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:
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Enter the total amount of expenditures and encumbrances for direct program services by subtracting line B from line A7.
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.
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.
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)
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).
Provide data in all categories on program participants who received one or more services during the fiscal year being reported.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
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).
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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).
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.).
Please sign and print the name, title and telephone number of the IL-OIB Program Director.
|Title VII-Chapter 2 Federal grant award for reported fiscal year||853,684|
|Other federal grant award for reported fiscal year||0|
|Title VII-Chapter 2 carryover from previous year||3,373|
|Other federal grant carryover from previous year||0|
|A. Funding Sources for Expenditures in Reported FY|
|A1. Title VII-Chapter 2||856,649|
|A2. Total other federal||0|
|(a) Title VII-Chapter 1-Part B||0|
|(b) SSA reimbursement||0|
|(c) Title XX - Social Security Act||0|
|(d) Older Americans Act||0|
|A3. State (excluding in-kind)||94,854|
|A4. Third party||0|
|A6. Total Matching Funds||94,854|
|A7. Total All Funds Expended||951,503|
|B. Total expenditures and encumbrances allocated to administrative, support staff, and general overhead costs||59,086|
|C. Total expenditures and encumbrances for direct program services||892,417|
FTE (full time equivalent) is based upon a 40-hour workweek or 2080 hours per year.
|Program Staff||a) Administrative and Support||b) Direct Service||c) Total|
|1. FTE State Agency||0.6200||0.0000||0.6200|
|2. FTE Contractors||11.8400||21.9400||33.7800|
|3. Total FTE||12.4600||21.9400||34.4000|
|a) Number employed||b) FTE|
|1. Employees with Disabilities||19||7.1926|
|2. Employees with Blindness Age 55 and Older||7||2.2926|
|3. Employees who are Racial/Ethnic Minorities||23||8.6458|
|4. Employees who are Women||48||23.8646|
|5. Employees Age 55 and Older||24||12.5586|
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.
|1. Number of individuals who began receiving services in the previous FY and continued to receive services in the reported FY||275|
|2. Number of individuals who began receiving services in the reported FY||1,097|
|3. Total individuals served during the reported fiscal year (A1 + A2)||1,372|
|10. 100 & over||2|
|11. Total (must agree with A3)||1,372|
|3. Total (must agree with A3)||1,372|
|1. Hispanic/Latino of any race||20|
|2. American Indian or Alaska Native||22|
|4. Black or African American||367|
|5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander||0|
|7. Two or more races||6|
|8. Race and ethnicity unknown (only if consumer refuses to identify)||22|
|9. Total (must agree with A3)||1,372|
|1. Totally Blind (LP only or NLP)||74|
|2. Legally Blind (excluding totally blind)||621|
|3. Severe Visual Impairment||677|
|4. Total (must agree with A3)||1,372|
|1. Macular Degeneration||601|
|2. Diabetic Retinopathy||117|
|6. Total (must agree with A3)||1,372|
|1. Hearing Impairment||447|
|3. Cardiovascular Disease and Strokes||357|
|5. Bone, Muscle, Skin, Joint, and Movement Disorders||260|
|6. Alzheimer's Disease/Cognitive Impairment||54|
|7. Depression/Mood Disorder||30|
|8. Other Major Geriatric Concerns||639|
|1. Private residence (house or apartment)||1,230|
|2. Senior Living/Retirement Community||65|
|3. Assisted Living Facility||60|
|4. Nursing Home/Long-term Care facility||14|
|6. Total (must agree with A3)||1,372|
|1. Eye care provider (ophthalmologist, optometrist)||935|
|2. Physician/medical provider||18|
|3. State VR agency||34|
|4. Government or Social Service Agency||38|
|5. Veterans Administration||5|
|6. Senior Center||7|
|7. Assisted Living Facility||4|
|8. Nursing Home/Long-term Care facility||15|
|9. Faith-based organization||4|
|10. Independent Living center||36|
|11. Family member or friend||100|
|14. Total (must agree with A3)||1,372|
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.
