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

Technology

For help obtaining any of the services below, contact the DSB District Office nearest you.

Assistive Technology

You can receive help with Assistive Technology services as part of Vocational Rehabilitation or the Independent Living.

More than ever before, technology makes it possible for individuals with visual impairments to lead independent and fulfilling lives. For example, a young high school student can learn to get around their school campus with the use of a white cane; a college student can read textbooks with the use of a Closed Circuit Television, CCTV; and an individual employed as a customer service representative can look up information on their computer using speech software. This equipment is frequently called "assistive technology". Assistive technology (AT) helps a person with a disability do something s/he otherwise cannot do. Assistive technology can be anything from a simple device, such as a magnifying glass, to a complex device, such as a computerized communication system.

The term "assistive technology" comes from several laws that address the needs of people with disabilities. Assistive technology includes both the devices and the services needed to use the devices effectively.

We provide a full array of services for an individual who is visually impaired to become more independent. These services include, individual assessment, technology training, job site assessment, safe travel instruction, and (if eligible) assistance with purchase of equipment.

A technology assessment looks at what you want to do and what solutions are available to assist you. Your existing skills, your ability to master new skills, and where you will use the equipment are among the factors to consider.

DSB offers instruction to provide you with the skills needed to productively use software, hardware or special devices to achieve independent living, educational or vocational goals.

If you have or are applying for a job for which modifications might be needed to perform your job duties, our technology consultants can visit the job site to determine what modifications will best meet your need. These are some of the areas that can be assessed: computers, telephone systems and the physical environment.

Sometimes electronic travel aids or aids for distance vision are needed. Our Orientation and Mobility Instructors provide training in the use of the aids.

We may be able to assist with the purchase of equipment that is required for you to meet your employment or independent living goals.

Assessment

A technology assessment looks at what you want to do and what solutions are available to assist you. Your existing skills, your ability to master new skills, and where you will use the equipment are among the factors to consider.

Training

We can help with instruction to provide you with the skills needed to productively use software, hardware or special devices to achieve independent living, educational or vocational goals.

Job Site Evaluation

If you have or are applying for a job for which modifications might be needed to perform your job duties, our technology consultants can visit the job site to determine what modifications will best meet your need. These are some of areas that can be assessed: computers, telephone systems and the physical environment.

Equipment Purchase

We may be able to assist with the purchase of equipment that is required for you to meet your employment or independent living goals.

Aids and Appliances Unit

The Aids and Appliances (A&A) Unit is a nonprofit program that sells small aids and appliances developed or adapted for people who are blind or visually impaired. Items for sale include: talking / Braille / large-print watches; sewing aids, kitchen aids such as crock pots, pressure cookers, and frying pans; as well as low-vision aids such as special sunglasses and magnifiers. These and other products are available at cost plus shipping and state tax.

The A & A Unit is located in the Haywood Building, Room 110- 112, 315 Ashe Avenue, 2601 Mail Service Center Raleigh, NC 27606. To contact the Aids and Appliances Unit directly you may call (919) 715-0249. Spanish consumers are also able to access the Aids and Appliances Unit by contacting the CARELINE at 1 (800) 662-7030 and ask to be connected to the Aids and Appliances Unit.

 

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