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

RSA-7-OB for New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired - H177B170030 report through September 30, 2017

Instructions

Introduction

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

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

Measure 1.1

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

Measure 1.2

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

Measure 1.3

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

Measure 1.4

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

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

E1. Enter the Number of individuals served who reported feeling that they are in greater control and are more confident in their ability to maintain their current living situation as a result of services they received (Closed/inactive cases only)

E2. Enter the number of individuals served who reported feeling that they have less control and confidence in their ability to maintain their current living situation as a result of services they received (closed/inactive cases only)

E3. Enter the number of individuals served who reported no change in their feelings of control and confidence in their ability to maintain their current living situation as a result of services they received (closed/inactive cases only)

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

E5. Enter the number of individuals served who died before achieving functional gain or experiencing changes in lifestyle as a result of services they received. (closed/inactive cases only)

Submittal Instructions

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

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

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

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

Part I: Funding Sources for Expenditures And Encumbrances — Instructions

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

A. Funding SourceS for Expenditures and encumbrances in reported fy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

C. Total expenditures and encumbrances for direct program services

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

Part II: Staffing — Instructions

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

A. Full-time Equivalent (FTE) Program Staff

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

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

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

B. Employed or advanced in employment

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

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

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

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

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

C. Volunteers

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

Part III: Data on Individuals Served — Instructions

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

A. Individuals Served

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

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

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

B. Age

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

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

C. Gender

C1. Enter the total number of females receiving services.

C2. Enter the total number of males receiving services.

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

D. Race/Ethnicity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

E. Degree of Visual Impairment

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

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

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

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

F. Major Cause of Visual Impairment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

G. Other Age-Related Impairments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

H. Type of Residence

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

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

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

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

H5. Enter the number of individuals served who are homeless

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

I. Source of Referral

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A. Clinical / Functional Vision Assessments and Services

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

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

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

B. Assistive Technology Devices, Aids, Services and Training

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

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

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

C. Independent Living and Adjustment Training and Services

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

D. Community Awareness Activities / Information and Referral

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Part VI: Program Outcomes/Performance Measures — Instructions

A. Enter the number from Part IV B3 in A1. From available program data and evaluations, enter the number of individuals receiving AT (assistive technology) services and training who maintained or improved functional abilities that were previously lost or diminished as a result of vision loss in A2. (closed/inactive cases only).

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

B. Enter the number from Part IV C2 in B1. From available program data and evaluations, of those receiving orientation and mobility (O & M) services, enter the number of individuals who experienced functional gains or maintained their ability to travel safely and independently in their residence and/or community environment as a result of services in B2 (closed/inactive cases only).

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

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

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

D. Enter the number from Part IV C4 in D1. From available program data and evaluations, of those receiving daily living skills training, enter the number of individuals that experienced functional gains or successfully restored or maintained their functional ability to engage in their customary daily life activities as a result of services or training in personal management and daily living skills In D2 (Closed/inactive cases only).

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

E1. Enter the Number of individuals served who reported feeling that they are in greater control and are more confident in their ability to maintain their current living situation as a result of services they received (Closed/inactive cases only).

E2. Enter the number of individuals served who reported feeling that they have less control and confidence in their ability to maintain their current living situation as a result of services they received (Closed/inactive cases only).

E3. Enter the number of individuals served who reported no change in their feelings of control and confidence in their ability to maintain their current living situation as a result of services they received (Closed/inactive cases only).

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

E5. Enter the number of individuals served who died before achieving functional gain or experiencing changes in lifestyle as a result of services they received (Closed/inactive cases only).

Part VII: Training and Technical Assistance — Instructions

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

Part VIII: Narrative — Instructions

Self-explanatory.

