Services for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

What is the purpose of this service?

We offer programs for adults with visual impairments to enable them to work and participate fully in family and community life. Our goal is to help these people rediscover their independence and freedom.

Who can receive these services?

Illinois residents who are blind or visually impaired can receive most BBS services without cost.

What services are offered?

  • Vocational Rehabilitation Program - Our staff work with individuals with severe visual impairments to help them find jobs or get ready to go to work. They also recommend assistive technology to help people perform tasks on the job.
  • Community-Based Instructional Program - BBS staff teach independent living skills to people in their homes, at school, in the work place or other community sites. We also serve individuals aged 55 and older who are blind and visually impaired through our Older Blind Program.
  • Illinois Center for Rehabilitation and Education-Wood (ICRE-W) - Some people choose to enroll in ICRE-W, our residential center in Chicago. ICRE-W offers a 12-week vocational and independent skills training program. Other individuals who can commute to ICRE-W can also attend independent living classes at the center.
  • Business Enterprise Program for the Blind (BEPB) - This program offers management opportunities in the food service industry to individuals who are legally blind. After completing a six-month training course, certified graduates operate vending facilities throughout the state and average more than $40,000 a year in earnings.

How to apply?

Use the online Rehabilitation Services Web Referral to refer yourself or someone else for services.

Our BBS staff teams coordinate services from 25 local offices located in communities throughout the state. Use the DHS Office Locator and search for Rehabilitation Services to find the nearest local office or call toll-free: (800) 843-6154 (Voice, English or Español) or (800) 447-6404 (TTY).

More Information

Bureau of Blind Services

DHS Office Locator

DHS Help Line

  • 1-800-843-6154
  • 1-800-447-6404 TTY