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DeafBlind Services

Two women communicate using tactile sign language  

The (Michigan) Bureau of Services for Blind Persons provides statewide Vocational Rehabilitation services and/or Independent Living consultations to adults and high school students who are legally blind and have moderate to profound hearing loss. 

Some of the more common causes for the dual-sensory impairment of DeafBlindness are: 

  • Usher syndrome, types I, II, or III 
  • CHARGE association 
  • Congenital deafness with later vision loss 
  • Congenital blindness with later hearing loss 
  • Congenital rubella syndrome 
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome 
  • Brain tumor or other serious illness or injury 
  • Aging process 


DeafBlind individuals can contact the Bureau's DeafBlind Unit directly for services or be referred by family members, friends, physicians, employers, teachers, or others.
 

Services that may be provided include: 

  • Training 
    • Vocational rehabilitation 
    • Sign language 
    • Activities of daily living 
    • Orientation and mobility 
    • Assistive technology 
  • Consultation 
  • Job placement services 
  • Transition services and college accommodations  
  • In-service presentations to groups: 
    • Group homes 
    • Families 
    • Day programs 
    • Agencies 
    • Community service organizations 
    • Community rehabilitation facilities 
  • Business services for employers with DeafBlind employees, to keep experienced employees on the job after sight and hearing loss 
  • The Intervenor Program--An Intervenor works as an independent contractor providing direct, one-on-one services focusing on developing daily living skills and the greatest vocational potential possible.  Intervenor Program services may be provided in the consumer's workplace, home environment, or other places in the community such as stores, restaurants, libraries, laundromats, etc.  The Intervenor becomes a tutor, friend, advocate, mentor, and language role model to improve the DeafBlind individual's communication skills.  The Intervenor Program is funded through a cooperative cash match agreement between the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons and another agency such as Community Mental Health, an Intermediate School District (ISD) or Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA), or another rehabilitation agency. 
  • Employment--People who are DeafBlind are successfully employed in many occupations, including these, to name only a few:
    • Author/writer 
    • Computer programmer 
    • Factory worker 
    • Florist 
    • Food service worker 
    • Health care worker 
    • Hotel housekeeper 
    • IRS tax examiner 
    • Janitor 
    • Laundry worker 
    • Medical records transcriptionist 
    • Document shredder 
    • Phlebotomist 
    • Rehabilitation counselor 
    • Retail worker 
    • Teacher 


For more information:
 

DeafBlind Services, (Michigan) Bureau of Services for Blind Persons 
201 N. Washington Square, 2nd Floor 
P.O. Box 30652  
Lansing, MI 48909  
(517) 373-2062 (voice)
; 1-800-292-4200 (voice, toll-free) 
(517) 373-4025 (TTY); 1-888-864-1212 (TTY, toll-free)  
E-mail: DeafBlind@michigan.gov 
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