The Office for the Blind and Visually Impaired (OBVI) provides instruction and training to persons with blindness and visual impairment, both in group settings and in individuals' homes. Instruction covers four broad skill areas, including home and personal management tasks, communications, and mobility.
Home management tasks include such skills as cooking; making appliances functional; adaptive techniques for cleaning; and safe placement of furnishings to facilitate mobility in the home. Personal management tasks include personal hygiene and clothing care, including techniques for organizing clothing and marking colors. Communication skills range from the use of magnification, lighting, and talking books for reading; the writing of personal checks; keeping a ledger; and use of equipment such as large-button telephones. Mobility skills include the safe experience of moving from one place to another either traveling indoors or outside of the home.
When a referral is made to OBVI, the first contact usually is by phone. After a brief conversation to assess the caller's situation, an appointment is made either for a home visit or for participation in an upcoming group training session. Callers should be prepared to describe the difficulties they are experiencing due to vision loss, as well as the formal diagnosis of their condition. It is always best if the caller has seen an eye care specialist within the last year, and shares the specialist's report with OBVI.