New York State Commission for the Blind

(En Español)

Eligibility Requirements

Who Can Receive Services from NYSCB?

All services are available to New York State residents who are legally blind. Legal blindness is defined as having a visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better or stronger eye with best correction, or a restricted field of vision of 20 degrees or less in the better or stronger eye.

If you are severely visually impaired but not legally blind, you may qualify for job save services that will help you retain employment and adapt to your impairment.

If you are unsure if you are legally blind, or if you would qualify for job save services, NYSCB can assist you in determining eligibility.

How Do I Apply?

If you are interested in any of the programs or services offered by NYSCB and would like to receive an application, or require assistance in filling it out, please contact the district office located closest to you, or call the toll-free number below:

1-866-871-3000

TDD: 1-866-871-6000

Complete the application and submit it to the district office. An initial interview will then be scheduled with a NYSCB Counselor or representative. You can also be referred by a school, doctor, private agency for the blind or other community, health, or social service organizations.

While the application is fairly simple, additional background information, such as medical reports, school records or work history may be needed in the application process and may be needed later to determine your eligibility. Recent medical reports that verify your disability can be useful and may be requested. If these are not available, NYSCB will assist you in obtaining this information.

What Happens Next?

Depending on your eligibility, your counselor will work with you to develop an Individual Service Plan (ISP) or an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). These plans will help you define your goal and outline a course of action to achieve it.

Fulfillment of your individual plan may require training, adaptive equipment, coursework, and counseling. You can make the best use of NYSCB services by following these guidelines:

  1. Make a commitment to participate fully in the planning and accomplishment of your independent living and vocational goals.
  2. Travel and communication skills are key to independence. Your commitment to training and practice is fundamental to your acquisition of these critical skills.
  3. Stay in touch with your NYSCB counselor. Your counselor is a resource to help you find and keep a job and to assist you in securing related services.
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