|1a. Total Cost from VII-2 funds||452,258|
|1b. Total Cost from other funds||0|
|2. Vision screening / vision examination / low vision evaluation||930|
|3. Surgical or therapeutic treatment to prevent, correct, or modify disabling eye conditions||5|
|1a. Total Cost from VII-2 funds||135,745|
|1b. Total Cost from other funds||0|
|2. Provision of assistive technology devices and aids||468|
|3. Provision of assistive technology services||821|
|1a. Total Cost from VII-2 funds||304,414|
|1b. Total Cost from other funds||0|
|2. Orientation and Mobility training||250|
|3. Communication skills||995|
|4. Daily living skills||299|
|5. Supportive services (reader services, transportation, personal||19|
|6. Advocacy training and support networks||381|
|7. Counseling (peer, individual and group)||340|
|8. Information, referral and community integration||1,135|
|. Other IL services||38|
|Cost||a. Events / Activities||b. Persons Served|
|1a. Total Cost from VII-2 funds||0|
|1b. Total Cost from other funds||0|
|2. Information and Referral||20,640|
|3. Community Awareness: Events/Activities||137||22,995|
|a) Prior Year||b) Reported FY||c) Change ( + / - )|
|1. Program Cost (all sources)||950,679||951,503||824|
|2. Number of Individuals Served||1,460||1,372||-88|
|3. Number of Minority Individuals Served||489||426||-63|
|4. Number of Community Awareness Activities||175||137||-38|
|5. Number of Collaborating agencies and organizations||268||266||-2|
|6. Number of Sub-grantees||38||7|
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||821||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)||709||86.36%|
|A3. Number of individuals for whom functional gains have not yet been determined at the close of the reporting period.||22||2.68%|
|B1. Number of individuals who received orientation and mobility (O & M) services||250||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)||206||82.40%|
|B3. Number of individuals for whom functional gains have not yet been determined at the close of the reporting period.||22||8.80%|
|C1. Number of individuals who received communication skills training||995||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)||870||87.44%|
|C3. Number of individuals for whom functional gains have not yet been determined at the close of the reporting period.||55||5.53%|
|D1. Number of individuals who received daily living skills training||299||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)||228||76.25%|
|D3. Number of individuals for whom functional gains have not yet been determined at the close of the reporting period.||55||18.39%|
|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)||122||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)||27||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)||64||n/a|
|E4. Number of individuals served who experienced changes in lifestyle for reasons unrelated to vision loss. (closed/inactive cases only)||39||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)||35||n/a|
• 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, and b) informed of innovations, ideas, concerns and solutions from the other states that have been brought to the attention of RSA. • Possibly a national unifying database for tracking the required 7OB information. • Training resources for OBP providers and instructors in Georgia to attend state and national training conferences in order to learn firsthand about the latest aids, devices and products for the visually impaired along with the newest teaching techniques and current information about services and activities. • Training for staff on the current technology programs to benefit seniors unfamiliar with the technology. More seniors are wanting devices and don't know how to use them. Staff want to be up to date on the most recent technology. Maybe a webinar can be developed that our program can access at no charge. Staying abreast of advances in access technology, the software required, and the hardware needed to best serve our clients remains an ongoing challenge. • Training in managing multiple psychological disabilities when vision loss occurs e.g. traumatic brain injury, mental illness, depression; or when physical disability occurs with loss of vision. Learning how the physical disabilities interact with one another and how to coordinate primary and optical care. • Coupled with the psychological and physical disabilities, training in falls prevention/risks and reporting elder abuse. • While there are many online training opportunities, face to face learning is preferred, even though it can be cost prohibitive.
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 Adults Age 55 and Over (also referred to as the Older Blind Program — OBP) implements the 34 CFR part 367 program through seven 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 (CVI) • Vision Rehabilitation Services ((VRS) • Visually Impaired Foundation of Georgia (VIFGA) • Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision (SCBLV) • Visually Impaired Specialized Training and Advocacy Services (VISTAS) • Walton Options for Independent Living (WO) Project Independence (PI) 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 consultant to Project Independence. Mississippi State University continues to provide a yearly detailed program evaluation and assist with measuring customer satisfaction. On a quarterly basis, the six main PI providers send names and phone numbers of closed cases to MSU who, in turn, contact the seniors to conduct the customer satisfaction survey. MSU does not provide direct services to seniors. We maintained and cultivated 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 Division of Aging Services • Georgia Radio Reading Services • National Federation of the Blind of Georgia • Georgia Council of the Blind • Business Enterprise Program • Native American Representative • Statewide Independent Living Council • Georgia Centers for Independent Living • 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 • Georgia Gerontology Society • Department of Veterans Affairs • Lions Lighthouse Our main initiatives to reach underserved and/or unserved populations in Georgia this year were: 1) increasing outreach efforts through involvement with the various components of the Division of Aging Services, 2) increasing support of our peer support groups throughout the state by conducting a statewide peer meeting via phone and continuing to provide the groups with program and resource information e.g. webinars so they have a wide variety of topics to offer their groups, and 3) maintaining and expanding our relationship with the Statewide Independent Living Council and Centers for Independent Living by meeting with all the Centers and inviting them to send their blind and low vision consumers to our peer support group meetings. Our primary subcontractors’ implementation process and outreach efforts to reach underserved and/or unserved populations are listed as follows. 