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Program Manual (Older Blind and Adult Blind)

Revised August 2016

Table of Contents

Preface

This manual is designed to provide community rehabilitation providers (CRPs) and DBS Rehabilitation Specialists with guidelines and procedures for case management of the Older Blind and Adult Program. The following case management responsibilities are addressed in this guide:

  • Outreach
  • Intake/Referral
  • Eligibility Determination
  • Needs Assessment
  • Plan Development
  • Service Provision
  • Progress/Service Documentation
  • Invoicing
  • Closure Documentation and
  • Additional Requirements

Overview of Older Blind and Adult Program

The goal of the Older Blind (OB) and Adult Program (AP) is to enable individuals with blindness or significant visual impairments to live more independently in their homes and communities with a maximum degree of self-direction. In order to facilitate proper funding use and data collection, clients are divided into two groups:

  • Adult Program (AP): Individuals who are under 55 years of age (referred to as “Standard” on the AWARE Intake Page) and
  • Older Blind (OB): Individuals who are 55 years of age and older (referred to as “Older Blind” on the AWARE Intake screen).

According to the Code of Federal Regulations 34CFR367.5, “Older individual who is blind means an individual age 55 or older whose significant visual impairment makes competitive employment extremely difficult to attain but for whom independent living goals are feasible”. With regard to our Adult Program, CFR 364.4 states that any individual with a significant disability is eligible for services.

In keeping with these directives, the primary goal of the OB and AP programs is to provide instruction and guidance to help individuals with blindness or visual impairments to acquire the skills and knowledge they need to manage their daily lives, and to develop self-confidence and achieve self-sufficiency at the highest attainable level. Goals are to travel safely within their homes and communities, and the area around their home, prepare simple meals with confidence, manage housekeeping tasks and paperwork, access reading materials such as books, newspapers, magazines, as well as participate in community functions/activities. Furthermore, provide the services necessary to allow the individual to have more control in making important decisions; feel more confident in their ability to perform daily activities most important to them.

The majority of our clients in these programs have lost their vision late in life. Therefore, they will generally want to maximize the compensatory skills that will enable them to travel independently, cook, read, write, and perform routine household tasks.

For quality assurance, DBS will survey clients after closure in the OB and AP Programs to determine if services provided have helped individuals achieve their goals. A report of the results will be provided to the State Office.

DBS Rehabilitation Specialists and District Administrators will collaborate with CRP staff to facilitate service delivery, ensure adequate case file documentation, participate in outreach activities, and carry out the DBS vision: "In partnership with others, create a barrier free environment in the lives of Floridians with visual disabilities."

1.0 - Outreach

Outreach activities are to inform and educate community organizations in order to obtain referrals for individuals who may be eligible for DBS program services.   Activities include staying in touch with key community organizations that are able to identify and refer potential clients.  Outreach follow-up activities can include personal contacts, phone communications, news releases, mail-outs, special events, Public Service Announcements (PSAs), etc.

CRP Roles and Responsibilities: The CRP will conduct community outreach activities to identify clients that can benefit from the program independently and in collaboration with DBS.  The CRP will submit an outreach plan 30 days of start of contract and submit a summary to the DA and Contract Manager monthly.

DBS Roles and Responsibilities: DBS will conduct community outreach activities to identify clients that can benefit from the program independently and in collaboration with CRP. 

2.0 - Intake / Referrals

An individual may be referred to the OB or AP program by letter, telephone, in person, or by other means.

2.1 - Older Blind Referrals

CRP Roles and Responsibilities:  It is the responsibility of the CRP to generate enough referrals to meet the contract deliverables for individuals served. It is recommended that attempts to contact the referral are documented and contain the following information:

  • The name of the person who attempted to contact the referral
  • The date of the attempted contact
  • If contact was made — with whom (name and relationship to referral)
  • If a message was left — by what means or the name of the person contacted
  • Other pertinent information about the potential applicant

DBS Roles and Responsibilities: For OB individuals, DBS will send referrals to the CRP to conduct intake.  Referrals from DBS to local community CRP will be made by phone, fax or email correspondence.  If an application is received it can be scanned and attached to the email or faxed.  In the event that there is no CRP available to serve the individual, DBS will assume primary case management responsibilities.

