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

RSA-7-OB for Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired - H177B140046 report through September 30, 2014

Instructions

Introduction

The revised ED RSA-7-OB form incorporates revisions to the four established performance measures for the Independent Living Services for Older Individuals who are Blind (IL-OIB) program. Added in 2007, these measures aim to better reflect the program’s impact on individual consumers and the community.

Added to capture information that may be required to meet GPRA guidelines, the performance measures can be found under Part VI: Program Outcomes/Performance Measures as follows:

Measure 1.1

Of individuals who received AT (assistive technology) services and training, the percentage who regained or improved functional abilities previously lost as a result of vision loss.

Measure 1.2

Of individuals who received orientation and mobility (O & M) services, the percentage who experienced functional gains or maintained their ability to travel safely and independently in their home and/or community environment.

Measure 1.3

Of individuals who received services or training in alternative non-visual or low vision techniques, the percentage that experienced functional gains or were able to successfully restore and maintain their functional ability to engage in their customary life activities within their home environment and community.

Measure 1.4

Of the total individuals served, the percentage that reported that they are in greater control and are more confident in their ability to maintain their current living situation as a result of services.

Revisions to these established program performance measures consists of the following additional five items:

E1. Enter the 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)

E2. Enter the 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)

E3. Enter the 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)

E4. Enter the number of individuals served who experienced changes in lifestyle for reasons unrelated to vision loss. (closed/inactive cases only)

E5. Enter the 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)

Submittal Instructions

OIB grantees are expected to complete and submit the 7-OB Report online through RSA’s website (https://rsa.ed.gov), unless RSA is notified of pertinent circumstances that may impede the online submission.

To register with RSA’s MIS, please go to https://rsa.ed.gov and click on Info for new users. The link provides instructions for obtaining an agency-specific username and password. Further instructions for completing and submitting the 7-OB Report online will be provided upon completion of the registration process.

OIB grantees submitting the 7-OB Report online are not required to mail signed copies of the 7-OB Report to RSA, but they must certify in the MIS that the signed and dated 7-OB Report and lobbying certification forms are retained on file.

The Report submittal deadline is no later than December 31 of the reporting year.

Part I: Funding Sources for Expenditures And Encumbrances — Instructions

Please note: Total expenditures and encumbrances for direct program services in Part I (C) must equal the total funds spent on service in Part IV. Part I C must equal the sum of Part IV A1+B1+C1+D1.

A. Funding SourceS for Expenditures and encumbrances in reported fy

A1. Enter the total amount of Title VII-Chapter 2 funds expended or encumbered during the reported FY. Include expenditures or encumbrances made from both carryover funds from the previous FY and from the reported FY grant funds.

A2. Enter the total of any other federal funds expended or encumbered in the Title VII-Chapter 2 program during the reported FY. Designate the funding sources and amounts in (a) through (e).

A3. Enter the total amount of state funds expended or encumbered in the Title VII - Chapter 2 program. Do not include in-kind contributions (e.g., documented value of services, materials, equipment, buildings or office space, or land).

A4. Enter the total amount of third party contributions including local and community funding, non-profit or for-profit agency funding, etc. Do not include in-kind contributions (e.g., documented value of services, materials, equipment, buildings or office space, or land).

A5. Enter the total amount of in-kind contributions from non-federal sources. Include value of property or services that benefit the Title VII-Chapter 2 program (e.g. the fairly evaluated documented value of services, materials, equipment, buildings or office space or land).

A6. Enter the total matching funds (A3 + A4 + A5). Reminder: The required non-federal match for the Title VII-Chapter 2 program is not less than $1 for each $9 of federal funds provided in the Title VII-Chapter 2 grant. Funds derived from or provided by the federal government, or services assisted or subsidized to any significant extent by the federal government, may not be included in determining the amount of non-federal contributions.

A7. Enter the total amount of all funds expended and encumbered (A1 + A2 + A6) during the reported fiscal year.

B. Total expenditures and encumbrances allocated to administrative, support staff, and general overhead costs

Enter the total amount of expenditures and encumbrances allocated to administrative, support staff, and general overhead costs. Do not include costs for direct services provided by agency staff or the costs of contract or sub-grantee staff that provide direct services under contracts or sub-grants. If an administrator spends a portion of his or her time providing administrative services and the remainder providing direct services, include only the expenditures for administrative services.

C. Total expenditures and encumbrances for direct program services

Enter the total amount of expenditures and encumbrances for direct program services by subtracting line B from line A7.

Part II: Staffing — Instructions

Base all FTE calculations upon a full-time 40-hour workweek or 2080 hours per year. Record all FTE assigned to the Title VII-Chapter 2 program irrespective of whether salary is paid with Title VII-Chapter 2 funds.

A. Full-time Equivalent (FTE) Program Staff

A1. Under the “Administrative & Support” column (A1a), enter the full-time equivalent (FTE) of all administrative and support staff (e.g. management, program directors, supervisors, readers, drivers for staff, etc.) assigned to the Title VII-Chapter 2 program from the State agency. (For example, if 20% or 8 hours per week of a staff person’s time were spent on administrative and support functions related to this program, the FTE for that staff person would be .2). Under the “Direct Services” column (A1b), enter the FTE of all direct service staff (e.g. rehabilitation teacher, IL specialist, orientation and mobility specialist, social worker, drivers for individuals receiving services, etc.) assigned to the Title VII-Chapter 2 program from the State agency. If administrative or support staff of the State agency also provide direct services, report the FTE devoted to direct services in the “Direct Services” column (A1b). (For example, if 80% of a staff person’s time were spent in providing direct services, the FTE for that person would be 8). Finally, add across the “Administrative & Support” FTE (A1a) and “Direct Service” FTE (A1b) to enter the total State agency FTE in the TOTAL (A1c) column.

