84.177: Rehabilitation Services: Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who are Blind

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Objectives: To provide independent living services to individuals aged 55 or older who are blind, whose severe visual impairments make competitive employment extremely difficult to attain, but for whom independent living in their own homes or communities is feasible.



Applicant Eligibility: Any State agency (including territories/possessions designated by the State as the State agency) authorized to provide rehabilitation services to blind individuals may apply.

Beneficiary Eligibility: Individuals aged 55 or older whose severe visual impairments make gainful employment extremely difficult to attain but for whom independent living goals are feasible and beneficial.

Credentials/Documentation: Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments.


Preapplication Coordination: The standard application forms as furnished by the Federal agency and required by OMB Circular No. A-102 must be used for this program. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedure: Any application for a grant must contain assurances that the designated State unit will seek to incorporate any new methods and approaches relating to services for older individuals who are blind into the State plan for Independent Living Services. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110.

Award Procedure: Awards are made on approval of the Commissioner of Rehabilitation Services and the Assistant Secretary, OSERS, based on a review of findings of Federal and nonfederal reviewers.

Deadlines: Contact the headquarters or regional offices for application deadlines.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time: From 90 to 120 days.

Appeals: None.

Renewals: Project periods can be up to five years. Previous project periods have been limited to 36 months. Projects may be continued based on annual review of accomplishments, submittal of a continuation application, and the availability of funds. Renewals are available only through the new application process.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals: Selection criteria for this program are extent of need for the project, plan of operation, quality of key personnel, budget and cost-effectiveness, evaluation plan, adequacy of resources, service comprehensiveness, and likelihood of sustaining program. Criteria for selecting projects are published in program regulation at 34 CFR 367.

Examples of Funded Projects: Projects have extended services to subgroups of the older blind population that are vulnerable to premature or unnecessary institutionalization as well as to older deaf-blind persons. These projects provide services in both rural and urban areas and about half of the grantees make subgrants to community nonprofit agencies to deliver services. In addition to in-home and/or facility-based service provisions, mobile units and community minicenters are available near the residences of persons being served. All projects provide comprehensive independent living services.

Range & Average of Financial Assistance: $190,000 to $250,531; $108,000.


84.177 PROGRAM ACCOMPLISHMENTS: In fiscal years 1995 and 1996, 52 projects received funding under this program. In fiscal year 1997, it is anticipated that 54 projects will receive funding.



Type of Assistance: Project Grants.

Obligations: (Grants) FY 95 $947,540; FY 96 est $8,952,000; and FY 97 est $9,952,000.

Budget Account Number: 91-0301-0-1-506.

Authorization: Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, Title VII, Chapter 2, 29 U.S.C. 796j-7961.

Regulations, Guidelines, & Literature: Section 752 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended, and 34 CFR 367, as amended.


Regional or Local Office: Information may be obtained from the regional offices (Regional Commissioner, Rehabilitation Services Administration) listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Headquarters Office: Raymond Melhoff, Rehabilitation Services Administration, OSERS, Department of Education, MES Bldg., Room 3416, 330 C Street, SW., Washington, DC 20202-2741. Phone: (202) 205-9320. Use the same number for FTS.


Formula & Matching Requirements: Cost-sharing of $1 for each $9 of Federal grant funding is required.

Length & Time Phasing of Assistance: Projects in fiscal year 1992 were approved for a period of up to three years with funding approved on a 12 month basis.

Uses & Use Restrictions: Federal funds are used to improve or expand independent living services. Among the services provided are those to help correct or modify visual disabilities, provide eyeglasses and other visual aids, provide services and equipment to enhance mobility and self-care, provide training in braille and other services to help older individuals who are blind adjust to blindness, provide teaching services in daily living activities, and other supportive services that enable individuals to live more independently. Funds can also be used to improve public understanding of the problems faced by visual older individuals who are blind.


Reports: As required by the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) for direct grant programs (34 CFR 75). Generally, annual performance and financial reports are required.

Audits: In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-128, "Audits of State and Local Governments," State and local governments that receive financial assistance of $100,000 or more within the State's fiscal year shall have an audit made for that year. State and local governments that receive between $25,000 and $100,000 within the State's fiscal year shall have an audit made in accordance with Circular No. A-128, or in accordance with Federal laws and regulations governing the programs in which they participate.

Records: As required by EDGAR for direct grant programs (34 CFR 75). Generally, records related to grant funds, compliance, and performance must be maintained for a period of five years after completion.

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