Part IX: Signature Instructions

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

Part I: Funding Sources And Expenditures

Title VII-Chapter 2 Federal grant award for reported fiscal year857,329
Other federal grant award for reported fiscal year0
Title VII-Chapter 2 carryover from previous year838,361
Other federal grant carryover from previous year0
A. Funding Sources for Expenditures in Reported FY
A1. Title VII-Chapter 2951,755
A2. Total other federal0
(a) Title VII-Chapter 1-Part B0
(b) SSA reimbursement0
(c) Title XX - Social Security Act0
(d) Older Americans Act0
(e) Other0
A3. State (excluding in-kind)95,259
A4. Third party0
A5. In-kind0
A6. Total Matching Funds95,259
A7. Total All Funds Expended1,047,014
B. Total expenditures and encumbrances allocated to administrative, support staff, and general overhead costs0
C. Total expenditures and encumbrances for direct program services1,047,014

Part II: Staffing

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

A. Full-time Equivalent (FTE)

Program Staff a) Administrative and Support b) Direct Service c) Total
1. FTE State Agency 12.8700 19.3500 32.2200
2. FTE Contractors 1.8000 0.0000 1.8000
3. Total FTE 14.6700 19.3500 34.0200

B. Employed or advanced in employment

a) Number employed b) FTE
1. Employees with Disabilities 8 7.0000
2. Employees with Blindness Age 55 and Older 8 7.0000
3. Employees who are Racial/Ethnic Minorities 34 27.2700
4. Employees who are Women 67 56.3400
5. Employees Age 55 and Older 27 22.8300

C. Volunteers

0.00

Part III: Data on Individuals Served

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

A. Individuals Served

1. Number of individuals who began receiving services in the previous FY and continued to receive services in the reported FY741
2. Number of individuals who began receiving services in the reported FY724
3. Total individuals served during the reported fiscal year (A1 + A2) 1,465

B. Age

1. 55-59152
2. 60-64161
3. 65-69162
4. 70-74157
5. 75-79153
6. 80-84209
7. 85-89270
8. 90-94152
9. 95-9945
10. 100 & over4
11. Total (must agree with A3)1,465

C. Gender

1. Female976
2. Male489
3. Total (must agree with A3)1,465

D. Race/Ethnicity

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race129
2. American Indian or Alaska Native0
3. Asian60
4. Black or African American291
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander1
6. White964
7. Two or more races16
8. Race and ethnicity unknown (only if consumer refuses to identify)4
9. Total (must agree with A3)1,465

E. Degree of Visual Impairment

1. Totally Blind (LP only or NLP)82
2. Legally Blind (excluding totally blind)854
3. Severe Visual Impairment529
4. Total (must agree with A3)1,465

F. Major Cause of Visual Impairment

1. Macular Degeneration539
2. Diabetic Retinopathy187
3. Glaucoma350
4. Cataracts78
5. Other311
6. Total (must agree with A3)1,465

G. Other Age-Related Impairments

1. Hearing Impairment103
2. Diabetes177
3. Cardiovascular Disease and Strokes216
4. Cancer20
5. Bone, Muscle, Skin, Joint, and Movement Disorders183
6. Alzheimer's Disease/Cognitive Impairment18
7. Depression/Mood Disorder43
8. Other Major Geriatric Concerns175

H. Type of Residence

1. Private residence (house or apartment)1,303
2. Senior Living/Retirement Community73
3. Assisted Living Facility48
4. Nursing Home/Long-term Care facility40
5. Homeless1
6. Total (must agree with A3)1,465

I. Source of Referral

1. Eye care provider (ophthalmologist, optometrist)282
2. Physician/medical provider109
3. State VR agency10
4. Government or Social Service Agency17
5. Veterans Administration5
6. Senior Center15
7. Assisted Living Facility2
8. Nursing Home/Long-term Care facility4
9. Faith-based organization4
10. Independent Living center61
11. Family member or friend245
12. Self-referral672
13. Other39
14. Total (must agree with A3)1,465

Part IV: Types of Services Provided and Resources Allocated

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

A. Clinical/functional vision assessments and services

Cost Persons Served
1a. Total Cost from VII-2 funds 479,482
1b. Total Cost from other funds 0
2. Vision screening / vision examination / low vision evaluation 533
3. Surgical or therapeutic treatment to prevent, correct, or modify disabling eye conditions 128

B. Assistive technology devices and services

Cost Persons Served
1a. Total Cost from VII-2 funds 321,177
1b. Total Cost from other funds 0
2. Provision of assistive technology devices and aids 161
3. Provision of assistive technology services 145

C. Independent living and adjustment training and services

Cost Persons Served
1a. Total Cost from VII-2 funds 151,096
1b. Total Cost from other funds 95,259
2. Orientation and Mobility training 388
3. Communication skills 326
4. Daily living skills 787
5. Supportive services (reader services, transportation, personal 13
6. Advocacy training and support networks 843
7. Counseling (peer, individual and group) 843
8. Information, referral and community integration 1,273
. Other IL services 745

