Sometimes life changing events happen to us that leave us wondering what’s next. In this article I will provide a starting point and some tips on how to begin your new life as a blind or low vision person, but it also applies to all who are going through a disability.
It isn’t always the case that a doctor will inform you of your resources as a newly disabled person even though they deal with this sort of thing every week. Fortunately I had one of those doctors who asked if I have heard of the Department of Rehabilitation. He provided the phone number and then it fell on me to take that next step to make the call.
Every person needs to be ready mentally to be able to take that next step because it can be overwhelming and if you don’t have a good support system in your life it can seem daunting. In my experience most of the people that work for the Department of Rehabilitation, DOR, most are very understanding and friendly which helps when dealing with a Government agency. We often have a preconceived notion that Government employees aren’t exactly happy at their jobs but this isn’t always true. We need to remember that they are people too and they also have bad days, but for the most part they are good people.
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A good place to start would be to call and ask any questions you may have regarding what it means for the state for you now being disabled. How can they help you and how can you become independent again. This is the mission statement of DOR, to provide you the opportunity to become independent as a disabled person. For this article I will be referring to the blind field services department of DOR since it is what I personally know and have experience with, but as a whole DOR operates generally the same.
Blind field services all have case workers that will help you gain the skills and equipment you will need to become employable either self employed or working for another person or company. DOR receives funding by the tax payers every year in their budget to provide these things for you and they must provide what works best for you so you will have to go through evaluations to determine what actually works best for you whether it be screen reading software, magnification software or devices, braille displays, talking devices, or whatever else may assist you in becoming independent again.
There is an abundance of blind friendly equipment out there that your specific case worker should know about but the only way you will know is if you ask if the items you use in your home can be made accessible.
You will be your best advocate if you educate yourself. Have no worry, there are thousands of blind and low vision people out they’re willing to help and share their experiences with you. I am one of those people and I am always open to helping others out.
The first place I recommend starting at is this source on my website which lists all the DOR offices by state. Each heading is a state in alphabetical order. Phone numbers, websites, and addresses are all listed for you. I hope this article helps you and if you have any questions feel free to email me any time.