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

RSA-7-OB for Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency - H177B150058 report through September 30, 2015

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 year845,343
Other federal grant award for reported fiscal year0
Title VII-Chapter 2 carryover from previous year0
Other federal grant carryover from previous year0
A. Funding Sources for Expenditures in Reported FY
A1. Title VII-Chapter 2831,485
A2. Total other federal116,000
(a) Title VII-Chapter 1-Part B0
(b) SSA reimbursement116,000
(c) Title XX - Social Security Act0
(d) Older Americans Act0
(e) Other0
A3. State (excluding in-kind)109,647
A4. Third party0
A5. In-kind0
A6. Total Matching Funds109,647
A7. Total All Funds Expended1,057,132
B. Total expenditures and encumbrances allocated to administrative, support staff, and general overhead costs57,071
C. Total expenditures and encumbrances for direct program services1,000,061

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 0.6200 0.0000 0.6200
2. FTE Contractors 7.7100 14.2500 21.9600
3. Total FTE 8.3300 14.2500 22.5800

B. Employed or advanced in employment

a) Number employed b) FTE
1. Employees with Disabilities 19 5.9100
2. Employees with Blindness Age 55 and Older 6 3.0000
3. Employees who are Racial/Ethnic Minorities 17 6.1350
4. Employees who are Women 47 17.4200
5. Employees Age 55 and Older 29 11.0450

C. Volunteers

5.22

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 FY256
2. Number of individuals who began receiving services in the reported FY1,088
3. Total individuals served during the reported fiscal year (A1 + A2) 1,344

B. Age

1. 55-59134
2. 60-64144
3. 65-69166
4. 70-74131
5. 75-79157
6. 80-84214
7. 85-89207
8. 90-94150
9. 95-9935
10. 100 & over6
11. Total (must agree with A3)1,344

C. Gender

1. Female881
2. Male463
3. Total (must agree with A3)1,344

D. Race/Ethnicity

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race26
2. American Indian or Alaska Native34
3. Asian14
4. Black or African American370
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White871
7. Two or more races5
8. Race and ethnicity unknown (only if consumer refuses to identify)24
9. Total (must agree with A3)1,344

E. Degree of Visual Impairment

1. Totally Blind (LP only or NLP)107
2. Legally Blind (excluding totally blind)488
3. Severe Visual Impairment749
4. Total (must agree with A3)1,344

F. Major Cause of Visual Impairment

1. Macular Degeneration494
2. Diabetic Retinopathy131
3. Glaucoma255
4. Cataracts31
5. Other433
6. Total (must agree with A3)1,344

G. Other Age-Related Impairments

1. Hearing Impairment456
2. Diabetes371
3. Cardiovascular Disease and Strokes317
4. Cancer54
5. Bone, Muscle, Skin, Joint, and Movement Disorders212
6. Alzheimer's Disease/Cognitive Impairment54
7. Depression/Mood Disorder54
8. Other Major Geriatric Concerns37

H. Type of Residence

1. Private residence (house or apartment)1,216
2. Senior Living/Retirement Community55
3. Assisted Living Facility48
4. Nursing Home/Long-term Care facility25
5. Homeless0
6. Total (must agree with A3)1,344

I. Source of Referral

1. Eye care provider (ophthalmologist, optometrist)894
2. Physician/medical provider9
3. State VR agency53
4. Government or Social Service Agency21
5. Veterans Administration2
6. Senior Center5
7. Assisted Living Facility1
8. Nursing Home/Long-term Care facility2
9. Faith-based organization1
10. Independent Living center26
11. Family member or friend101
12. Self-referral74
13. Other155
14. Total (must agree with A3)1,344

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 546,814
1b. Total Cost from other funds 0
2. Vision screening / vision examination / low vision evaluation 1,020
3. Surgical or therapeutic treatment to prevent, correct, or modify disabling eye conditions 37

B. Assistive technology devices and services

Cost Persons Served
1a. Total Cost from VII-2 funds 185,619
1b. Total Cost from other funds 0
2. Provision of assistive technology devices and aids 955
3. Provision of assistive technology services 966

C. Independent living and adjustment training and services

Cost Persons Served
1a. Total Cost from VII-2 funds 266,878
1b. Total Cost from other funds 0
2. Orientation and Mobility training 183
3. Communication skills 894
4. Daily living skills 726
5. Supportive services (reader services, transportation, personal 26
6. Advocacy training and support networks 75
7. Counseling (peer, individual and group) 329
8. Information, referral and community integration 1,048
. Other IL services 18

D. Community Awareness: Events & Activities

Cost a. Events / Activities b. Persons Served
1a. Total Cost from VII-2 funds 750
1b. Total Cost from other funds 0
2. Information and Referral 18,214
3. Community Awareness: Events/Activities 143 26,326

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) 815,629 1,057,132 241,503
2. Number of Individuals Served 1,390 1,344 -46
3. Number of Minority Individuals Served 501 449 -52
4. Number of Community Awareness Activities 206 142 -64
5. Number of Collaborating agencies and organizations 307 305 -2
6. Number of Sub-grantees 37 37

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 966 100.00%
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) 825 85.40%
A3. Number of individuals for whom functional gains have not yet been determined at the close of the reporting period. 189 19.57%
B1. Number of individuals who received orientation and mobility (O & M) services 183 100.00%
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) 116 63.39%
B3. Number of individuals for whom functional gains have not yet been determined at the close of the reporting period. 47 25.68%
C1. Number of individuals who received communication skills training 894 100.00%
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) 672 75.17%
C3. Number of individuals for whom functional gains have not yet been determined at the close of the reporting period. 166 18.57%
D1. Number of individuals who received daily living skills training 726 100.00%
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) 612 84.30%
D3. Number of individuals for whom functional gains have not yet been determined at the close of the reporting period. 105 14.46%
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) 191 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) 21 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) 130 n/a
E4. Number of individuals served who experienced changes in lifestyle for reasons unrelated to vision loss. (closed/inactive cases only) 21 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) 33 n/a