2.2 - Adult Program Referrals

CRP Roles and Responsibilities: All adults under age 55 must be referred to the VR Program at the DBS district office for assessment.  When the case is opened in AP, the assessment tool must be attached to the case as a “VR/IL Assessment Tool” by the CRP. As per the contract:

#12. Attachment A, Section I.E.2., Referral/Intake, is hereby amended to read as follows:

2. Referral/Intake

For all potential applicants identified as needing services by DOE/DBS or the contractor, the DOE/DBS district office shall:

  1. Conduct an ILAP, Under 55 Assessment (“Assessment Tool for Clients Under 55”), within thirty (30) days, to ensure applicants are not interested in Vocational Rehabilitation Services prior to referring to Contractor for initial Adult Program screening.
  2. Refer non-VR potential clients and/or the client’s representative to the Contractor, via email (referral email shall include the completed ILAP Under 55 Assessment).

DBS Roles and Responsibilities:  When DBS receives an under age 55 referral, an interview must be conducted by the VR Rehabilitation Specialist to assess for program appropriateness. If the VR Rehabilitation Specialist is unavailable, the supervisor must conduct this assessment.  The DBS-260 Assessment Tool Client’s Under 55 must be used to accomplish this task. This tool can be located in the S Drive/FORMS/Client Services forms.

If it is determined based on the assessment that the under age 55 referral is best served in VR, intake will proceed for the VR program. 

If the tool indicates the individual would be better served in the Adult Program, the case will be presented to the DA for final approval and then referred to the Adult Program.

The VR Rehabilitation Specialist will then refer the individual via email to the local CRP for the Adult Program (AP) and copy the AP Rehabilitation Specialist via email with the completed assessment tool attached. (Note: When the case is opened in AP, the assessment tool must then be loaded into the AWARE Case Notes section and labeled “VR Assessment” by the CRP).
  
NOTE: The VR assessment does not need to be conducted if the client provides medical documentation that he or she is unable to work. In this situation, the AP Rehabilitation Specialist may refer the individual to the local CRP without the assessment tool and provide the medical documentation.

2.3 - Applicants

CRP Roles and Responsibilities: When an individual submits a signed application, a letter requesting services, or makes a verbal request, the individual will be considered an applicant. The actual date of application should be entered on the Intake Page in AWARE. Application dates may be moved back or forward up to 45 days. This allows for data to be entered into AWARE at a convenient time while capturing the actual date that a client applied or wants to apply for services. (Note: Social Security number and legal residency are not required for an OB or AP application.)

DBS Roles and Responsibilities:  In the event that there is no CRP available to serve the individual, DBS will assume primary case management responsibilities and requires a signed application to be considered an applicant.

2.4 - Initial Interview (II)

The purpose of the initial interview is to gather information about the client that will be used to determine service needs.

CRP Roles and Responsibilities:  At the time of the interview the CRP will gather information for the AWARE Intake Page and other parts of the Participant Module.

DBS Roles and Responsibilities:  In the event that there is no CRP available to serve the client, DBS will assume primary case management responsibilities.  The initial interview will be completed as a narrative in the case notes section in AWARE.

3.0 - Eligibility Determination

An eye medical report completed by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist should be obtained to make an eligibility determination.  Presumed eligibility may be established for a period of 12 months by which time an eye medical report and/or documentation must be obtained. (See Federal Code of Regulations (CFR) 34 164.4(a))

CRP Roles and Responsibilities: The CRP will enter all intake information into the AWARE case file. CRP staff will enter the eye report and complete the required information on the Eligibility Determination screen. If an eye report is unavailable, eligibility may be established if it is clear from observations or other professional records that the client has a bilateral visual impairment. Observations of the client’s functioning must be clearly documented in the Case Notes section of AWARE or on the Eligibility Determination page. In cases where the client is obviously totally blind, CRP must provide documentation in the electronic case file to justify the absence of an eye report (e.g. observation, statement from medical doctor, etc.)

Once all required information is gathered, an eligibility determination can be made. Only DBS Rehabilitation Specialists, supervisors, DA’s or program staff are authorized to make eligibility determinations.  Contractor will complete the required referral/intake information in AWARE Eligibility Determination page. Contractor will send an email to the DOE/DBS Rehabilitation Specialist requesting an eligibility determination on the same day the information is entered into AWARE. 

