By Anthony Boyd,2014-06-28 12:26
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    Independent Living



    Our mission is to empower persons who are blind or visually impaired by providing vocational

    rehabilitation training, skills training and educational opportunities to achieve self-fulfillment

    through quality employment and independent living; to serve as a resource to families and

    employers and to expand public awareness regarding the potential of all persons who are blind or

    visually impaired.

    The Goal of ICBVI’s

    Independent Living Program is

    Independence in Family and Community

The purpose of ICBVI’s Independent Living program is to assist clients with the primary

    disability of blindness or visual impairment to achieve independence, acquire education and

    work skills and find jobs.

    IL Assessment and Plan Development or Waiver (Status 58)

    Before an IL Plan is written or a Waiver is signed, an IL Assessment is needed:

    ? To assess the client’s independent living skills and ability to use the alternative

    techniques of blindness

    ? To determine the client’s Independent Living Goals

    ? To determine the extent and scope of Independent Living Services or the Independent

    Lining Services for the Older Blind that the client requires to improve his/her ability to

    function independently in family and community

Either the IL rehabilitation Teaching Assessment form or the IL Skills Assessment form can be

    used depending on the Rehab Teacher/Home Instructor’s preference. Independent Living Goals:

    (A) Self-Advocacy/Self-Empowerment Goals involving improvement in a client’s

    ability to represent him/herself with public and/or private entities, the ability to make

    key decisions involving him/herself, or the ability to organize and manage his/her

    own activities to achieve desired objectives.

    (B) Communication Goals involving either improvement in a client’s ability to

    understand communication by others (receptive skills), and/or improvement in a

    client’s ability to share communication with others (expressive skills).

    (C) Mobility/Transportation Goals to improve a client’s access to her/his life space,

    environment, and community. This may occur by improving the client’s ability to

    move, travel, transport him/herself, or use public transportation.

    (D) Community-Based Living Goals that provide for a change in living situations with

    increased autonomy for the client. This may involve a client’s goals related to

    obtaining/modifying an apartment or house. Community-based living arrangements

    may include apartments, privately owned housing, self-directed assisted living, or

    self-directed living with family/friends.

    (E) Educational Academic or training goals that are expected to improve the client’s

    knowledge or ability to perform certain skills that would expand his/her

    independence, productivity or income-generating potential.

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    (F) Vocational Goals related to obtaining, maintaining, or advancing in employment.

    (G) Self-Care Goals to improve/maintain a client’s autonomy with respect to activities

    of daily living such as personal grooming and hygiene, meal preparation and

    nutrition, shopping, eating, and other aspects of personal health and safety.

    (H) Information Access/Technology Goals related to a client obtaining and/or using

    information necessary for the client’s independence and community integration.

    These may include use of a computer or other assistive technology, devices, or

    equipment, as well as developing information technology skills, such as using

    computer screen-reading software.

    (I) Personal Resource Management Goals related to a client learning to establish and

    maintain a personal/family budget, managing a checkbook, and/or obtaining

    knowledge of available direct and indirect resources related to income, housing, food,

    medical, and/or other benefits.

    (J) Relocation from a Nursing Home or Institution Goals related to relocation from

    nursing homes or other institutions to community-based living arrangements.

    (K) Community/Social Participation Goals related to full participation in the

    mainstream of American society, including the ability to participate in community

    events such as community fairs and government functions, attend worship services

    and access recreational activities and facilities.

    (L) Other IL goals not included in the above categories.

    Independent Living Services:

    A) Advocacy/Legal Services Assistance and /or representation in obtaining access to

    benefits, services, and programs to which a client may be entitled.

    B) Assistive Technology Any assistive technology device, that is, any item, piece of

    equipment or product system that is used to increase, maintain or improve functional

    capabilities of individuals with disabilities and any assistive technology service that

    assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition or use of an assistive

    technology device.

    C) Children’s Services The provision of specific IL services designed to serve individuals

    with significant disabilities under the age of 14.

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    D) Communication Services Services directed to enable clients to better communicate,

    such as interpreter services, training in communication equipment use, Braille instruction,

    and reading services.

    E) Counseling and Related Services These include information sharing, psychological

    services of a non-psychiatric, non-therapeutic nature, parent-to-parent services, and

    related services.

