Services for Individuals who are Blind/Low Vision
Programs for the Blind/Low Vision
The difference between ordinary and extra-ordinary is that little “extra”!
The Case Manager makes appropriate referrals to state and local agencies to ensure services are provided based on that consumer’s individual needs. Services begin at age three and span over a lifetime.
Case Managers assist consumers with completing forms and applications, locating appropriate housing and advocating for consumer rights in the area of blindness and vision loss.
The Case Manager counsels the consumer on how to adjust to vision loss and maintain an active/independent life. Consumers are also counseled in the areas of daily living skills and problem-solving.
Computer Lab/Computer Training
One-on-one computer training is provided in the lab using adaptive hardware and software. Our staff help consumers determine which assistive devices and software will meet their needs at home or at work. Staff are available to provide demonstrations and training on adaptive technology devices and equipment for the blind or visually impaired.
iPhone training is provided either in small groups or individually. The instructor tailors the instruction to the needs of the student, and can recommend changes in settings and applications (apps) to make the iPhone meet the needs of the individual student.
Minor Tech Support
Staff are available for technical support for minor computer and printer problems, software installation and software updates.
Low Vision Center
Offers individuals with vision loss the opportunity to evaluate and receive training with low vision devices. Magnifiers and low vision aids are available for demonstration. These devices are designed to promote independence in activities such as reading mail and medicine labels, watching TV, playing games, and working. Please call for an appointment.
Case Managers can connect you with a support group in your hometown. Groups offer information, informative speakers, and mutual support for persons with vision loss.
Regional Center staff can provide Braille translation and embossing for individuals and organizations. We request that you allow at least one week for embossing services.
An important mission of AIDB is to provide educational programs for schools, churches, businesses and public service agencies. Programs include a wide variety of topics that emphasize the strengths of people with vision loss and raise awareness of issues affecting this community.
The Alabama Freedom Center for the Blind – A Structured Discovery Program
Within the AIDB Birmingham Regional Center, AIDB has established a statewide Structured Discovery Program – providing more choices to Alabamians with vision loss.
The Alabama Freedom Center for the Blind is a nine-month residential program for adults, 18 and older using nonvisual techniques to build confidence and independence.
Learning shades are worn by everyone so that each person can become completely competent in the use of non-visual techniques. The hierarchy of sight between students is negated. Both the long, white, rigid, non-folding cane and learning shades are used in orientation and mobility, or travel, assistive technology, independent living skills and Braille. Residential and recreational components reinforce what is taught in class. Seminar explores the individual’s personal attitude about blindness in group and singular settings.
Structured Discovery instructors – many of whom are blind or who have low vision - have been trained and cross trained. The Alabama Freedom Center for the Blind teaches a person with vision loss that all things are possible and it’s the attitude of blindness – that it’s okay to be blind – that will determine their success.
Genuine praise is given along with continuous challenges. The student employs critical thinking skills, inverting the role of student/teacher. And, throughout life, these same skills and same measure of thinking transcends all obstacles. Rarely does a student have to come back for additional training or attend another conventional program. The student “keeps moving” and becomes “limitless”. To learn more, please contact 205.328.3989.
Alabama Industries for the Blind
Also housed both in Talladega and within the AIDB Birmingham Regional Center is the Alabama Industries for the Blind – the state’s largest employer of blind adults.
You may know that AIB began during the Great Depression as a sewing project for blind women who had graduated from the Alabama School for the Blind. Today, AIB employs over 300 people, 75 percent or more of whom are blind or have vision loss. It’s a multi-million dollar annual business which makes a variety of items – but our most important products are our employees who want to prove that they can become tax producers and not just tax consumers!
AIB has a large sewing department and also operates divisions for paper products, screen printing, printer ink cartridge refilling, mop and brush production and more. All of the military neckties worn by the U.S. military are made by a blind adult in our manufacturing facility in Talladega, Alabama.
We are a very diverse facility with a satellite production site operating in Birmingham, and AIB also operates Base Supply Centers on military bases at Ft. Rucker and Redstone Arsenal in Alabama and at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia.
The U.S. Military and government agencies are our major customers. We make flight bags, helmet covers, the neckties that I mentioned and mops used by the U. S. Navy on board ships.
We also do screen printing and other sewing projects – like biscuit mix bags for Jim ‘N Nick’s Barbecue.
AIB has been recognized by government agencies for its quality products and on-time delivery. To tour or for additional information, contact 205.252.3164.