Part VII: Training and Technical Assistance Needs

• Scheduling a yearly Older Blind Project Directors meeting so we can meet and share face to face with other OBP directors and RSA administrators. • Conducting quarterly - or at least semi-annual - Older Blind Project Directors conference calls so we can be a) kept up to date on the law, grant requirements and applicable regulations, especially with the implementation of WIOA, and b) informed of innovations/ideas/concerns/solutions from the other states that have been brought to the attention of RSA. • Discussing problem areas in correctly filling out the 7OB form. • Sharing how the 7OB information is used. • Discussing better ways to measure outcomes for our seniors. • Sharing resources available to aid seniors with multiple disabilities. • Training providers and instructional staff — due to advanced technology and the offering of accessible technology to the public through the Apple and Microsoft Word products, our direct service providers must be trained. o Training and workshops in order to be able to expose our seniors to the appropriate devices as well as elder issues. o Workshops for our seniors to help them over the obstacles of using a “smart phone” or using the accessible modes on their computers. o Assistance in program training management in the advance use of Excel as a data collection and analysis tool. o Financial Assistance in providing training opportunities to the instructional staff on the various aspects of access technology as well as other elder issues. o Financial assistance in updating technology — in order to have enough instructional tools and versions of access technology to provide instruction. o Assistance in locating, purchasing and learning to use cloud storage for data storage and off-site retrieval.

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.

