Annual Report - Independent Living Services For Older Individuals Who Are Blind

RSA-7-OB for Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services - H177B130001 report through September 30, 2013

Part I: Funding Sources And Expenditures

Title VII-Chapter 2 Federal grant award for reported fiscal year478,211
Other federal grant award for reported fiscal year0
Title VII-Chapter 2 carryover from previous year92,503
Other federal grant carryover from previous year0
A. Funding Sources for Expenditures in Reported FY
A1. Title VII-Chapter 2422,286
A2. Total other federal0
(a) Title VII-Chapter 1-Part B0
(b) SSA reimbursement0
(c) Title XX - Social Security Act0
(d) Older Americans Act0
(e) Other0
A3. State (excluding in-kind)53,135
A4. Third party0
A5. In-kind0
A6. Total Matching Funds53,135
A7. Total All Funds Expended475,421
B. Total expenditures and encumbrances allocated to administrative, support staff, and general overhead costs161,677
C. Total expenditures and encumbrances for direct program services313,744

Part II: Staffing

FTE (full time equivalent) is based upon a 40-hour workweek or 2080 hours per year.

A. Full-time Equivalent (FTE)

Program Staff a) Administrative and Support b) Direct Service c) Total
1. FTE State Agency 5.6400 8.5000 14.1400
2. FTE Contractors 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000
3. Total FTE 5.6400 8.5000 14.1400

B. Employed or advanced in employment

a) Number employed b) FTE
1. Employees with Disabilities 12 2.8000
2. Employees with Blindness Age 55 and Older 5 1.5000
3. Employees who are Racial/Ethnic Minorities 12 4.4500
4. Employees who are Women 45 12.6400
5. Employees Age 55 and Older 19 5.9500

C. Volunteers

0.00

Part III: Data on Individuals Served

Provide data in each of the categories below related to the number of individuals for whom one or more services were provided during the reported fiscal year.

A. Individuals Served

1. Number of individuals who began receiving services in the previous FY and continued to receive services in the reported FY402
2. Number of individuals who began receiving services in the reported FY747
3. Total individuals served during the reported fiscal year (A1 + A2) 1,149

B. Age

1. 55-5955
2. 60-64103
3. 65-69115
4. 70-74118
5. 75-79155
6. 80-84200
7. 85-89218
8. 90-94138
9. 95-9940
10. 100 & over7
11. Total (must agree with A3)1,149

C. Gender

1. Female853
2. Male296
3. Total (must agree with A3)1,149

D. Race/Ethnicity

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race2
2. American Indian or Alaska Native1
3. Asian4
4. Black or African American203
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander1
6. White938
7. Two or more races0
8. Race and ethnicity unknown (only if consumer refuses to identify)0
9. Total (must agree with A3)1,149

E. Degree of Visual Impairment

1. Totally Blind (LP only or NLP)63
2. Legally Blind (excluding totally blind)487
3. Severe Visual Impairment599
4. Total (must agree with A3)1,149

F. Major Cause of Visual Impairment

1. Macular Degeneration609
2. Diabetic Retinopathy123
3. Glaucoma154
4. Cataracts34
5. Other229
6. Total (must agree with A3)1,149

G. Other Age-Related Impairments

1. Hearing Impairment408
2. Diabetes383
3. Cardiovascular Disease and Strokes778
4. Cancer154
5. Bone, Muscle, Skin, Joint, and Movement Disorders662
6. Alzheimer's Disease/Cognitive Impairment91
7. Depression/Mood Disorder91
8. Other Major Geriatric Concerns447

H. Type of Residence

1. Private residence (house or apartment)1,044
2. Senior Living/Retirement Community31
3. Assisted Living Facility62
4. Nursing Home/Long-term Care facility12
5. Homeless0
6. Total (must agree with A3)1,149

I. Source of Referral

1. Eye care provider (ophthalmologist, optometrist)198
2. Physician/medical provider62
3. State VR agency66
4. Government or Social Service Agency184
5. Veterans Administration0
6. Senior Center18
7. Assisted Living Facility0
8. Nursing Home/Long-term Care facility0
9. Faith-based organization0
10. Independent Living center0
11. Family member or friend233
12. Self-referral320
13. Other68
14. Total (must agree with A3)1,149

Part IV: Types of Services Provided and Resources Allocated

Provide data related to the number of older individuals who are blind receiving each type of service and resources committed to each type of service.