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 provided. We subscribe and announce in the Special Needs Program brochure information in order to reach a mass number of persons with visual disabilities. VISTAS continues 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 spread the word about our program. Transportation is provided to our seniors for low vision exams and training when needed. Implementation of our program is provided by our low vision Optometrist and five sub-contractors who provide services in Technology, Orientation & Mobility, Vision Rehabilitation Therapy (including braille instruction) and Low Vision Evaluations. We have one certified Peer Support Group leader that we support. 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. Most seniors receive a full range of compensatory skills training, while others receive short term services aimed at immediate need/s. Many times, the latter is appropriate for clients who have immediate safety concerns or require only a few basic skills to maintain or regain their independence and quality of life. All direct services are provided by both contracted and staff professionals: an Optometrist specializing in Low Vision; dually certified Orientation & Mobility Specialists (OM) and Vision Rehabilitation Therapists (VRT), social worker and technology instructor. SCBLV continues the traditional outreach activities through in-service trainings and office visits with medical professionals, service agencies and senior residential facilities and centers. Also, SCBLV staff is proudly represented at community events, health/medical conferences, and resource fairs throughout Georgia. Finally, additional outreach is provided through our website and 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 communities to work with the clients instead of the seniors coming to our facility. I work with twelve different doctors over the state, subcontract with OM, VRT and Computer Technology Specialists, and support four peer support group leaders. • 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. Additional services are 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, computer technologist and/or O&M teachers and sent to the client. The senior with both hearing and vision loss may also choose to attend the Confident Living Program (CLP) to receive daily living, orientation and mobility, adjustment to blindness, and/or computer skills services over a two or three day period. Feedback from CLP program participants indicated that their experience was “life changing”. 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; 4) if the devices helped, 5) if they know how to contact us, and 6) to remind them that Mississippi State will be calling to ask about the program. Center for the Visually Impaired (CVI) CVI implements Title VII-Chapter 2 programming both in-house and in the community. CVI’s Florence Maxwell Low Vision Clinic provides two to three clinics per week in-house, and satellite clinics in Griffin (the newest), Suwannee, Fayetteville and Cumberland. Additional satellite clinics are scheduled in the community, e.g. in a senior facility, if need is identified and exam space is provided. The Low Vision Clinics have four part-time sub-contracted optometrists in these metro Atlanta Low Vision Clinics. The Florence Maxwell Low Vision Clinic (primary site) staff has incurred several changes during this OBP fiscal year. Due to the resignation of the Low Vision Clinic Director, who also functioned as a practicing Occupational Therapist, a full time Occupational Therapist and a full time Practice Manager were hired. A second full-time Occupational Therapist, Medical Secretary and Assistant Medical Secretary (part time) work in The Low Vision Clinic. The new Practice Manager will now supervise the community based staff, which include one Case Manager, one full-time Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist, and one full-time Vision Rehabilitation therapist (currently vacant) who provide services in the community to adult clients unable to attend classes in the facility based programs. Accepting several insurances for both the Optometrist and the Occupational Therapist have allowed the Low Vision Clinic to make OBP funds serve as many individuals as possible. 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. Most all participants receive a low vision examination. Following the low vision assessment, the client receives individualized therapy with an Occupational Therapist trained in low vision to address all aspects of daily living and to provide further training of the doctor’s recommendations. Often clients require follow-up services in the clinic or the client’s home to address all the clients’ challenges and to ensure that the client has been able to use devices successfully and to apply modifications and compensatory strategies. All clients served by CVI’s Community Based Services (CBS) team receive one on one assessments followed by individualized instruction. Group class instruction, when appropriate, is provided by CBS staff when a group is identified in a community facility. Outreach efforts to reach unserved/underserved populations during the past year have included presentations spread across metro Atlanta conducted 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). 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 30-34 county, north Georgia service area, who is 55 or over and meets the state requirements regarding functional vision loss. This year 80% (130/162 new clients) of our clients began their program with a comprehensive low vision evaluation (LVE) conducted by one of our three consulting optometrists who specialize in low vision. The majority (105) of these exams were covered under Project Independence funding, but we also performed 23 additional LVEs using other grant funding that we had available for this purpose. We continue to average 2-3 Low Vision Clinic days per month; typically two days in our Smyrna office and one day in different towns within our rural service delivery area. Most VRS program participants purchase their own prescribed devices; this year that practice saved the grant around $12,000.00. 