for Persons Who are Blind or Visually Impaired
The Independent Living Program is designed to teach
blind and visually impaired people to adjust, function, and live as
independently as possible within their home and community settings. Services
are provided by qualified rehabilitation teachers who work with clients in
their own homes and communities. There is no cost for a teacher to
meet with you and introduce the training and adaptive aids that may assist
you with improving your independence in your home and the community.
Do you have trouble reading the newspaper, dialing your phone, or writing a
Do you struggle to see faces on the television and have difficulty changing
channels with your TV remote control?
Do you have trouble setting your microwave, your thermostat, or the dials on
Do you miss crafts and hobbies because your vision loss prevents you from
doing them anymore?
Do stairs and curbs trip you up? Does glare make it harder for you to see when you go outside? Does the light
bother your eyes?
Has your doctor told you there is nothing more they can do to correct your
If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, you may be eligible
for independent living services. Eligibility is based on the extent of an
individual’s vision loss, and the difficulty that they are having performing
daily tasks due to the loss of vision. To find out if you are eligible for
services, contact the rehabilitation teacher in your area.
A rehabilitation teacher can visit you at your home and provide an
evaluation to determine your individual needs and specific goals in
order to assist you with improving your independence in your home and
Low Vision Aids:
Depending on your needs, an teacher can recommend a variety of effective
magnifiers, adaptive aids, and proper lighting. These recommendations
are tailored to your visual needs and typically can address most of your
concerns. Recommended adaptive devices can be provided at no cost to
persons who qualify for financial assistance.
While independent living teachers do not provide certified counseling
services, a teacher can work with you and your family to better
understand your vision loss. A teacher can also help you and your family
to better understand your actual potential with your visual impairment,
which is usually much greater than what you and your family perceive.
Support group information and alternate resources for transportation will
be provided if available in your area.
Activities of Daily Living:
Many people don’t know there are simple and effective methods for performing
everyday tasks. Learning and using these techniques can reduce the
frustration of pouring liquids, preparing meals, dialing the phone,
identifying clothing, managing medication, and accurately telling time.
A rehabilitation teacher can provide this instruction to you at no cost
in your home.
Alternative Communication Skills:
Rehabilitation teachers teach alternative methods of reading and writing.
Depending on the individual, adaptive reading can include using a magnifier,
accessing large print, or listening to books on tape. Instruction can
also be provided regarding the use of writing guides, bold line paper, bold
pens, and large print checkbook registers.
Large print computer keyboard labels and the use of adaptive computer
software such as magnification programs and talking programs for the
computer may also assist some clients who are computer users.
Orientation & Mobility:
A teacher is also available to teach residential and community travel
techniques using a long white cane, a white support cane, or a sighted
guide. These safe and effective techniques can make travel less frustrating
A teacher can also provide training regarding alternate techniques for
bill-paying, managing a bank account, money identification, and recording
keeping. An teacher will tailor the training to meet your individual
needs and preferences. Please click on the following link for an
informational guide to independence.
ICBVI Guide to
Contact Info: The Idaho
Commission for the Blind And Visually Impaired (ICBVI) has six regional
Coeur d'Alene (Region 1)
2120 N. Lakewood Dr, Ste A
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
Phone: (208) 769-7077
Lewiston (Region 2)
1118 F Street
Lewiston, ID 83501-1986
Phone: (208) 799-5009
Boise (Region 3)
341 West Washington Street
Boise, ID 83702 (83720-0012)
Phone: (208) 334-3220
Twin Falls (Region 4)
650 Addison Ave W, Ste 101
Twin Falls, ID 83301
Phone: (208) 736-2140
Pocatello (Region 5)
427 North Main, Ste K
Pocatello, ID 83204
Phone: (208) 236-6392
Idaho Falls (Region 6)
1920 East 17th St, Suite 115
Idaho Falls, ID 83405
Phone: (208) 525-7028
If you are unable to reach one of the contacts
listed above in your area, please contact Steve Achabal, Independent Living
Coordinator in the Boise Office at (208) 334-3220 ext. 113 or by email
For additional services please visit the following links:
Low Vision Clinic
Peer Support Groups