Project Independence: Georgia Vision Program for Seniors (also referred to as the Older Blind Program — OBP) implements the Title VII-Chapter 2 program through 7 main sub-grantees. Many of our sub-grantees further subcontract with various vision specialists throughout Georgia. The sub-grantees in Georgia are: • Center for the Visually Impaired • Vision Rehabilitation Services • Visually Impaired Foundation of Georgia • Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision • Visually Impaired Specialized Training and Advocacy Services (VISTAS) • Walton Options for Independent Living Project Independence contracts with a seventh provider, Mississippi State University (MSU) - The National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision. MSU conducts program evaluations and serves as a consultant to Project Independence. Mississippi State University continues to provide a yearly detailed program evaluation and assist with measuring customer satisfaction. The six main PI providers send names and phone numbers on a quarterly basis of closed cases to MSU who, in turn, contact the seniors to conduct the customer satisfaction survey. They do not provide direct services to seniors. We maintained working relations with the following entities that increased our outreach efforts in order to reach the underserved and unserved older blind in Georgia: • Helen Keller National Center • Georgia Radio Reading Services • National Federation of the Blind of Georgia • Georgia Council of the Blind • Business Enterprise Program • Native American Representative • Statewide Coalition on Blindness • Georgia Vision Collaborative • Statewide Independent Living Council • Georgia Library for Accessible Services • Older Driver Task Force • Georgia Emergency Preparedness Coalition for Individuals with Disabilities and Older Adults • Alternative Media Access Center (AMAC) Accessibility Solutions, Georgia Institute of Technology, College of Architecture We expanded our working relationships with the Division of Aging Services and the Georgia Gerontology Society to help reach the underserved and unserved older blind in Georgia. These relationships will be further expanded and collaboration increased in FFY16. Our main initiatives to reach underserved and/or unserved populations in Georgia this year were: 1) increasing outreach efforts through involvement with different resource entities, 2) increasing support of our peer support groups throughout different areas around the state by including peers leaders in our face to face contractors’ meeting and continuing to provide them with program and resource information e.g. webinars so they have a wide variety of topics to offer to their groups, and 3) continuing to increase awareness to seniors with a dual sensory loss by scheduling a Georgia Confident Living Program for our deaf-blind seniors in FFY16. Our primary subcontractors implemented outreach in various ways. The reports are in the providers’ words. Visually Impaired Specialized Training and Advocacy Services (VISTAS) The VISTAS CENTER continues to contact the local Optometrist’s office by leaving brochures of our program and the services we provide. We participate in as many community services as possible in order to spread the word about our program. We subscribe to the Special Needs Program brochure. When an announcement needs to reach a mass number of persons with visual disabilities we put it in the Special Needs brochure. We continue to maintain a close relationship with local agencies e.g. the Area Agency on Aging, Council on Aging, faith based organizations, Optometrists, Ophthalmologists and physicians who help to spread the word about our program. We provide transportation to our seniors for low vision exams and training when needed. Our six sub-contractors provide services in Technology, Orientation & Mobility, Vision Rehabilitation Therapy, Peer Support Groups, Braille Instruction and Low Vision Evaluations. Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision (SCBLV) Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision (SCBLV) incorporates the Title VII-chapter 2, Older Blind (OB) program, into our overall service delivery model. The general service delivery model follows a progression of intake and eligibility, low vision examination, functional assessments in vision rehabilitation therapy, orientation and mobility, assistive technology, service plan development, skills training, plan reviews and closure, and finally follow-up case management. Training is either center or home based, depending on the senior’s individual needs and living situation. The type, duration and location of services delivered are determined and noted in the service plan. Many seniors receive a full range of compensatory skills training while some receive short term services for either a refresher of skill sets or immediate specialized needs. Sometimes seniors identify new goals and other times a situation may arise when they need short term additional help. SCBLV met its goal of establishing a family rehabilitation program. This program is provided to families twice a year to enable them to have hands-on experience learning about vision loss and the skills training that their loved one is receiving. The program provided much needed support for families. All services are provided by SCBLV professional staff and Dr. Brown, a contracted Optometrist, who specializes in Low Vision. SCBLV utilizes the dually certified Orientation & Mobility and Vision Rehabilitation Therapy staff to provide the in-home services. This process allows for only one therapist to travel to the home and only one therapist for the senior to remember who is coming! SCBLV continues the traditional outreach activities through in-service trainings and office visits with medical professionals, service agencies and senior residential facilities and centers. In addition, staff continues to attend community events and health fairs, as well as providing outreach through our website and new social media outlets. Visually Impaired Foundation of Georgia (VIFGA) VIFGA is not a “brick and mortar” facility. Since we serve rural South Georgia, we go to the communities to work with the clients instead of the seniors coming to our facility. I travel over 1,500 miles each month setting up $30,000 worth of low vision equipment in 6-8 different eye care offices monthly. I set up for the day, see a maximum of five clients, break down, load my van, and drive to the next location. The low vision doctors and I work together as a team trying to enable the clients to try devices that will enhance their independence. About one third of the low vision seniors I see will be referred for other services like mobility, independent living skills, communication and/or computer skills. Again, these teachers will travel to the senior and teach them at their home. They too travel over 1,000 miles a month to reach all the areas of rural Georgia. All clients are referred to and encouraged to access Hadley School, a support group near their home, an Independent Living Center, and the Talking Book Center. • Referrals: Eye care professionals, family members, friends, rehabilitation counselors, etc. refer a senior with low vision to VIFGA. A copy of the senior’s eye medical is faxed by the doctor to VIFGA or to the clinic where the senior will be seen. The senior is called, and if appropriate, is scheduled in one of our nine clinics in South Georgia closest to the senior’s home. • Low Vision (LV) Exams: At the clinic, the doctor checks the refraction and makes suggestions about LV products or services. The LV Specialist discusses services, resources, and advocacy with the senior. Products that are matched to the seniors needs are demonstrated and recommended. A typed summary of the exam is given to the senior and attending doctor at the time of the exam along with a host of resources e.g. the Client Assistant Program brochure, the Project Independence resource brochure, list of peer support groups, resource lists, library application, the Helen Keller registry application, business card, and VIFGA blurb are given to the senior if available and/or applicable. Additional services are also recommended at this time as well. • Products and Services: The recommended products are