What is the mission of the New Hampshire Association for the Blind?
For more than 100 years the mission has been to advance the independence of persons who are blind and visually impaired.
Is the New Hampshire Association for the Blind part of any national organization?
The Association is an independent, statewide organization that provides services throughout New Hampshire. It is fully accredited by the National Accreditation Council for Blind and Low Vision Services and is a member agency of VisionServe Alliance, a networking group of 100 leading agencies around the country providing vision rehabilitation services. All funds received are spent in New Hampshire to provide services to New Hampshire residents living with vision loss or blindness.
How much will services cost me?
The social worker reviews all information collected and then discusses objectives with each person applying for services. Together they agree on an individual service plan. The social worker also explains how our services are provided and how they may be funded. All clients are asked to contribute toward their service at a level they can afford. No one is denied service due to inability to pay.
Are services covered by Medicare or government funding?
Medicare does NOT cover vision rehabilitation services. Some services may be reimbursed via our partnerships with state agencies and school districts. The majority of funding for the Association depends on contributions from individuals, foundations, businesses and service clubs and our return on contributed invested funds.
May I receive services at my home as well as the McGreal Sight Center?
Both are an option – the professional service staff will come to your home, school or place of employment but we also provide low vision evaluations, group support and training programs at the McGreal Sight Center in Concord.
How does one get a guide dog?
There are a number of guide dog schools around the country that specialize in training dog guides and their users. It is a personal choice whether a person who is visually impaired uses a dog to travel independently. The Association can provide resources to these schools.
What is the white cane?
The white cane is the international symbol of blindness. After training, a person who is visually impaired uses a white cane to travel independently to locate steps, curbs, streets, driveways, elevators, chairs, hallways, etc. The cane is long enough to be about two steps ahead of one’s feet so one finds things with the cane before one gets to them. Each state has a white can law that states that blind and visually impaired persons using a white cane or guide dog has the same rights of public access as sighted people. This person can take their cane or guide dog into public buildings, restaurants, theatres, bowling alleys, airplanes, etc.
Where can I learn more about eye diseases?
As a first resource, talk with your physician, optometrist or ophthalmologist about your questions or concerns. On our resources page you can find links to local and national companies.
What does the term legally blind mean?
Legal blindness is an arbitrary definition used to determine eligibility for government disability benefits. In the United States the criteria for legal blindness are: 1) Visual acuity of 20/200 or worse in the better eye with corrective lenses. This means that a person at 20 feet from an eye chart can see what a person with normal vision can see at 200 feet. 2.) Visual field restriction to 20 degrees diameter or less in the better eye. Source: Webster’s New World Medical Dictionary
How can I get help?
Professional services are just a phone call or email away.
1-800-464-3075 (Toll free in NH)
(603) 224-4039 (Local)