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Blind Services

Office for Special Services
Office of Services to the Blind (OSB)

INFORMATION AND REFERRAL

Under the Office for Special Services, the Office of Services to the Blind (OSB) provides information and referral on services, programs, entitlements, and products of benefit to individuals who are blind or visually impaired and their families or service providers. OSB staff assists such individuals in understanding the availability of services, their eligibility for services, and the purpose and scope of the various service programs.

PUBLIC INFORMATION AND AWARENESS

OSB offers training that improves knowledge of and sensitivity to the implications of blindness and visual impairment. Our goal is to increase awareness to persons who are blind and visually impaired of the potential to be self-sufficient and self-supporting and to provide information about the tools and resources available to help persons who are blind and visually impaired reach their potential.

Assistance Dog Special Allowance Program

OSB administers the Assistance Dog Special Allowance (ADSA) Programwhich provides a monthly payment to eligible persons who use a guide, signal, or service dog to help them with their disability-related needs. The allowance is to help pay the costs of food, grooming, and health care for the dog. Prospective recipients must live in California, be blind, deaf/hard of hearing, or disabled. Recipients must receive benefits from one or more of the following programs: Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP), In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS), Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI), and/or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). SSDI recipients must also meet federal poverty guidelines.

FOR WHOM

Referral services are available to any individual regardless of income. Training is offered to state and other governmental agencies and to professionals likely to have clients who are blind or visually impaired, such as home health service providers, administrators/staff of residential care facilities, and managers of human service programs. OSB has published the Handbook of Resources and Services for Persons Who Are Visually Impaired, a comprehensive directory of social, financial, medical, and technology related to services and products available throughout the State. The Handbook is an invaluable guide to products and services designed to assist individuals coping with vision loss to maximize their capacity for self-esteem and self-sufficiency and is available free of charge ina CD version upon request. The handbook can be downloaded from this website in either PDF or text format.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:

Office of Services to the Blind
744 P Street, MS 8-16-94
Sacramento, California 95814
(916) 657-3327 (Voice)
(916) 653-4001 (Fax)
You may also email us at: BlindAccess@dss.ca.gov