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 instructors 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. This year VRS has hosted two O&M interns and one VRT field practicum student, who worked under supervision with some of our OBP seniors. Staff 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 (7-9 in 2016-17) as well as independent contractors who reside in various regions within our service delivery area. VRS strived 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 seniors to come to centralized training sites or to our main office, when possible, to receive services. Walton Options for Independent Living (WO) Implementation Referrals are made by eye care providers, self-referrals, medical professionals, social workers, low vision clinics, Area Agencies on Aging, family/friends, and through other Walton Options programs. NOTE: WO provides information and referral (I&R) services to many individuals who are 55 and older with vision impairment who are referred to other grant funded programs within the IL organization. The referral is based on the request of the senior e.g. need a battery for a watch as opposed to comprehensive vision services. If comprehensive vision services are deemed appropriate from the I&R discussion, that senior is referred to the OBP. Referrals can be submitted through fax, email, walk-ins, taken over the phone by our intake person or through our website referral link. When an eye care provider makes the referral they normally send the eye report with the referral. Referral received: Once the Older Blind Program (OBP) staff receives the referral — they call and collect demographic information on the phone and inform the senior we need a current eye report in order to provide services. We offer to mail them a Release of Information (ROI) form to sign and mail back to us. When we receive their signed ROI — we fax it to the eye care provider requesting a current eye report. Eye Report: When the eye report is received in our office and we determine eligibility, we proceed to assign the senior to one of our instructors for an assessment. Based on the assessment results, we determine what services the senior will need. Service delivery: WO subcontracts with an Orientation and Mobility Specialist (OM), Vision Rehabilitation Therapist (VRT) and Occupational Therapist (OT) — all of whom are either certified or licensed professionals to provide VRT, OM, Low Vision and other daily living skills services. Documentation: Upon completion of each visit with the senior, the instructor submits to the OBP staff all completed documents, a signed appointment log, and a summary of what activities were conducted during the visit. Also recorded on the summary are recommendations for other services, what aids and devices were provided or if assistance is needed to help provide the device(s). Aids and Devices/Training: Once the equipment arrives at the office, the requesting instructor is notified, and he/she will schedule a time to deliver the device (s) to the senior and provide training. The consumer signs a delivery statement when they receive equipment and the instructor notes the delivery and training on their summary report. This is all recorded in the agency database and forms placed in consumer file. Follow-up: A follow up call is provided to the seniors receiving devices to ensure they are using the device and it is functioning properly. Consumers are reminded they may be getting a phone call from Mississippi State University (MSU) to talk about their satisfaction of services. Outreach Efforts WO either exhibited, visited and or presented on blind and low vison issues at Augusta Technical College Wellness and Resource Fairs (Thomson, Grovetown, Waynesboro), Senior Resources Expo Event, Spring Fest 2017, local Middle and High School Resource Fairs, Church, Department of Labor, Elder Abuse and Elder Rights Conferences, the Veterans Community and Family Fair Events, Area Agencies on Aging, Division of Aging, various eye care providers, a rally on Senior Day at the GA Capitol, eye screening clinic assistance in partnership with the Area Agency on Aging and GA Prevent Blindness, ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) Symposium and the Museum and Galleries conference.
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 at the conventions of the Georgia Council of the Blind, the National Federation of the Blind of Georgia, and the Business Enterprise Program; at meetings of the Georgia Statewide Independent Living Council, individual centers for independent living, Vocational Rehabilitation, the Georgia Library for Accessible Services, providers of blind services, peer groups, the Older Driver’s Task Force, various components of the Division of Aging Services, Toastmasters, Lions Club, Domestic Violence, Georgia Gerontology Society and the Georgia Emergency Preparedness Coalition for Individuals with Disabilities and Older Adults. Contact was maintained with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Lions Camp, Georgia Industries for the Blind and Prevent Blindness. Attendance at the national American Foundation for the Blind Conference, held in March 2017 in Arlington, VA, brought information on new policy and new methods and approaches from other states so that GA might incorporate these activities in our program i.e. expanding staff qualifications and financial resources. Assistive listening devices (ALD’s) were brought to state meetings for use with those having a dual sensory loss and were a major hit in the presentations throughout Georgia. 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 transitioned to a new agency, it was 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. This year the PI Project Manager met with all nine Georgia independent living centers statewide to share information and practices. The Project Manager participated in the IL meetings and sent 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 a face to face meeting in March 2017. Our final meeting for FFY17 was via phone with the contractors in September 2017. 