A2. Under the “Administrative & Support” column (A2a), enter the full-time equivalent (FTE) of all administrative and support staff (e.g. management, program directors, supervisors, readers, drivers for staff, etc.) assigned to the Title VII-Chapter 2 program from contractors or sub-grantees. Under the “Direct Services” column (A2b), enter the FTE of all direct service staff (e.g. rehabilitation teacher, IL specialist, orientation and mobility specialist, social worker, driver for individuals receiving services, etc.) assigned to the Title VII-Chapter 2 program from contractors and sub-grantees. If administrative staff of the contractors or sub-grantees also provides direct services, report the FTE devoted to direct services in the “Direct Services” column (A2b). Finally, add across the “Administrative & Support” FTE (A2a) and “Direct Service” FTE (A2b) to enter the total contractor or sub-grantee FTE in the TOTAL (A2c) column.

A3. Add each column for A1 and A2 and record totals on line A3.

B. Employed or advanced in employment

B1. Enter the total number of employees (agency and contractor/sub-grantee staff) with disabilities (include blind and visually impaired not 55 or older), including blindness or visual impairment, in B1a. Enter the FTE of employees with disabilities in B1b. (To calculate B1b, add the total number of hours worked by all employees with disabilities and divide by 2080 to arrive at the FTE)

B2. Enter the total number of employees (agency and contractor/sub-grantee staff) who are blind or visually impaired and age 55 and older in B2a. Enter the FTE of employees who are blind or visually impaired and age 55 or older in B2b. (To calculate B2b, add the total number of hours worked by employees who are blind or visually impaired and age 55 and older and divide by 2080 to arrive at the FTE)

B3. Enter the total number of employees (agency and contractor/sub-grantee staff) who are members of racial/ethnic minorities in B3a. Enter the FTE of employees who are members of racial/ethnic minorities in B3b. (To calculate B3b, add the total number of hours worked by employees who are members of racial/ethnic minorities and divide by 2080 to arrive at the FTE)

B4. Enter the total number of employees (agency and contractor/sub-grantee staff) who are women in B4a. Enter the FTE of employees who are women in B4b. (To calculate B4b, add the total number of hours worked by women and divide by 2080 to arrive at the FTE)

B5. Enter the total number of employees (agency and contractor/sub-grantee staff) who are ages 55 and older, but not blind or visually impaired, in B5a. Enter the FTE of employees who are ages 55 and older, but not blind or visually impaired, in B5b. (To calculate B5b, add the total number of hours worked by employees who are ages 55 and older, but not blind or visually impaired, and divide by 2080 to arrive at the FTE)

C. Volunteers

C1. Enter the FTE of program volunteers in C1. (To calculate C1, add the total number of hours worked by all program volunteers and divide by 2080 to arrive at the FTE).

Part III: Data on Individuals Served — Instructions

Provide data in all categories on program participants who received one or more services during the fiscal year being reported.

A. Individuals Served

A1. Enter the number of program participants carried over from the previous federal fiscal year who received services in this reported FY (e.g. someone received services in September (or any other month) of the previous FY and continued to receive additional services in the reported FY).

A2. Enter the number of program participants who began receiving services during the reported fiscal year irrespective of whether they have completed all services.

A3. Enter the total number served during the reported fiscal year (A1 + A2).

B. Age

B1-B10. Enter the total number of program participants served in each respective age category.

B11. Enter the sum of B1 through B10. This must agree with A3.

C. Gender

C1. Enter the total number of females receiving services.

C2. Enter the total number of males receiving services.

C3. Enter the sum of C1 and C2. This must agree with A3.

D. Race/Ethnicity

Hispanic or Latino means a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.

D1. Enter the number of individuals served who are Hispanic/Latino of any race or Hispanic/Latino only. Hispanic/Latino means a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.

D2. Enter the number of individuals served who are American Indian or Alaska Native. American Indian or Alaska Native means a person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America), and who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment.

D3. Enter the number of individuals served who are Asian. Asian means a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.

D4. Enter the number of individuals served who are Black or African American. Black or African American means a person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. Terms such as “Haitian” may be used.

D5. Enter the number of individuals served who are Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander means a person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.

D6. Enter the number of individuals served who are White or Caucasian. White means a person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.

D7. Enter the number of individuals served who report two or more races but who are not Hispanic/Latino of any race.

D8. Enter “race and ethnicity unknown” only if the consumer refuses to identify race and ethnicity.

D9. Enter the total of D1 through D8. This number must agree with A3.

E. Degree of Visual Impairment

E1. Enter the number of individuals served who are totally blind (e.g. have light perception only or no light perception).

E2. Enter the number of individuals served who are legally blind (excluding those recorded in E1).

E3. Enter the number of individuals served who have severe visual impairment.

E4. Add E1 + E2 + E3 and enter the total. This number must agree with A3.

F. Major Cause of Visual Impairment

(Please note that the primary site for the definitions of diseases is http://www.nia.nih.gov/AboutNIA/StrategicPlan/ResearchGoalA/Subgoal1.htm.)

Enter only one major cause of visual impairment for each individual served.

F1. Enter the number of individuals served who have macular degeneration as the major cause of visual impairment. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a progressive disease of the retina wherein the light-sensing cells in the central area of vision (the macula) stop working and eventually die. The cause of the disease is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors, and

It is most common in people who are age 60 and over. AMD is the leading cause of legal blindness in senior citizens.

F2. Enter the number of individuals served who have diabetic retinopathy as the major cause of visual impairment. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of new cases of legal blindness among working-age Americans and is caused by damage to the small blood vessels in the retina. It is believed that poorly controlled blood sugar levels are related to its progression. Most persons with diabetes have non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or what is commonly called “adult-onset” or Type II diabetes, and control their blood sugar with oral medications or diet alone. Others have insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), also called "younger or juvenile-onset" or Type I diabetes, and must use insulin injections daily to regulate their blood sugar levels.