D. Community Awareness: Events & Activities

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 6,284
3. Community Awareness: Events/Activities 93 6,284

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

A. Activity

a) Prior Year b) Reported FY c) Change ( + / - )
1. Program Cost (all sources) 922,296 1,047,014 124,718
2. Number of Individuals Served 1,501 1,465 -36
3. Number of Minority Individuals Served 556 497 -59
4. Number of Community Awareness Activities 465 666 201
5. Number of Collaborating agencies and organizations 3 3 0
6. Number of Sub-grantees 0 0

Part VI: Program Outcomes/Performance Measures

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

Number of persons Percent of persons
A1. Number of individuals receiving AT (assistive technology) services and training 145 100.00%
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) 27 18.62%
A3. Number of individuals for whom functional gains have not yet been determined at the close of the reporting period. 105 72.41%
B1. Number of individuals who received orientation and mobility (O & M) services 388 100.00%
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) 89 22.94%
B3. Number of individuals for whom functional gains have not yet been determined at the close of the reporting period. 282 72.68%
C1. Number of individuals who received communication skills training 326 100.00%
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) 79 24.23%
C3. Number of individuals for whom functional gains have not yet been determined at the close of the reporting period. 229 70.25%
D1. Number of individuals who received daily living skills training 787 100.00%
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) 197 25.03%
D3. Number of individuals for whom functional gains have not yet been determined at the close of the reporting period. 493 62.64%
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) 388 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) 95 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) 5 n/a
E4. Number of individuals served who experienced changes in lifestyle for reasons unrelated to vision loss. (closed/inactive cases only) 53 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) 18 n/a

Part VII: Training and Technical Assistance Needs

The agency is seeing an increase in the number of individuals 55 and older that are blind, vision impaired, and deaf/blind who are seeking services from the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired and anticipate that additional resources are needed to meet the demand. We have expanded our programs in the areas of support services, assistive technology training, deaf/blind services and senior retreats. These areas help to keep our consumers socially and emotionally engaged while providing the needed skills to promote independence. It is necessary to provide staff with on- going professional development activities to increase their skill sets to serve diverse communities within the state. Technical assistance is valuable in identifying promising practices to promote positive outcomes for our consumers in terms of greater independence in their homes and increased levels of community integration. Resources to assist with professional development activities that lead to certification as Vision Rehabilitation Therapists would be most beneficial to increase capacity for in-home instruction in Activities of Daily Living using alternative techniques. Finding ways to expand our delivery of these services including program management techniques, community outreach, and enhancing our knowledge of documentation methods would be beneficial to all involved. As we are anticipating the beginning of a new case management software program, increased knowledge of reporting requirements of the 7-OB, data analysis, program performance, and law and applicable regulations are of great need.

Part VIII: Narrative

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

The New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CBVI) provides a full array of services with the goal of assisting individuals who are 55 and older within the State who have vision impairments and dual sensory impairments (deaf/blind) in achieving their maximum potential as well as promoting full community integration; socially, economically, recreationally and academically. The services implemented include but are not limited to, orientation and mobility instruction, eye health education to address management of chronic diseases that impact vision, vision restoration services where health insurance is not available, training in self-advocacy, provision of low vision aids to assist in activities of daily living, and the creation and facilitation of adjustment to vision loss peer support groups throughout the state. The majority of services are provided by staff of CBVI, including a cadre of Orientation and Mobility Instructors, Home Instructors, and Eye Health Nurses that provide itinerant, home-based services throughout the State of New Jersey. CBVI also works with external vendors for the purchase of aids and devices, as well as services not provided by agency staff but are required to assist the consumer achieve his or her highest levels of independence and community integration. The agency’s eye screening unit, Project BEST (Better Eye Services and Treatment) conducts and sponsors a variety of education programs and eye screenings in many of the underserved areas, reaching out to socially and economic disadvantaged areas, and senior citizens, particularly in urban settings. Staff has been working with local health clinics, adult activity centers, nursing homes, and ethnic community centers to provide information and training to their participants/residents. The Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired coordinates peer support groups for those individuals that are 55 and older with vision impairments in all 21 of New Jersey’s counties. Several groups are held at Centers for Independent Living. Training for those that facilitate the groups are held on an annual basis. The agency also inaugurated a new training program in collaboration with eight local public libraries to provide training on using computers with assistive technology software. The effective use of a computer or other digital device has proven to be a core necessary skill of independence with individuals with no or limited vision.

