the Blind

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FAQs about Our Services

Do I have to be totally blind before I can receive services from DSB?

Most of our services can be provided to you if your vision loss is causing some difficulty for you at home, school or at work. For some of our services such as In-Home Assistance you must be legally blind. We can talk with you about eligibility for each of our services. Contact your nearest district office for assistance.

Do I have to pay for DSB services?

No, we do not charge for the services we provide. However some services require that you meet an income scale. Our rehabilitation counselors or social workers will talk with you about any income scales that apply to the services that might benefit you.

I have lost nearly all of my vision due to diabetes. I can no longer do my job. I want to keep working. Is there anything you can do to help me?

Yes, through our Vocational Rehabilitation program we can work with you if you are having difficulty finding or keeping a job because of vision loss.

First, you need to make contact with the DSB office nearest you and talk with a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. Depending on the type of job you have now, it might be possible to modify the job to accommodate your vision loss, but if not, our counselor can work with you to look at other job options. If you need to be trained before going to another job, we might be able to assist with that.

If you need specialized training to help you adjust to your vision loss, we can help. Our services are based on your specific needs and the counselor can help you set goals and identify services you need.

My daughter is legally blind. She is in high school and would like to go to college. Would any of your services help us?

Yes, our Vocational Rehabilitation Program can begin working with students as young as 14 years old to help them prepare for the move from school to work. Career counseling, vocational evaluation, and work experience may be useful. If your daughter chooses a job goal that requires training beyond high school, we may be able to assist with some of those costs as well as with support services such as readers and computer technology. We also work closely with staff of higher education programs to gain access to services they provide to students who are blind or visually impaired. Please contact a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor in the DSB office nearest you.

My son has severe vision and hearing loss. Do you have any services to meet his needs?

Yes, through our Rehabilitation Programs we have Deaf-Blind Specialists who are trained in the unique needs of people with varying degrees of vision and hearing loss. These Specialists are fluent in American Sign language and are knowledgeable about the various types of assistive listening devices and other technologies. They work closely with the Rehabilitation Counselors to help people get and keep a job.

Also, through our Rehabilitation Center for the Blind, we offer specialized services for people with hearing and vision loss. Classes in communication skills, Braille, safe travel, and daily living skills are taught and trial work opportunities can be arranged. Please contact Vocational Rehabilitation  or Independent Living Rehabilitation Counselor in the DSB office nearest you.

My mother's vision is getting worse due to macular degeneration. She can no longer drive. She lives alone and is in her 70's. Do you have any services that might help her?

Yes, we have a number of services that might help your mother to function more independently and safely at home. Our social worker can visit with your mother at home. We can talk with her about public transportation, books on tape or in large print, and adaptive aids that might be of use to her. Contact a Social Worker for the Blind for these services.

Through our Independent Living Rehabilitation Counselors, your mother may be able to receive teaching in the home or participate in a "Mini-Center." Mini-centers are community-based classes that meet once a week for twelve weeks. Transportation is provided. Contact your nearest district office for these services.

Our services are individualized. Our social worker or independent living rehabilitation counselor can determine the specific services that will be of greatest help to your mother after talking with her.

I am interested in working in a food service facility. What kinds of opportunities does North Carolina have and what kind of income might I be able to earn?

We have 75 facilities in federal, state, county, and private locations around the State. Our average operator income is nearly $42,000 annually. Before you can compete to operate a facility, you will need to become licensed in North Carolina. Please contact our DSB office nearest you for more information.


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