A. Clinical/functional vision assessments and services

Cost Persons Served
1a. Total Cost from VII-2 funds 12,523
1b. Total Cost from other funds 1,391
2. Vision screening / vision examination / low vision evaluation 237
3. Surgical or therapeutic treatment to prevent, correct, or modify disabling eye conditions 0

B. Assistive technology devices and services

Cost Persons Served
1a. Total Cost from VII-2 funds 96,377
1b. Total Cost from other funds 10,709
2. Provision of assistive technology devices and aids 955
3. Provision of assistive technology services 1,002

C. Independent living and adjustment training and services

Cost Persons Served
1a. Total Cost from VII-2 funds 173,035
1b. Total Cost from other funds 19,226
2. Orientation and Mobility training 276
3. Communication skills 767
4. Daily living skills 924
5. Supportive services (reader services, transportation, personal 6
6. Advocacy training and support networks 186
7. Counseling (peer, individual and group) 412
8. Information, referral and community integration 508
. Other IL services 515

D. Community Awareness: Events & Activities

Cost a. Events / Activities b. Persons Served
1a. Total Cost from VII-2 funds 435
1b. Total Cost from other funds 48
2. Information and Referral 0
3. Community Awareness: Events/Activities 264 12,100

Part V: Comparison of Prior Year Activities to Current Reported Year

A. Activity

a) Prior Year b) Reported FY c) Change ( + / - )
1. Program Cost (all sources) 475,410 475,421 11
2. Number of Individuals Served 1,080 1,149 69
3. Number of Minority Individuals Served 193 211 18
4. Number of Community Awareness Activities 264 264 0
5. Number of Collaborating agencies and organizations 27 28 1
6. Number of Sub-grantees 0 0

Part VI: Program Outcomes/Performance Measures

Provide the following data for each of the performance measures below. This will assist RSA in reporting results and outcomes related to the program.

Number of persons Percent of persons
A1. Number of individuals receiving AT (assistive technology) services and training 1,002 100.00%
A2. Number of individuals receiving AT (assistive technology) services and training who maintained or improved functional abilities that were previously lost or diminished as a result of vision loss. (closed/inactive cases only) 665 66.37%
A3. Number of individuals for whom functional gains have not yet been determined at the close of the reporting period. 337 33.63%
B1. Number of individuals who received orientation and mobility (O & M) services 276 100.00%
B2. Of those receiving orientation and mobility (O & M) services, the number of individuals who experienced functional gains or maintained their ability to travel safely and independently in their residence and/or community environment as a result of services. (closed/inactive cases only) 186 67.39%
B3. Number of individuals for whom functional gains have not yet been determined at the close of the reporting period. 90 32.61%
C1. Number of individuals who received communication skills training 767 100.00%
C2. Of those receiving communication skills training, the number of individuals who gained or maintained their functional abilities as a result of services they received. (Closed/inactive cases only) 490 63.89%
C3. Number of individuals for whom functional gains have not yet been determined at the close of the reporting period. 277 36.11%
D1. Number of individuals who received daily living skills training 924 100.00%
D2. Number of individuals that experienced functional gains or successfully restored or maintained their functional ability to engage in their customary daily life activities as a result of services or training in personal management and daily living skills. (closed/inactive cases only) 635 68.72%
D3. Number of individuals for whom functional gains have not yet been determined at the close of the reporting period. 289 31.28%
E1. Number of individuals served who reported feeling that they are in greater control and are more confident in their ability to maintain their current living situation as a result of services they received. (closed/inactive cases only) 772 n/a
E2. Number of individuals served who reported feeling that they have less control and confidence in their ability to maintain their current living situation as a result of services they received. (closed/inactive cases only) 2 n/a
E3. Number of individuals served who reported no change in their feelings of control and confidence in their ability to maintain their current living situation as a result of services they received. (closed/inactive cases only) 34 n/a
E4. Number of individuals served who experienced changes in lifestyle for reasons unrelated to vision loss. (closed/inactive cases only) 27 n/a
E5. Number of individuals served who died before achieving functional gain or experiencing changes in lifestyle as a result of services they received. (closed/inactive cases only) 10 n/a

