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

RSA-7-OB for Montana Disability Employment and Transitions Division - H177B150026 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 year225,000
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 20
A2. Total other federal0
(a) Title VII-Chapter 1-Part B0
(b) SSA reimbursement0
(c) Title XX - Social Security Act0
(d) Older Americans Act0
(e) Other0
A3. State (excluding in-kind)25,000
A4. Third party3,995
A5. In-kind0
A6. Total Matching Funds28,995
A7. Total All Funds Expended28,995
B. Total expenditures and encumbrances allocated to administrative, support staff, and general overhead costs226,462
C. Total expenditures and encumbrances for direct program services-197,467

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 0.0923 2.9866 3.0789
2. FTE Contractors 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000
3. Total FTE 0.0923 2.9866 3.0789

B. Employed or advanced in employment

a) Number employed b) FTE
1. Employees with Disabilities 6 1.1719
2. Employees with Blindness Age 55 and Older 1 0.2151
3. Employees who are Racial/Ethnic Minorities 1 0.4882
4. Employees who are Women 7 2.0968
5. Employees Age 55 and Older 6 1.0253

C. Volunteers

0.00

Part III: Data on Individuals Served

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

A. Individuals Served

1. Number of individuals who began receiving services in the previous FY and continued to receive services in the reported FY327
2. Number of individuals who began receiving services in the reported FY332
3. Total individuals served during the reported fiscal year (A1 + A2) 659

B. Age

1. 55-5925
2. 60-6435
3. 65-6940
4. 70-7445
5. 75-7990
6. 80-84125
7. 85-89154
8. 90-94112
9. 95-9926
10. 100 & over7
11. Total (must agree with A3)659

C. Gender

1. Female454
2. Male205
3. Total (must agree with A3)659

D. Race/Ethnicity

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race2
2. American Indian or Alaska Native25
3. Asian0
4. Black or African American0
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White629
7. Two or more races3
8. Race and ethnicity unknown (only if consumer refuses to identify)0
9. Total (must agree with A3)659

E. Degree of Visual Impairment

1. Totally Blind (LP only or NLP)13
2. Legally Blind (excluding totally blind)261
3. Severe Visual Impairment385
4. Total (must agree with A3)659

F. Major Cause of Visual Impairment

1. Macular Degeneration462
2. Diabetic Retinopathy24
3. Glaucoma46
4. Cataracts24
5. Other103
6. Total (must agree with A3)659

G. Other Age-Related Impairments

1. Hearing Impairment332
2. Diabetes160
3. Cardiovascular Disease and Strokes243
4. Cancer147
5. Bone, Muscle, Skin, Joint, and Movement Disorders319
6. Alzheimer's Disease/Cognitive Impairment76
7. Depression/Mood Disorder76
8. Other Major Geriatric Concerns139

H. Type of Residence

1. Private residence (house or apartment)501
2. Senior Living/Retirement Community103
3. Assisted Living Facility32
4. Nursing Home/Long-term Care facility21
5. Homeless2
6. Total (must agree with A3)659

I. Source of Referral

1. Eye care provider (ophthalmologist, optometrist)159
2. Physician/medical provider16
3. State VR agency6
4. Government or Social Service Agency13
5. Veterans Administration40
6. Senior Center16
7. Assisted Living Facility4
8. Nursing Home/Long-term Care facility11
9. Faith-based organization0
10. Independent Living center4
11. Family member or friend163
12. Self-referral118
13. Other109
14. Total (must agree with A3)659

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 6,670
1b. Total Cost from other funds 752
2. Vision screening / vision examination / low vision evaluation 263
3. Surgical or therapeutic treatment to prevent, correct, or modify disabling eye conditions 0

B. Assistive technology devices and services

Cost Persons Served
1a. Total Cost from VII-2 funds 9,108
1b. Total Cost from other funds 5,007
2. Provision of assistive technology devices and aids 283
3. Provision of assistive technology services 260