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 was devoted to ICanConnect, program reviews, staffing and funding concerns, technology training, 7OB revisions, centers for independent living, peer groups, Confident Living Program, recommendations of the MSU evaluation and overall PI program recommendations. The fall phone meeting focused on the program review outcomes, upcoming confident living training, dual cases, proposed job qualifications, program processes and provider issues and concerns. In August 2017, we conducted a statewide Peer Support Group Leader conference call geared toward group training. The peer leaders shared ideas and innovations in their groups. The Independent Living Disability Rights and Program Director, who taught the peer support skills to most of the peer leaders in GA, provided insights and feedback during this call. The peer group decided they wanted to meet twice a year. Georgia Radio Reading Service (GARRS) continued dissemination of the updated 30 and 60 second public service announcements (PSA) regarding our program. These PSA’s aired several times per week and reached an audience of approximately 16,000. 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 https://gvs.georgia.gov. This fiscal year the MSU customer satisfaction survey (all 134 pages) was added to the website. 2. Distributed information on numerous 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. Conducted in depth program reviews of all seven contractors. These reviews helped ensure uniformity and standardization of services throughout the state. The reviews consist of a summary of discussions with Project Independence staff and consumers, a review of service processes, case files, observations of various lessons, groups, and low vision exams. The process pinpointed any problems/issues that needed addressing and proposed recommendations that would improve our program and expand our services in Georgia. The focus was on services, finances and implementation of previous fiscal year recommendations. 4. Initiated use of very nice new card stock printed flyers that were placed in “goodie bags” for statewide conferences. These flyers promoted outreach efforts to various groups. Of particular interest, the flyers were distributed to two large Aging conferences so all participants received information on Project Independence. 5. Used FFY16 carryover funds to purchase training services, training items and supplies; registration, travel, and lodging for contractors’ meeting/training. These funds allowed Project Independence to conduct critical training activities for staff so as to improve and expand services for seniors we would not have been able to do otherwise. 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) This year we partnered with an Occupational Therapist who works with seniors who have had a stroke or have been in an accident that resulted in severe visual impairment or blindness; she refers seniors to VISTAS. This has been a very productive collaboration. There is a local CIL based in our area and, as needed, we refer clients to each other. Because we serve seniors 55 years and over we refer those that are younger to the IL center. We also advise consumers, if they are younger and are interested in employment services, to contact the local Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency Counselor for the Blind. We work with the Lions Club, the Athens Council of the Blind as well as Georgia Council of the Blind. This year we were fortunate to receive grant money from Georgia Council of the Bind to help those clients who were not financially able to pay for a low vision aid or exam. VISTAS’ has a special relationship with a low vision vendor. Whenever he gets equipment returned from his consumers and it can still be used, he donates the items to us to use with our seniors. This partnership has helped us save funds and stretch our dollars. Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision (SCBLV) SCBLV is improving the field of vision loss by hosting the annual Vision Conference for local and surrounding area Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Ophthalmology Technicians, etc. This conference, aimed at vision specialists, trains professionals to identify vision loss refers seniors to SCBLV who could benefit from our services. SCBLV continues to succeed in its’ innovative family rehabilitation program. This program is provided to seniors’ families twice a year, and gives them the opportunity to step into their loved one’s shoes, simulate their vision loss, and experience the skills training they receive at the center. From this experience, family members gain a new respect and understanding for the client’s vision loss, and it serves as a necessary support for family members. Our main fundraising event, Dining in the Dark, increased awareness and need of vision rehabilitation in our community. This past year 100 participants attended the event; they ate in the dark while listening to former SCBLV students share their rehabilitation experiences. Other activities that increased community awareness: • Executive Director sitting on Council of Aging’s Yellow Dot Design team that focuses on Disaster Preparedness; • Staff and former students assisted the United Way campaign by presenting at various businesses and agencies about the Center and its support to the community; • Presentations/participation to local Nursing Homes, Assistive Living Centers and Medical Center staff; various conferences and Health Fairs; White Cane Day activities with Savannah Coalition of the Blind and National Federation of the Blind members; and • Innovative activities with current students and Peer Support members that allow the community to see functioning blind members in action and art projects in collaboration with Telfair museum. SCBLV is planning on opening a new location in Brunswick, GA for services hopefully sometime in mid-November 2017. 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 (PI). 