The Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired provides a number of vision services.
To better serve our non-English speaking or limited English-speaking customers and clients, we now offer telephonic interpretive services. This is available when you visit the Council at our Madison office or if you receive vision rehabilitation training in your home.
Para servir mejor a nuestros clientes que no hablan, o hablan poco el inglés, el Consejo de Wisconsin de las personas ciegas o con limitaciones visuals (Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired) ahora ofrece servicios de interpretación telefónica gratis. Este servicio está disponible cuando los usuarios visitan el Consejo en nuestra oficina de Madison (754 Williamson Street) o si reciben, en casa, entrenamiento de rehabilitación visual por nuestro personal.
Low Vision Services
What is low vision?
Low vision refers to vision loss that affects daily living activities and cannot be corrected by standard optical, medical, or surgical interventions. Along with monitoring your eye health with your eye doctor, individuals with low vision should consider a Low Vision Evaluation.
What is a Low Vision Evaluation?
The goal of the Low Vision Evaluation is to find ways increase the independence and quality of life for people with vision loss. Through the Low Vision Evaluation, the low vision therapist finds ways to maximize existing vision by showing you how to use your vision more effectively and efficiently. The low vision therapist may also introduce adaptive aids to help meet your goals. During the appointment, lighting, color, and contrast are evaluated and incorporated into recommendations to maximize your vision. Information about community resources may also be shared.
A Low Vision Evaluation cannot provide a cure for vision problems, nor does it provide a new diagnosis. It will educate you about the existing diagnosis, provide answers to questions and help you consider adaptations needed to achieve your goals.
A Low Vision Evaluation does not replace regular eye exams with your eye doctor. These are required to manage overall eye health. Your eye doctor is the best person to address long term expectations for your vision.
Will adaptive low vision devices help?
There are no special glasses that will restore vision. The low vision therapist will show you examples of adaptive low vision devices that could assist you to maximize existing vision. Care and use of appropriate devices is an important component of meeting your goals and will be discussed in detail along with recommendations on where to purchase these devices.
What is the cost of the evaluation?
The low vision evaluation costs $80. This includes an initial 1 to 1 ½ hour evaluation and a 30 minute follow up. At this time, Medicare and private insurance do not pay for the Low Vision Evaluation or for adaptive low vision devices that might be appropriate. If the Low Vision Evaluation fee or purchasing adaptive low vision devices presents a significant financial hardship, please contact Amy Wurf at 608-237-8107 or toll free at 1-800-783-5213 to discuss available options.
How do I schedule a Low Vision Evaluation?
Call Amy Wurf at 608-237-8107 or toll free at 1-800-783-5213 to schedule an appointment for a Low Vision Evaluation.
The Low Vision Evaluations are provided at the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired’s office location at 754 Williamson St, Madison, WI on Monday-Friday between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:00 PM.
In preparation for your appointment, print the Confidential Information Release Authorization and Referral for Low Vision Services forms and sign each one if possible. After they are signed, send them to your eye doctor in advance of the Low Vision Evaluation. Your eye doctor can provide the requested information and fax it to the low vision therapist at the Council. Any information on your eye condition, provided before the Low Vision Evaluation, helps the low vision therapist to give you the best service.
Vision Rehabilitation Services
The Vision Rehabilitation Services are aimed at providing people who are blind or visually impaired with knowledge and skills to enable them to live independently. Services are tailored to each person’s needs and provided one-on-one; either in the home or at the WCB office in Madison. This service is free to any legally blind state resident.
As part of this program, the following are covered:
Adjustment: Provides information about eye condition(s) and any related disabilities; teaches techniques to increase functional independence; provides counsel toward acceptance of visual loss; introduces support services.
Education: Describes the causes of vision loss, future expectations and provides awareness of medications and visual aids.
Independent Living Skills Training: Teaches skills and techniques to enable a person to function independently despite his or her visual loss; identifies alternative methods for daily living.
Awareness: Discusses disability issues; identifies rights and legislation of people with disabilities. Information and Referral: Provides information about available services including training centers, newsletters, support groups, vocational rehabilitation and employment-related services, Social Security benefits, library for the blind services, volunteer assistance programs, recreational and/or social groups; assistive devices and technology.
Environmental Adaptation: Discusses the use of appropriate lighting or color contrasts; labeling appliances with large print, Braille or tactile markings; labeling of cooking or cleaning supplies, and household products. Orientation and Mobility Skills: Teaches techniques for safe independent travel including: sighted guide, instruction in the purpose and use of a white cane.
What is the goal of the Vision Rehabilitation Program?
Helping people with low vision be as independent as possible is the goal of the Vision Rehabilitation Program. We may be able to assist you with low vision aids, techniques for using your remaining vision, and locating resources in the community that can help. Vision rehabilitation is not a “treatment” to restore lost or damaged vision. It is a combination of practical techniques and useful tools to help you get the most out of your vision.
The Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired (the Council) offers technical help to computer users who are blind or visually impaired. The Council also offers technology evaluations and personalized computer training.
Comprehensive Assistive Technology Assessment: includes full report and vendor listings
Individual Training on Assistive Technology: training can be done either at Council’s offices or at the consumer’s workplace
Contact the Council for services.