C. Independent living and adjustment training and services

Cost Persons Served
1a. Total Cost from VII-2 funds 4,045
1b. Total Cost from other funds 449
2. Orientation and Mobility training 87
3. Communication skills 219
4. Daily living skills 556
5. Supportive services (reader services, transportation, personal 43
6. Advocacy training and support networks 0
7. Counseling (peer, individual and group) 6
8. Information, referral and community integration 2
. Other IL services 4

D. Community Awareness: Events & Activities

Cost a. Events / Activities b. Persons Served
1a. Total Cost from VII-2 funds 2,551
1b. Total Cost from other funds 283
2. Information and Referral 383
3. Community Awareness: Events/Activities 0 78

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) 250,888 253,995 3,107
2. Number of Individuals Served 620 659 39
3. Number of Minority Individuals Served 23 30 7
4. Number of Community Awareness Activities 63 78 15
5. Number of Collaborating agencies and organizations 1 2 1
6. Number of Sub-grantees 0 0

Part VI: Program Outcomes/Performance Measures

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

Number of persons Percent of persons
A1. Number of individuals receiving AT (assistive technology) services and training 260 100.00%
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) 147 56.54%
A3. Number of individuals for whom functional gains have not yet been determined at the close of the reporting period. 113 43.46%
B1. Number of individuals who received orientation and mobility (O & M) services 87 100.00%
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) 49 56.32%
B3. Number of individuals for whom functional gains have not yet been determined at the close of the reporting period. 38 43.68%
C1. Number of individuals who received communication skills training 219 100.00%
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) 118 53.88%
C3. Number of individuals for whom functional gains have not yet been determined at the close of the reporting period. 118 53.88%
D1. Number of individuals who received daily living skills training 556 100.00%
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) 338 60.79%
D3. Number of individuals for whom functional gains have not yet been determined at the close of the reporting period. 338 60.79%
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) 243 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) 0 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) 2 n/a
E4. Number of individuals served who experienced changes in lifestyle for reasons unrelated to vision loss. (closed/inactive cases only) 12 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) 1 n/a

Part VII: Training and Technical Assistance Needs

Administrative Training Since Montana is a minimum funded state, training and technical assistance on how to stretch the OB funds to cover an increasing elderly population is needed and how to locate or use other resources would be helpful. This includes how to manage the limited funds so they last through a full fiscal year. Provide suggestions or best practices for data collection for the 7-OB report. Staff finds it annoying and time consuming to keep track of hours on the type of services they are providing to the consumers so Section IV will accurately reflect direct service costs. Cover methods to survey or gather information on client satisfaction and methods to improve program performance for the consumers. Our survey results are sporadic at best with one year receiving significant responses and the next with the same survey getting almost no response. Learning about best practices and how other states are providing services to increase the number of older blind who receive quality services, and how to address the cost of technology needed by older blind individuals. Direct Services Staff Training Since technology changes so quickly, staff needs training on the new developments in computer and related technology like apps for low vision, braille, etc. In the last couple years the tables and smart phones have had many new apps become available which staff are not familiar with. As older staff retire and younger staff start training on generational differences is needed. Another aspect of this is cultural differences to include the Native American, Asian and Middle Eastern cultures. Training on Native American culture should also include how to deal with the tribal government or other tribal entities to develop working relationships. Working with individuals who have used sign language most of their lives creates a unique challenge for staff. Very little is training is available on providing blindness skills training through an interpreter. Developing working relationships with other vision professionals, especially optometrists and ophthalmologists, so they can collaborate on what the client’s needs are and what might work. This is more important for the itinerant staff than center-based where other vision specialists are co-workers.

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.