listed on the exam summary that is given to the senior at the end of the exam. The senior is asked to choose one or two items (totaling no more them $200.00). Project Independence provides those “favorite” items if possible. The products provided through PI include a magnifier or magnifying glasses, a pocket magnifier and/or sunglasses. The items are sent directly to the senior, together with a packing slip for the client to sign and return to VIFGA. If special services are needed, the appropriate teacher is contacted and he/she contacts the senior. Additional devices may be recommended by the VRT and/or O&M teachers and sent to the client. At four month intervals a staff member from VIFGA, calls all clients that have received services to inquire: 1) if they did indeed receive the products recommended; 2) if they are able to use the products; 3) whether or not they need additional help from the program; and 4) if the devices helped. Center for the Visually Impaired (CVI) CVI implements Title VII-Chapter 2 programming both in-house and in the community. CVI’s Maxwell Low Vision Clinic provides two to three clinics per week in-house, and monthly satellite clinics in Macon, Suwannee, Fayetteville and Cumberland. The Maxwell Low Vision Clinic has three part-time sub-contracted optometrists in the Atlanta Low Vision Clinic; one of them is also available to conduct the various satellite clinics. Maxwell Low Vision Clinic staff includes a full-time Low Vision Clinic Director who also functions as a practicing Occupational Therapist, a second full-time Occupational Therapist, a Medical Secretary and an Information and Intake Specialist. Program staff also includes a Case Manager, one full-time Vision Rehabilitation therapist, and a full-time Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (currently vacant) from CVI's Community-Based Program. Outreach efforts to reach unserved/underserved populations during the past year have included presentations spread across metro Atlanta, by several CVI staff members from various agency programs (Community Based Services, Facility Based Services, the Low Vision Clinic, the VisAbility Store, Volunteer Services, and agency Executive Staff). The Low Vision Clinic Director targeted ophthalmology practices’ doctors and staff. She spoke directly to doctors and staff to provide education on the benefits of low vision examinations and therapy, as well as providing information on all CVI programs. The Low Vision Clinic Director also attended one Atlanta ophthalmology conference and presented at an annual Drive for Sight Vision Collaborative education forum. CVI’s VisAbility store Director co-presented with the GA Program Manager at the annual statewide gerontology conference. CVI's Title VII- Chapter service model is a mixture of group and one on one service provision. The low vision clinic service model is one on one service provision. Appropriate participants receive a low vision examination from an Optometrist, with the exception of the Macon location. Following the assessment, the senior receives individualized therapy with either a Low Vision Occupational Therapist or a Vision Rehabilitation Therapist to address all aspects of daily living and to provide further training of the doctor’s recommendations. Often seniors require follow-up services to address all their challenges and to ensure that the senior has been able to successfully use devices and apply modifications and compensatory strategies. Accepting several insurances for both the Optometrist and the Occupational Therapist have allowed the Low Vision Clinic to make OBP funds stretch across as many individuals as possible. All participants served by CVI’s Community Based Team receive one on one assessments followed by provision of individualized one on one training. Whenever indicated, some seniors receive training in group classes. Assignment to group classes is case by case and occurs only if appropriate for the particular individual. Vision Rehabilitation Services of Georgia (VRS) Implementing the Title VII-Chapter 2 program, Vision Rehabilitation Services of Georgia (VRS) offers comprehensive vision rehabilitation services to any resident of our 33 county, north Georgia service area, who is over 55 and who meets the state requirements regarding functional vision loss. This year approximately 70% (140) of our seniors began their program with a comprehensive low vision evaluation (LVE) conducted by one of our three consulting optometrists who specialize in low vision. We continue to average 2-4 low vision clinic days per month; typically 2-3 days in our Smyrna office and one day in different towns within our rural service delivery area. VRS program participants often purchase their own prescribed devices; this year this practice saved the grant $11,045.00. Many seniors receive at least one follow-up visit from an instructor to go over the use and care of the device. If they cannot afford a device, VRS will help pay for one tool through Project Independence or other grant funding. The instructor will also provide follow-up instruction to clients in other skills areas based on needs identified from the initial intake, the client’s time with the doctor and the social worker during the LVE process. The Individualized Service Plan is created at the time of the LVE or during an initial visit from a VRS staff member if a client does not have an LVE. Generally, instructors try to provide training weekly to the client, until their instructional goals are met. All follow-up vision rehabilitation services are provided by university trained and Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP) certified staff. Staffs provide instruction in activities of daily living, access technology, orientation & mobility and adjustment to blindness counseling. To provide these services we utilize a core of staff teachers (eight in 2014-15) as well as independent contractors who reside in various regions within our service delivery area. We strive to provide services in a timely and efficient manner to maximize the funds we have. To reduce continually increasing mileage reimbursement costs and our instructor’s driving time, we encourage clients to come to centralized training sites or to our main office, when possible, to receive services. Walton Options for Independent Living (WO) Walton Options contracts with Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency to provide Chapter 2 services throughout a 16 county region. Because we border a state line, we also often get referrals from South Carolina that come to Georgia to access services. For this year, we subcontracted with Janet Eargle, a CVRT who provides rehabilitation teaching and Dr. Pankaj Gaur (COMS), who provides orientation and mobility services. To help maintain continuity of services, we merged our services to seniors who are requesting home modifications and assistive technology to oversee the Chapter 2 program. Our Operation Independence Coordinator makes the initial visit with the senior, when appropriate, to help capture the goals. The Assistive Technology Specialist helps with the recommendations and training of AT. We also have the work reviewed by the CRC on staff. Because the program is located within an Independent Living Center, there are peer mentors and IL Coordinators that can provide support services and information and referral services beyond what the Chapter 2 program may provide. We follow up with consumers after their cases are closed for 30 days to get feedback on services. Walton Options conducted many outreach presentations and participated in numerous meetings throughout eastern Georgia to reach the underserved and/or unserved populations. These efforts included the Area Agencies on Aging, Resource Fairs, the YMCA, Senior Centers, the American Legion, the National Council on Independent Living 2015 Annual Conference, Meals on Wheels, American Red Cross, Disaster Preparedness, local ophthalmologists, consumer organizations for the blind, local businesses, Rotary Club, a senior rally at the Georgia State Capitol, television interview with a WOIL staff, ADA events, transportation meetings, Tools for Life, and the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency. This outreach is provided under our Part C and B grants.

