If you, or someone you know, is at least 55 years of age or over and experiencing vision loss or a combined vision and hearing loss? Project Independence can help.
This vision program for those 55 years of age or over is administered by the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency. The services provided may help you remain independent and keep on doing what you like to do. Services may include:
Skills training in your home community by certified rehabilitation specialists so you can keep on doing the daily tasks you like and stay active
Mobility training by certified instructors so you can travel safely
Support groups that offer opportunities so you can learn from and interact with peers who also have visual loss
Comprehensive low vision evaluations by qualified professionals to assess practical and useful ways to access information with magnification
Assistive aids/devices such as talking watches and clocks, lighting, big button phones, various household and kitchen aids
The Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency contracts with Service Providers located throughout Georgia to provide daily living vision services:
Serving Greater Metro Atlanta
Center for the Visually Impaired (CVI)
739 West Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30308
Serving Southeast Georgia
Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision (SCBLV)
1141 Cornell Avenue
Savannah, Georgia 31406
Serving Northwest Georgia
Vision Rehabilitation Services of Georgia (VRS)
3830 South Cobb Drive SE
Smyrna, Georgia 30080
Serving South Georgia
Visually Impaired Foundation of Georgia (VIFGA)
Serving Northeast Georgia
Visually Impaired Specialized Training and Advocacy Services (VISTAS)
337 South Milledge Avenue, Suite 114
Athens, Georgia 30605-5662
Serving East Georgia
Walton Options for Independent Living (WO)
948 Walton Way
Augusta, Georgia 30903-0519
AMERICAN FOUNDATION FOR THE BLIND (AFB)
The American Foundation for the Blind created “AFB Senior Site” to help older Americans and their family members cope with age-related eye diseases, a growing public health problem in the United States.
Click on “AFB Senior Site”
GEORGIA’S AGING AND DISABILITY RESOURCE CONNECTION (ADRC)
1-866-552-4464 (then select Option 2)
Georgia's ADRC is not a place or a program! It is a coordinated system of partnering organizations that are dedicated to:
Providing accurate information about publicly and privately financed long-term supports and services.
Offering a consumer-oriented approach to learning about the availability of services in the home and community.
Alleviating the need for multiple calls and/or visits to receive services.
Supporting individuals and family members who are aging or living with a disability.
What We Do:
Georgia's ADRCs serve older individuals, individuals with disabilities of all ages, families, caregivers and professionals.
Where We Are:
Georgia's ADRC currently serves all of the 159 counties across the state. For more information or to receive assistance contact an ADRC near you.
GEORGIA COUNCIL OF THE BLIND (GCB)
GCB is a nonprofit consumer organization affiliated with the American Council of the Blind. We strive to elevate the social, economic, and cultural levels of the blind. For over 40 years, GCB has been working toward providing a forum for views of the blind, improving education and rehabilitation, and broadening vocational opportunities for the visually impaired. Peer support is an important part of GCB as it encourages and assists the blind in developing their abilities and potential to become independent and responsible citizens in their communities. Peer support is especially helpful for the newly blind who may be confused or bitter. GCB works hard to educate the public about the problems of blindness and the needs and capabilities of the blind.
NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND OF GEORGIA (NFB)
Negative attitudes and mistaken perceptions about blindness are the largest barriers to our independence and full participation in society. Unfortunately, many people believe that blind people should be relegated to the role of dependent, custodial beneficiaries of society’s good will. Equally as offensive, others feel the blind are extraordinary simply because we perform the fundamental tasks and accept the basic responsibilities that are expected from all citizens. To counter these negative attitudes and mistaken perceptions, the NFB of Georgia works aggressively to empower blind people with a positive self-concept of independence and self-worth, while simultaneously educating the public about the true potential of the blind. We strive to promote positive, inclusive perceptions of blind people, so that we can exercise our right, like any other American, to live, work, and play in our communities and be appreciated as everyday people living life every day.
NFB of Georgia
Toll Free: 1-866-316-3242
CENTERS FOR INDEPENDENT LIVING
Statewide Independent Living Council of Georgia, Inc. (SILC)
The SILC of Georgia is a nonprofit, nongovernmental consumer-controlled organization that plays the vital role of providing disability information and technical assistance to a network of nine Centers for Independent Living located throughout the state.
