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Labor and Economic Opportunity

Frequently Asked Questions -- Services for Blind & Visually Impaired Seniors

Please note: The answers provided are not meant to be a substitute for legal advice.

Q. Who may refer an individual for Independent Living services from the Michigan Bureau of Services for Blind Persons?

A. You may refer yourself, or any person you designate may refer you for services.

Q. How do I qualify for Independent Living Program Services?

A. You must be a Michigan resident who is 55 years old or over, and you must be legally blind. This means your vision is 20/200 in your better eye with correction. When viewing the eye chart in your doctor's office, this will be the E at the top of the chart. You may qualify if your vision is 20/100 in your better eye with a statement of deteriorating vision. You may qualify if your field of view is 20 degrees or less.

Q. How much will Independent Living Programs cost?

A. There is no cost for teaching services. Adaptive equipment may be provided at no cost within Bureau of Services for Blind Persons budget constraints. Discuss your options with the teacher/counselor assigned to your county.

Q. Will my insurance cover the cost of magnifiers?

A. Not at this time. Discuss these concerns with your eye care provider.

Q. What is the duration of Independent Living Program services?

A. This program is short-term. It is individualized by the teacher/counselor and the client. It is not designed to be a life-long program.

Q. Can I receive financial assistance from the Independent Living Program?

A. This is not a financial assistance program. You may want to contact the following programs to discuss these concerns:

Area Agencies on Aging

Michigan Department of Health & Human Services

Social Security Administration

Q. Does the Independent Living Program provide transportation?

A.   No. You may want to contact the following:

Area Agencies on Aging

Public transportation such as bus or Dial-A-Ride services



Taxi Company

Q. Are chore providers available through the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons? 

A. No. You may want to investigate the following resources: 

Area Agencies on Aging

Michigan Department of Health & Human Services

Home Health Care 

Q. Where are services provided? 

A. Services are provided in your home. Services are also provided at the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons Training Center in Kalamazoo.