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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Delaware Department of Health and Social Services: Division for the Visually Impaired - AFB Directory Profile

General Information

Delaware Department of Health and Social Services: Division for the Visually Impaired
1901 North Dupont Highway
Biggs Building
New Castle, DE 19720
(302) 255-9800 (Local)
(302) 255-9388 (Fax)
DVIIntake@state.de.us
http://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dvi/

Brief Description

The Division for the Visually Impaired works in partnerships with Delawareans who are blind and visually impaired empowering them to be self-sufficient.

Hours of operation: Mon.-Fri. 8:00 AM-4:30 PM.
Clients served on average per year: 900
Number of staff: 69
Geographic area served: The State of Delaware.
Publications: DVI Newsletter (bi-annual).

Locations

13 S.W. Front Street, Suite 105
Milford State Service Center Annex
Milford, DE 19963

Instructional Materials Center
Cornell Business Park
Suites A3 and A4
Wilmington, DE 19801

Staff

Shirley Bryson, Social Services Administrator, Vocational Rehabilitation, (302) 255-9819, shirley.bryson@state.de.us
Elisha Jenkins, Director, (302) 255-9813, elisha.jenkins@state.de.us
Melodye May, Social Service Administrator, Independent Living Services Program, (302) 255-9812, melodye.may@state.de.us
Dava Newnam, Deputy Director, (302) 255-9811, dava.newnam@state.de.us
Debbie Talley, Director of Communications, (302) 255-9821, deborah.talley@state.de.us

Services Offered

Services for Adults

  • Assessment
    • Specialized evaluative processes conducted by professionals to determine the present needs and skill levels of clients.
  • Braille and Reading Instruction
    • Instruction and training braille to promote literacy among blind and visually impaired persons.
  • Braille/Electronic/Audio/Large Print Production
    • Educational materials.
  • Computer Training/Assistive Technology
    • Technology Specialists provide Assistive Technology demonstrations, evaluations, and training. DVI also has two Computer Labs equipped with Apple Products, computers with screen reading and/or screen enlargement software, Video Magnifiers and more available for use.
  • Counseling
    • Offers peer suport services (support groups and peer support by telephone) and counseling programs to facilitate positive emotional adjustment to vision loss.
  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training
    • Administers and provides rehabilitation services. Provides persons of all ages with high-tech and low-tech adaptive equipment training at home, in school, and at the employment site. Examples include activities of daily living, low vision services, braille, and more. Provides independent living services for seniors as well.
  • Employment/Job Training
    • Provides community-based services focusing on the individual placement model and skills training. Business Enterprise Program provides competitive and supportive employment opportunities.
  • Information and Referral
    • Through our Central Intake unit, information is gathered to determine what services are available to each individual to meet their specific/identified needs. If an individual does not qualify for agency services based on a physician's report, resources are provided when appropriate to meet the needs of the ineligible individual.
  • Low Vision Services
    • DVI works with Contracted Low Vision Specialists to provide low vision services. The consumer, Low Vision Specialist, and Vision Rehabilitation Service Provider work together to determine which devices are beneficial for the desired goal achievement. Once devices are deemed beneficial, the Vision Rehabilitation Service Provider will train the consumer on the device.
  • Support Groups
    • Peer to peer support to share information and talk about common experiences.
  • Travel/Orientation and Mobility
    • Provides orientation and mobility training.

Services for Children

  • Assessment
    • Different types of assessments are performed depending on the services programs being utilized by the consumer. Assessments include, but are not limited to functional vision assessment, learning media assessment, low vision assessment, and vocational skills to name a few.
  • Braille and Reading Instruction
    • Certified teachers for the visually impaired provide instruction in compensatory skills such as Braille and the use of assistive technology. Instruction in the expanded core curriculum addresses independent living and social skills among others. DVI produces materials in three media’s: Braille, Large Print, Audio, Digital File Format. Materials produced are educational/job related information for DVI clients based on client need. Assists in providing accessible instructional materials and adaptive equipment to students who are visually impaired, such as Braille and large print.
  • Computer Training/Assistive Technology
    • Certified teachers for the visually impaired provide instruction in the use of adaptive technology, as well as support from trainer/educators who specialize in the assistive technology available for educational and vocational uses.
  • Counseling
    • Vocational Rehabilitation counseling is provided in-house through qualified vocational rehabilitation counselors. Counseling targeted at children and their families is performed by in-house child youth counselors. In the areas of psychological, cognitive, physical disabilities, counseling services are available through other resources.
  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training
    • Are provided mainly through the Teacher of the Visually Impaired as the child grows. In their teenage and young adult life, needs may also be addressed by Senior Rehabilitation Instructors and certified Rehabilitation Therapists on staff.
  • Early Intervention/Infant Services
    • Infants and toddlers receive services in the home, school, or community settings. Child/Youth Counselors provide information and resources regarding the child’s visual impairment. These services also include vision stimulation and appropriate intervention strategies to help children achieve developmental milestones.
  • Education Services
    • Provides statewide education services to children, from birth through high school graduation, who have a visual impairment. Certified teachers for the visually impaired provide services, which include assessment, direct instruction and/or consultation services.

      The Instructional Materials and Resource Center (IMRC) provides reading materials in alternate formats such as braille, large print, and audio. The IMRC also maintains depositories of braille and large print books and instructional equipment including assistive technology.
  • Employment/Job Training
    • A Transition Counselor works with school age students age 14-21 to assist them with developing career goals. Through Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling and Guidance, services are designed to meet the unique needs of students for selecting appropriate career goals matching their aptitudes and interests. Services may include but are not limited to part time employment in the community, volunteer placements, summer programming for skill development, job shadowing, and internships. Eligibility: Must be a minimum of age 14 or be within 1 year of exiting high school curriculum.
  • Information and Referral
    • Through our Central Intake unit, information is gathered to determine what services are available to each individual to meet their specific/identified needs. If an individual does not qualify for agency services based on a physician's report, resources are provided when appropriate to meet the needs of the ineligible individual.
  • Low Vision Services
    • Low vision screenings and treatment plan are developed by the family, Teacher of the Visually Impaired, and contracted Low Vision Specialist to meet the daily and educational needs of the child.
  • Support for Parents
    • Teachers for the visually impaired and child/youth counselors provide consultation to the families and school staff on how to meet the educational needs of a child with a visual impairment.
  • Travel/Orientation and Mobility
    • Provides consumers of all ages with the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to achieve their objectives to travel independently and safely in their environment.
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