Part VII: Narrative

A. Briefly describe the agency's method of implementation for the Title VII-Chapter 2 program (i.e. in-house, through sub-grantees/contractors, or a combination) incorporating outreach efforts to reach underserved and/or unserved populations. Please list all sub-grantees/contractors.

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS) Older Alabamians System of Information and Services (OASIS) Program administers older blind services funded under Title VII Chapter 2 through a network of twenty Rehabilitation Teachers and three Orientation & Mobility Specialists positioned throughout the state in eleven ADRS offices in order to make services available in all 67 counties of the state. The three Orientation & Mobility Specialists are positioned one in the Dothan area, one in Birmingham, and one in the Huntsville area in order to provide maximum coverage utilizing these staff. There are additional vacancies in the Mobile and Tuscaloosa areas for Orientation & Mobility Specialists. There are also a number of Orientation & Mobility Specialists on the state vendor list for purchased services as needed to maintain coverage to all areas. Three Rehabilitation Teachers are employed at 1.0 FTE using VII-2 funds and devote 100% of their time to the Program. Seventeen Rehabilitation Teachers are employed with funds jointly provided by the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services and the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind and devote 25% of their time to the Program. The three Orientation & Mobility Specialists are employed with funding jointly provided by the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services and the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind and devote 25% of their time to the Program.

In addition to the itinerant services described above, OASIS continues to offer center-based services in Birmingham, Mobile, Muscle Shoals, Dothan and Huntsville in collaboration with the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind Regional Centers and the Wiregrass Rehabilitation Center. Plans to expand center-based services in other areas of the state continue.

B. Briefly describe any activities designed to expand or improve services including collaborative activities or community awareness; and efforts to incorporate new methods and approaches developed by the program into the State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL) under Section 704.

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services seeks to incorporate the unique approach of the Title VII Chapter 2 Program into the State Plan for Independent Living under section 704 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended. Of note are several methods and approaches implemented and/ or maintained in fiscal year 2013.

OASIS has been building collaborative partnerships to plan for center-based rehabilitation teaching services in several parts of the state. Center-based services are now established between OASIS and the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind Regional Centers in Mobile, Muscle Shoals, Birmingham, Huntsville, and with the Wiregrass Rehabilitation Center in Dothan. As previously indicated, plans to expand center- based services in other areas of the state continue. The OASIS Advisory Council is made up of over twenty agencies and organizations and consumer groups who serve the population of older citizens and persons who are blind. The OASIS Advisory Council, which meets quarterly, forms the basis of many collaborative partnerships for the OASIS Program. Some examples of these partnerships are noted below. OASIS continues to maintain a strong collaborative partnership with the Alabama Department of Senior Services (ADSS). There are 346 Senior Centers/ nutrition sites and five drop sites that are pick up points for homebound participants throughout Alabama; and many are located in rural underserved areas of the state. The ADSS Statewide Nutrition Services Administrator also serves on the OASIS Advisory Council. Several presentations by Rehabilitation Teaching staff were made at nutrition sites this past year. OASIS/ADRS maintains a Memorandum of Agreement with the Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging to increase collaboration efforts between the two agencies. OASIS is represented at quarterly Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging Meetings. OASIS staff participated in the Blooming Benefits Day projects in Jefferson, Shelby, Chilton, Blount, and Walker counties. This was collaborative effort initiated through the Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging. Community awareness and collaboration is also enhanced in a long standing partnership with Senior Companion Program. OASIS staff, when needed, provides "Orientation to Blindness" training to newly employed companions who will be working in local communities in contact with individuals and families who could benefit from OASIS services. The training allows Senior Companions to be better equipped to work with individuals who have lost vision.