SILC of Georgia
Shelley Simmons, Chief Executive Officer
Toll Free: 1-888-288-9780
TTY: Call GA Relay 711
Centers for Independent Living (CILs) are nonresidential, community-based organizations, governed and staffed by people with disabilities that offer a wide variety of services to consumers with disabilities and their families. The foundation of these services is the peer-to-peer relationship, where people with disabilities act as mentors for other people with disabilities, showing them by example how to help themselves and to live independently. The core services that CILs provide are:
Individual Advocacy and Systems Advocacy
Information and Referral
Independent Living Skills Training
Depending on the needs of the communities they serve, CILs may provide other services that vary from one center to another. For more information contact the center nearest you.
Access 2 Independence: Columbus Center for Independent Living
1315 Delauney Avenue
Columbus, GA 31901
TTY: call GA Relay 711
Serves the following counties in West Central Georgia: Chattahoochee, Harris, Marion, Muskogee, Quitman, Stewart, Talbot, Taylor and Webster
Bainbridge Advocacy Individual Network (BAIN)
711 East Shotwell Street
P.O. Box 1674
Bainbridge, GA 39818
TTY: Call GA Relay 711 / Toll Free: 1-800-255-0135
Serves the following counties in Southwest Georgia: Atkinson, Baker, Berrien, Brooks, Calhoun, Clay, Clinch, Colquitt, Cook, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Echols, Grady, Lanier, Lee, Lowndes, Miller, Mitchell, Randolph, Seminole, Terrell, Tift, Thomas, and Worth.
Macon, GA 31206
Toll Free TTY/Voice: 1-800-743-2117
Serves the following counties in Central Georgia: Baldwin, Bibb, Crawford, Houston, Jasper, Jones, Monroe, Peach, Pulaski, Putnam, Twiggs and Wilkinson.
1901 Montreal Road, Suite 102
Tucker, GA 30084
TTY: Call GA Relay 711
Toll Free TTY/Voice: 1-800-239-2507
Serves the following counties in Metro Atlanta: Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Newton and Rockdale.
Disability Resource Center
170 Scoggins Drive
Demorest, GA 30535
TTY: call GA Relay 711 or at 800-255-0135
Serves the following counties in North Georgia: Banks, Dawson, Forsyth, Franklin, Habersham, Hall, Hart, Lumpkin, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Union, and White
Living Independence for Everyone, Inc. (LIFE)
4811 Waters Avenue
Savannah, GA 31405
Toll Free 800.948.4842
Video Phone 912.257.4834
Serves the following counties in Southeast Georgia: Bryan, Bulloch, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Evans, Glynn, Liberty, McIntosh, Tattnall and Toombs.
145 Barrington Drive
Athens, GA 30605
Serves the following counties in Northeast Georgia: Barrow, Clarke, Elbert, Greene, Jackson, Madison, Morgan, Oconee, Oglethorpe and Walton.
NWGA Center for Independent Living
242 North 5th Avenue
Rome, GA 30165
Toll Free: 866-888-7845
Follow us on Twitter @NWGACIL
Serves the following counties in Northwest Georgia: Bartow, Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Fannin, Floyd, Gilmer, Gordon, Haralson, Murray, Paulding, Pickens, Polk, Walker and Whitfield.
Walton Options for Independent Living
948 Walton Way
Augusta, GA 30903-5019
Toll Free: 877-821-8400
FAX: 706- 724-6729
Serves the following counties in East Georgia: Burke, Columbia, Emanuel, Jefferson, Jenkins, Johnson, Lincoln, Richmond, Screven, Glascock, Hancock, McDuffie, Taliaferro, Warren, Wilkes, and Washington.
GEORGIA PUBLIC LIBRARY SERVICE
Georgia Talking Book Libraries
Georgia Libraries for Accessible Statewide Services (GLASS)
55 Park Place NE
Atlanta, GA 30303
Telephone: (404) 657-1452
Toll-free (In-state): (800) 248-6701
Hours of Operation: Telephone 8:00A-5:00P Mon – Fri.
Closed Sat & Sun.
Serves: All of Georgia; braille readers receive service from Utah.
