Massachusetts Commission for the Blind

General Information

Massachusetts Commission for the Blind
600 Washington Street
Boston Massachusetts 1 02111
(617) 727 5550
MCBinfo@mass.gov
http://www.mass.gov/mcb

Brief Description

The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind is a state agency, established in 1906, to provide a wide range of social and rehabilitation services to Massachusetts residents of all ages who are legally blind. Agency services may address a number of varied needs of individual blind persons Massachusetts law (C.6, s.136) requires that all eye care providers who find a person to be legally blind report this person to the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind within 30 days of the date of examination.

The reason for this law is to ensure that legally blind persons get the supporting services and benefits they may need. Additionally, the information gathered is of great value in estimating national rates and causes of legal blindness, as well as advancing research related to the field of blindness. Agency social workers and counselors contact each legally blind person who is reported to the agency to explain and offer appropriate services. There are approximately 30,000 individuals who are legally blind registered with the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind.

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Staff

Karen Hatcher, Director, BRIDGE Program, karen.hatcher@state.ma.us, 617 626 7462

John Oliveira, Deputy Commissioner, john.oliveira@state.ma.us, 617 626 7509

Services Offered

  • Braille and Reading Instruction
    • Offers instruction in braille.

  • Computer Training/Assistive Technology
    • Offers training in the use of assistive technology.

  • Counseling
    • Offers individual, family/parent, couple counseling, social evaluation, placement in school, training. Contracts and refers for other counseling/social work services.

  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training
    • Provides training in personal management, handwriting, listening typing, and home management skills and sensory training in client's home and community. Provides training in the use of the Optacon and electronic mobility aids. Contracts and provides consultation to other agencies for other rehabilitation services. Provides independent living and support services for seniors.

  • Employment/Job Training
    • Offers career and skill counseling, occupational skill development, job retention, job retraining, sheltered workshop, vocational placement, follow-up service, vending stand training. Contracts and provides consultation to other agencies for other employment services.

  • Health
    • Contracts, refers for and provides consultation to other agencies on health services.

  • Health Services
    • Contracts, refers for and provides consultation to other agencies on health services.

  • Library Services
    • Lends talking book record players and cassette players.

  • Recreation Services
    • Refers for and provides consultation to other agencies on recreation services.

  • Services for Seniors

  • Travel/Orientation and Mobility
    • Provides orientation and mobility training.