Montana provides Older Blind Services in-house with no sub-grantees or contractors. Direct services and case management are provided by four orientation and mobility specialists, five vision rehabilitation therapists and an assistive computer specialist. The staff work from regional offices and one sub-office and they travel to communities within their territory. Counties covered by each office are based on population so the geographic area covered varies. The offices on the western side of the state have larger population bases and fewer counties. Each office also contains a low vision lab where Older Blind consumers can be evaluated for and work with a variety of low vision equipment before it is dispensed or recommended for their purchase. Most low vision aids and assistive technology which is dispensed is purchased through bulk orders from distributors. This saves significantly on the cost items as shipping is less and often the vendors will give discounts for larger orders. Underserved populations in Montana consist mostly of Native Americans, people who reside in rural communities and Deaf-Blind individuals. Montana has seven reservations. Outreach activities consist of participating in community health fairs sponsored by senior centers, medical providers and community partners. Staff members contact the optometric clinics and senior centers on the Native American reservations in Montana. In an effort to reach more consumers BLVS entered into an agreement with iCanConnect to work with individuals with deaf/blindness to improve their telecommunications abilities. The BLVS staff meet with the applicants, do assessments, order equipment and provide training to iCanConnect clients. In return iCanConnect reimburses costs for working with their deaf/blind clients. Most of the iCanConnect clients also qualify for the Older Blind Program and this gives us the opportunity to provide them with Older Blind Services. Montana staff collaborates closely with the staff of the VIST and low vision clinic Veterans Affairs programs. Referrals go both directions. This arrangement allows the veterans to receive equipment the Older Blind program cannot afford to purchase for them and also training the VIST and low vision programs cannot provide. The staff also assists the Older Blind clients with completing applications for the Montana State Library Talking Book Program, Montana Assistive Telecommunications Program and Newsline.

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.

BLVS collaborates with the Veterans Administration (VA) in Montana. The Vision Rehabilitation Therapists and Orientation and Mobility Specialists collaborate with the VA Low Vision Clinic and VIST staff. BLVS assists veterans with contacting the Veteran’s Administration VIST coordinators to determine if the veteran qualifies for services through the Veterans Administration. The VA VIST Coordinators and the low vision specialist refer veterans to our program for follow-up and further training in the community as they are not able to get out different areas for months. Older Blind staff assists veterans with setting up and training on equipment the VA purchases, locating local training opportunities for computer equipment, identifying additional equipment for the VA to provide and connecting veterans with the local support groups. In some situations the BLVS staff will recommend equipment for veterans and the VA purchases the equipment for the client. The Montana Association for the Blind (a consumer organization) runs a program to teach individuals new to vision loss independent living skills. BLVS staff provides information and applications to OB consumers. Following the program BLVS staff follows-up with review and additional training in the consumer’s home community. Frequent referrals are made to the M.A.B. Older Blind Loan/Lease program for assistance in purchasing low vision equipment like CC-TV’s and other high-end adaptive equipment. The National Federation of the Blind has a chapter in Montana and BLVS will be collaborates with them as well to obtain or give referrals. The O&M and VRT in the Butte office assist members of the Bozeman Chapter of the Montana Association for the Blind by doing low vision evaluations at monthly low vision day. The Bozeman chapter hosts the Low Vision Day monthly to encourage individuals to learn about functioning with low vision. Older blind individuals participate by mentoring new visually impaired individuals or seeking assistance from the BLVS staff and MAB members. Staff works with the Montana State Library Talking Book program to refer and assist OB consumers with signing up for the program. The Talking Book Library has loaned equipment to the BLVS staff so they can demonstrate and teach consumers how to use the talking book machines. Consumers are also referred to the Newsline program for access to five of the Montana newspapers. The Orientation and Mobility specialists participate in one or more local Transportation Action Committees (TAC) to work towards improving transportation options for Older Blind consumers. Mark O’Brien, O&M Specialist, is a member of the Missoula Safety Community which is working towards improving traffic and pedestrian safety in the community through education, planning and other activities. A video about the white cane law and driving safely when a person using a white cane or dog guide is crossing streets is almost complete. The video will be used by driver education classes. Disability Employment and Transitions (of which BLVS is part) has a transportation coordinator who can work with organizations in communities to coordinate public transportation options and also assist individuals identify and use local transportation options. BLVS has entered into an agreement with Perkins School for the Blind to provide direct consumer services for the iCanConnect Program. The Vision Rehabilitation Therapists and Orientation and Mobility staff already had several Deaf-Blind clients on their caseload. BLVS staff assist Older Blind clients with applications, do assessment, recommend equipment and provide training. The benefits of this partnership are the clients are able to obtain equipment they need for distance communication (and the equipment may be used for independent living like computers with screen readers or screen enlargement) and the funds received from the iCanConnect Program increases the budget for the Older Blind Program. Referrals are also made to the Montana Telecommunications Program for individuals with hearing impairments to obtain telephones with amplification as well as enlarged buttons and /or screens. iCanConnect benefits as they have qualified staff in Montana for their program. When an older blind individual requests services from BLVS, they are offered an opportunity to register to vote. If the person wishes, our staff assists them with completing the Voter Registration Card and submitting it to the appropriate county office. The Vision Rehabilitation Therapists and Orientation and Mobility Specialists are encouraged to participate in training activities to improve their knowledge and skills. Only one VRT is not certified through ACVREP, but he will follow through with certification when he completes his masters’ degree. Staff members maintain and improve their skill through • Local and national conventions for Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of Blind and Visually Impaired • On-line seminars on low vision topics provided by product manufacturers or distributors • Meeting directly with assistive technology distributors • Training from the staff assistive technology specialist • Training provided by dog guide schools • Webinars from Hadley School for the Blind.