GLASS: Georgia Libraries for Accessible Statewide Service
Librarian: Pat Herndon
Telephone: (404) 235-7155
Toll-free (In-state): (800) 248-6701
Web site: http://georgialibraries.org/glass/
BLINDNESS SERVICE PROVIDERS
AMERICAN PRINTING HOUSE FOR THE BLIND, Inc. (APH)
APH is the world's largest nonprofit organization creating educational, workplace, and independent living products and services for people who are visually impaired.
American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, KY 40206-0085, U.S.A.
Toll Free Customer Service: 1-800-223-1839 (U.S. and Canada)
THE CENTER FOR FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE & INNOVATION, INC.
The Center for Financial Independence & Innovation, Inc. (CFII) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping individuals with disabilities and their family members advance their financial independence and security. Tool for Life/CFII provides a host of financial resources including the Credit-Able loan guarantee program and the new individual development accounts initiative, which may be of assistance in purchasing assistive technology and other items.
Tool for Life/Credit-Able
FRIENDS OF DISABLED ADULTS & CHILDREN (FODAC)
FODAC provides home health equipment (mobility and daily living) to people of any age or any disability, temporary or permanent, for medically necessary and medically helpful reasons. Items are provided for a suggested donation. Clients do not have to qualify financially, but the waiting lists place a priority on medically necessary and low income individuals.
4900 Lewis Road
Stone Mountain, GA 30083
GEORGIA LIONS' CAMP FOR THE BLIND
Overnight camp programs in Waycross, Georgia for visually impaired children and adults, ages 6 and up, and their families.
Georgia Lions’ Camp for the Blind
5626 Laura Walker Road
Waycross, GA 31503
GEORGIA RADIO READING SERVICE (GaRRS)
As the State’s only radio reading service, the Georgia Radio Reading Service (GaRRS) is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1980 whose mission is to improve the quality of life for every Georgian who is blind, visually-impaired or has difficulty with access to the printed word. Volunteer broadcasters from across Georgia provide approximately 200 different radio shows each month including cover-to-cover readings of magazines, newspapers, and books, population- and issue-specific programming (Seniors, Veterans and Hispanic/Latino News, Transportation), public service announcements and information regarding community support programs. GaRRS’ programming is designed to inform listeners of opportunities to obtain or maintain independence in their own communities, increase their personal health outcomes, obtain or maintain self sufficient employment (livable wage), and increase their community involvement, advocacy and socialization.
GaRRS programs are broadcast 24 hours a day, seven days a week by way of special subchannel radios provided by GaRRS to its subscribers. Listeners can also hear the broadcast via an audio streaming link on GaRRS’ website: www.garrs.net
GEORGIA TELECOMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM (GATEDP)
GATEDP provides a variety of specialized telecommunications equipment to qualified applicants who have difficulty using a standard phone. For those who qualify, the GATEDP staff also offers assistance selecting telecommunications equipment and training on how to use it properly. Example: large button phones with amplification.
4151 Memorial Drive, Suite 103-B
Decatur, GA 30032
Toll Free: 1-888-297-9461
GEORGIA VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION AGENCY
BLINDNESS REHABILITATION SERVICES
The VR Blindness Services unit provides services to help eligible persons with visual disabilities prepare for, start, and maintain competitive employment, thus becoming productive and independent citizens in their communities.
Shirley Robinson, CRC
Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency
Assistant Director for the Blind
200 Piedmont Avenue, SE
West Tower, 5th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30334
The mission of Hadley (formerly named Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired) is to promote independent living through lifelong, distance education programs for individuals who are blind or visually impaired, their families and blindness service providers.
Founded in 1920 by William Hadley and Dr. E.V.L. Brown, Hadley offers courses free of charge to its blind and visually impaired students and their families, and affordable tuition to blindness professionals. Today, Hadley is the largest provider of distance education for people who are blind or visually impaired around the world, serving more than 10,000 students annually in all 50 states and in 100 countries. Hadley is also the largest educator of braille worldwide. A 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, the school relies on contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations to fund its programs.