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 NJCBVI continues to expand programs to improve services and increase community awareness with existing and new program initiatives. These programs are in the areas of support services, assistive technology training, supporting deaf/blind consumers and the implementation of Senior Retreats. As a result of formal (survey responses) and informal (conversational) information gathering, these areas appeared to be of greatest need to our consumers. Our Assistive Support Programs for Independence, Renewal, and Education (ASPIRE) offers support to “older blind” individuals residing in New Jersey, by facilitating the development and maintenance of an extensive state-wide network of peer support groups designed specifically for people with vision loss. Program Participants provide valuable support to one another through the sharing of experiences and by helping each other to discover solutions for challenges they may be facing. Information is provided which is often not available to individuals elsewhere. Additionally, demonstrations of daily living skills as well as adaptive products for people with vision loss are frequently presented at groups. Development of the program began in late June, 2015 and is ongoing. We now have a total of 48 support programs throughout all of New Jersey’s 21 counties. We have also developed an internal online support group directory, providing a quick source of information and referral for those who may be interested in attending such a program. We have expanded our Library Equal Access Program (LEAP) that began in November of 2015 from three to eight locations at select public libraries across the state for New Jersey residents. The LEAP program, sponsored by NJCBVI, targets adults 55 years of age and older, and provides basic computer skills training on how to use assistive software, such as magnification and audio reading tools, to help vision impaired users with reading websites, emails and other documents. Training also include an introduction to using assistive technology features now available on iPads. Additional locations have been selected and will be in use in the upcoming year. LEAP represents a unique partnership between CBVI, the New Jersey State Library’s Talking Book & Braille Center (TBBC), Advancing Opportunities, and seven selected public libraries in New Jersey: In collaboration with The College of New Jersey the Support Service Provider — New Jersey (SSP-NJ) is a consumer driven program built upon supporting Deaf/Blind NJ residents to promote independence and achieve a sense of identity and integration into their community. SSP-NJ has a network of trained professionals who are well versed in how to support an individual with a combined vision and hearing loss and have the skills to support a consumer to become an active participant in their own lives. When using the support of an SSP to give the environmental and visual information, the consumer becomes less isolated as they are acclimated to their surroundings and can navigate and communicate in their community successfully. In May and September 2017 a week long overnight program sponsored and staffed by the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, was attended by a total of 20 consumers that were 55 years and better, accompanied by seven companions. Our Senior Hands On Retreat Experience (SHORE) programs were held in the Northern/Central Region (May) and the Southern Region. Programming was scheduled from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM throughout the week. A Support Service Provider (SSP) was available every evening from 5:00 to 11:00 PM to assist the participants as needed. Throughout the week seniors participated in an all-inclusive program that provided real life experiential learning. While at the retreat, participants received intensive independent living instruction in, safe travel, health and wellness, assistive technology, communication and self- advocacy skills. Consumers also obtained information about and/or participated in coping with vision loss, community integration, and leisure activity options. Some of the specific activities/lessons included were: overall eye health and nutrition- diabetic education, shopping at the supermarket, train travel, a cooking experience/kitchen safety skills, dining at restaurants and music and relaxation therapies.

