The Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DBVI) was established in 1927 and is a part of the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living , housed within the Agency of Human Services. DBVI is committed to providing statewide services to Vermonters whose visual disabilities create significant barriers to obtaining or maintaining employment and living independently. DBVI is the designated state unit to provide vocational rehabilitation services to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. There are regional offices located in Burlington, Montpelier, Rutland and Springfield. The central office is located in Waterbury.
DBVI’s mission is to support the efforts of Vermonters who are blind and visually impaired to achieve or maintain economic independence, self-reliance, and community integration. To support this mission DBVI operates a variety of programs and services that are described below.
The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program assists individuals who are blind or visually impaired in finding or maintaining employment consistent with their informed choice and their goals and aspirations. Individuals choose a vocational goal and supporting services, directing those services with the assistance of the DBVI counselor. Services provided may include vocational training, visual restoration, vision rehabilitation services, daily living skills training, guidance and counseling, vocational assessments, job placement, adaptive technology and aids, education, and other services to assist a person in obtaining or retaining employment.
The Independent Living Program provides services to individuals of all ages who are blind or visually impaired and whose primary goal is to remain as independent as possible. Services may include information, referral, advocacy, counseling and skills training in activities of daily living - such as independent travel, cooking, using magnification and self care. Services are designed to help individuals remain in their homes or supported living situation, participate in community life and prevent developmental and / or social delays in children.
Other DBVI programs include:
- Business Enterprise Program providing statewide employment opportunities in food service operations;
- Transition Services assisting students and young adults to move from high school to adult life;
The following programs are provided by contractual arrangements with the Vermont Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (VABVI).
- Vision Rehabilitation Services including low vision, rehabilitation teaching and orientation & mobility;
- Volunteer Services providing transportation, reading and companionship assistance, and translation of materials from print to Braille, tape, or large print.