About Us


Who We Are

Our History

Prior to 1980, Independence for the Blind operated under two names: first, the Visually Impaired Program (VIP), and later, the Adult Blind Independent Living (ABIL) Program.   From 1980 to 1993, the program was administered by Pensacola Junior College and called SCIL, Skills Center for Independent Living.  After PJC lost funding for SCIL, concerned community members who saw the need for education for the blind established a corporation and opened doors for service.  From 1993 to 1995, the program continued its mission under the sponsorship of a similar, Tallahassee-based organization called Independence for the Blind, Inc.  On October 1, 1995, the corporation became a self-governing, private, not-for-profit entity fully incorporated under the name of Independence for the Blind of West Florida (IB).


IB initially served the blind in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Walton counties.  Today, the IB service area includes the 10 counties from the port city of Pensacola to the Apalachicola River, an area of the Florida panhandle that is home to a million plus residents. 


IB West is funded in part by the Florida Department of Education, Division of Blind Services and United Way.  



Independence for the Blind of West Florida is the only nonprofit entirely devoted to educating the blind and visually impaired in West Florida. 

IB West's ten county district

Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington, Bay, Jackson, Calhoun, and Gulf counties.


You can download our brochure here.

Our Mission

Our mission is to empower people who are Blind or Visually Impaired in Northwest Florida to achieve maximum independence. 

Our Vision

To be the standard of excellence in rehabilitation services for people with blindness and visual impairments.


How do I apply for services from

Independence for the Blind?

Application Process

To apply for training call Independence for the Blind at 850-477-2663 or complete an application. Information on available programs and services and a packet will be provided. 

If you prefer to apply via our online application: 

(Click Here to Download Application) 

When the online application is completed and returned to IB at the address shown below, and interview will be scheduled and an official eye report request (submitted/obtained).  IB will then submit the application and supporting documents to the Florida Division of Blind Services for final determination of eligibility.

Two eligibility requirements:

(1) The individual must reside in IB's service district (Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington, Bay, Jackson, Calhoun and Gulf Counties)

(2) The individual must have a bilateral eye condition that impedes the persons ability to function.  A licensed ophthalmologist must determine if the individual is legally blind.

Independence for the Blind of West Florida

3107 North Davis Highway

Pensacola, FL  32503