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. VIFGA maintains a website (vifga.org) 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. • Grant for Capital Expenditures for Equipment: In FFY16, a grant was awarded to VIFGA. The Center for the Visually Impaired (one of our PI contractors) worked with VIFGA and provided fiscal sponsorship for the grant, which benefited all six Georgia PI contractors. The funds were awarded specifically for Project Independence contractors to purchase new demonstration equipment, up-date old demonstration equipment, or purchase equipment to enhance our competency to deliver services. In 2016-2017, due to the above mentioned grant we received, I was able to hire and equip a low vision assistant to help cover the rural areas and upgrade my office equipment. • Support Groups and Support Group List: This is an essential piece of the vision rehabilitation process. We supported four support groups this year, two in Albany, one in Douglas, and one in Macon. There are four other groups to which I send seniors in our area, three in Columbus and one in Milledgeville. At the end of the fiscal year, VIFGA sends all seniors the Support Group List to remind them again of this service. We hope to get the Valdosta group up and running again in the coming year. • The Confident Living Program: This collaborative event between Project Independence and Helen Keller National Center is held about every eighteen to twenty three months for participants with dual sensory loss (both vision and hearing impairments). In the last CLP training, the participating seniors were introduced to the visual and hearing devices available, taught home safety, learned to prepare for emergencies, and most of all, the bonded, cried and laughed with new friends. They reported that the experience was “life changing”. I will fully support the upcoming CLP training for FFY18. • Helen Keller Registry: VIFGA has incorporated into the Low Vision Exam the distribution of the Helen Keller Registry for those with dual sensory loss. Nearly 60% of VIFGA clients have a dual sensory loss. • Assistive Listening Devices: I use the “Pocket Talker” in 60% of my exams to enable seniors to communicate with me. • Presentations: I enjoy presenting at doctor’s offices, support groups, and civic clubs. • Brochures and Resource Guides: This is an invaluable tool! • The Columbus Vision Rehabilitation House: This is a new project VIFGA is working on. We have been given the opportunity to renovate a house for rural South Georgia (non-residential) to use for daily group programs, projects, and classes for the visually impaired. We are currently looking for funding and community involvement to realize this project. When completed, it will be the only facility in South Georgia specifically for the blind and visually impaired. [A building grant of $50,000 would enable us to begin renovating the Columbus Vision Rehabilitation House. We would be able to offer daily group cooking classes, computer classes, gardening classes, mobility classes and independent living classes in this program.] Center for the Visually Impaired (CVI) In response to increased demand resulting from the vacant VRT position in the Community-Based program, CVI’s New View facility-based program has been providing instruction to program participants, particularly in the areas of assistive technology. Not surprisingly, the demand for instruction in mobile devices, e.g., iPhones, iPads, and similar devices, has increased during the past year. With the elimination of Homemaker as a viable VR vocational goal, we have seen an increase in client referrals for keyboarding and computer training, including the use of the Apple Mac computer. In response to this demand, we have increased both individualized and group training to seniors at our facility. In addition, CVI’s Assistive Technology staff has continued providing ongoing training and support to our Low Vision and Community-Based staff, so that they, too, can begin providing this service to clients not able to come to the center. Outreach visits included speaking 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. Other community activities included attendance at an Atlanta ophthalmology conference, while networking with local ophthalmologists, and conducting in-service trainings to residents and staff of housing facilities and senior groups. The majority of these in-service attendees are staff or seniors who would be eligible for OBP related services if needed. The Program Marketing Manager actively contacted and networked with various constituencies and traditional referral sources, including eye care practices, senior centers and other social services organizations, assisted living facilities, health fairs, etc. In addition, this marketing professional contacted less traditional referral sources, such as dialysis clinics, diabetes clinics and diabetes professionals, and falls prevention initiatives. While the impact of this concerted outreach campaign will certainly be more of a long-term strategy, we have already seen a gradual increase in referrals as a result of these efforts. In order to facilitate access to services by Spanish-speaking adults, CVI maintains a 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. Vision Rehabilitation Services of Georgia (VRS) VRS continues to work to maximize collaborations with other organizations to stretch funding resources to their maximum limit and to seek out new partnerships around North Georgia. Continued Collaborations: • United Way of Metro Atlanta: Provided Diabetic Education to 23 seniors who live with diabetes and Vision loss. • University programs/Interns: supported one Salus University student working on their VRT fieldwork placement, two full-time OM interns over the summer and one part-time OM intern throughout the year. • Hosted Low Vision Interns: our LV contracting doctors host several interns a year, who visit, observe and assist with our clinics. This helps further educate new Optometrists regarding the importance of Low Vision in the care of the senior population AND hopefully result in encouraging new doctors to specialize in this field. • Dual Sensory Loss: 1. Georgia Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing/ ICanConnect (ICC)-GA: Continued to work on a limited basis in 2016-17 with ICC/GA to help seniors with a dual-sensory loss access this grant for the provision of tools to meet their communication needs. 