DBS Roles and Responsibilities:  When the CRP is the provider, the Rehabilitation Specialist has five (5) business days from the time of CRP notification within which to make an eligibility decision. The Rehabilitation Specialist will review the case for completeness of information before making a determination. It must be clear by eye report, case note or other documentation, that the client has a bilateral visual impairment and that he or she can benefit from services. 

Eligibility is established when a DBS representative enters a date on the AWARE Eligibility Determination screen. This action will cause the system to change the status of the client from applicant to eligible. DBS staff must send an E-mail back to the CRP noting that eligibility has been established. At this point, the CRP may begin the process of developing an Individualized Plan of Services.

In the event that there is no CRP available to serve the client, DBS will assume primary case management responsibilities.  Eligibility must be determined within 60 days of an application.

3.1 - Eligibility Criteria

There are two main criteria for eligibility that must be met:

  1. The documented presence of a diagnosed bilateral visual impairment or eye condition which, with best correction for that client, constitutes or results in a substantial impediment to the client’s ability to learn  and function independently; and
  2. A reasonable expectation that the client can benefit from services in terms of independence or advocacy.

3.2 - Ineligibility

CRP Roles and Responsibilities:  After notified by DBS the CRP will contact the client to discuss the findings and indicate that a Certificate of Ineligibility (CI) Letter will be sent from DBS explaining the reasons for ineligibility and the client’s rights.  The CRP must notify DBS that this discussion took place.

DBS Roles and Responsibilities:  If a Rehabilitation Specialist or another authorized DBS representative determines that a client does not have a bilateral visual impairment or eye condition and is not eligible, they will notify the CRP of this decision by email. The CRP will discuss reasons for ineligibility with the client. This discussion must take place before closure can occur. DBS must provide the client with a written ineligibility letter along with a copy of client’s Rights. The DBS representative will record the reasons why the client is ineligible and enter into the Certificate of Ineligibility (CI) Letter section in the AWARE system. AWARE will produce a letter titled Certificate of Ineligibility (CI) Letter.  A signed copy of this letter will also be sent to the CRP for placement into the applicant’s paper file.

Data on the Eligibility Determination screen must be completed (except for the signature start date) reflecting the ineligibility decision when closing a case from Application Status. Note that without the signature start date, the Eligibility Determination page will remain in Draft status.  The District Administrator or their designee will need to review all ineligibility decisions within 12 months of closure in order to determine if circumstances have changed which would allow the individual to now participate in services.  A case note regarding the review and results will be entered into AWARE. 

Although clients with single eye pathologies are not eligible for DBS services, DBS and/or CRP staff will refer those individuals to an appropriate organization whenever possible.

4.0 - Needs Assessment

Needs Assessment includes the most applicable assessment tool (e.g. Comprehensive Functional Assessment (CFA), Orientation & Mobility Evaluation, etc.) and is used to establish goals for the client. CRP Roles and Responsibilities: As stipulated in the contract, if the client is requesting independent living services, a CFA must be administered. If the client is requesting limited training in a specific area, then the appropriate assessment tool is to be completed (e.g. Orientation & Mobility Evaluation, Assistive Technology, etc.).  Completion of the CFA or other appropriate assessment must be documented in one of these ways:

  • Completion of the CFA page in AWARE or
  • A summary of the CFA or other appropriate assessments can be      provided on the Actual Services page or in a case note.

CRP completes a Comprehensive Functional Assessment (CFA) on each eligible client referred or requesting IL Skills (ILS) training at a minimum prior to plan development and at the completion of services.  Assessments are to be administered in a face to face meeting. The assessment will be entered at the start of the case, at closure and annually on anniversary date.  All exceptions must be documented.

DBS Roles and Responsibilities:  In the event that there is no CRP available to serve the client, DBS will assume primary case management responsibilities and secure qualified staff to conduct assessment(s).

5.0 - Plan Development

An individualized plan is developed within 60 days of eligibility determination based on assessment results and client input. 

CRP Roles and Responsibilities:  The CRP will develop an individualized plan within 60 days of eligibility determination based on assessment results and client input.  Identify Attachment F services that, when delivered, will enable the client to achieve the designated goal.  Create the plan in AWARE.  (Note: Assessments can be entered as actual services in AWARE prior to formal plan development as well as included as a service on the plan). Initial and amended plans are to be signed by the client and CRP prior to service delivery.
 
