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Sign up for FREE membership and gain access to FREE forms and templates to support your VI program. Simply click on Log In|Register in the navigation bar at the top of the page and follow the directions to register and create your password.
Due to the nationwide shortage of vision professionals, it can be challenging to locate personnel. Announce a job vacancy on the Job Exchange of Teaching Students with Visual Impairments, an online listing of jobs specific to the visual impairment field.
Hi! I'm Carmen Willings. Welcome to my website! I developed this web resource to support fellow TVI's and to educate those new to the field of visual impairments in how to best support students who are blind or visually impaired. Read More
Social Security Administration
According to the Social Security Administration, if you are blind, there are special rules that allow you to receive benefits when you are unable to work. There are currently two programs that provide benefits to people who are blind. Medical and other rules are followed in determining eligibility for the programs. You can get disability benefits if you are "legally blind". The federal government considers you to be "legally blind" if your vision cannot be corrected to better than 20/200 in you better eye, or if your visual field is 20 degrees or less in your better eye. You can also be eligible for disability benefits even if you are not legally blind if your vision problems alone or combined with other health problems prevent you from working.
The two programs are as follows:
Social Security Disability Insurance Program
Social Security Disability Insurance pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are "insured," meaning that you MUST HAVE WORKED LONG ENOUGH IN A JOB WHERE YOU PAID SOCIAL SECURITY TAXES.
If you are legally blind, you can earn credits anytime during your working years. Credits for your work after you become blind can be used to qualify you for benefits if you do not have credits at the time you became blind. Also, it is possible to get benefits based on the earnings of one of your parents or your spouse.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a Federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenues (not Social Security taxes):
Anyone whose field of vision falls at or below 20 degrees, who wears corrective glasses but whose vision is 20/200 or less in his best eye, or who has no eyesight at all, meets the legal definition of being blind and is eligible for certain tax deductions. Turbo Tax provides an online resource of eligible deductions.
Grants & Scholarships
Michigan State University has put together an extensive list of grants and scholarships available to individuals with disabilities including those with visual impairments.
MoneyGeek.com is a new comprehensive resource that covers financial planning advice for all stages of life, including college financial planning. They have put together a Guide on How to Get Scholarships and Grants for Students with Disabilities. They provide additional resources on funding for adapting your home and more!