2. Helen Keller National Center (HKNC)/Confident Living Program (CLP) — Worked together with our HKNC representative to ensure seniors with a dual-sensory loss are receiving the most up-to-date services, tools and resources to help with communications and ADL’s. (VRS staff are trained in working with clients with dual-sensory loss). • Cobb Senior Services: VRS has an on-going relationship with CSS for referral, staff training and volunteer opportunities. • GVRA: Some seniors are referred onto VR for additional training and placement into employment. • VA: Continued to serve a few VA clients through an agreement that allows us to provide technology training to Veterans in their home environments. VRS hired various new employees this past year to help us better serve our clients: • Business specialist to help market services to various physicians and community groups; • Case manager to oversee client services, scheduling and follow-up; • Occupational Therapist to help meet the increasingly complex needs of our senior population; and • Programs/Operations manager to help further develop and streamline our Program Development and data collection processes. VRS continued to receive volunteer support in the areas of data collection and management, board activities, office and program support and fundraising projects. They extended our reach and connections beyond our traditional means and logged approximately 2,080 hours in the past FY. Our goal for seniors who come in for a Low Vision Evaluation (LVE) is to ensure that they will benefit from the evaluation. Case/eye notes are closely previewed by our intake coordinator, the program director and/or the doctor. Seniors for whom we are not sure a LVE will be appropriate are added to our Home Visit First (HVF) list — where a teacher will visit the senior in their home to further explore the nature of their vision loss needs and ability to benefit from an evaluation. If it is determined that a LVE would be of benefit, an appointment is scheduled; if not, services in other skill areas are provided. A LVE could be scheduled at a later date, if deemed appropriate and needed. This year VRS enhanced our Adjustment to Blindness Counseling program. A Social Worker worked with various volunteers to complete client intakes, provide resources and supportive counselling services. We hired a Licensed Professional Counselor to provide more in-depth counselling on a part-time basis. Seniors utilized support groups, received phone calls, peer counseling and referrals to other organizations. We added one peer support group by providing a six-week skills academy and occasional group training on topics as requested. We support informally 3-4 other support groups in our service area. Walton Options for Independent Living (WO) WO is an Independent Living Center. The WO SPIL Goal is to elevate access for individuals with disabilities to healthcare services and supports. Walton Options efforts that align with the SPIL are to: • partner with Area Agencies on Aging and GA Prevent Blindness to provide free eye screenings in rural areas. Some seniors haven’t seen an eye care provider in many years. Walton Options’ staff participated in five screenings this fiscal year that allowed over 100 seniors the opportunity for eye care. • provide ongoing support with peer groups. The groups bring in guest speakers to educate their members of services and products and mentor each other in advocacy issues. • provide internship opportunities for students in Occupational Therapy from Augusta Technical College. These students have worked in the OBP to complete field work and internships. Students were educated on the possibilities of expanding their careers with a focus on vision loss. • provide an internship to a University of Georgia student majoring in social work. This student is working with consumers promoting independence in the home and providing resources to those transitioning back into the community, including nursing home transition.
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 comprehensive report will be available in early 2018. 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, 215 consumers participated in telephone interviews. The majority of participants (65%) were aged 75 and older. Almost two-thirds (62%) were female. About 82% 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 (47%), with the second most reported reason being glaucoma (23%). 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 (95%), and overall quality of services (92%). Consumer ratings of functioning after receiving different types of independent living service areas follow: • 98% reported that they were better able or had maintained their ability to travel independently having received travel services • 79% reported that they were better able or had maintained their ability to function more independently having received assistive technology devices • 95% 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 • 57% reported that they had greater control and confidence in their ability to maintain their current living situation; 30% indicated no change; and 13% 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 quotes: • It has opened up a whole new world to me. I have more communication now and I am able to do more things. • They helped me to learn how to walk the street with my cane. They helped me to read and to shop better. I am more confident and independent now. • It has helped me to see better now and given me some more confidence. • It has made him more independent and stronger in wanting to do things. It has allowed him more freedom. • It has given me more confidence to push myself and do things that I was not used to doing. • They helped me to do my cooking and baking safely. They gave me confidence to not be isolated in my home, to be able to go out again, to have confidence to accept my disability. • It helped her with quality of life. • The biggest thing that they have done for me was to teach me how to use this cane. How to use my washing machine and microwave with the dots. Going to the senior citizens place and how to walk through the door. Also with some cooking. How to use the escalator when I have to. Another big thing was how to eat. Also to put all my ingredients on a tray with cooking. • The ability to maintain contact with the outside world and others. • They gave me encouragement to keep on. I got great glasses and very thorough with me. They get an A+. • I think probably, helping me to maintain my independence. • It made so much difference. It kept me going. It kept me able to stay by myself. They gave me encouragement. • It has made it easier to function. With basic training and some cooking instructions. • The day they came to the house, they were very patient, and the instructions helped him navigate through the house a lot easier. We could not have done that ourselves. • Maintaining control of my diabetes. • I saw a lot of things that I never thought existed. The flashlight and the clock has been a great help. • They gave me more confidence in myself.