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.

The same survey that was used last year was sent to individuals whose Older Blind Case was closed. Only one survey was returned which does not qualify as a legitimate sample.

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

The majority of the individuals coming to the Older Blind Program are looking for a way to continue reading. Reading is a way to stay connected to the community through reading the local newspaper, letters, notices and to vote. Their initial request when contacting Blind and Low Vision Services is to find a magnifier that will work. Providing magnifiers that allow the individual to read is the “foot in the door” to providing other services. G was an over the road truck driver for 30 years. He lives with his wife in the rural northeastern part of the state. He began to experience vision loss in both eyes due to macular degeneration about ten years ago. Last he contacted the Older Blind Program for help in dealing. The vision rehabilitation therapist assessed his low vision needs. GQ received a magnifying lamp for reading. He also signed up for the Talking Book Program for recorded books and magazines. G continues to perform home management tasks around the home, such as cooking and woodworking and take an active part in family and community affairs. J is 85 years old Native American with vision loss due to macular degeneration. He lives with his wife. The Indian Health Service ophthalmologist referred him to the Older Blind Program. He also has a hearing impairment and muscle, skin, joint and movement disorders. He was evaluated in the low vision lab. He identified his expectations as, “to be able to read.” His current low vision needs could be met with a daylight magnifier, gooseneck table lamp, and three handheld magnifiers which were dispensed to him. Non-optical aids that he found useful were a large print calendar, white support cane, bold line pens, lap desk, and bold line paper. He was provided instruction in the use of the cane. He also needed an electronic video magnifier. Through a referral to the VIST program through Veterans’ Affairs, he was able to obtain the electronic video magnifier. When his case was being closed he exclaimed, “Oh boy! I was just on the Acrobat (Electronic video magnifier) reading! I read on it all the time! I had forgotten how to read, but now I read all of the time. I love it! I read a lot of religious material. I think I’m smart enough to be a preacher now. I also read the paper and anything I can get my hands on. I’m getting re-educated…” D first came to a support group sponsored by the Old Blind Program to learn from others how to cope with vision loss. She describes her vision as having more dark spots without vision than places with light where she can see. This causes her to see things in “waves and things disappearing.” Finding the right lighting was a major need for her. She is looking at purchasing an electronic video magnifier to allow her to read. D received training in adaptive independent living skills so she can remain in her country home as caregiver for her adult disabled daughter. Families express their concern to Older Blind individuals often by pressuring them to move to less independent environments where they receive assistance and care. S’s family thought that because of her vision loss she should no longer remain in her home. The assessment, training and equipment provided to her allows her to read and pay her bills, prepare food and use kitchen appliances safely, do laundry and pursue leisure activities. She received a telephone from the Montana Assistive Telecommunications Program so she could hear phone calls. She also received self-advocacy training and family members were invited to lessons so they could understand that she could remain living in her home safely. Due to the progressive nature of adult onset vision loss, it is not unusual to provide services to an individual and they return for additional services a year or two later. N returned to the Older Blind Program a year after a stroke as her vision decreased. She has many health issues including diabetes, glaucoma, macular degeneration, hearing loss and mobility issues. The Older Blind program was able to provide her with magnifiers, a talking clock, bold line pens and bold line paper, supplies to label items and a white support cane. While a client of the Older Blind Program she had a corneal transplant. Her health has improved so she can now use a walker or the support cane for mobility. She is able to continue with her daily living activities in her home. C started with Vocational Rehabilitation while she was still teaching. The services allowed her to continue teaching until her retirement. After retiring she enrolled in the Older Blind Program as her eye disease is progressive and she required additional training. Since retirement, C has learned to use adaptive computer technology, obtained a dog guide and mastered other independent living skills. She has very little functional vision remaining. The training has allowed her to remain active as a Peer Mentor through Summit Independent Living and she takes Yoga classes. C recently became a member of the Vocational Rehabilitation Council. She also does presentations to local driver education classes and grade school classes about how people adaptive to blindness. As shown by these examples the Older Blind Program allows individuals to remain independent in their homes and communities. Research has demonstrated that elderly individuals who remain in their homes have better physical and mental health. The receiving services of the Older Blind Program, the individuals are able to give through providing care to grandchildren while their parents work, continue providing unpaid family work like helping on the farm or caring for family members with health or disability issues. Some Older Blind clients find they need to enter or remain working. When they apply for services, they are not aware of the adaptions that are available to allow them to continue or enter employment. That was K’s situation. K applied to the Older Blind Program for assistance following a stroke on her optic nerve. She was recently divorced and struggling both emotionally and financially. When she applied she requested assistance with reading, using the computer, help with handwriting and other daily living skills. After receiving assistance with magnification and some of the independent living needs, she disclosed problems maintaining employment. She then applied for vocational rehabilitation services. With the services through vocational rehabilitation, she was able to address the impediments in employment and continues to be employed. Her employer states she is a good employee and they want to do everything it takes to keep her.