DBS Roles and Responsibilities:   In the event that there is no CRP available to serve the client, DBS will assume primary case management responsibilities.  The plan will be developed by the DBS Rehabilitation Specialist based on the assessment results and client input. Create the plan in AWARE.  Initial and amended plans are to be signed by the client prior to service delivery. In the event the DBS Rehabilitation Specialist cannot approve the Plan, the District Administrator, supervisor or state office Client Services staff will approve the Plan in AWARE. 

5.1 - Non-Contract Authorization Services

Noncontract services include all services for which a Client Services authorization must be generated to provide payment (based on the availability of funds). Examples include purchase of equipment, eye examinations, and low vision aids. Also, when a contract is not in place, only noncontract services may be listed on the Plan. In this case, authorizations may be used to purchase training and other services usually covered under a contract. All services that a client needs must be listed on his or her plan. Authorizations are tied to plan services and cannot be generated if the service is not listed.  All purchased services are based on the availability of funds.  Training aids and devices are also based on clients ENA. 

DBS Roles and Responsibilities: CRP recommendations for Adaptive Aids and Devices that are over $100 will be reviewed by DBS for availability of funds and client economic need.  Upon approval, DBS will be responsible for cloning the Plan for processing authorizations for training items, low vision evaluations, etc. over $100.  Both Rehabilitation Specialist and Client signature on the Plan must be obtained prior to service delivery. DBS will create a case file and maintain the signed Plan in it.  Only DBS representatives are permitted to enter noncontract services on a plan.

DBS will generate authorizations for payment to independent contractors approved to provide services to DBS clients.

Any independent contractor will be required to have the same credentialing outlined in current contracts with CRPs.  In cases where DBS is unsure that the vendor meets the credentialing, DBS will complete a vendor checklist and secure approval from the Bureau Chief prior to hiring.

5.2 - Duration of Services

Both DBS and CRP Roles and Responsibilities: The maximum length of a plan of service is not to exceed two years. When a client needs more time to accomplish his or her goals, the plan may be reviewed and amended.  Only the signature page of the new Plan with the Plan number should be added to the client’s paper file.

6.0 - Service Provision

Services identified in the client’s plan will be provided individually or in a group setting agreed upon by the client.

CRP Roles and Responsibilities:  Planned services are to be initiated within 30 days of a signed Plan and are to be provided continuously (monthly) until all planned services are completed and the client's case is closed unless a reason for the interruption is clearly documented. The CRP will review cases in which clients have not received services for more than ninety days to determine continuation or closure and document the decision in the case record.

Subject to the availability of funds the Contractor is expected to provide basic training aids and devices for clients to be used in conjunction with the provision of rehabilitation instruction. Adaptive Aids and Devices requested by a client that are over $100 may be recommended to the local DOE/DBS District Office for consideration. 

As per the contract:

Contractor will initiate actual services identified in the plan within thirty (30) days of a signed plan.

  1. Services are to be provided in a manner, pace and schedule, best-suited to meet the client’s individual needs, learning capacity and availability.
  2. Services must be continuous and in accordance with the plan (at least monthly), until closure, unless a reason for the delay or interruption of services  is documented including factors beyond the Contractor’s control
  3. If a client does not have a monthly actual service progress note, the provider must have documented the reason in an AWARE entry titled “Client inactivity for Month/Year”.  The entry must be made prior to submitting the invoice
  4. Contractor will ensure that it has appropriate staffing to ensure that Services from each Serve Category are provided for the Contractor’s client population, at least monthly and in conjunction with the aforementioned schedule. 
  5. Contractor will review cases in which clients have not received services for more than ninety (90) days in order to determine continuation of services and/or to recommend to DOE/DBS for closure consideration.  Contractor will document the decision of the DOE/DBS in the AWARE CMS Case. 

Documentation shall follow the following format:

D – Directions for the activity or reasons for the meeting
A – Action/Observable behavior or what actually happened and;
P – Prediction, what is happening next or progress  

DBS Roles and Responsibilities:  In the event that there is no CRP available to serve the client, DBS will assume primary case management responsibilities. Services are to be initiated by the independent contractor within 30 days of a signed plan and are to be provided continuously (monthly) until all planned services are completed and the client's case is closed unless a reason for the interruption can be and is clearly documented. DBS will review cases in which clients have not received services for more than ninety days to determine continuation or closure and document the decision in the case record.