F3. Enter the number of individuals served who have glaucoma as the major cause of visual impairment. Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases causing optic nerve damage that involves mechanical compression or decreased blood flow. It is permanent and is a leading cause of blindness in the world, especially in older people.

F4. Enter the number of individuals served who have cataracts as the major cause of visual impairment. A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens of the eye resulting in blurred vision, sensitivity to light and glare, distortion, and dimming of colors. Cataracts are usually a natural aging process in the eye (although they may be congenital) and may be caused or accelerated by other diseases such as glaucoma and diabetes.

F5. Enter the number of individuals served who have any other major cause of visual impairment.

F6. Enter the sum of F1 through F5. This number must agree with A3.

G. Other Age-Related Impairments

Enter the total number of individuals served in each category. Individuals may report one or more non-visual impairments/conditions. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) Strategic Plan identifies age-related diseases, disorders, and disability including the following categories.

G1. Hearing Impairment: Presbycusis is the gradual hearing loss that occurs with aging. An estimated one-third of Americans over 60 and one-half of those over 85 have some degree of hearing loss. Hearing impairment occurs when there is a problem with or damage to one or more parts of the ear, and may be a conductive hearing loss (outer or middle ear) or a sensorineural hearing loss (inner ear) or a combination. The degree of hearing impairment can vary widely from person to person. Some people have partial hearing loss, meaning that the

Ear can pick up some sounds; others have complete hearing loss, meaning that the ear cannot hear at all. One or both ears may be affected, and the impairment may be worse in one ear than in the other.

G2. Diabetes: Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin, a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. Type 2 diabetes, which results from insulin resistance and abnormal insulin action, is most prevalent in the older population. Diabetes complications, such as heart disease and loss of sight, increase dramatically when blood sugar is poorly controlled and often develop before diabetes is diagnosed.

G3. Cardiovascular Disease and Strokes: Diseases of the heart and blood vessels are the leading cause of hospitalization and death in older Americans. Congestive heart failure is the most common diagnosis in hospitalized patients aged 65 and older.

G4. Cancer: The second leading cause of death among the elderly is cancer, with individuals age 65 and over accounting for 70 percent of cancer mortality in the United States. Breast, prostate, and colon cancers, are common in older people.

G5. Bone, Muscle, Skin, Joint, and Movement Disorders: Osteoporosis (loss of mass and quality of bones), osteoarthritis (inflammation and deterioration of joints), and sarcopenia (age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength) contribute to frailty and injury in millions of older people. Also contributing to loss of mobility and independence are changes in the central nervous system that control movement. Cells may die or become dysfunctional with age, as in Parkinson's disease. Therefore, older people may have difficulty with gross motor behavior, such as moving around in the environment, or with fine motor skills, such as writing.

G6. Alzheimer’s Disease/Cognitive Impairment: Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia (a brain disorder that significantly affects an individual’s ability to carry out daily life activities) in older people. It and other cognitive impairments impact parts of the brain that control thought, memory, and language.

G7. Depression is widespread, often undiagnosed, and often under-treated in the elderly. It is believed to affect more than 6.5 million of the 35 million Americans who are 65 or older. Depression is closely associated with dependency and disability. Symptoms may include: loss of interest in normally pleasurable activities, persistent, vague or unexplained somatic complaints, memory complaints, change in weight, sleeping disorder, irritability or demanding behavior, lack of attention to personal care, difficulty with concentration, social withdrawal, change in appetite, confusion, delusions or hallucinations, feeling of worthlessness or hopelessness, and thought about suicide.

G8. Other Major Geriatric Concerns: Several conditions can compromise independence and quality of life in older persons including weakness and falls, urinary incontinence, benign prostatic hyperplasia, and co morbidity (co morbidity describes the effect of all other diseases an individual might have on the primary disease).

H. Type of Residence

H1. Enter the number of individuals served who live in private residence (house or apartment unrelated to senior living).

H2. Enter the number of Individuals served who live in senior living/retirement community (e.g. housing designed for those age 55 and older).

H3. Enter the number of individuals served who live in assisted living facility (e.g. housing that provides personal care and services which meet needs beyond basic provision of food, shelter and laundry).

H4. Enter the number of individuals served who live in nursing homes/long-term care facility (e.g. any facility that provides care to one or more persons who require nursing care and related medical services of such complexity to require professional nursing care under the direction of a physician on a 24 hour a day basis).

H5. Enter the number of individuals served who are homeless

H6. Enter the sum of H1, H2, H3, H4 and H5. This number must agree with A3.

I. Source of Referral

I1. Enter the number of individuals served referred by an ophthalmologist or optometrist.

I2. Enter the number of individuals served referred by a medical provider other than an ophthalmologist or optometrist.

I3. Enter the number of individuals served referred by a state vocational rehabilitation agency.

I4. Enter the number of individuals served referred by a government or social services agency defined as a public or private agency which provides assistance to consumers related to eligibility and securing entitlements and benefits, counseling, elder law services, assistance with housing, etc.

I5. Enter the number of individuals served referred by the Veterans Administration

I6. Enter the number of individuals served referred by a senior program defined as a community-based educational, recreational, or socialization program operated by a senior center, nutrition site, or senior club.

I7. Enter the number of individuals served referred by an assisted living facility defined as housing that provides personal care and services which meet needs beyond basic provision of food, shelter and laundry.

I8. Enter the number of individuals served referred by a nursing home/long-term care facility defined as any facility that provides care to one or more persons who require nursing care and related medical services of such complexity to require professional nursing care under the direction of a physician on a 24 hour a day basis.

