Florida Division of Blind Services
Welcome to the Florida Division of Blind Services.
Mission Statement: To ensure blind and visually-impaired Floridians have the tools, support and opportunity to achieve success
Vision Statement: In partnership with others, create a barrier free environment in the lives of Floridians with visual disabilities.
News and Announcements
- DBS 75th Anniversary Fort Myers Ceremony and Expo Schedule of Events
- Volunteers Needed for World Blind Union and the International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment Joint General Assembly
- Telephone Focus Group for Transition-aged VR Clients
- Gov. Scott Hosts Essay and Art Contest for Hispanic Heritage Month
- Division of Blind Services Palmetto Office Relocates
- The Florida RA Online Claims Process
- Florida Department of Education Suit Drive Provides Thousands of Items to Jobseekers
- DBS to Award Up to $300K to not-for-profit organizations for Innovative Projects Program
- New Online Referral and Application for Services Available
- Abilities Work Web Portal Assists in Hiring Qualified Employees with Disabilities
Who We Are and What We Do
The Florida Division of Blind Services helps blind and visually impaired individuals achieve their goals and live their lives with as much independence and self-direction as possible. To apply for services you must first download and complete the Application for Services Form and submit it to your nearest Division of Blind Services office.
Blind Babies Program
The Blind Babies Program provides community-based early-intervention education to children from birth through five years of age who are blind or visually impaired, and to their parents, families, and through community-based provider organizations.
The Children's Program serves children who are blind from five years of age through transition to the Vocational Rehabilitation Program. This program supplements services already offered by the school system to foster the child's learning and ability to function independently. The child's parents, guardian, and family members should be an integral part of the program in order to foster independence.
The goal of the Transition Program is to assist young people in meeting their future employment goals through transitioning from school to work or from school to a higher educational program. Students must have a visual impairment in both eyes and require vocational rehabilitation services to prepare for employment. Transition services are generally provided through the Vocational Rehabilitation Program. However, they could also be provided through the Children's Program. In either case, the student will have a Plan of Services. The types of services to be provided through Blind Services are normally incorporated into the student's Individual Education Plan as well. The final goal is to ensure that your child can be an independent adult.
Independent Living Program
Independent Living Services are provided to enable individuals who are blind or severely visually impaired to live more independently in their homes and communities with a maximum degree of self-direction. Successful outcomes enable individuals to live more independently in their community and/or transition to the working world.
Vocational Rehabilitation Program
Vocational Rehabilitation Services are provided to assist blind and visually impaired individuals seeking employment. Qualified individuals must have a bilateral visual impairment which constitutes or results in a substantial impediment to employment and needs services to prepare for, enter, engage in, or retain gainful employment. Successful outcomes lead to achievement of employment goals.
Information services are provided to Employers who need to know how to make a job accessible to an employee with a visual impairment. Employers seeking to hire a qualified employee can also contact us for this information as well.
Business Enterprise Program
The Business Enterprise Program provides job opportunities in the food service sector for eligible blind persons under the Randolph-Sheppard Act. Job opportunities include: Snack Bar, Cafeteria, Highway Vending Machines, or Non-Highway Vending.
Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired
The Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired is a place where people who are blind can reside temporarily while they learn to lead productive, self-sufficient lives. The Rehabilitation Center program incorporates instruction in a variety of independence skills, as well as case management, including home management, cooking, cleaning, personal care, labeling, orientation and mobility, Braille, access computer technology, adaptive equipment and devices, college prep, job readiness, home repairs, adaptation to blindness and many other skills that contribute to independence and the confidence to seek the highest level of employment possible.
Braille and Talking Books Library
The Florida Division of Blind Services also provides information and reading materials needed by individuals who are unable to use standard print because of a visual, physical, or reading disability. These services are provided through its Bureau of Braille and Talking Books Library.
If you live in Florida and have trouble reading print as the result of an eye problem, a reading disability, or difficulty holding a book because of arthritis, a stroke, or an accident, you may apply for Bureau of Braille and Talking Books Library services. Libraries, nursing homes, hospitals, schools, and other Florida institutions with customers who have disabilities which impede their use of conventional print may also apply for services.