7.0 - Progress / Service Documentation

Service documentation contains information related to training provided and/or client’s progress toward their identified goal as outlined in their Plan.

CRP Roles and Responsibilities: The CRP will document monthly progress information in AWARE on each client receiving services that substantiates each service listed on the monthly invoice. Progress notes must include:

  1. Date(s) service(s)/activities provided
  2. Specific service(s)/activities provided
  3. Progress toward client's Plan Goal(s)

The CRP will document monthly progress information in the Case Note Page or the Description box of the Actual Services Page.  The CRP will update and keep current Personal Information, Eye Medical Reports and Plan into the appropriate AWARE module for each client.  

DBS Roles and Responsibilities:  In the event that there is no CRP available to serve the client, DBS will assume primary case management responsibilities. DBS AP Rehabilitation Specialist will receive and review monthly progress reports from the independent contractor and then enter information into AWARE case notes.

7.1 - Interrupted Services

CRP/DBS Roles and Responsibilities: Services may be interrupted from time to time for many reasons. When services are interrupted for any reason, a case note must be entered into AWARE providing an explanation for the interruption. If the duration of the interruption exceeds 90 days, the case should be reviewed. If the individual will be able to resume participation in the foreseeable future, the specifics should be documented in a case note and the case should remain open. If services must be suspended indefinitely, the case should be closed and then reopened, later, if appropriate.

DBS Roles and Responsibilities:  In the event that there is no CRP available to serve the client, DBS will assume primary case management responsibilities.  When services are interrupted for any reason, the independent contractor will provide DBS with a report.  DBS will then enter a case note into AWARE providing an explanation for the interruption. If the duration of the interruption exceeds 90 days, the case should be reviewed. If the individual will be able to resume participation in the foreseeable future, the specifics should be documented in a case note and the case should remain open. If services must be suspended indefinitely, the case should be closed and then reopened, later, if appropriate.

8.0 - Invoicing

Instructions for compliance with billing procedures are addressed in the OB/AP contracts and should be referenced for details. The procedures listed here will help guide CRPs and DBS through invoicing for services and will require individual follow-up for specifics on each scenario presented. 

8.1 - Monthly Contract Invoicing

CRP Roles and Responsibilities: CRP’s are required to use the DBS AWARE Case Management System to draft and submit their electronic invoices. See the AWARE procedure manual for details on performing this task. DBS recommends that CRPs draft invoices to check their own work, then submit to DBS to review and approve if there are no issues or concerns.
 
The CRP will submit their invoice electronically in AWARE by the 12th of the month (or next business day if the 12th is a non-business day) for services provided in the previous month.  (Special Notice: The invoice for May services must be submitted by June 10th (or next business day if the 10th is a non-business day) to ensure that the payment is made on time before the fiscal year closeout process).

DBS Roles and Responsibilities: DBS District Office staff will review a sampling of client cases, as determined by the State Office, to ensure that all invoiced activities are being completed timely and accurately.

Payment will be made at the monthly fixed rate as specified in this contract Attachment B, unless it is determined that the Contractor is out of compliance according to the Remedy Table in Section II.  DBS District office will review and forward to Contract Manager with signed Invoice Review Checklist within 2 days of invoice submission in AWARE. Contract Managers will review the invoice within 5 days of submission in AWARE and approve or cancel.  DBS will contact the CRP prior to canceling an invoice.   DBS Fiscal Office will release the invoice for payment in the AWARE within 5 business days from invoice approval. (Note: Department of Financial Services may issue a warrant within 10 business days of release).

8.2 - Non-Contract Authorization Invoicing

Invoices from independent providers for service delivery are paid through the Client Services invoicing process from the Client Services Budget subject to the availability of funds.  Individuals or entities seeking payment for services rendered to clients participating in the OB/AP Program must be vendors of the State of Florida. This may be accomplished by applying online at the MyFloridaMarketPlace.com website.  Also, the independent contractor must become a vendor in AWARE.

DBS Roles and Responsibilities:  All authorizations must be prior approved.  Authorizations can only be created in AWARE by a DBS staff member. Invoices for these purchases or services must be signed by the DBS AP Rehabilitation Specialist, supervisor or District Administrator verifying that the services were provided. 