I9. Enter the number of individuals served referred by a faith-based (religious affiliated) organization.

I10. Enter the number of individuals served referred by an independent living center (ILC) defined as a consumer-controlled, community-based, cross-disability, nonresidential private nonprofit agency that is designed and operated within a local community by individuals with disabilities, and provides an array of independent living services.

I11. Enter the number of individuals referred by a family member or friend.

I12. Enter the number of individuals who were self-referred.

I13. Enter the number of individuals referred from all other sources aside from those listed above.

I14. Enter the sum of I1, I2, I3, I4, I5, I6, I7, I8, I9, I10, I11, I12, and I13. This number must agree with A3

Part IV: Types of Services Provided and Resources Allocated — Instructions

Please note: Total expenditures and encumbrances for direct program services in Part I C must equal the total funds spent on services in Part IV. Part I C must equal the sum of Part IV A1+B1+C1+D1.

In addition, salary or costs associated with direct service staff or contractors providing

direct services should be included in the cost of services provided in A, B, C, and D.

A. Clinical / Functional Vision Assessments and Services

A1. Enter the total cost from Title VII-Chapter 2 federal grant funds (A1a) and the total cost from all other sources of program funding (A1b) for clinical and/or functional vision assessments and services, whether purchased or provided directly.

A2. Enter the total number of program participants who received clinical vision screening or vision examinations from qualified or certified professionals such as ophthalmologists or optometrists, and who received functional vision assessments or low vision evaluations to identify strategies for enhancing visual performance both without and with optical and low vision devices and equipment. Assessment areas may include functional visual acuity and fields, efficiency of vision in the performance of everyday tasks, and evaluation for low vision aids or equipment. These assessments are typically provided by skilled professionals or those who are certified or have a master’s degree in low vision rehabilitation. Do not include evaluations for orientation and mobility. These should be included in C3.

A3. Enter the total number of program participants who received surgical or therapeutic treatment to prevent, correct, or modify disabling eye conditions; and, hospitalizations related to such services. Include prescription optics in this service category. Nonprescription optics should be reported in B2.

B. Assistive Technology Devices, Aids, Services and Training

B1. Enter the total cost from Title VII-Chapter 2 federal grant funds (B1a) and the total cost from all other sources of program funding (B1b) for the provision of assistive technology devices, aids, services and training.

B2. Enter the total number of program participants who received one or more assistive technology devices and aids. As defined in Section 3(4) of the Assistive Technology Act of 2004 (Pub. L. 108-364), “assistive technology device means any item, piece of equipment, or product system whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.” Assistive technology devices may include such items as canes, slates, insulin gauges, CCTVs, computers, adaptive software, magnifiers, adaptive cooking items, adaptive recreational items, handwriting guides, Braillers, large button telephones, etc.

B3. Enter the total number of program participants who received one or more assistive technology services and training. As defined in Section 3(5) of the Assistive Technology Act of 2004 (PL 108-364), “assistive technology service means any service that directly assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device.” Services may include the evaluation of assistive technology needs of an individual, services related to acquisition of technology, costs of loan programs, maintenance and repair of assistive technology, training or technical assistance for the individual or professionals related to the use of assistive technology, programs to expand the availability of assistive technology, low vision therapy services related to the use of optical aids and devices, and other services related to the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device.

C. Independent Living and Adjustment Training and Services

C1. Enter the total cost from Title VII-Chapter 2 federal grant funds (C1a) and the total cost from all other sources of program funding (C1b) for the provision of services and adjustment training leading to independent living. Evaluation and assessment services (excluding those included in A2 or B3) leading to the planning and implementation of services and training should be included in these costs.

C2. Enter the total number of individuals who received orientation and mobility (O & M) services or travel training (i.e. learning to access public or private transportation and to travel safely and as independently as possible in the home and community with or without the use of mobility aids and devices).

C3. Enter the total number of individuals who received communication skills training (e.g. reading and writing Braille, keyboarding and computer literacy, computer skills training, using the telephone, handwriting guides, telling time, using readers, use of audio and tactile technologies for home, recreational or educational use; etc.). Training in the use of newspaper reading services and radio services should be included.

C4. Enter the total number of individuals who received personal management and daily living skills training (e.g. training in the use of adaptive aids and assistive technology devices for personal management and daily living, blindness and low vision alternative techniques for food preparation, grooming and dress, household chores, medical management, shopping, recreational activities, etc.)

C5. Enter the total number of individuals who received supportive services (e.g. reader services, transportation, personal attendant services, support service providers, interpreters, etc.) while actively participating in the program or attaining independent living goals.

C6. Enter the total number of program participants who participated in advocacy training or support network activities such as consumer organization meetings, peer support groups, etc.

C7. Enter the total number of individuals who received counseling (peer, individual or group) to assist them in adjusting to visual impairment and blindness.

C8. Enter the total number of program participants that received information and referral to other service providers, programs, and agencies (e.g. senior programs, public and private social service programs, faith-based organizations, consumer groups, etc.) to enhance adjustment, independent living, and integration into the community. Do not include individuals who received only information and referral and for whom no other services were provided.

C9. Enter the total number of individuals served who were provided any other service not listed above.

D. Community Awareness Activities / Information and Referral

D1. Enter the total cost from Title VII-Chapter 2 federal grant funds (D1a) and the total cost from all other sources of program funding (D1b) for providing information and referral services and community awareness activities/events to individuals for whom this was the only service provided (i.e. training for other professionals, telephone inquiries, general inquiries, etc.).

D2. Enter the number of individuals receiving information and referral services for whom this is the only service provided. (optional)

D3. Enter the number of community awareness events/activities in which the Chapter 2 program participated during the reported year (D3a) and the number or estimated number of individuals who benefited from these activities (D3b).