On-going collaboration between OASIS and the Department of Veterans Affairs Southeastern Blind Rehabilitation Center serves to coordinate services to older Alabamians who are veterans. OASIS consumers who are eligible for VA Blind Rehabilitation Services are referred to the VA VIST Coordinator. In addition to on-going collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs, OASIS continues to maintain an on-going collaboration with The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Center for Low Vision Rehabilitation which serves older patients from around the state. The OASIS program held the third session of Camp SAVI (Seniors Adapting to Visual Impairment) on May 19 — 24, 2013. This one-week program is designed to provide independent living and adjustment-to-blindness services to older adults. It is a collaborative effort between the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services’ OASIS Program and the E. H. Gentry Technical Facility at the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind. UAB School of Optometry also assisted with providing Low Vision Assessments to camp participants. On a national level, the OASIS Program collaborated with American Foundation for the Blind/ VisionAware™ for several projects this past year. The collaborative project of statewide information centers continues between OASIS and the AFB/ VisionAware™-Senior Site. A total of sixteen sites are established throughout the state. The goal of this sustainable project is to provide public education and information regarding various blindness programs and services offered to residents of Alabama. These sites will be maintained by the Rehabilitation Teachers. In addition to this project, the Covington Blind and Low Vision Support Group, an OASIS - affiliated low vision support group, was spotlighted on the VisionAware™ website this year. A multi-faceted approach incorporating various products and activities is used to disseminate information concerning services available to persons who are older and blind with regard to community awareness. The program was highlighted on the Troy University Public Radio and various local publications this year. Exhibit boards and program brochures are used at various health fairs and other events to provide Program awareness. One such event is the Alumni and Workers for the Blind/Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind and Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services Technology Symposium held annually for consumers and the public. An update of the OASIS brochure was completed. Program brochures are distributed in print, Braille, on CD, on cassette tape, and in large print. The brochure is also available in Spanish. Over 69,500 brochures have been distributed as of September 30, 2013. The Oasis Resource Guide, which was edited in 2011, is now being updated, printed in house, and distributed to consumers, families, and other professionals working with older Alabamians. To improve facilitation of this process, a Braille machine was purchased for in-house production. The Oasis Resource Guide is also available on-line at www.rehab.alabama.gov/OASIS. An updated Resource Guide will be released in fiscal year 2014.

Information packets which include the OASIS brochure and Resource Guide are distributed at the time of intake. Rehabilitation Teaching staff around the state have also created similar packets for their consumers as well.

Several other outreach activities were initiated during 2013. Presentations providing an overview of the OASIS program were given at several Senior Centers, physicians’ offices, local housing programs, senior church groups, senior nutrition sites, and other programs serving seniors throughout the state. In-services to address awareness on low vision and blindness were provided to schools, local businesses, and home health programs. Staff participated in the Senior Health Fairs in Baldwin, Jefferson, Mobile, Shelby, St. Clair, Talladega, and Tuscaloosa Counties. Staff members provided input to local emergency operations planning committees, such as the Elmore County Hazard Mitigation Planning of Emergency Operations Planning Committee, to address the needs of individuals with vision loss in emergency situations.

Collaborative activities are being achieved through a network of consumer driven support groups throughout the state. A total of 37 OASIS-affiliated support groups have been developed with the assistance of OASIS staff over the past sixteen years. Two new support groups in Anniston and North Shelby County were initiated during this fiscal year. Staff provided information and guidance to support groups throughout the year. An e-mail distribution list of statewide support group members was initiated during this year. E-mails regarding current events and resources are distributed regularly.

Rehabilitation Teachers and Orientation and Mobility Specialists have also benefited from other various training opportunities. They have been able to participate in Rehabilitation Teacher and Orientation & Mobility in-service meetings throughout the year. All OASIS staff participated in the ADRS Blind Services Retreat. Representatives from Hadley and AFB were presenters during this training opportunity. Opportunities for attending regional and national conferences have also been available. Several staff members were presenters at local, regional, and national conferences during this fiscal year.