F) Family Services Services provided to the family members of an individual with a

    significant disability when necessary for improving the individual’s ability to live and

    function more independently, or ability to engage or continue in employment.

G) Housing, Home Modifications, and Shelter Services These services are related to

    securing housing or shelter, adaptive housing services (including appropriate

    accommodations to and modifications of any space used to serve, or occupied by

    individuals with significant disabilities).

H) IL Skills Training and Life Skill Training Services These may include instruction to

    develop independent living skills in areas such as personal care, coping, financial

    management, social skills, and household management. This may also include education

    and training necessary for living in the community and participating in community


    I) Information and Referral Services This is the only service (other then services to family

    members) that may be provided to all individuals, whether or not the individual has a


    J) Mental Restoration Services Psychiatric restoration services including maintenance on

    psychotropic medication, psychological services, and treatment management for

    substance abuse.

    K) Mobility Training Services A variety of services involving assisting clients to get

    around their homes and communities.

    L) Peer Counseling Services Counseling, teaching, information sharing, and similar kinds

    of contact provided to clients by other people with disabilities.

    M) Personal Assistance Services These include, but are not limited to, assistance with

    personal bodily functions; communicative, household, mobility, work, emotional,

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    cognitive, personal, and financial affairs; community participation; parenting; leisure; and

    other related needs.

    N) Physical Restoration Services Restoration services including medical services, health

    maintenance, eyeglasses, and visual services.

    O) Preventive Services Services intended to prevent additional disabilities, or to prevent an

    increase in the severity of an existing disability.

P) Prostheses, Orthotics, and Other Appliances Provision of or assistance in obtaining

    through other sources, an adaptive device or appliance to substitute for one or more parts

    of the human body.

    Q) Recreational Services Provision or identification of opportunities for the involvement

    of clients in meaningful leisure time activities. These may include such things as

    participation in community affairs and other recreation activities that may be competitive,

    active, or quiet.

R) Rehabilitation Technology Services Any service that assists an individual with a

    disability in the selection, acquisition or use of applied technologies, engineering

    methodologies or scientific principles to meet the needs of the individual and address the

    barriers confronted by individuals with significant disabilities with respect to education,

    rehabilitation, employment, transportation, IL and/or recreation.

    S) Therapeutic Treatment Services provided by registered occupational, physical,

    recreational, hearing, language, or speech therapists.

    T) Transportation Services Provision of, or arrangements for, transportation.

    U) Youth/Transition Services Any service that develops skills specifically designed for

    youth with significant disabilities between the ages 14 and 24 to promote self-awareness

    and esteem, develop advocacy and self-empowerment skills and career exploration,

    including the transition from school to post school activities such as postsecondary

    education, vocational training, employment, continuing and adult education, adult

    services, independent living or community participation.

    V) Vocational Services Any services designed to achieve or maintain employment.

W) Other Services Any IL services not listed above.

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Independent Living Services for Older Blind:

    1. Adaptive Aids, Devices or Equipment

    ? Low vision aids

    ? Other adaptive aids

    2. Training

    ? Orientation and mobility skills

    ? Communication skills

    ? Daily living skills

    ? Advocacy training

    ? Management of secondary disabilities

    ? Low vision training

    ? Other training services

    3. Other Individual Services

    ? Low vision exams and screening

    ? Individual and family counseling

    ? Transportation

    ? Readers and sighted guides

    ? Physical restoration services

    ? Referral to VR

    ? Referral to other agencies

    ? Peer or facilitated support group

    ? Community integration

    ? Other individual services


    An Independent Living Plan for services must be written unless the client signs a Plan Waiver

    stating that a plan is unnecessary.

    If the client chooses to write a plan, it must include the IL goals and objectives, IL services to be provided, start and end dates, costs, comparable benefits and client financial participation.

The IL Plan must be jointly developed and signed by the client and the Rehab Teacher/Home

    Instructor, and a copy provided to the client in an accessible format.

The plan must also be reviewed periodically by the Rehab Teacher/Home Instructor and the

    client to discuss progress and need for further services. This must be completed at least annually if the case remains open longer than twelve months.

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There is no fee for any of the IL services provided directly by the ICBVI Rehab Teacher/Home


However for the purchase of aids and appliances, assistive technology, computer hardware and

    software and other purchased services or device, the client’s financial ability to pay will be taken into consideration, with the expectation that the client will contribute to or pay for the required service or device.

