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Information current as of May 15, 2013.
Blind Services

Workforce Commission, Louisiana Rehabilitation Services

Blind Services is a section of Louisiana Rehabilitation Services’ Vocational Rehabilitation Program that provides services to eligible individuals who are blind or visually impaired. The Randolph-Sheppard Business Enterprise Program and the Older Blind/Visually Impaired Program are parts of Blind Services.

The Older Blind/Visually Impaired Program expands independent living services for people who are age 55 or older and have a severe visual impairment. Through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education Older Blind Program, Louisiana Rehabilitation Services provides funding to three contractors: Affiliated Blind of Louisiana, Lighthouse for the Blind in New Orleans and LA Center for the Blind, to coordinate statewide services.

The Randolph-Sheppard Business Enterprise Program provides entrepreneurial opportunities for consumers of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program who are legally blind to manage their own businesses. This includes a wide variety of food-service operations, including cafeterias, coffee shops, vending locations, and highway rest area vending sites. Through this program, blind persons receive training opportunities to become productive, tax-paying citizens and proud business owners.

How do I qualify for services?

To be eligible for the Older Blind/Visually Impaired Program you must be age 55 or older and have a severe visual disability or be legally blind.

Eligibility for the Randolph-Sheppard Business Enterprise Program is based upon an individual with a significant visual disability benefiting from vocational rehabilitation services in terms of achieving employment. Therefore, applications for services are accepted at the time an individual with a disability reaches or nears the minimum age of legal employability.

To be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, the individual must:

  • have a physical or mental disability which for the individual constitutes or results in a substantial impediment to employment; and
  • be able to benefit from vocational rehabilitation services in terms of employment; and
  • require vocational rehabilitation services to prepare for, enter, engage in or retain gainful employment.

In addition, an individual must:

  • be a U.S. citizen residing in Louisiana
  • be 18 years of age or older
  • have completed all services on their Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE)
  • have documentation of independent living skills
  • be a high school graduate or have a GED
  • have basic math skills

What services are available?

Blind/Visually impaired services available through the Vocational Rehabilitation Program may include, but are not limited to:

  • Vocational guidance and career counseling
  • Evaluation of rehabilitation potential
  • Restoration (physical/mental)
  • Vocational and other training services
  • Rehabilitation technology, including assistive technology services, assistive technology devices and rehabilitation engineering
  • Occupational tools and equipment
  • Transportation to access other vocational rehabilitation services
  • Job Placement into suitable employment
  • Orientation and Mobility training
  • Randolph-Sheppard Business Enterprise

Services available through the Older Blind/Visually Impaired Program:

  • Low Vision Screening
  • In home or classroom training in skills to help maintain independence
  • Aids for independent living
  • Orientation and Mobility training (sighted guide and use of white cane)
  • Peer Counseling
  • Braille
  • Information and referral services
  • Confidence building activities

For information about resources and applying for Blind Services in Louisiana visit the Louisiana Workforce Commission website.


Contact Information
Kevin Monk, Executive Director
( 225 ) 219 - 2943
KMonk@lwc.la.gov
Locations
Affiliated Blind of Louisiana
Physical Address
409 W. St. Mary Blvd
Lafayette, LA 70506
Mailing Address
409 W. St. Mary Blvd
Lafayette, LA 70506
Primary Phone Number: ( 337 ) 234 - 6492
Hours
Monday - Friday: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Saturday - Sunday: Closed

Lighthouse for the Blind in New Orleans
Physical Address
123 State Street
New Orleans, LA 70118
Mailing Address
123 State Street
New Orleans, LA 70118
Primary Phone Number: ( 504 ) 899 - 4501
Hours
Monday - Friday: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Saturday - Sunday: Closed

Louisiana Center for the Blind
Physical Address
101 South Trenton Street
Ruston, LA 71270
Mailing Address
101 South Trenton Street
Ruston, LA 71270
Primary Phone Number: ( 318 ) 251 - 2891
Hours
Monday - Friday: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Saturday - Sunday: Closed