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

A1. Program Expenditures and Encumbrances (all sources) Enter the total cost of the program for the prior fiscal year (A1a), and the fiscal year being reported (A1b). The total cost of the program can be found in Part I A7. Calculate the change (plus or minus) from the prior year to the reported year (A1c).

A2. Number of Individuals Served Enter the total number of eligible individuals served in the prior year (A2a), and in the current reported year (A2b). The total number of individuals served can be found in Part III A3. Calculate the change (plus or minus) in the numbers served from the prior year to the reported year (A2c).

A3. Number of Minority Individuals Served Enter the total number of minority individuals served in the prior year (A3a), and in the fiscal year currently being reported (A3b). The total number of minority individuals served is the total of Part III D1+D2+D3+D4+D5 +D7. Calculate the change (plus or minus) in the numbers served from the prior year to the reported year (A3c).

A4. Number of Community Awareness Activities Enter the number of community awareness activities or events in which the Chapter 2 program participated during the prior year (A4a), and in the fiscal year currently being reported (A4b). The number of community awareness activities is found in Part IV D3a. Calculate the change (plus or minus) in the number of events from the prior year to the year being reported (A4c).

A5. Number of Collaborating Agencies and Organizations Enter the number of collaborating organizations or agencies (formal agreements or informal activity) other than Chapter 2 paid sub-grantees or contractors in the prior year (A5a), and in the fiscal year currently being reported (A5b). Calculate the change (plus or minus) from the prior year to the year being reported (A5c).

A6. Number of Sub-grantees/Contractors If you provide services through sub-grantee agencies or contract, enter the number of sub-grantees or contracts in the prior year (A6a), and in the fiscal year currently being reported (A6b). Calculate the change (plus or minus) from the prior year to the year being reported (A6c). If you do not use sub-grantees, enter 0 in A6a, A6b, and A6c.

Part VI: Program Outcomes/Performance Measures — Instructions

A. Enter the number from Part IV B3 in A1. From available program data and evaluations, enter the 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 in A2. (closed/inactive cases only).

In A3, from available program data and evaluations, enter the number of individuals for whom functional gains have not yet been determined at the close of the reporting period (This number would not include those individuals who are no longer receiving services and who either did not make functional gains or maintain functional ability before case closure or inactivity).

B. Enter the number from Part IV C2 in B1. From available program data and evaluations, of those receiving orientation and mobility (O & M) services, enter 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 in B2 (closed/inactive cases only).

In B3, from available program data and evaluations, enter the number of individuals for whom functional gains have not yet been determined at the close of the reporting period (This number would not include those individuals who are no longer receiving services and who either did not make functional gains or maintain functional ability before case closure or inactivity).

C. Enter the number from Part IV C3 in C1. From available program data and evaluations, of those receiving communication skills training, enter the number of individuals who gained or maintained their functional abilities as a result of services they received in C2 (Closed/inactive cases only).

In C3, from available program data and evaluations, enter the number of individuals for whom functional gains have not yet been determined at the close of the reporting period (This number would not include those individuals who are no longer receiving services and who either did not make functional gains or maintain functional ability before case closure or inactivity).

D. Enter the number from Part IV C4 in D1. From available program data and evaluations, of those receiving daily living skills training, enter the 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 In D2 (Closed/inactive cases only).

In D3, enter the Number of individuals for whom functional gains have not yet been determined at the close of the reporting period (This number would not include those individuals who are no longer receiving services and who either did not make functional gains or maintain functional ability before case closure or inactivity).

E1. Enter the 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).

E2. Enter the 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).

E3. Enter the 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).

E4. Enter the number of individuals served who experienced changes in lifestyle for reasons unrelated to vision loss (Closed/inactive cases only). “Change in lifestyle” is defined as any non-vision related event that results in the consumer’s reduced independence, such as moving from a private residence (house or apartment) to another type of residence e.g. living with family, senior living community, assisted living facility, nursing home/long-term facility, etc. Reduced independence could also result in employing a caregiver to enable the consumer continue to live in his/her home. Examples of events that could result in reduced independence of the consumer include loss of spouse and onset or worsening of other health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc.

E5. Enter the 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).

Part VII: Training and Technical Assistance — Instructions

On July 22, 2014, Public Law 113-128, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was enacted and included a new requirement under Section 751A that the RSA Commissioner shall conduct a survey of designated State agencies that receive grants under section 752 regarding training and technical assistance needs in order to determine funding priorities for such training and technical assistance. Please enter a brief description of training and technical assistance needs that you may have to assist in the implementation and improvement of the performance of your Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who Are Blind grant (for example, financial management, reporting requirements on the 7-OB, program management, data analysis and program performance, law and applicable regulations, provision of services and service delivery, promising practices, resources and information, outreach, etc.).

Part VIII: Narrative — Instructions

Self-explanatory.

Part IX: Signature Instructions

Please sign and print the name, title and telephone number of the IL-OIB Program Director.