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 project manager conducted presentations and presented details of our program both as a collaborative and community awareness effort of our program at the conventions of the Georgia Council of the Blind , the National Federation of the Blind of Georgia, the Statewide Coalition on Blindness, and the Business Enterprise Program; at the meetings of the Georgia Statewide Independent Living Council, the Georgia Vision Collaborative, Vocational Rehabilitation, the Georgia Library for Accessible Services, providers of blind services, Toastmaster’s, the Older Driver’s Task Force and the Georgia Emergency Preparedness Coalition for Individuals with Disabilities and Older Adults. Nationally, presented at the Consortia of Administrators for Native American Rehabilitation in Panama City, FL and expanded efforts of collaboration with the Division of Aging and the GA Gerontology Society. Assistive listening devices (ALD’s) were brought to meetings for use with those having a dual sensory loss and were a major hit in the presentations throughout. Demonstrations were conducted with people without hearing loss so they would understand the impact of the ALD’s on someone with a hearing loss. More and more seniors who are blind and low vision are letting it be known they are having hearing difficulties. The use of ALD’s aided other entities in the benefit of this technology and enhanced further awareness in the community of a needed resource. Information was distributed and discussions were held with interested parties at these various locations. This collaboration and community awareness resulted in numerous phone calls and referrals for Project Independence. Even though the Independent Living (IL) Centers are transitioning to a new agency, it is vitally important that Project Independence maintain a collaborative relationship with the IL system. One of our six service providers is Walton Options, an Independent Living Center located in Augusta, Georgia. Furthering our coordination with the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC), one of our peer support group leaders is on the SILC Board having been appointed by the Governor of Georgia in FY13. She is the PI/SILC liaison. The Project Manager participates in the IL meetings and sends training and other pertinent information to the IL groups in GA. As part of Project Independence collaborative activities, two contractor meetings were held this fiscal year. We had our first face to face meeting since 2012 and included peer support group leaders. Our final meeting for FFY15 was via phone with the contractors. Both meetings enhanced our collaborative activities and increased community awareness of various programs. As a group, participants were able to share concerns, ask questions, highlight Project Independence events, share new methods and provide partner updates. The participants also provided feedback from training attended, shared resource information and discussed program services for seniors. The spring meeting provided training in protective services, high risk environments, crisis intervention, emergency preparedness, and older drivers’ issues, as well as addressing the recommendations of the MSU evaluation and making program recommendations. The fall phone meeting brought the providers up to date on their respective programs and the anticipated impact on OBP due to WIOA. Georgia Radio Reading Service (GARRS) continued dissemination of the 30 and 60 second public service announcements (PSA) about the Georgia Vision Program for Seniors about twice weekly. Their audience reached approximately 16,000 in FFY15. Activities of the Project Independence Manager continued further collaborative activities and community awareness: 1. Increased community awareness and greatly enhanced visibility of our program through our up to date Project Independence website http://gvra.georgia.gov/vocationalrehab/project-independence. 2. Distributed a number of training webinars and informational resources from various entities to our partners, interested community persons and the IL system so as to increase private and public awareness of services to seniors. In turn, these various groups send informational resources to Project Independence — we have a very good information and resource network setup. 3. Scheduled our second Georgia Confident Living Program (CLP) training using Georgia providers for December 2015. In addition to having seniors with the dual sensory loss, we are opening the training up to those seniors who are blind. By doing this, we anticipate having some of the blind seniors with the dual loss — who are still dealing with the hearing loss and do not identify as having that second sensory loss. 4. Conducted in depth program reviews of all seven contractors. These reviews helped ensure uniformity and standardization of services throughout the state. The process pinpointed any problems/issues that needed addressing and proposed recommendations that would improve our program and expand our services in Georgia. This year Project Independence focused on process of services and implementation of previous fiscal year recommendations. 5. Program Manager, along with another Project Independence provider, presented in November at the 2014 annual Consortia of Administrators for Native American Rehabilitation (CANAR). In addition to conducing a presentation, an exhibit booth was fully manned that further increased exposure, awareness and training on Project Independence. A listing of all the national program directors was distributed as participants were from all over the USA. 6. By securing additional state funding in FFY15, Project Independence was able to expand services by purchasing additional aids/devices: 1) for individual seniors’ independent living needs based on their assessment, 2) for provider staff to have the necessary tools to use with seniors with the dual sensory loss so lessons and discussions could be successfully carried out i.e. pocket talkers, 3) for demonstration equipment to try out and learn if specific devices would help seniors’ independent living situations e.g. various types of magnification, 4) for staff to take to lessons and provide the aids/devices directly to the seniors e.g. bump dots, talking watches/clocks/blood pressure cuff, cutting boards etc. and 5) for staff to conduct activities that will help improve public understanding and promote community awareness for seniors who are blind or have low vision e.g. presentations to various groups. The addition of these aids/devices will help expand and improve the seniors ‘daily living needs, more efficiently and effectively aid staffs ability to assess the seniors’ situation and increase the public’s knowledge of those seniors with vision impairments. Our primary subcontractors collaborated and incorporated new methods and approaches in various ways. Highlights are noted in the providers words: Visually Impaired Specialized Training and Advocacy Services (VISTAS) There is a local SPIL based in our area and, as needed, we refer clients to each other. Because we serve seniors 55 years and older we refer those that are younger to the CIL. We also advise consumers, if they are younger and are interested in services we provide, to contact the local Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency Counselor for the Blind. We worked with the Lions Club and the local division of the American Council of the Blind. Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision (SCBLV) SCBLV has begun hosting an annual training conference with local vision specialists, i.e. Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Ophthalmology Technicians, etc. to help encourage early identification and referrals of those who would benefit from our services. Our first conference is scheduled for October 2015. The outcome will be reported in the next fiscal year. In addition, SCBLV continues to look at ways to resolve the issue of identifying and serving rural Georgians by working with local community centers to identify individuals that may have fallen through the traditional referral route of an Ophthalmologist and Optometrist. The SCBLV management team and Board continue to evaluate the option of opening an outreach office that would provide ease of access to services for clients outside the Savannah area. Visually Impaired Foundation of Georgia (VIFGA) The Visually Impaired Foundation of GA, Inc. attends consumer group conferences, teacher, counselor, and library conferences, and meetings involving the visually impaired or elderly throughout the state to promote awareness of Project Independence. We also provide workshops on low vision aids to senior centers, libraries, doctors’ offices, universities, and school systems. We call ophthalmologists throughout the state on a monthly basis reminding them of the services available in their area. The Visually Impaired Foundation of GA, Inc. maintains a website (vifga.org which has been non-functional for the past two months, but will be up dated in the coming year) and a toll free number (1-877-778-4342) to help people find the Georgia resources available to them. We also provide eye exams and glasses twice a year at the Native American Reservation in Whigham, GA. • Support Groups and Support Group List: This is an essential piece of the vision rehabilitation process. There are eight support groups in South Georgia that Project Independence refers clients with four that are aided by the Project Independence (PI) Program. Hopefully we will be able to add a few more