OASIS continues to support on-going staff training and other learning experiences. An "E Learning" internet license was purchased from the American Foundation for the Blind to provide training to Rehabilitation Teachers and Orientation and Mobility Specialists on a variety of topics related to serving older individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Several Rehabilitation Teachers and Orientation and Mobility Specialists have completed the 20 training modules. This project allows new and existing staff an opportunity to learn additional information regarding working with the older low vision/ blind population. CEU’s are available for staff that completes the 20 training modules. This training resource is available through fiscal year 2014. OASIS was able to purchase 15 individual licenses for Vision Rehabilitation Assistant training, and 30 individual licenses for the Multi-E-Skills Vision Rehabilitation Training Program through Lighthouse International. These training resources have also proven beneficial to staff during this fiscal year.

OASIS also has one rehabilitation teacher who serves as a Hadley Ambassador. As Hadley Ambassador, the staff member collaborates with Hadley to assist consumers and to enhance the expertise and services of professionals through free distance education courses. This collaboration helps to improve consumer rehabilitation experiences and cost-effectiveness. A total of 8,701 individuals were served through 264 community awareness activities; and a total of 6,341 outreach contacts and a total of 4,835 community collaboration contacts were recorded for fiscal year 2013.

C. Briefly summarize results from any of the most recent evaluations or satisfaction surveys conducted for your program and attach a copy of applicable reports.

A Consumer Satisfaction Survey was distributed to each OASIS consumer at program closure during federal fiscal year 2013. Consumers were told that their participation was voluntary and that their responses would be confidential. Findings from analyses of 239 returned surveys indicate that 99.1% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that services were provided in a timely manner. Further, all respondents agreed or strongly agreed that (a) teachers were attentive and interested in their well-being; (b) teachers were familiar with blindness-specific techniques and aids, and (c) they were satisfied with the quality of services received.

Consumers responded to questions regarding services related to their ability to travel safely and independently in their home and/or community, prepare meals, manage housekeeping tasks, manage paperwork, access reading material, their dependence on others in performing daily activities, their perceptions of control and confidence in maintaining living situations, and how devices and equipment had impacted their ability to engage in life activities. For each of these questions, consumers were asked if they felt they experienced an improvement, no change, or a decrease in their level of functioning after receiving services. If they did not receive/request a specific service, they were also asked to provide this information. Note that percentages for each service may not total 100% due to rounding. • When asked about their ability to travel in the home and community, 64% of consumers reported they were better able to travel in their home and/or community, 35% reported no change, and less than 1% reported less able. Thirty-nine consumers reported that they did not receive this service. • When asked about meal preparation, 68% of consumers reported better able to prepare meals, 31% reported no change, and less than 1% reported less able. Sixty-two consumers reported that they did not request this service. • When asked about their ability to manage housekeeping tasks, such as cleaning floors/surfaces and organizing, 57% of consumers reported better able to manage housekeeping tasks, 39% reported no change, and 4% reported less able. Eighty-two consumers reported they did not request this service. • When asked about their ability to manage paperwork, 73% of consumers reported being better able to better manage their paperwork, 23% reported no change, and 3% reported less able. Thirty-eight consumers reported they did not request this service. • When asked about their ability to access reading materials, 88% of consumers reported being better able to access reading materials, 8% reported no change, and 5% reported less able. Thirteen consumers reported they did not request this service. • Of consumers receiving services, 52% indicated being less dependent on others, 43% reported no change, and 5% reported being more dependent on others. • When asked about functioning before services, 84% indicated they now have greater control and confidence in their ability to maintain their current living situation, 15% reported no change, and 2% indicated feeling less control and confidence. • Among consumers receiving devices or equipment, 75% indicated that devices had improved their ability to engage in customary life activities, and 25% reported devices had helped them maintain their ability. One consumer reported not using any of the devices or equipment provided by the program.