Part I: Funding Sources And Expenditures

Title VII-Chapter 2 Federal grant award for reported fiscal year778,551
Other federal grant award for reported fiscal year0
Title VII-Chapter 2 carryover from previous year594,566
Other federal grant carryover from previous year0
A. Funding Sources for Expenditures in Reported FY
A1. Title VII-Chapter 2824,828
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)1,424,954
A4. Third party0
A5. In-kind0
A6. Total Matching Funds1,424,954
A7. Total All Funds Expended2,249,782
B. Total expenditures and encumbrances allocated to administrative, support staff, and general overhead costs62,910
C. Total expenditures and encumbrances for direct program services2,186,872

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 25.0000 36.0000 61.0000
2. FTE Contractors 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000
3. Total FTE 25.0000 36.0000 61.0000

B. Employed or advanced in employment

a) Number employed b) FTE
1. Employees with Disabilities 13 9.3600
2. Employees with Blindness Age 55 and Older 6 4.6800
3. Employees who are Racial/Ethnic Minorities 7 3.5400
4. Employees who are Women 41 23.3500
5. Employees Age 55 and Older 31 17.0500

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 FY568
2. Number of individuals who began receiving services in the reported FY739
3. Total individuals served during the reported fiscal year (A1 + A2) 1,307

B. Age

1. 55-59117
2. 60-64131
3. 65-69151
4. 70-74118
5. 75-79148
6. 80-84183
7. 85-89237
8. 90-94180
9. 95-9941
10. 100 & over1
11. Total (must agree with A3)1,307

C. Gender

1. Female905
2. Male402
3. Total (must agree with A3)1,307

D. Race/Ethnicity

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race28
2. American Indian or Alaska Native0
3. Asian18
4. Black or African American259
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander3
6. White994
7. Two or more races5
8. Race and ethnicity unknown (only if consumer refuses to identify)0
9. Total (must agree with A3)1,307

E. Degree of Visual Impairment

1. Totally Blind (LP only or NLP)48
2. Legally Blind (excluding totally blind)827
3. Severe Visual Impairment432
4. Total (must agree with A3)1,307

F. Major Cause of Visual Impairment

1. Macular Degeneration588
2. Diabetic Retinopathy124
3. Glaucoma224
4. Cataracts28
5. Other343
6. Total (must agree with A3)1,307

G. Other Age-Related Impairments

1. Hearing Impairment164
2. Diabetes176
3. Cardiovascular Disease and Strokes327
4. Cancer55
5. Bone, Muscle, Skin, Joint, and Movement Disorders183
6. Alzheimer's Disease/Cognitive Impairment6
7. Depression/Mood Disorder32
8. Other Major Geriatric Concerns327

H. Type of Residence

1. Private residence (house or apartment)1,167
2. Senior Living/Retirement Community62
3. Assisted Living Facility57
4. Nursing Home/Long-term Care facility21
5. Homeless0
6. Total (must agree with A3)1,307

I. Source of Referral

1. Eye care provider (ophthalmologist, optometrist)496
2. Physician/medical provider90
3. State VR agency35
4. Government or Social Service Agency25
5. Veterans Administration11
6. Senior Center10
7. Assisted Living Facility0
8. Nursing Home/Long-term Care facility0
9. Faith-based organization0
10. Independent Living center87
11. Family member or friend212
12. Self-referral247
13. Other94
14. Total (must agree with A3)1,307

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 185,889
1b. Total Cost from other funds 0
2. Vision screening / vision examination / low vision evaluation 694
3. Surgical or therapeutic treatment to prevent, correct, or modify disabling eye conditions 158

B. Assistive technology devices and services

Cost Persons Served
1a. Total Cost from VII-2 funds 202,064
1b. Total Cost from other funds 0
2. Provision of assistive technology devices and aids 1,038
3. Provision of assistive technology services 663

C. Independent living and adjustment training and services

Cost Persons Served
1a. Total Cost from VII-2 funds 185,679
1b. Total Cost from other funds 1,671,124
2. Orientation and Mobility training 361
3. Communication skills 505
4. Daily living skills 995
5. Supportive services (reader services, transportation, personal 23
6. Advocacy training and support networks 0
7. Counseling (peer, individual and group) 1,211
8. Information, referral and community integration 78
. Other IL services 173

D. Community Awareness: Events & Activities

Cost a. Events / Activities b. Persons Served
1a. Total Cost from VII-2 funds 4,523
1b. Total Cost from other funds 503
2. Information and Referral 0
3. Community Awareness: Events/Activities 137 4,872

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) 1,533,937 2,249,782 715,845
2. Number of Individuals Served 1,200 1,307 107
3. Number of Minority Individuals Served 269 313 44
4. Number of Community Awareness Activities 134 137 3
5. Number of Collaborating agencies and organizations 63 65 2
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 663 100.00%
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) 328 49.47%
A3. Number of individuals for whom functional gains have not yet been determined at the close of the reporting period. 295 44.49%
B1. Number of individuals who received orientation and mobility (O & M) services 361 100.00%
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) 132 36.57%
B3. Number of individuals for whom functional gains have not yet been determined at the close of the reporting period. 214 59.28%
C1. Number of individuals who received communication skills training 505 100.00%
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) 236 46.73%
C3. Number of individuals for whom functional gains have not yet been determined at the close of the reporting period. 242 47.92%
D1. Number of individuals who received daily living skills training 995 100.00%
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) 458 46.03%
D3. Number of individuals for whom functional gains have not yet been determined at the close of the reporting period. 494 49.65%
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) 586 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) 8 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) 101 n/a
E4. Number of individuals served who experienced changes in lifestyle for reasons unrelated to vision loss. (closed/inactive cases only) 252 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) 0 n/a

Part VII: Training and Technical Assistance Needs

The Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired would appreciate technical assistance in the area of training for rehab Teaching and mobility staff about advancements in treatment of vision loss, promising practices in delivery of services to seniors with Alzheimer’s and other mental conditions, data analysis of services provided and review of the reporting requirements for the annual 7 OB report.