this upcoming year. At the end of the fiscal year, VIFGA sends all seniors the Support Group List to remind them again of this service. • Helen Keller Registry: VIFGA has incorporated into the Low Vision Exam the distribution of the Helen Keller Registry for those with dual sensory loss. I have found that nearly 40% of VIFGA clients have a dual sensory loss. • The “I-Can —Connect” service from the Georgia Council for the Hearing Impaired is supposed to help dual sensory loss clients obtain products. Information was distributed this year to the VIFGA clients. • Assistive Listening Devices: I have found that I use the “Pocket Talker” in 40% of my exams to enable seniors to communicate with me. • Presentations: I enjoy presenting at doctor’s offices, support groups, and civic clubs as a normal rule. I also presented at three professional conferences this year to remind the professionals in vision related jobs about Project Independence. In addition to those previously mentioned, Kay McGill and I presented at the CANAR conference in November 2014 in Panama City Beach. We also did a joint presentation for the new Albany Senior Center. • Grant Proposals: This year VIFGA hired a professional grant writer to help VIFGA find additional sources of funds to help pay for those visually impaired seniors unable to get help due to the limited amount of funds every year. The first grant turned out to be a grant for all the providers of Project Independence. We all worked closely for many months gathering and dispersing information to enable us all to receive funds that will help us purchase needed specialized devices for our respective organizations. It has not been granted yet. We are all waiting impatiently to see if we were successful. However, working together as a collaborative group was a rewarding experience. I hope this becomes a tradition! • Brochures and Resource Guides: This is an invaluable tool! Center for the Visually Impaired (CVI) In response to increased demand, CVI’s New View facility-based services began providing instruction to program participants, particularly in the areas of assistive technology. Not surprisingly, the demand for instruction in mobile devices, such as, iPhones, iPads, and similar devices has increased significantly during the past year. In response to this demand, we began providing both individualized and group training to seniors at our facility. In addition, CVI’s Assistive Technology staff has provided ongoing training and support to our Low Vision and Community-Based staff, so that they, too, can begin providing this service to seniors not able to come to the center. In order to facilitate access to services by Spanish-speaking adults, CVI maintains an especially dedicated telephone line where inquiries for information and services can be left. These messages are retrieved each day and are then processed through CVI’s normal intake process with the assistance of interpreters when needed. Due to significant staff cuts during the past three years, we have noticed an overall decrease in referrals for service. In response to this situation, we are currently recruiting for a full-time marketing professional, who will be primarily responsible for “selling” our services to our various constituencies and referral sources. Vision Rehabilitation Services of Georgia (VRS) VRS continues to work to maximize collaborations with other organizations to stretch our funding resources to their maximum limit. Our list of collaborating partners continues to grow as all staff work to seek out new partnerships in their daily work around North Georgia. Continued Collaborations: * Georgia Council for the Hearing Impaired (GACHI)/ I-Can-Connect-GA to provide tools for communications for our seniors with a dual-sensory loss (6 clients in 2014-15) * Helen Keller National Center (HKNC)/ Confident Living Program — to ensure our seniors with a dual-sensory loss are receiving the most up-to-date services, tools and resources to help with communications and ADL’s. (All staff is trained in working with clients with dual-sensory loss) * United Way of Metro Atlanta: to provide diabetic education to our seniors who live with diabetes and vision loss (six seniors served in this program) * University programs: We have two Salus University students working on their VRT certifications interning with/under our staff members and an OM intern from another university. A Georgia State University intern in the field of Social Work will be with us from Sept. 2015-April 2016 (supporting four interns) Community awareness and outreach was done more informally this year as VRS did not have a PR/ Marketing staff person. Presentations to community groups, schools, senior centers and collaborating partners were the activities we continued as we were able to do so using instructional /administrative staff. VRS utilized a Job Readiness class volunteer to call doctor offices and make application packets for our staff to take and deliver while out on the road. Marketing tied to our web-site, fundraising 5K run, and through social media also allowed us to reach new potential markets for our services. In the area of volunteers, VRS continued to receive volunteer support in the areas of data collection and management, board activities, office and program support and for our fundraising race. Volunteers come to us from a wide variety of businesses and community partners, extending our reach and connections beyond our traditional means. VRS has also begun providing opportunities for Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency clients that are in Job Readiness (JR) class to learn work skills by volunteering/completing work samples at VRS. Our new LV assistant and intake staff person are both graduates of our JR class. JR class members answer phones, complete follow-up calls and surveys, provide I&R services, create application packets, do outreach to doctor offices and many other tasks that support our program. The JR participants share that their work with other clients is meaningful and allows them to give back to others some of the support they also have received in the past. VRS volunteers have logged approximately 2,150 hours in the past FY. After noting an increase of cases that did not seem to benefit hugely from the LVE process, VRS began to implement a more comprehensive screening process of potential Low Vision Evaluation clients. The cases/ eye notes are more closely previewed by our intake coordinator, and if she has concerns, the program director and/ or the doctor review the information. Our goal is to ensure that clients who are coming in for an LVE will benefit from the services — ensuring funds are used more wisely. Seniors for whom we are not sure an LVE will be appropriate are added to our Home Visit First (HVF) list — where a teacher will visit the client in their home to further explore the nature of their vision loss, their needs and their ability to benefit from an evaluation. If it is determined that an LVE would be of benefit, an appointment is scheduled; if not, services in other skill areas are provided. Finally our Adjustment to Blindness Counseling program and peer support group networks continue to provide valuable support to VRS Project Independence seniors. Our affiliated groups run almost monthly and have also been facilitated in large part by client volunteers who help design the program and locate speakers, organize meetings and provide opportunities for socialization. VRS continues to provide a good deal of 1:1 counseling both during the LVE process and during follow-up services. A total of 52.6% of clients served this year (119/226) received some kind of adjustment counseling services. Walton Options for Independent Living (WO) To expand and improve services, Walton Options attends regular Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) meetings and supports ongoing training of staff in areas that will serve consumers. The three year state plan for Independent Living was developed and submitted for approval to begin 10-1-2013. The executive director of Walton Options was very involved with the process and responsible for part of the communication with RSA. Part of the plan identifies deaf, hard of hearing and deaf-blind as underserved. We try to provide outreach and work with the AAA to identify seniors experiencing sensory or dual sensory loss. We also coordinate with the Tools for Life Program and the SILC in efforts to identify needs that the state plan should address as well as the progress of the plan objectives. Our agency work plan addresses technology and utilization for whom people with vision loss may benefit, such as training on phone and Ipad apps, as these are more affordable options that are proving to enhance independence. WO: • partnered with AAA’s and conducted six eye screenings in rural communities • served over 30 individuals with Lions Clubs in getting glasses • attended the 7th Annual Elder Rights Conference on Elder Abuse: How Do We Empower and Protect Older People/And Adults with Disabilities” WO’s Executive Director attended: • a meeting at the Sam Nunn Federal Building with the Deputy Director of Agency on Community Living, Sharon Lewis. She reports to Secretary Burwell, as the advisor on disability. This was a meeting by invitation. It was an honor to be the director from GA representing IL in our state and an honor that it was the aging agency that recommended my attendance. • the Southeast Center Directors Meeting held in Atlanta, about 20 directors from SE present, met with Tim Beatty from DC, the ILA Program Director.