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

The New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (NJCBVI) contracts with the National Research and Training Center (NRTC) on Blindness and Low Vision to complete an external evaluation of their older blind services. NJCBVI provided the NRTC a list of consumers whose services were concluded during federal fiscal year 2017. All consumers were mailed surveys. Consumers were told that their participation was voluntary and that their responses would be confidential. Findings from analyses of 78 completed surveys indicate that 89% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that services were provided in a timely manner. Further, 94% agreed or strongly agreed that staff were attentive to their needs. Ninety-seven percent agreed that staff were familiar with aids and techniques used by individuals with vision impairments. Overall satisfaction with services was reported by 89%. The majority of respondents (82%) lived in private homes or residences. When asked to rate the importance of the Commission’s services to help consumers remain independent in their home, 87% rated services as somewhat important or very important. Respondents were asked to rate their agreement about positive outcomes for each service area and for overall services. Daily living activities, out of the 44 consumers who reported receiving instruction on activities around their home, 84% agreed or strongly agreed that they were better able to complete daily living tasks as a result of this service. - Low Vision Exam, out of the 52 consumers who reported they had a low vision exam, 92% agreed or strongly agreed that they were better informed about their vision loss and how to use their low vision. - Orientation and mobility, out of the 20 consumers who reported they received this service, 75% agreed or strongly agreed that they were more confident moving around their community. - Eye health, out of the 23 consumers who said they received services from an eye health nurse, 87% agreed or strongly agreed that they felt more confident about managing their health. - Information and referral, out of the 22 consumers who said they received information and referral services, 77% agreed or strongly agreed that they were well informed about services in their community. - Assistive technology, out of the 14 consumers who said they received instruction to use cell phones or computers, 50% agreed or strongly agreed that they were able to complete tasks using technology. - forty-six percent of consumers agreed or strongly agreed that they felt more confident performing activities they had given up as a result of their vision loss. Twenty-seven percent reported they had not given up any activities. - Overall, 67% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed they were more independent as a result of services. These results demonstrate the impact of services and the substantial benefits consumers received from participating in the services provided by the New Jersey Commission for the Blind. A copy of the complete program evaluation report conducted by Mississippi State University’s National Research and Training Center will be available in 2018.

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).

Ms. D., is a first-time Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CBVI) consumer in the Independent Living Older Blind (ILOB) program. In late fall, Ms. D. experienced sudden and dramatic vision loss, which resulted in leaving a long career of nursing. Her mother moved in to care for her. The Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Instructor was the primary caseworker, and made referrals for Eye Health Nursing (EHN) and Rehabilitation Teaching (RT) services. Ms. D. began working with O&M. During this time, though motivated to learn, Ms. D. didn’t seem convinced that the goals they set could be achieved. With recent and almost total vision loss, the prospect of walking in her neighborhood alone to a chosen location seemed quite daunting. The idea of traveling via Access Link or bus to a location outside her neighborhood was even less tangible. Ms. D. participated in lessons, but her heart wasn’t quite in it, as though fear was holding her back. Then Ms. D. attended the Senior Hands-On Retreat Experience (SHORE) program. The week spent there changed everything. Ms. D. shared her time in the company of folks who had similar experiences. New techniques and technologies were discovered, and everyone was independent and doing for themselves. Ms. D. gained a new perspective of life after vision loss; a picture of autonomy and productivity. The O&M Instructor met with Ms. D., Ms. D was reflecting on the SHORE program. She told the O&M Instructor that the idea of attending a day program or going to a senior center never appealed to her. She wants to work. Regarding SHORE, Ms. D. said, “If you’re not sure how to continue to be productive and give back to the community, this program helps to get you started.” Ms. D. has since been referred to our Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program. After hearing more about VR at SHORE, Ms. D. sought out VR through ILOB caseworkers. She is particularly interested in the program offered at our vocational residential program that offers 16 weeks of vocational training in all areas Monday- Friday. She is very excited to move forward with her life. Ms. D. recently requested Access Link services. She is much more spirited on O&M lessons, and has achieved the goal of walking to church independently in a short period of time. Perhaps the highlight for Ms. D. is that she received a phone call from her former employer, stating that Ms. D. is valued and they hope to get her to come back. Ms. D. is working towards her successful return to employment. My name is S.L., and my husband is T.L. We began our journey with the Independent Living Older Blind Unit of The NJ Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CBVI) in March, 2011. My physician, declared me legally blind after extensive testing in March 2011. At that time, I contacted the NJ Commission for the Blind, and filled out the necessary documentation to begin this new stage of my life. From March 2011 to present, I was in contact with my Rehabilitation Teacher. She came to my home to evaluate me, my Activity of Daily Living skills (ADL’s), and how I was managing in my home. I was then assigned Orientation and Mobility Instructors who gave me cane mobility instruction. In November 2015, The Support Program Coordinator for Assistive Support Programs for Independence Renewal and Education (ASPIRE) contacted me and asked if I would be interested in joining a support group in Pennsville, NJ. I agreed and started attending support meetings in 11/2015-02/2017. The group facilitator introduced my husband and me to multiple opportunities; such as, talking books, transportation, (both county and Access Link) and how to utilize the transportation system. From this instruction, we now use these services weekly. In November 2016, we were invited to attend an ASPIRE facilitator training in Vineland, NJ. At that time, we were introduced to the Independent Living Coordinator who was in charge of the program. It was during this meeting that we were instructed on how to organize and setup a support group. In February 2017, we were asked by the Support Program Coordinator of ASPIRE to lead a support group based out of Vineland NJ. We were asked to keep the support group together as it was failing to thrive for lack of leadership. We accepted the position and have enjoyed organizing and assisting the members during these monthly meetings. We try to emulate what we have been taught by our mentors. We have a solid support group, who are interested and engaging during the meetings. We try to have educational speakers who provide multiple ways for our group to learn new techniques and become aware of visual and hearing aids that will assist them with their Activities of Daily Living. In May 2017, we were invited to attend the Senior Hands- On Retreat Experience “A SHORE Thing” scheduled for September 10-15, 2017 in Atlantic City, NJ. During this conference, I received computer training, which included how to use the programs “Tap Tap See, and Voice Over”. I also learned about “I Can Connect” assistive devices. I learned “safety in the kitchen” and received proper instruction on these devices to help me with my ADL’s and kitchen safety. I attended a lecture with the Support Program Coordinator who spoke on the “Seven Stages of Blindness” which helped my husband relate to my disability as he had to ambulate blindfolded through the hotel, casino, and out to the boardwalk and return to the conference center assisted by a staff member. This was an incredible life lesson for T.L.. We also attended a lecture by the, Independent Living Deaf/Blind Consultant, who demonstrated assistive devices and information on deaf/blind services at CBVI. In addition, the conference ended with a lovely dinner dance and a farewell speech by the Executive Director. which was highly motivating and personally inspiring to me. I would be remiss if I did not mention how invaluable and incredible all the staff were, not only to me, but everyone who attended the conference. Their kindness, compassion, knowledge and expertise were outstanding. In November 2017, during a second ASPIRE Facilitator’s meeting held in Atlantic City, NJ, we also learned about Emergency Management, and the Support Service Specialist Program and I Can Connect program (partnered with The College of New Jersey) along with other various topics during this meeting. In conclusion, I have been blessed to be involved in the Assistive Support Program for Independent Renewal and Education programs, (ASPIRE) provided by CBVI. From the time that I was declared legally blind, CBVI has helped me increase my independence with confidence. I feel comfortable again in my home surroundings and I can walk outside alone with my cane. Additionally, my husband and I have become facilitators for the Vineland group and we are learning and growing with each meeting. We have the phenomenal staff from CBVI to thank for all of these wonderful blessings. My journey has not ended; it has just begun. With Sincere Gratitude, S.L. and T.L.