Part VIII: 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 mission of the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI) is to empower blind, deafblind or visually impaired individuals to achieve their maximum level of vocational, educational and personal independence. Independent Living services under the Older Blind Grant (OBG) are delivered by DBVI utilizing a staff of 22 rehab teachers who devote 78% of their time providing evaluation and direct instruction in a variety of adaptive skills of blindness areas. Additionally, 12 O & M instructors devoted 29% of their time on direct instruction in techniques of independent travel. Three Low Vision staff devoted 38% of their time packaging and distributing low vision aids to the seniors, while 2 deafblind specialists dedicated 36% of their time consulting with teachers and serving seniors with both hearing and vision loss. Title VII, Chapter 2 funds are used to provide comprehensive independent living services for older blind individuals through DBVI barrier free regional offices at Bristol, Fairfax, Norfolk, Richmond, Roanoke and Staunton, and at the Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired (VRCBVI) in Richmond. Our goal is to provide and arrange for services that enable individuals with significant visual impairment to gain or maintain independence within the home and community, and adjust to their level of impairment. Six hundred eighteen senior consumers achieved successful outcomes during this grant period, the majority of whom live in the Roanoke Valley again this year. The Tidewater area also has a large number of seniors who successfully received OBG services. The provision of comprehensive services enables more individuals to live independently in their homes and communities with maximum self direction, enables others to avoid inappropriate institutionalization and assists many older blind Virginians in accessing appropriate and necessary community resources and services. Community outreach abounds in all areas of the Commonwealth, with the rehabilitation teachers making many presentations at nursing homes, assistive living centers, retirement communities, Centers for Independent Living, senior centers and hospitals. The 22 rehabilitation teachers who provide services to consumers also provided outreach presentations to a wide range of public and private organizations. The focus of the activities is to educate interested individuals about the needs of seniors who are vision impaired, how best to access all DBVI services, and how to access senior related community services. Rehabilitation teachers in all six regional offices have participated in local health fairs, provided in-service training to other state and federal agencies and given numerous presentations at local senior centers. Cumulatively 4,872 potential consumers, their friends and family members, as well as service providers, learned of vision-related services available through 137 presentations given in 57 different localities, an increase over FFY 2013 activities.

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 OBG Program Director ended her 22 year tenure as an active governor appointed member of the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC). The SILC promotes access to independent living services in Virginia for all consumers with all disabilities. She will continue to actively support the SILC and will mentor her replacement, the deputy Commissioner for Services of DBVI. During this grant year the SILC continued goals of educating consumers and service providers about Virginia’s Money Follows the Person (MFP) initiative to move consumers, including seniors with vision loss, out of institutions and into the community; as well as increasing access and inclusion for people with disabilities . The Virginia Caregivers Coalition continues to be active in its outreach to seniors and their families by offering statewide videoconference trainings and information on resources. The OBG Program Director is a founding member of this Coalition that meets bi-monthly at the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) and includes representatives from AARP, the 25 Area Agencies on Aging statewide, private and non-profit counseling providers, area hospitals, hospice providers and local universities.

Representatives from DBVI regional offices are taking a more active planning role by working locally with the AAA that serves seniors in their territory. One example is the Senior Meals Program, Step, Inc located in Patrick County — This group of senior citizens gathers weekly for activities and lunch. Several members are familiar with macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma and shared that they knew folks who were dealing with these eye conditions. DBVI staff provided attendees with information on the referral process and OBG services. Several items, including a big button phone, were shown.

Support Groups are growing in Virginia. MOVE (Martinsville Outreach for the Visually Enabled) continues to meet monthly at the Library in Collinsville, VA. This core group supports each other and meets in fellowship for lunches and resource sharing. The individual members have expressed how much the group means to them and how important it is for them to have an opportunity to share challenges, successes and opportunities. They also share their successes and frustrations living with vision loss. RT and O&M staffs continue to serve as resources for the group and try to attend several times per year. In December 2013 the MOVE group (seniors with visual impairments) met in Martinsville for a holiday celebration. This outreach is an excellent way for DBVI staff to informally assess past and current consumers’ skills in “real time.” Staff have worked with the consumers for long periods of time and attending meetings from time to time reinforces teaching skills as well as reminds the community that DBVI is always available should they need more services.

Additionally, as the result of a booth at a health fair in the fall of 2014, DBVI has been asked to do presentations for 5 different groups of senior citizens.

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.

Executive Summary of the 2014 Program Participant Survey For Virginia Older Blind Program National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision at Mississippi State University

The National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision (NRTC) at MSU conducted a Program Participant Survey in FY 2014 as a mail survey to determine the degree of satisfaction consumers experienced with the services and training they received and to gather consumer perceptions about the extent to which they perceived their independence and quality of life had been enhanced by the skills they acquired during the course of their services from the VA Older Blind Grant. NRTC staff developed the survey in conjunction with the Program Director of the Virginia Older Blind Grant and surveys were returned to the NRTC for data entry and analysis.

The survey consisted of questions in the following categories: • Types of services provided (10 questions) • Outcome and satisfaction of services provided (Part 1: 7 questions; Part 2: 12 questions) • Program Benefits (checklist) • Consumer demographics (9 questions)

This survey was designed to enable the Older Blind Program administrative team to acquire outcome data to report to RSA plus some additional data that would be useful in program analysis and planning. The survey collected information for each regional office.

Surveys were sent to 610 individuals whose cases were closed during FY 2014, the return rate to MSU was 31% (189 surveys). This result is similar to the two previous years: 31% in FY 2013 and 35% in FY 2012. Overall results of the Program Participant Survey data were favorable. A majority of consumers reported very positive levels of satisfaction with the staff members with whom they worked, their level of instruction, and the quality of services.

Demographic and Survey Data from Interviews

With ages ranging from 56 to 97, most respondents (54%) were 80 years old or older. Seventy percent were female. Most participants (67%) reported living in a private residence; with others reporting senior living community, assisted living facility, or nursing home. Causes of vision loss included macular degeneration (41%), glaucoma (13%), diabetic retinopathy (8%), and cataracts (3%). Many respondents (23%) listed other causes of blindness, including a combination of the above factors.

Consumers were extremely impressed with the manner in which they were served by staff. Ninety-three percent reported receiving services in a timely manner; 94% felt they received their services at a steady pace; 96% reported that staff listened to their feelings; and 98% felt that staff was concerned with their well-being.

