Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired

Rehabilitation Technology Services

Overview

Rehabilitation TechnologiesThe Rehabilitation Technology Services program serves to optimize employment outcomes of individuals with vision impairments through assistive technology, increase awareness of the availability and potential of assistive technology, and create individualized solutions by employing the most appropriate assistive technology techniques and practices.

Frequently Asked Questions

What services does Rehabilitation Technology provide?

Rehabilitation Technology specialists provide technical support to customers, agency staff, educators, and prospective employers of individuals with vision impairments by conducting extensive customer evaluations and skills assessments, developing solutions for worksite accommodations, installing assistive technology, consulting with employers and educators, and providing technical support for accessibility problems.

Technical support for customers experiencing accessibility problems is provided by the Help Desk in the Rehabilitation Technology department. The Help Desk is also available for staff and the general public who have questions or request information on assistive technology or the services of the Rehabilitation Technology department. The Help Desk is available 5 afternoons a week, from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

How can Rehabilitation Technology Services benefit those with vision loss?

With Rehabilitation Technology Services, a person with vision loss can learn what assistive technology is available and how to use it for personal independence and in achieving educational and vocational goals. Through worksite accommodations, an individual will be able to perform their job more effectively. With assistive technology to help them, qualified individuals with vision loss can compete competitively with sighted candidates for employment.

How does Rehabilitation Technology serve students?

Students who are in the vocational rehabilitation program may be evaluated by a Rehabilitation Technology specialist so that appropriate and necessary assistive technology may be recommended to support the student in reaching their educational goals. This includes the recommendation of equipment, if necessary, as well as setting up systems and providing follow up support. Rehabilitation Technology specialists are also available as a consultation resource for the educational staff working with students not yet in the vocational rehabilitation program.

How can I get Rehabilitation Technology Services?

To determine if you qualify to receive DBVI services, contact the regional office in your area. You will be connected to an intake worker, who will gather information to determine your eligibility for DBVI services. If you become a DBVI customer, you can discuss receiving specific services such as Rehabilitation Technology Services with your case manager.

What is assistive technology?

The legal definition taken from The Technology Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988 defines AT devices as: “… any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially or specially ordered, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.”

What are some examples of assistive technology used by Rehabilitation Technology Services?

The Rehabilitation Technology specialists use a variety of hardware and software technology to provide solutions for individuals who have experienced vision loss. The three main types of assistive technology used are magnification, speech, and Braille.

Magnification can be either software that is made to magnify the computer display, or special video magnifiers to project images of printed material on a display that will magnify the image.

Speech access are programs that will speak what is on the computer screen as you operate the computer or by using special speech commands. With speech, a person usually needs varying degrees of instruction, depending on what the person needs to do, in order to learn how to operate the speech program effectively.

Braille access allows the person to read what is on the computer screen through an attached braille display, which translates the computer output into tactile dots on the display. This type of access is appropriate for individuals whose strongest method of interpreting information is through the sense of touch, or who have limited or no sight and hearing, or where the nature of the job or task the individual is doing is best accommodated with braille.

Assistive Technology Websites

Find other resources and websites for Assistive Technology on the Resources page.

Helpdesk Contact Information

Contact: Dan Aunspach
Telephone: (804) 371-3350
Telephone – Toll Free: 800-622-2155
Hours: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM Monday-Friday

Program Director Information

For further information, please send an e-mail to:
Name: Margaret Fields, PhD
Address: 397 Azalea Avenue, Richmond VA 23227
Telephone: (804) 371-3776
Telephone – Toll Free: 800-622-2155
Email: Margaret Fields

This File Was Last Modified: Monday January 04 2016