Hadley has a course for you if you are:
- A blind or visually impaired individual 14+ years of age
- A relative of a blind or visually impaired child
- A family member of a blind or visually impaired adult
- A professional or paraprofessional in the blindness field
Anyone who cannot read regular newsprint could qualify for this free service. Many seniors have lost enough vision that reading the daily newspaper is no longer possible. These individuals will enjoy being able once again to participate actively in community affairs. Information is available from more than 300 Newspapers Available. NFB-NEWSLINE® is the only service that makes so much information available to eligible people 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Toll Free: 1-866-504-7300 or 1-855-476-9911
PREVENT BLINDNESS GEORGIA
Prevent Blindness Georgia was established in 1965 as an affiliate of Prevent Blindness America, the nation's leading nonprofit eye health and safety organization. With a focus on promoting a continuum of vision care, Prevent Blindness Georgia touches the lives of more than 40,000 people each year with our direct services. We vision screen 35,000 four year olds; train more than 400 public health, school nurse and pediatric vision screeners; screen high risk adults for glaucoma and other aging eye diseases; provide current information on eye health and safety; and provide eye examinations and free or low-cost eye glasses to adults and replacement glasses to students.
Prevent Blindness Georgia
270 Carpenter Drive, Suite 606
Sandy Springs, GA 30328
TOOLS FOR LIFE
Tools for Life, Georgia's Assistive Technology Act Program, is dedicated to increasing access to and acquisition of assistive technology (AT) devices and services for Georgians of all ages and disabilities so they can live, learn, work and play independently and with greater freedom in communities of their choice.
Center for Inclusive Design & Innovation (formerly AMAC Accessibility)
512 Means Street
Atlanta, GA 30318
Toll Free: 1-866-279-2964
VETERANS ADMINISTRATION (VA)
Veterans and eligible active duty service members can get help for vision loss by first contacting the VIST Coordinator in the VA facility nearest their home. VIST locations can be found on the Blind Rehabilitation Service website at:
Toll Free: 1-800-224-4087
HEARING LOSS RESOURCES
GEORGIA CENTER OF THE DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING (GCDHH)
Established in 1989, GCDHH is a statewide nonprofit organization that provides a variety of assistive services to the deaf, hard of hearing, late deafened, deaf-blind, their family members, friends, and those with whom they interact. In addition to the main office in Decatur, satellite offices are operated in Columbus and Savannah, GA.
2296 Henderson Mill Rd #115
Atlanta, GA 30345
STARKEY HEARING FOUNDATION
“Hear Now” is a national nonprofit program committed to assisting those permanently residing the in the U.S. who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and have no other resources to acquire hearing aids.
Toll Free: 1- 800-328-8602
Email: Hearnow@starkey.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
HEARING AND VISION LOSS RESOURCES
GEORGIA LIONS LIGHTHOUSE, INC.
Low cost vision and hearing services for Georgians, including
full eye exams
digital hearing aids
vision and hearing screenings
Georgia Lions Lighthouse, Inc.
5582 Peachtree Road
Chamblee, GA 30341
HELEN KELLER NATIONAL CENTER (HKNC) FOR DEAF-BLIND YOUTHS AND ADULTS
The mission of HKNC is to enable each person who is Deaf-Blind to live and work in his or her community of choice.
Helen Keller National Center
141 Middle Neck Road
Sands Point, NY 11050
516-944-8900 x 328 (8:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.)
Cory L. Parker
Southeast Regional Representative
Serving MS, AL, GA, FL, VI and PR
Helen Keller National Center for Deaf Blind Youths and Adults - HKNC
P.O. Box 380
Concord, GA 30206
516-393-7733 Main office
Mark Armstrong, MA, M.Ed., CVRT
Older Adult Program Specialist
Senior Adult Services
Helen Keller National Center
(516) 269-9429 (Voice)
(706) 432-8134 (Fax)
GEORGIA NATIONAL DEAF-BLIND EQUIPMENT DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM (GNDBEDP)
The iCanConnect/GA NDBEDP provides modern telecommunications technology free of charge to low-income individuals of all ages who have combined vision and hearing loss.
GACHI, Inc. /www.gachi.org
4151 Memorial Drive, Suite 103-B
Decatur, GA 30032
Toll Free: 877-659-4574
Updated October 2020