RESOURCES FOR YOU
Project Independence: Georgia Vision Program
for Adults Age 55 and Over
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
For more information, contact:
Shirley Robinson, CRC, Coordinator for Blind Services/Project Independence Program Manager
Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency
AMERICAN FOUNDATION FOR THE BLIND (AFB)
Since 1921, AFB has been a leader in expanding possibilities for the nearly 25 million Americans living with vision loss. A national nonprofit, we champion access and equality, and stand at the forefront of new technologies and evidence-based advocacy. We address the most pressing needs of people with vision loss and their families, breaking down societal barriers and promoting broad systemic change. Like Helen Keller, AFB's most famous ambassador, we are committed to creating a more equitable world for people with disabilities.
AFB Aging and Vision Loss
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.
Georgia’s Aging & Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) counselors use the Empowerline database to connect you to resources that can help you stay in your home.
Some of those resources include:
• Home health care agencies
• Respite care • Caregiver support
• Home modifications and repairs
• Assistance with energy bills
• Home-delivered meals
• Wellness programs
• Assistive technology devices that help maintain independence
• Nursing home transitions
Where We Are:
Georgia's ADRC currently serves all of the 159 counties across the state. For more information or to receive assistance contact www.georgiaADRC.com to find 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.
Georgia Council 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.
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
· Peer Counseling
· 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
2000 Hamilton Rd. Suite B
Columbus, GA 31904
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.
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/ TTY 912-920-2419
Serves the following counties in Southeast Georgia: Bryan, Bulloch, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Evans, Glynn, Liberty, McIntosh, Tattnall and Toombs.
990 N. Macon Street
Jesup, GA 31545
Phone: (912) 385-2214
Serves the following counties in Southeast Georgia: Appling, Bacon, Brantley, Candler, Charlton, Long, Pierce, Ware, Wayne
145 Barrington Drive
Athens, GA 30605
Serves the following counties in Northeast Georgia: Barrow, Clarke, Elbert, Greene, Jackson, Madison, Morgan, Oconee, Oglethorpe and Walton.
527 Broad Street, Suite 101
Rome, GA 30161
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
Hours of Operation: Telephone 8:00A-5:00P Mon – Fri.
Closed Sat & Sun.
Serves: All of Georgia; braille readers receive service from Utah.
Georgia Library Service for the Blind & Print Disabled (GLS)
Librarian: Interim Director – Gina Martin
Telephone: (404) 235-7155
Toll-free (In-state): (800) 248-6701
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site: https://gls.georgialibraries.org
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. (The CFII) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping individuals with disabilities and their family members advance their financial independence and security. CFII operates Credit-Able which provides low-interest loans through participating credit unions to enable Georgians with disabilities access to affordable financing for Assistive Technology and Home & Vehicle Modifications.
794 Marietta Street
Atlanta, GA 30377
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
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)
The mission of the Georgia Radio Reading Service (GaRRS) is to improve the quality of life for every Georgian who is blind, visually-impaired, or has difficulty with the printed word. Volunteer readers from across Georgia record approximately 200 different programs each month including essential local information, local and national newspapers, popular books, and an array of magazines and quality-of-life programming. The programming is broadcast 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and accessed by using an Amazon Alexa Dot, special radio, through our online webstream, by telephone, or by using a mobile app. Through these means we are able to provide our listeners with information, entertainment, and connections to their local communities.
The GaRRS listening audience is as diverse as our programming. We provide our service free-of-charge to any resident of Georgia who is visually-impaired or otherwise print-disabled. Some listeners are blind from birth, while others lost their sight through illness, age, or accident. Some have retained sufficient vision to remain physically active but lack enough vision to read. GaRRS listeners also include senior citizens who have trouble reading and people with physical or mental impairments that make handling printed material difficult.
Our programming is provided free of charge through the generosity of our supporters and donors. Funding is also provided in part by contributions from listeners. You can listen online, through a special GaRRS radio, over the phone, or through an app. To start listening, sign up to request a password to stream the broadcast online, or you can request a radio that will be sent to your home. We also have an extensive archive of previously-aired shows that can be accessed on our website.
260 14th Street, NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
Toll Free: 1-800-672-6173
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.
2296 Henderson Mill Rd #115
Atlanta, GA 30345
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
Coordinator of Blind Services/Project Independence Program Manager
200 Piedmont Avenue, SE
West Tower, 5th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30334
The mission of Hadley is to create personalized learning opportunities that empower adults with vision loss or blindness to thrive - at home, at work, and in their communities.