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 A large, gruff, visually impaired man came to the clinic with his daughter and wife. He was unable to hear me at all when we began the Low Vision Exam. I placed the Pocket Talker assistive listening device headset over his ears and began talking through the microphone. Both his gruff manner and “sad” eyes changed. He now had a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eyes. He could hear me! He could hear his daughter! His wife was waiting for him in the lobby. He was able to read with the magnifier we found and was pleased with the exam…but was anxious to leave. He asked if he could borrow the Pocket Talker to talk to his wife in the lobby. He had not heard her voice in five years. They had been married over 70 years. The two of them talked to each other in the lobby. She of course told him that she loved him. Joy was written all over his face! Senior 2 Ms. D. is 76 years old and lives alone. She has Macular Degeneration and has a difficult time reading printed material. She is often frustrated because she cannot see well enough to pay her bills or read her bible without assistance. Through the OB program Ms. D. was able to obtain a Low Vision Evaluation. The Vision Rehabilitation Therapist (VRT) recommended Assistive Technology equipment that would help Ms. D. with reading printed material. Ms. D. was able to use the equipment in the Low Vision lab and determined that she would like to have the equipment to use at home. The OBP was able to help pay a portion of the cost of the equipment. The OBP provided delivery, set up, and demonstration of the equipment with a VRT for Ms. D. in her home. She was very happy to have the equipment and able to read her mail that day. She stated she “feels so much more independent and it feels great!” Senior 3 AM is a 76 year old male who lives in an “in-law suite” in his son’s home. Due to his visual challenges related to Glaucoma the patient was having to rely on assistance from his son and daughter-in-law to complete several ADL tasks. The patient was no longer able to read his mail and bills independently, manage his medications or heat himself a meal in the kitchen. After receiving a thorough low vision evaluation by the optometrist, AM was recommended a 3.5X/10D SMEDGE LED hand magnifier that allowed him to successfully read standard and substandard sized text. The occupational therapist (OT) instructed AM on how to integrate the magnifier into his daily tasks through a home visit appointment. She worked with him on using the magnifier for reading mail, food instructions, and medication labels. She educated and implemented strategies of direct lighting and enhanced contrast in the home that improved AM’s ability to pour liquids, cut his foods, write notes to himself and sort his medications in a pill organizer. The microwave and toaster oven were modified with tactile markings allowing AM to independently operate the appliances. AM benefited greatly from his visit to the Low Vision Clinic and is grateful for his new found independence. Senior 4 Ms. Evelyn N. is a 72 year old woman with Macular Degeneration. The low vision doctor recommended a sports telescope to identify items in the distance. She was put on the CCTV loaner list. Ms. Evelyn N. received training in daily living skills/vision rehabilitation therapy and orientation and mobility training areas. She achieved all of her goals in medication administration, time-telling, money identification, kitchen safety skills, white cane use, and protective techniques on stairs and in rural areas. All of these skills allow Ms. Evelyn N. to remain safe and independent in her home. She is more confident in living with her vision loss now that she has had the training. Senior 5 JT, a retired teacher and a musician, lives alone in a senior apartment community and has no family or close support. She has a dual-sensory loss of hearing and vision. She was anxious to learn all she could to maintain her independence, despite rapidly deteriorating vision. The LVE determined that magnification was not very helpful to her; however, she benefitted from glare control. She was introduced to and accessed the ICanConnect/ Georgia program. She is currently receiving training on the use of the iPad from the provider technology staff. Another program provided her with an amplified phone with magnification. JT explored many products and strategies with a VRT and is now managing all of her ADL’s on her own. She completed O&M training and used various forms of travel to shop, visit friends, to go to the office and to keep her medical appointments. She participated in the support group meetings and book club. JT is about to access paratransit services. Finally, she began learning technology to access music and post her music on YouTube.
E. Finally, note any problematic areas or concerns related to implementing the Title VII-Chapter 2 program in your state.
Staffing We continue struggling with finding and keeping certified staff who can deliver Orientation and Mobility and Vision Rehabilitation Therapy services, now more than ever. The challenge remains to identify and keep certified individuals for OM and VRT. Finding qualified professionals who are willing to accept the pay and 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. Our funding cannot compete with the salaries of the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Education. We lose staff to those entities. Any national assistance available to aid with recruiting, staff development or training of professionals of blind services (VRT, OM, technology) and related professionals such as OT’s and PT’s would be greatly appreciated. Funding In Georgia, the program still struggles with getting the word out in the rural communities as there are not enough resources or money to advertise. While providers continue to look for grants to help with the program, funds for continuous outreach is still very much needed. Providing services to individuals in the rural service areas continues to be a challenge. Our seniors in rural areas are stranded by a lack of available transportation, and oftentimes, require completely home-based services. Due to the extensive miles traveled to cover the entire rural areas of Georgia and the growing visually impaired aging population some of the providers run low on funds. Contractors spend a great deal of funds on transportation in order to serve seniors in the remote areas of Georgia. Additional funds would enable the program to provide more seniors in the rural areas with the services they need. These services include orientation and mobility, computer and technology skills, vision rehabilitation therapy, and adaptive aids/devices. The program still does not allow full cost of administrative fees for the providers’ services; this continues to be an ongoing issue. Addendum: For FFY16, the sub grantees included all the providers’ subs, plus the state agency. Mistakenly, we put in all the subs for FFY16, not just for the state agency. Upon further clarification, the subcontractors reported ought to have been seven — calculating the number for the state agency only. So, for FFY17, the state agency sub-contracted with seven providers, the same as in FFY16. The GA State Agency has subcontracted with seven providers for a number of years. There was no change in the number of subs for the state agency from FFY16 to FFY17.
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 by||Kay McGill/Paul Raymond|
|Title||OBP Prg. Mgr./GA Blindness Services Coordinator|