Bureau of Blind Services - DHS 4678

Helping Families. Supporting Communities. Empowering Individuals.

State of Illinois
Department of Human Services

Specialized Services for Persons who are Blind or Visually Impaired

The Illinois Department of Human Services' Division of Rehabilitation Services (IDHS/DRS) is the state's lead agency serving persons with disabilities. Our staff work one-on-one with individuals who have disabilities and their families to empower them to reach their employment, education and independent living goals.
BBS services are available to Illinois residents who have a vision impairment.
IDHS/DRS' Bureau of Blind Services Central Office:
217-785-3887 (V/TTY)
217-524-1235 (FAX)

Specialized Services for Persons who are Blind or Visually Impaired

? Illinois Center for Rehabilitation and Education - Wood

ICRE-Wood provides a concentrated, short-term residential or commuter program for adults who are blind, DeafBlind, or visually impaired. The program includes courses in mobility, communication which includes Braille, keyboarding technology and activities of daily living. Throughout their stay customers work closely with ICREWood's professional staff to develop their vocational goals emphasizing obtaining and maintaining employment. Commuter and residential services are available.

? Business Enterprise Program

The BEPB provides business ownership opportunities for legally blind, visually impaired and DeafBlind entrepreneurs in vending, retail and food service. Business locations are in federal, state and public buildings statewide. This is the only program in the state that trains an individual and provides business self employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

? Vocational Rehabilitation Program

BBS staff serves low vision (20/60) and blind individuals with employment goals according to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to achieve education, update job skills to maintain employment, job search, job interviews, counseling, communication skills, Orientation and Mobility and Independent Living skills to be successful in the competitive employment market.

? Community-Based Instructional Program

The Older Individuals who are Blind (OIB) Program provides services for individuals age 55 and older whose severe visual impairment makes competitive employment difficult to obtain but for whom independent living goals are feasible. Federal and State funds are used to provide Independent Living services throughout the State by Facilities and Centers of Independent Living. They conduct low vision evaluations, provide assistive technology training, low vision devices, personal management and daily living skills training and conduct activities to improve public awareness and understanding of blindness.

For more information:

Call or visit your Illinois Department of Human Services' Family Community Resource Center (FCRC).

If you have questions about any Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) program, call or visit your FCRC. We will answer your questions. If you do not know where your FCRC is or if you are unable to go there, you may call the automated helpline 24 hours a day at:

1-800-843-6154

(866) 324-5553 TTY/Nextalk or 711 TTY Relay

You may speak to a representative between:

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday (except state holidays)

For answers to your questions, you may also write:

Illinois Department of Human Services

Office of Customer Support and Services

100 South Grand Avenue East, 2nd floor

Springfield, Illinois 62762

Visit our website at:  drs.illinois.gov


Programs, activities and employment opportunities in the Illinois Department of Human Services are open and accessible to any individual or group without regard to age, sex, race, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic origin or religion. The department is an equal opportunity employer and practices affirmative action and reasonable accommodation programs.

DHS 4678 (R-09-17) DRS' Bureau of Blind Services Printed by the Authority of the State of Illinois.  4,000 copies P.O.#18-0273