What is the 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:
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.
After you complete and return the application there is an initial interview and a request is made for an official eye report is made. The application and supporting documentation is then submitted to the Florida Divisionof Blind Services District I for final determination of eligibility.
How long does it take for my application to be approved?
From the initial call it could take approximately 30 - 60 days.
How much do services cost?
The cost of services is paid through the Division of Blind Services and the Florida Department of Education, so the cost is free to the consumer.
Do I have to pay for equipment and aids?
Receipt of Aids and equipment are determined by financial eligibility and/or sometimes need.
How long does training usually last?
The length of training is determined individually relative to the needs and cognitive abilities of each student.
Where are you located?
Our offices are located at 3107 North Davis Highway, Pensacola, Florida 32503.
Where does training take place?
For students residing in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties who are physically able to travel training is conducted at the C.W. Gemmill Learning Center at our location on North Davis Highway.
How do I get a guide dog?
Independence for the Blind provides counseling to help the student decide if the use of a guide dog is appropriate and will provide referrals to Guide Dog training facilities. We provide “Orientation and Mobility" Training which is most often required prior to approval for a Guide Dog.
Can you help pay for my surgery?
No, however financial assistance for eye surgeries is sometimes provided by the Division of Blind Services and other entities.
How can I get involved?
Volunteers are extremely important and required for continued success of Independence for the Blind. Answering phones, assisting with clerical duties, driving clients and helping with fundraising events are a few of the opportunities available. For more information visit the Ways to Help, Volunteer page.