Meet a VisionAware national partner, the Independent Living Older Individuals who are Blind, Technical Assistance Center of the National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision at Mississippi State University (OIB-TAC). The OIB-TAC provides training and technical assistance activities to state program staff that serve older people with vision loss. Among other services, they offer continuing education courses that address aging and vision loss related topics. Additionally, they’re also part of the Aging and Vision Loss National Coalition, whose mission is to bring about equal access and quality of life for older Americans with vision loss. One of the critical goals of the Coalition is improve public awareness of services for older people with vision loss. To that end, the OIB-TAC ha just launched Time to Be Bold, a national public service campaign.
The Time to be Bold campaign is designed to educate, engage, and empower people who are 55+ with low vision to maintain or regain their independence by utilizing the free or low-cost services provided by the OIB programs.
Did you know…?
- Over 3 million Americans 55 and older have difficulty seeing even when wearing glasses.
- Almost 1 in 10 individuals age 75 or older reports difficulty seeing, even when wearing glasses.
- Each U.S. state and territory offers free or low-cost services to help individuals adjust to vision loss.
- It is estimated that less than 5% of individuals with vision loss, who are eligible for services seek them each year.
- It can be challenging to find services, a major reason for this campaign.
Go to timetobebold.org to locate free or low-cost services in your state that will give you the tools, technology, training, and support you need to live your bold, best life. Watch the Time to Be Bold PSA.
The TIME TO BE BOLD campaign features the APH ConnectCenter, which helps individuals with vision loss, family members and professionals find crucial resources and services. The ConnectCenter offers a Directory of Services, an Information and Referral phone line 1-800-232-5463, and a direct email: email@example.com.
Both the OIB-TAC program and the TIME TO BE BOLD campaign are funded by the Department of Education Rehabilitation Services Administration. The Department also funds services and training for individuals with visual impairments, including vocational rehabilitation (VR) and the Independent Living Older Individuals who are Blind (OIB) programs nationally.