Independence with Low Vision

Picture of an older man sitting on a park bench holding a long white cane. Seated to his left is a younger female, possibly his granddaughter.

The Independence with Low Vision Program, in partnership with the Florida Division of Blind Services, provides training for adults and seniors who have experienced severe vision loss or blindness to enable them to continue to live safely and independently in their homes, travel safely in the community and improve their quality of life.

The Independence with Low Vision Program enables individuals with vision loss or blindness to:

  • Learn to use magnification, lighting and eccentric viewing techniques to read mail and pay bills
  • Learn methods of labeling and organizing medications to aid in proper dosage
  • Safely prepare nutritious meals
  • Learn to accomplish daily tasks with little or no vision
  • Learn to use a long cane to detect obstacles and drop-offs and methods to travel safely in the home and in the community
  • Learn to use smartphones, tablets and computers with access technology.

For Health care professionals, vision rehabilitation services provided by Independence with Low Vision aim to improve patient outcomes in the following ways:

  • Improve reading efficiency through more effective use of remaining vision combined with magnification and lighting
  • Administer medication properly through the use of labeling and organizational techniques
  • Prevent falls through the use of a long cane and orientation and mobility skills training
  • Lessen the impact of vision loss through adjustment counseling, adaptive skills training and the provision of aids and devices

Independence with Low Vision Program provides expert care:

  • Training is provided at no charge to the individual through funding provided by the Florida Department of Education, Florida Division of Blind Services
  • Training is individualized and offered in the client’s home and in group classes at the Senior Recreation Center.
  • Training is provided by professional staff with a master’s degree in visual disabilities and dual certification as an orientation and mobility specialist and a vision rehabilitation specialist along with an assistant instructor with over 20 years of experience in the Independence with Low Vision Program

Eligibility for Services:

  • Adults 18 years of age or older
  • Resident of Alachua County
  • Presence of a bilateral visual impairment that creates challenges to his or her ability to live independently
  • The potential to benefit from the training provided

How to apply or make a referral for services:

Learn more about White Cane Safety Day on October 15.