If consumers participated in a peer support group or the OASIS Peer Support Network, they were asked how helpful it was. Forty-eight consumers (25%) reported they had participated in a peer support group. Of those reporting peer support group participation, 31 found it very helpful, 9 found it helpful, 4 found it somewhat helpful, and 4 found it not very helpful. Sixty-one consumers reported that they were not provided information about peer support groups. In addition to demographic questions, the survey included questions regarding changes in vision and health over the previous year. Results indicated that 60% of consumers had experienced reduced vision, 3% had improved vision, and 36% had stable vision. With respect to overall health, 36% reported that their health had worsened, 4% reported improved health, and 60% reported stable health. Consumers were also asked if they had considered going into a nursing home before services and if services had helped them remain in their homes: 20% of respondents reported they had sometimes or often considered a nursing home; 84% reported that OASIS services had helped them remain in their homes. Overall, these results demonstrate the high quality of services and the substantial benefits consumers received from participating in the OASIS program. A copy of the complete program evaluation report conducted by Mississippi State University’s National Research and Training Center will be available in January 2014.

D. Briefly describe the impact of the Title VII-Chapter 2 program, citing examples from individual cases (without identifying information) in which services contributed significantly to increasing independence and quality of life for the individual(s).

The following accounts submitted by Rehabilitation Teachers illustrate important aspects of the impact the OASIS Program has had on persons who are older and blind or visually impaired and their families with regard to their maintenance of and/or increase in independence during 2013. Consumer 1 is an 88 year old Caucasian widowed man who lives alone in a one bedroom apartment. Consumer 1’s optometrist diagnosed him as having Macular Degeneration in both eyes approximately 4 years ago. One of his major limitations was being unable to read his medication bottles, identify navigational dials on his kitchen appliances and his daily mail among other tasks that require reading. In addition to his reading challenges, he was reluctant to travel outdoors due to bright sunlight and his occasional unsteady balance. These challenges caused him to feel helpless because the things he could once do for himself, he now had to rely on others to do them for him. After being referred to the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services OASIS program by his optometrist, this consumer soon learned he could develop new ways to do the things he once did prior to losing his vision. While that was pleasing for him to hear, his ultimate desire was to be independent. Today, I am pleased to say this consumer is a success story! After completion of consumers individualized plan for teaching services. He was provided with services in a variety of areas: low vision, communication, meal preparation, personal management, orientation and mobility. He was provided adaptive equipment and training on how to utilize a magnification device named the Topez EZ. He is now able to independently read and respond to his mail and read his medication bottles. Moreover, he received training on how to use Hi mark and bump dots to label his appliances. He is now able to independently operate navigational dials on his kitchen appliances to prepare his daily meals. After receiving personal management training, he is independently able to set and identify time on his talking clock. More excitingly, upon being provide with training on how to use a support cane, he is now able to continue traveling independently to nearby stores likes, Piggly Wiggly, Winn Dixie, and Family Dollar, to purchase whatever his heart desires. This consumer was unaware that independent living services existed for individuals with Macular Degeneration. He is so grateful for the services he received through the OASIS program, and has stated “I don’t know where I would be without OASIS.”