9.0 - Closure Documentation

Closure will occur when the client will no longer be receiving services from an active Plan of the Older Blind (OB) or Adult Program (AP). The case may be closed as “Goals Met” from the OB/AP Program when the client successfully achieves at least one planned skill or goal.  The case may also be closed “Goals Not Met” from the OB/AP Program when the client had not benefited from the planned services.  

CRP Roles and Responsibilities: The CRP will enter a final AWARE Case note explaining the reason(s) for closure.  The CRP completes all information on the AWARE Closure screen except the closure date.   When the case is closed, it is recommended that the CRP notifies the client that a closure letter will be sent by DBS.

DBS Roles and Responsibilities:  DBS receives closure notification from CRP, reviews the closure screen and enters the closure date.  DBS will also send the closure letter to the client.

In the event that there is no CRP available, the independent contractor will send a report to DBS.  DBS will review and make the closure determination entering all information into the AWARE a case note and complete the closure screen.  DBS then enters the closure date and sends the closure letter.

10.0 - Additional Requirements

10.1 - Qualified Staff

CRPs providing services to clients need to be accredited and maintain accreditation by either the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving People with Blindness or Visual Impairment (NAC) or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).  Independent contractors providing services will be required to have the same credentialing as CRP staff as referenced in the current contract, Attachment G, Personnel Training/Qualifications which can be found on the DBS Website. CRP’s and Contractors shall utilize the US Department of Homeland Security’s E-Verify System and Level 2 Criminal History Background check.  .

CRP Roles and Responsibilities: The CRP will be accredited and maintain accreditation by either NAC or CARF.  The CRP will provide all services to DBS clients with staff who meet the certification qualifications as stated in Attachment G, Personnel Training/Qualifications. Exceptions must be requested in writing to the DBS Director who will forward to the Joint DBS/CRP Credentials Committee for determination. Contractor shall provide all services to DOE/DBS clients with qualified staff and volunteers at levels to conform to all certification and qualification requirements within the contracts entered into with DBS.  (See contracts in S Drive/Budget and Contracts Section 9(a) 2(a) (b) (c)).

DBS Roles and Responsibilities: The District Administrator will secure credentials for any Independent Contractor providing non-contract services.  Credentials must meet the standards in Attachment G of the current contract.  If the credentials do not meet the current standards, the District Administrator will contact the Bureau Chief of Client Services to discuss exception and determination.