Founded in 1920 by William Hadley, an educator who lost his eyesight later in life, Hadley offers practical help, connection and support free of charge to anyone with a visual impairment, their families and professionals supporting them. Since July 2020, more than 14,000 learners have accessed nearly 60,000 workshops. The program currently has over a 70% completion rate and has scored over 97% in satisfaction ratings. Hadley provides online, large print, braille and audio media, reaching all 50 states and 100 countries. And more people learn braille from Hadley than from any other organization worldwide.
Hadley's help conveniently meets learners where they are. Free of wait lists. Free of office visits. Free of charge.
A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Hadley relies on contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations to fund its programs.
700 Elm Street, Winnetka, IL 60093
NFB-NEWSLINE is a free audio news service for anyone who is blind, low-vision, deafblind, or otherwise print-disabled that offers access to more than 500 publications, emergency weather alerts, job listings, and more.
NFB-NEWSLINE subscribers have access to:
- National newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal and USA Today
- Breaking news sources, including CNN, BBC, and ESPN Online
- International newspapers, including Financial Times and Vancouver Sun
- Magazines, including Time, Consumer Reports, Guideposts, and Smithsonian
- State newspapers
- Emergency weather alerts and seven-day forecasts localized to your zip code or GPS location
- The information that scrolls along the bottom of your television screen during emergency alerts
- More than 100,000 job listings from two national job sources
- TV listings localized to your zip code and provider
- Retail ads
- NFB's national channel, including the ebook Building the Lives We Want, the Braille Monitor, Future Reflections, and presidential releases
How to Sign Up for NFB-NEWSLINE
Anyone who cannot read printed publications due to vision loss, dyslexia, or a physical disability is eligible to receive NFB-NEWSLINE. Please register by calling your state's Library for the Blind and Print-Disabled or the National Federation of the Blind at 866-504-7300 to request an application. You may also download and mail an application or complete our online application. After your registration is processed, you will receive a message containing your activation codes and instructions.
For more information, please call us at 866-504-7300 or 410-659-9314, extension 2317, or email us at [email protected].
PREVENT BLINDNESS GEORGIA
Founded in 1965, Prevent Blindness Georgia (PBGA) is the state affiliate of Prevent Blindness, the leading voluntary eye health organization dedicated to the prevention of blindness and the preservation of sight. Focusing on the delivery of services to some of the state’s poorest and most vulnerable residents, PBGA provides no-cost eye exams and corrective glasses for people of all ages.
Through an eye screening and public education program called Star Pupils™, PBGA provides vision screening for young Georgians in Title 1 Schools, lottery-funded pre-kindergartens, Head Starts, and public and private preschools. On the other end of the age spectrum, PBGA operates a Vision Outreach (VO) program which primarily involves temporary pop-up clinics throughout the state in Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) as well other free health clinics and outreach centers serving the homeless, migrants, those in transitional housing, domestic violence centers, addiction recovery services, and centers affiliated with the Area Agency on Aging.
For Georgia’s 10.5 million residents, many of whom are living in poverty or are uninsured, PBGA is a vital resource, offering sight-conserving services and advocating for a continuum of eye healthcare.
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.
512 Means Street
Atlanta, GA 30318
VETERANS ADMINISTRATION (VA)
Blind Rehabilitation Services (BRS)
The Department of Veterans Affairs provides Blind and Visual Impairment Rehabilitation Services to eligible Veterans and active duty Service members. VA is the first and only national healthcare system to completely and seamlessly integrate rehabilitation services for patients with vision loss into its health benefits. This ensures that patients receive the finest medical and rehabilitative care, as well as cutting-edge assistive technology.
The mission of Blind Rehabilitation Service (BRS) is to assist eligible Veterans and active duty Service members with a visual impairment in developing the skills needed for personal independence and successful reintegration into the community and family environment.
Blind Rehabilitation Service will provide care coordination, assessments and therapeutic instruction to help Veterans and active duty Service members reclaim the confidence and skills needed to lead an independent, fulfilling life after vision loss.
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: 800-698-2411
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
HEARING AND VISION LOSS RESOURCES
GEORGIA LIONS LIGHTHOUSE, INC.
Nearly 2 million Georgians are uninsured. GEORGIA LIONS LIGHTHOUSE (GLLF) is committed to filling the gaps that still exist for underinsured Georgians by providing access to low-cost vision and hearing services.
GLLF partners with a statewide network of optometrists, ophthalmologists, and audiologists to provide vision screenings, eye exams, eyeglasses, eye surgeries, and hearing aids to over 7,000 Georgia residents each year.
Low cost vision and hearing services for Georgians, including:
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.)
David Volper, MA
Regional Representative, Region 4A
Helen Keller National Center
347-899-0575 (Text Only) 321-282-6216 VP
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.
2296 Henderson Mill Rd #115
Atlanta, GA 30345
Updated December 2021