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

As consumers age and their vision becomes impaired, the loss of independence is greatly felt in their need to rely on others for transportation. Public and Para-transit systems are more available in urban areas and our Orientation and Mobility Specialists deliver excellent instruction providing the opportunity for our consumers to become independent in community travel. However, it is more difficult for those individuals who reside in the suburban and rural areas of New Jersey where Public transportation is not easily attainable and almost non-existent. The inability to travel serves as a barrier to community integration and inclusion. The issues of community integration, socialization and inclusion for the older blind are being addressed through our Assistive Support Programs for Independence, Renewal and Education (ASPIRE) initiative, as well as the Library Equal Access Program (LEAP). NJCBVI has purchased IPads for our staff to train on assistive technology and more are needed. We have increased the number of programs available to seniors through the aforementioned programs. Our Senior Retreat programs are now offered biannually, allowing seniors to spend a week together for intensive instruction of independent living skills, adjustment to vision loss support, advocacy training and socialization. As there is also an increase in older Deaf/Blind consumers, the need for specialized intensive training is required, often this specialized training is costly. We have added additional deaf/blind services and adaptive devices to assist those with a dual sensory loss. We also recognize the need for enhanced assistive technology services and have augmented our program with an Assistive Technology Specialist and the purchase of assistive technology devices. Additional resources would be of great benefit to continue to expand and develop these innovative programs.

Part IX: Signature

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

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

Signed byDaniel B. Frye
TitleExecutive Director
Telephone973-648-2324
Date signed12/27/2017