Consumer 2 is an 85-year old widow who has Macular Degeneration. She was referred to the OASIS Program by a family member. As Consumer 2 stated, “It’s a well-kept secret. I don’t know why my doctor didn’t tell me.” Consumer 2 met with her Rehabilitation Teacher who explained services and discussed how the program could assist her with taking care of her basic needs. She was provided services in the areas of personal management, low vision accommodation, reading adaptation, general home management skills, and leisure activities. One of her greatest needs was to access printed materials. She was provided with a 5x stand magnifier, a 5x pocket magnifier, and an Insight CCTV system which had been donated back to the program. With the electronic magnifier, Consumer 2 is able to keep up with the news, read her Bible, and her mail. She stated in a recent interview that being able to read again was the most important service that she could have received. Consumer 2 also received a timer with large bold numbers that she uses for cooking, alerting her to take her medications, and reminding her to watch her favorite television shows. Consumer 2 was provided a low vision wall clock to assist her with independently telling time. In the area of leisure activities, she is a member of a Bridge Club. The Rehabilitation Teacher provided her with low vision playing cards. She has enjoyed using the cards, and reports that other members of the Bridge Club have enjoyed them, as well. Consumer 2 is appreciative of the services that she has received through the OASIS Program. She has become an unofficial ambassador for the program. She shares her experience with others and often refers others to the Program for services. Here’s a story of Consumer 3, a 78-year old retired school principal with Retinitis Pigmentosa. Consumer 3 was referred to the OASIS Program by a friend. He initially called the program to seek Orientation and Mobility Services in an effort to obtain a new dog guide. However, he was introduced to a variety of other services from which he could benefit. Consumer 3’s Rehabilitation Teacher worked with him and his wife to develop a Rehabilitating Teaching Plan to meet his needs. He received services in the areas of handwriting, home management and organization, computer software and technology, reading adaptation, and orientation and mobility. He was provided a signature guide to be able to write his name. His appliances were marked to improve his skills in doing things around the home, such as laundry and in the kitchen. He learned to use the “Pen Friend” in order to label his clothes, canned goods, and files. Consumer 3 uses a timer to time how long to exercise on the treadmill. He has learned to use a computer with speech, using free software call Non Visual Desktop Access (NVDA). He also received an optical character reading (OCR) device, which helps him with reading his mail and paying his bills. Because he needed to work on his cane skills before attending dog guide school, the Rehabilitation Teacher coordinated Orientation & Mobility services through one of the OASIS Orientation and Mobility Specialists. In April 2013, Mr. Consumer 3 was able to independently travel to New York to receive his third dog guide from the Guide Dog Foundation. He credits his basic cane skill training with preparing him for the trip and for helping him to be able to keep up with the younger students while in dog guide school training. Upon recommendation from the Rehabilitation Teacher, he also took a free Hadley course called “Independent Airport Travel”, which covered dealing with all sorts of transportation issues and helped him with navigating the airport. Consumer 3’s independence in his home and community has been greatly enhanced through OASIS services. He has expressed his appreciation for what the program has provided.

A total of 1,149 persons were served by the OASIS Program during fiscal year 2013. During 2013, 924 received services in daily living skills training. 767 received training in communication skills. Training in orientation and mobility skills was received by 276 consumers and 955 benefited from assistive technology provided by the OASIS Program. Functional low vision assessments were provided by OASIS during 2013 to 747 consumers. During 2013, 508 persons were integrated into additional services available to them in their communities. Approximately 19,877 community awareness contacts were made on behalf of the OASIS Program during 2013. For fiscal year 2013, a total of 753 persons reached their independent living goals and reported that they felt that they had greater control in their ability to maintain their current living situation as a result of OASIS Program services.

With regard to age, it is important to note that 52% of the population, served during 2013, was age 80 or older. During 2013, a total of 3,014 secondary disabilities were recorded among consumers served by OASIS. As in previous years, cardiovascular disease and stroke were the leading causes of secondary disabilities during 2013 followed by bone, muscle, skin, joint, and movement disorders; hearing loss; diabetes; and other disabilities. For many of these consumers, OASIS is the primary resource and, sometimes, the only resource available to them.

E. Finally, note any problematic areas or concerns related to implementing the Title VII-Chapter 2 program in your state.

The demographics of an aging population requiring services using limited resources in terms of funding and qualified staff continues to be the greatest concern of staff working in the older blind program. Additional areas of concern include the increased cost of technology and overall operational costs.

Part VIII: Signature

As the authorized signatory, I will sign, date and retain in the state agency's files a copy of this 7-OB Report and the separate Certification of Lobbying form ED-80-0013 (available in MS Word and PDF formats.

Signed byDr. Cary Boswell
TitleCommissioner Al Dept of Rehabilitation Services
Telephone334-293-7201
Date signed12/20/2013