Consumer satisfaction levels among those participating in the survey were high. In responding to satisfaction questions regarding delivery of services, i.e., manner of service delivery, types of services provided, and perceived outcomes of services---almost all of the participants expressed satisfaction. Out of the seventeen satisfaction questions, only three resulted in satisfaction scores less than ninety percent: peer support group (89%), hearing tests or listening devices (89%), and only 86% agreed that the services they received allowed them to reach their goals.

This last question was investigated further. Part 2 of Section 2 of the survey asked consumers whether they had set as a goal any of twelve areas of independence. If they replied that they had desired to improve in a specific area, they were asked if the services received help them accomplish that goal. Seven of these twelve questions resulted in a positive response of less than 90%. Noticeable among the results, only 50% of those who had desired to improve in making minor home repairs indicated an improvement in this area, 75% who desired to participate in a peer support group reported participating and benefitting from such a group and 78% who desired to improve in managing paperwork did not report an improvement. This section also provided an insight into consumer priorities: 90% have improved independence as a goal, compared to 19% for making minor home repairs, and 17% for participating in a peer support group.

Respondents were provided the opportunity to comment on any question, but the comments shed little light on the issue of lower than expected satisfaction levels. For the second year, consumers were provided the opportunity to request a call from NRTC staff to discuss any concerns about services or service providers. These follow-up surveys are still being completed, with the intention of providing an explanation of any negative responses. Consumers were also asked about the major benefits of the services they received. Among the top responses to this question were using low vision devices (77%) and understanding and adjusting to vision loss (71%).

A copy of the complete program evaluation report conducted by the NRTC will be available after its completion in early 2015.

The Virginia Older Blind Program provided important services to 618 successfully closed cases. The satisfaction levels reveal what has been most important to the consumer population — caring service providers and all the information they provide and the devices they show the consumers, and being able to read again. Forty-five days after receipt of the Virginia Older Blind Grant’s 7-0B, the NRTC at MSU will provide the Virginia Older Blind Program with its 2014 Annual Report.

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).

In January 2014, a Rehabilitation Teacher spoke to approximately 30 seniors who meet weekly in rural Virginia for lunch and activities. Following her presentation, an 89 year old gentleman and his wife asked if the teacher could talk with them. He was diagnosed with Macular Degeneration and had been told by his eye professional nine years ago that there was no help available for him. He has been struggling since then. He was unaware of our services until this presentation. He immediately referred himself and we have a home visit scheduled for March 2014.

Another success story is about an 88 year old senior with a hearing impairment and wet macular degeneration in both eyes. She has no sight in one eye and very little sight left in the other. Over the last 8 to 9 months she has given up lots of things that she enjoyed. By not being able to care for herself, she had became sad, tearful and without much purpose. Her daughter reports, “A sitter comes into our home at 8:30am and stays until 12:30pm. After the sitter left each day my mother was alone and without conversation until I returned home between 3:30pm - 4 pm. Some days she would say “just talk, I don’t care what about, just talk.” Other days I would find her sitting in her chair in her bedroom, no TV on, nothing, dead silence. Now, that she is receiving help from your Department, she is a totally new woman! The rehab teacher has helped her get a recorder and books, and the bible that she can listen to. Each day when I come in from work she is in her room listening to a book. All the things that the teacher has implemented have helped my mother find her self esteem again. She now has more of a purpose to get out of bed each day. She has not cried once since learning to use the recorder.“

“I FEEL COMPETENT AGAIN.” This is a recent comment from an 89-year old woman, who states that because of increased mobility skills and the tools she’s learned to use during her daily activities, she can continue her roles of responsibility in the volunteer/community groups she’s always been active in. With her CCTV and portable magnifiers, she’s able to read notes in preparation for board meetings. She’s able to be use paratransit or other rides, be dropped off at familiar destinations, and make her own way through the buildings. She takes afternoon walks through her neighborhood, one day running into her son and his friend who were returning from their own walk — “They were so impressed with how well I was doing… and so was I!” A family friend recently suggested they plan a trip to the Tuscany region of Italy; after a fleeting bit of apprehension, she agreed with determination: “Yes, LET’S go to Italy, I can certainly do that!” She tells me that without the training and services she’s received through the Older Blind Grant, she would never have considered the possibility of taking such a huge trip. She quickly adds that she has much more to learn, but no longer feels “stupid” or “helpless,” and realizes she CAN continue to lead a happy and useful life.

Two consumers this week have expressed their appreciation for our services and said that their lives were greatly improved thanks to what we do. One lady said that she is not afraid to do the things she wants to anymore, and that “I could not imagine what a difference our services have made in her life.” She feels more confident and independent, and was regretful that she did not contact us sooner. Another consumer said his low vision aids were “a gift from God” and they made such a difference in what he was able to do that he and his wife were going out to celebrate!

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

The agency’s new plan to encourage referrals all across the Commonwealth is working nicely. Each of the 22 rehab teachers met monthly with a potential referral source in their individual territory. This outreach activity has resulted in an increase of seniors seeking services from DBVI through the older blind grant. In spite of continuing budget challenges at both the state and federal level, the long-lasting positive effects of the OBG program provide inspiration and reinforcement to all agency staff as we carry out our daily activities. We are ever mindful of our ability to make a positive difference in the lives of many of the Commonwealth’s senior citizens who are vision impaired.

Part IX: Signature

Please sign and print the name, title and telephone number of the IL-OIB Program Director below.

I certify that the data herein reported are statistically accurate to the best of my knowledge.

Signed byJANE WARD SOLOMON
TitleRT/IL PROGRAM DIRECTOR
Telephone804-371-3112
Date signed12/19/2014