Glossary

ACCESSIBLE WEB-BASED ACTIVITY REPORTING ENVIRONMENT (AWARE)
The electronic case management system that is used by DBS and selected contract providers
ACUITY
Measure of the eye’s ability to distinguish object details and shape.  It is assessed by the smallest identifiable object that can be seen at a specified distance.
ADULT PROGRAM (AP)
DBS Program that serves adults under age 55 years who do not have an employment goal.
ADVOCACY
Speaking or writing in support of something. 
AMENDMENT
A change or addition to an existing plan.
APPEAL
The process a client can use when they disagree with a decision that affects their plan of services.
APPLICANT
An individual/parent/guardian who has requested services. (Note: for DBS, a signed application is required).
BILATERAL VISION IMPAIRMENT
Eye condition that involves both eyes.
COMMISSION ON ACCREDITATION OF REHABILITATION FACILITIES (CARF)
Organization that accredits rehabilitation facilities.
CASE FILE
Record of Service -may be electronic or paper. 
CHILDREN AND FAMILIES PROGRAM (CP)
Division of Blind Services program offering services to children with bilateral visual impairments ages 6-14 and in some cases through age 21. 
COMMUNICATION SKILLS
Instruction to include Braille, touch-typing, handwriting, telephone dialing, use of talking books, or any type of communication aids.
COMMUNITY REHABILITATION PROVIDER (CRP)
Private not-for-profit service organizations that provide or facilitate the provision of services enabling individuals with bilateral visual impairments to maximize their opportunities to function independently in their community.
COMPREHENSIVE DEVELOPMENTAL ASSESSMENT (CDA)
It is the process of evaluating and measuring through observations the client’s age appropriate level in Communication Skills, Daily Living Skills, Sensory and Cognitive Abilities and Motor Skills.
COMPREHENSIVE FUNCTIONAL ASSESSMENT (CFA)
The process of evaluating and measuring through observation and interview the client’s level of independence in their home and community.
COUNSELING
Advice or guidance regarding issues related to vision loss: rehabilitation, attitudes, social or economic circumstances, etc.
DISABILITY RIGHTS FLORIDA
A non-profit advocacy organization providing services under federally-funded programs to persons with disabilities.  (Website: www.Disabilityrightsflorida.org)
DISTRICT ADMINISTRATOR
DBS manager that is responsible for the activities of a full service rehabilitation office in an assigned geographic area.
DIVISION OF BLIND SERVICES (DBS)
It is the designated state agency for receiving state and federal funds to provide services to those individuals with bilateral visual impairments.
EARLY INTERVENTION
Individualized programs of education and counseling developed for young children and their families to help minimize the effects of conditions that can delay development and learning.
EARLY STEPS EARLY INTERVENTION PROGRAM (EIP)
Special program funded by Children’s Medical Services.  Provides early intervention services to children ages birth to three who have a disability and a developmental delay.
ECONOMIC NEED ASSESSMENT
Application (DBS 007) to ensure that economic need is applied uniformly and equitably.  Economic need requirements are different for each DBS program.
ELIGIBILITY
Two (2) components which must be met: 1) Bilateral visual impairment which, with best correction, constitutes or results in a substantial impediment to the client’s ability to learn and function independently; and 2) A reasonable expectation the client will benefit from services. 
FUNCTIONAL VISION ASSESSMENT (FVA)
It is the process of evaluating and measuring through observations the client’s usable sight.
INDEPENDENT LIVING (IL)
A federal program that provides funds for DBS Older Blind Program.
INDIVIDUALIZED FAMILY SUPPORT PLAN (IFSP)
The written document that is created by Early Steps that describes the early intervention program (ages birth to three) to be provided for a child with disabilities. Contains long- and short-term goals and short-term objectives; a statement of the child’s current level of functioning; and decisions about the setting where the child is to receive services (in a regular classroom, at home, in a school for the blind).
INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES EDUCATION ACT - (IDEA)
The law that guarantees children with disabilities a free, appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. 
INDIVIDUAL EDUCATION PLAN (IEP)
The written plan that describes the special education program placement for a child with disabilities who enters the public school system. The plan contains a description of services, goals and objectives.
INTAKE
Processing client applications to determine eligibility for services.
INITIAL INTERVIEW (II)
The first meeting with the client to review the program and gather information to be used to identify objectives and plan services to be offered.
LEGAL BLINDNESS
A visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with best correction, and/or a visual field which is no greater than 20 degrees in the better eye.
LOW VISION
A bilateral impairment to vision that significantly impairs the functioning of the individual and cannot be adequately corrected with medical, surgical, therapy, conventional eyewear or contact lenses. 
LOW VISION AIDS
Optical and non-optical devices used to improve visual performance in people with low vision.
LOW VISION SERVICES
Evaluation and/or instruction in the use of optical and non-optical visual aids and devices. 
MOBILITY
The ability to move safely through the environment.
NATIONAL ACCREDITATION COUNCIL FOR AGENCIES SERVING PEOPLE WITH BLINDNESS OR VISUAL IMPAIRMENT (NAC)
Organization that accredits agencies and schools providing services to the blind.
NO LIGHT PERCEPTION (NLP)
Total blindness.
OLDER BLIND (OB) PROGRAM
DBS Program that serves adults 55 years and older who do not have an employment goal.
OPTOMETRIST
A doctor of optometry (O.D.) who is qualified to measure visual acuity and visual fields and to prescribe eyeglasses.
OPHTHALMOLOGIST
A medical doctor (M.D. or D.O.) who has specialized training in diagnosing and treating diseases and conditions of the eye.
ORIENTATION
Knowing where you are, where you are going, and how to get where you want to be by interpreting information available in your environment.
ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY (O&M) SPECIALIST
An individual who has received specialized training in order to teach visually impaired people to travel safely and independently.
OUTCOME
The indicator of the actual impact or benefit of a goal.
RECORD OF SERVICE
Electronic or paper case file.
REFERRAL
Request information in regards to services.
VISUAL IMPAIRMENT
Is severe reduction in vision that cannot be corrected with standard glasses or contact lenses and reduces the person’s ability to function at certain tasks.