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

This year’s new areas of concern for the Older Blind Program. • The program budget was overspent after eleven months. The time staff use for the Older Blind program varies from month to month depending on how many vocational rehabilitation clients they are working with, weather and road conditions, number of new referrals, etc. They report their hours as accurately as possible, but our budget information usually runs two or four weeks behind actual hours. Due to a spike in Older Blind hours in August, the budget was overspent and Older Blind services were suspended for September. To remediate the situation, purchase of assistive technology was not done in October and the amount spent on purchases for clients. If the time spent with Older Blind consumers remains high, BLVS might need to limit services to those who are legally blind. • In August a new case management system was inaugurated. The existing program was no longer compatible with newer technology and was not accessible for blind individuals. The case management program was built specifically for Vocational Rehabilitation and Older Blind case management. Testing prior to live implementation proved successful, but when connected to the Montana financial and other programs many problems resulted. The program was extremely slow, many errors occurred in converted data and entry of new data, the program would work well one day and not another, payments were duplicated or not made, data on reports was inaccurate, services disappeared or appeared on individual plans randomly and parts of the program simply did not work. Fixes are made regularly; however, significant problems still exist. The program is not fully accessible. The data in this report is as accurate as possible given the issues with the new case management system. • Blind consumers are hearing about the multiple accessibility apps available through Apple products (iPads, iPhones) and requesting training on the devices. BLVS staff has not had sufficient training on these products to provide consumers with the training they require to improve independent living in the areas relating to communication and information storage and retrieval. Maintaining current on computer related assistive technology continues to be an issue. Even though BLVS has an assistive technology specialist one person cannot be current on everything. Consumers are also requesting funding sources for the new technology. • Providing services in a large geographic area with many counties considered frontier due to population remains problematic. Some distance communities have only one or two Older Blind consumers which make scheduling to those areas sporadic. The communication access in those communities may also be limited to telephone which makes service provision difficult. Because of transportation issues the staff find it difficult to schedule group training in many areas.

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 byBeverly Berg
TitleProgram Administrator
Telephone406-454-6084
Date signed12/23/2015