The ICBVI Financial Needs Assessment (FNA) can be used to assist with this cost negotiation,

    unless the client is already automatically considered low income by the receipt of SSI or OASI benefits, or the Rehab Teacher/Home Instructor judges then to be low income through

    information gathered during the Application process.

Planned participation in Physical or Mental Restoration services in the Independent Living

    Program shall adhere to the same cost limitations of the State Only Program and the Payment

    Policy for VR costs.

Due to the limitations imposed by the limited amount of IL funds received by ICBVI, the

    maximum expenditure of IL service dollars for the purchase of IL services and devices will

    be up to $500 per client.

When considering the purchase of computer hardware or software Assistive Technology, the

    Rehab Teacher/Home Instructor must obtain an assessment by the ICBVI Assistive Technology

    Specialist, who will provide a written report with cost-effective recommendations prior to plan

    development. Such purchases will be subject to client financial participation in the cost of the recommended AT.

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    IL Eligibility (Status 50)

To be eligible for Independent Living Services through ICBVI, a client must meet the following

    three criteria:

1. Have a significant physical or mental impairment including legal or functional blindness

    or a severe visual impairment {as defined in Idaho Code, Section 67-5402(2)}.

2. Which substantially limits the client’s ability to function in the family or community

3. And for whom the provision of independent living services will improve the client’s

    ability to function, continue functioning, or move toward functioning independently in

    the family of community.


    Impairment is any disability, physical, mental or emotional that causes limitations in a functional area such as mobility, communication, self-care, self-direction, interpersonal skills, work

    tolerance or work skills.

According to Idaho Code, blindness or visual impairment means a person whose visual acuity

    with correcting lenses is not better than 20/200 in the better eye; or a person whose vision in the

    better eye is restricted to a field which subtends an angle of not greater than 20 degrees; or a

    person who is functionally blind; or a person who is without any sight.

    Functional blindness means a visual impairment which results in a substantial barrier to employment or substantially limits one or more major life activities such as mobility,

    communication, self-care, self-direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance or work skills.

Helpful Hints on Functional Blindness:

Functional Limitations of Life Activities:

    ? Reading printed material

    ? Driving

    ? Walking (avoiding obstacles, negotiating stairs, curbs or crossing streets

    ? Computer work

    ? Written correspondence.

    ? Problems with shopping

    ? Problems with daily activities (cooking, cleaning, medication id)

    ? Glare problems

    ? Distortion

    ? Floaters or scotomas

    ? Fluctuating vision throughout the day

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    ? Diabetes not under control due to lack of education

IL services:

    ? Low vision evaluation

    ? Low vision aids and appliances

    ? Training on use of aids or appliances

    ? Training on alternative techniques of blindness

    ? Specialized training (diabetic education)

    ? Information on community resources

    ? Training on Assistive Technology

    ? Peer Support groups

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    IL Application (Status 42)

Any individual with a significant disability of blindness or visual impairment may apply for

    independent living services at ICBVI. All Independent Living services will be provided by the

    ICBVI Rehab Teachers/Home Instructors.

Citizenship is not a requirement for ICBVI independent living assistance, but the individual must

    be present in the state, residing in Idaho and not just visiting, to receive IL services.

The handling of referrals and applications for IL services will be handled in an expeditious and

    equitable manner so that clients can receive services in a timely manner statewide.

There is no upper or lower age limit for Independent Living services, however clients under age

    55 are served in the IL Program and clients age 55 and older are served in the IL-OB program.

To apply for IL services:

The client and Rehab Teacher/Home Instructor must meet, complete and sign the Application,

    including the IL Rights and Responsibilities and Release/Exchange of Information forms. This

    initial meeting usually takes place in the client’s home so that the Home Instructor can begin the

    assessment of the client’s independent living needs.

The client can provide medical or other information that substantiates that he/she has a severe

    vision impairment which substantially limits his/her ability to function independently in the

    family or community and for whom the provision of IL services will improve the ability to

    function, continue to function or move toward functioning in the family or community.

Place forms and reports in a case file and then reference them in the RCR. The RCR needs to be

    concise but effectively chronicle the client’s progress through independent living services.

Any requests for exception to this policy will be made to the Rehabilitation Services Chief

    for consideration depending on the year-to-date IL budget expenditures.

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