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.

GA contracts with The National Research and Training Center (NRTC) on Blindness and Low Vision at Mississippi State University to provide a program evaluation of the Project Independence program. As part of the evaluation consumers are interviewed about their experiences with the program. The six contractors providing direct services send the NRTC names of closed consumers on a quarterly basis. An experienced telephone interviewer then contacts consumers to complete surveys. Each year the NRTC prepares a program evaluation report that includes consumers' feedback regarding satisfaction with services and how services have impacted their ability to live independently. In addition, demographic and service data from the annual 7-OB report and findings from site reviews of contractors are included in this report.This report will be available in early 2016. The GA program has contractual agreements with six regional agencies for provision of direct services to eligible seniors. A regional service delivery approach enhances the ability of project staff to be sensitive to and familiar with the needs of local consumers. Depending upon the contractor and/or individual consumer's needs, an itinerant, center-based, or combination of itinerant/center-based model is used in providing services. An itinerant model is generally used to serve consumers in outlying rural areas who might not otherwise be able to participate in such a program. During this project year, 343 consumers participated in telephone interviews. The ages of participants were fairly evenly spread, with a slight majority (32%) being 85 years of age or older. More than two-thirds (68%) were female. About 86% of participants reported living in a private residence; the others living in senior living/retirement communities, assistive living facilities, or nursing homes. The most reported reason for vision loss was macular degeneration (51%); with the second most reported reason being glaucoma, at 14%. Consumer satisfaction levels among those participating in the survey were very 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. Participants were most satisfied with the attentiveness, concern, and interest of staff (98%); followed by the timeliness in which those services were received (96%), and overall quality of services (95%). Consumer ratings of functioning after receiving different types of independent living service areas follow: • 97% reported that they were better able or had maintained their ability to travel independently • 90% reported that they were better able or had maintained their ability to function more independently having received assistive technology devices • 97% reported that they were better able or had maintained their ability to function more independently having received communication skills training • 100% reported that they were better able or had maintained their ability to function more independently having received daily living skills training • 56% reported that they had greater control and confidence in their ability to maintain their current living situation; 38% indicated no change; and 6% indicated less control and confidence. Program participants were asked what the biggest difference the program had made in their lives. Typical comments include the following: • I know how to do things differently to make things easier for me. Also, the magnifying glasses were very helpful. • I have gained more confidence. • It is easier to function. Also, that I now know what is offered to me and others. • It helped me adapt to the sight loss. It showed me ways that I can still stay independent. • Well, I was already very independent. The scanner on my desk has helped me most. It makes me feel like I can keep on going. I regained my self-esteem. • It has helped me to read again. I can also see TV now. • I had given up. Now, my confidence is much better. The encouragement was great. • Well, I am able to read with my machine. The program has helped me to be able to function better in my home. I am able to stay at home now. • Seeing people who are totally blind and how they have been able to adapt. It gives me hope that if I ever get totally blind, I will be able to do the same as them. • How to move about more confidently in my home. • It has made a huge difference. I am able to walk outside my house now and I can read better now. • Just having items to do my own work. They have given me more confidence. • They taught me how to do things without hurting myself. I can judge distance better now and I can do my chores and get around my house much better now. • It encouraged me not to give up. • Just knowing that somebody cares and that there is someone out there I can turn to.

