Program Office: Rehabilitation Services Administration
CFDA Number: 84.177
Program Type: Formula Grants
Grants are made to states to support services for individuals age 55 or older whose severe visual impairment makes competitive employment difficult to obtain but for whom independent living goals are feasible.
TYPES OF PROJECTS
Funds are used to: provide independent living services to older individuals who are blind; conduct activities that will improve or expand services for these individuals; and conduct activities to improve public understanding of the problems facing these individuals. For example, services are provided to help persons served under this program adjust to their blindness by increasing their ability to care for their individual needs.
The purpose of the independent living programs is to maximize the leadership, empowerment, independence, and productivity of individuals with disabilities and to integrate these individuals into the mainstream of American society. Independent living programs provide financial assistance to provide, expand and improve independent living services; develop and support statewide networks of centers for independent living; and improve working relationships among state independent living rehabilitation programs, centers for independent living, statewide Independent living councils (SILCs), Rehabilitation Act programs outside of Title VII, and other relevant federal and nonfederal programs.
The independent living programs are current-funded. However, the Act contains a provision allowing all Title VII grantees to carry over unobligated funds for an additional fiscal year. States participating in the State Grants and Older Blind programs must match every $9 of federal funds with $1 in nonfederal cash or in-kind resources in the year for which the federal funds are appropriated. To be eligible for financial assistance under the independent living state grants or Centers for Independent Living programs, states are required to establish an SILC. Each state must also submit a state plan for independent living that is jointly developed and signed by the director of the designated state vocational rehabilitation unit(s) (DSU) and the chairperson of the SILC.
The independent living services for older individuals who are blind program supports services to assist individuals aged 55 or older whose recent severe visual impairment makes competitive employment extremely difficult to obtain, but for whom independent living goals are feasible. Funds are used to provide independent living services, conduct activities that will improve or expand services for these individuals and conduct activities to improve public understanding of the problems of these individuals. Services are designed to help persons served under this program to adjust to their blindness by increasing their ability to care for their individual needs.
Grantees are state vocational rehabilitation agencies for persons who are blind and visually impaired or, in states with no separate agency for persons who are blind, state combined vocational rehabilitation agencies. Prior to fiscal year 2000, when the appropriation was less than $13 million, grants were awarded on a competitive basis. Since the appropriation for fiscal year 2000 exceeded $13 million for the first time, awards are now being made to states according to a formula based on the population of individuals who are 55 years of age or older (using July 1999 Census population data). Fiscal year 2001 allotments will be revised when new population estimates become available.