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).

Senior 1 One senior had been at home doing nothing. She learned of our program. Now she is learning to walk independently and go places she had not been before her vision loss. She is learning to use the computer and looking forward to going on line to get an email address so she can communicate with friends and family. She has called and thanked me a number of times to let me know how PROVIDER has changed her life in the last few months. Senior 2 PROVIDER director attends Support Groups on occasion. A particular group has been in existence for about six years and is very successful and well attended. What makes it so special is that the low vision doctor in that area participates and is an integral part of the group process. The Lions Club organizes lunch from restaurant owners in the area. A low vision client is the facilitator. There are usually 25-35 people in attendance each month. There is an older couple that attends every month but always sits in the back by themselves. They rarely speak out unless called upon to do so. PROVIDER was not sure whether or not the group had made any impact on them at all. One day, the speaker cancelled and the facilitator encouraged a group discussion about what the group enjoys and what the group would like to see happen in the future, etc. The visually impaired gentleman from the couple just described raised his hand first to speak. He said that the group was very important to him. He looked forward to it every month for the friendship and the learning as it was the only social gathering he attends all month. He went on to mention some of the things he had learned like walking properly with his wife, using different tools for marking objects, and getting connected with Talking Books. Senior 3 WS is a local resident who has worked with PROVIDER on and off for several years. We are pleased that over time our staff has created a safe and trustworthy environment for Ms. S, who continues to contact us as her visual needs change. Recently, we began to work with Ms. S on her needs related to her deteriorating hearing. She is now a senior with a significant dual-sensory loss. Staff, all trained in supporting clients with these needs, has assisted her with locating appropriate community resources and equipment and applying for a grant to help her buy needed communication tools. She has recently agreed to participate in our upcoming Confident Living Program — and is most excited about learning even more so that she can continue to thrive as she ages. This trust in our work and our ability to meet the changing needs of WS and many others like her is one of the things we are most proud of regarding our program. Senior 4 Mr. F. is 63 years old and lives with his wife, daughter, and granddaughter. He suffers from Glaucoma and Diabetic Retinopathy. He had a Low Vision Evaluation in April and is interested in getting magnification that will help him be able to read his Bible and make shopping easier for him. After a demonstration of the Smart Lux and using it to read food labels and a magazine, Mr. F. decided this magnification will work best for him. Project Independence provided him with a Smart Lux as well as a talking watch, a big button phone, bump dots, and a talking Blood Pressure (BP) monitor. Mr. F. has been enjoying his new found independence with being able to read and use his phone, microwave and stove (bump dots) without assistance from his family. He really loves knowing the time and checking his BP. He stated that he had “no idea so much was out there that could help me with my vision loss”. Mr. F. and his family are very happy that he is able to participate in Project Independence. Senior 5 Ms. VL has lived with a vision loss since she was a young child. However, she was 57 years old before she received any type of low vision services. It was at the request of her mother, a former client of PROVIDER that she came to the Center. She was very determined that it was ONLY to learn how to use her new smart phone. However, staff noticed that she had a white cane more than a foot shorter than it should have been and she relied heavily on others to move throughout the building and to/from transportation. After Ms. VL began gaining confidence in using her phone, it was suggested that she get a Low Vision evaluation to see if there was any other equipment that would help her read mail, access recipes and identify her craft materials. She asked if she could also meet with the Orientation & Mobility and Vision Rehabilitation Therapy instructors to learn if there were other areas that would benefit her achieving more independence. She commented that she had observed staff and students moving about independently without the aid of a friend or family member and realized she needed to redefine what independence meant for her. Ms. VL is a driving force behind getting clients to the PROVIDER Peer Support group by calling current and former clients weekly. In addition, she is back to doing her crafts that she sells at local flea markets and garage sales. She is exercising and socializing with friends and using her smart phone to call, text and Facebook with her friends and peers. She has truly become an inspiration to others! Senior 6 Ms. S. is a 98 year old women diagnosed with macular degeneration that lives alone in a hi-rise apartment. Ms. S. reported to the PROVIDER case manager that she was having difficulty using her telephone, TV remote, the microwave and identifying medication and clothing. She also reported having difficulty with mobility within her hi-rise. She was referred for a Vision Rehabilitation Therapist (VRT) and Orientation and Mobility Specialist (O&M) for home services. The VRT taught her to dial the telephone using adapted techniques. She labeled Ms. S.’s remote control so she can adjust the television channels and labeled the microwave so she can warm food. The VRT instructed the client on using a Pen Friend, a talking labeling device, to identify her medications. Following instruction and several sessions, Ms. S. was able to use the items independently. She learned to label her clothing with a series of safety pins and tag for color identification. The O&M instructor met with Ms. S. to instruct her on safe travel within her living facility. The PROVIDER case manager met with Ms. S. and her niece for support and consultation. Ms. S. expressed much gratitude for the services and reported that as a result of the training she was able to continue to live independently in her current hi-rise facility.

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

Funding In Georgia, we continue to provide services to eligible seniors regardless of income for little or no cost. However, we put a cap of $200 per person on the items — unless special circumstances. Due to the rising costs and demand for visual aids and devices (especially video magnifiers), we continue to ask more consumer involvement to help cover the cost of visual aids and devices. Participants are given information on financial third party resources as well as provided loaner equipment when available. This allows Project Independence to maximize resources to pay for those direct services where third party funding is generally not available. Some of the providers are applying for grants to help with administrative costs, increase services and market the program for continuous outreach efforts. However, despite using creative methods to ensure that all available funds are appropriately utilized and stretched as far as possible we were still unable to make the money stretch to the end of the fiscal year for some of the providers. Some seniors were able to receive basic low vision services through private pay and funding and other program grants. However, the majority just had to wait until the new fiscal year to get what they needed. We have found that this delay has acted as a de-motivation for many; their health is not good and they cannot meet instructors, they are no longer interested in services or just don’t see the need. We feel that this inability to have the funds needed to provide services throughout the year is having a very negative effect on the programs outcomes. Due to the amount of travel involved for staff to provide services in this large rural state, additional funding for travel expenses is needed in order to adequately serve the state. Several providers run out of funds 2 — 3 months prior to the end of the FFY. Staffing We continue to struggle having certified staff who can deliver Orientation and Mobility and Vision Rehabilitation Therapy services; especially this year. Two out of our six providers of direct services had staffing shortages/losses which significantly impacted the total number served this year. Those two providers served 142 fewer seniors than in the previous fiscal year due to their staff shortages. They are working on rebuilding their programs. The challenge remains to keep and identify certified individuals for OM and VRT. Finding qualified professionals who are willing to travel long distances to spend time with seniors in some of the more remote rural areas in Georgia has proven to be a difficult task. Contractors spend a great deal of funds on transportation in order to serve seniors in the remote areas of Georgia. Scholarships and funding to help encourage careers in this area should continue. Services There is no residential program for the blind and visually impaired in Georgia, since the only one closed last year. A local residential program is still seen as a need in some areas of the state.

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 byKay McGill
TitleProgram Manager, Project Independence
Telephone770-414-2676
Date signed12/14/2015