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Newsroom DCF Awards $1.2 Million in Grants to Benefit Blind/Visually Impaired Older Adults

TOPEKA – Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Phyllis Gilmore announced Thursday, that the department has awarded five grants for the Independent Living Services Program for Older Individuals who are Blind (OIB). The grants total $1.2 million.
The OIB program provides a variety of services to enable persons who are 55 years and older who are blind or visually impaired to live independently in the community in their own homes. Services provided include independent living skills training and assistive technology. Orientation and mobility training is also offered so that people can learn how to make their home environment safe. They are also taught techniques for traveling within the community to places such as stores, churches, worksites and schools.
“Through our partnership with these community-based grantees, services will be available for citizens in every county of the state,” Secretary Gilmore said. “Kansans who are blind or visually impaired will have access to high quality, individualized services to help them meet their independent living and employment goals.”
The grants are effective immediately and will continue through June 2016. Ninety percent of the funds are provided through the federal OIB program.
Each grantee will conduct outreach activities to inform residents, communities, advocacy groups and other interested parties about the availability of services. Those who are 55 or older and experience blindness or visual impairment may contact the grantees directly for services.
Those who may benefit from services, seeking a referral can contact DCF/Rehabilitation Services at 785-368-7471 or toll free at 866-213-9073. The information is also available at
Grants were awarded to the following:
1. Alphapointe Association for the Blind, Kansas City (serving residents of Atchison, Douglas, Franklin, Jefferson, Johnson, Leavenworth, Linn, Miami and Wyandotte counties)
For further information, contact Angie Bowers, 816-421-5848
2. Envision Vision Rehabilitation Center, Wichita (serving residents of Butler, Cowley, Harvey Sedgwick and Sumner counties)
For further information, contact Dee Ann Walter, 316-440-1617
3. Prairie Independent Living Resource Center (PILR), Hutchinson (serving residents in Barber, Barton, Clark, Cloud, Comanche, Edwards, Ellsworth, Finney, Ford, Grant, Gray, Greeley, Hamilton, Harper, Harvey, Haskell, Hodgeman, Jewell, Kearny, Kingman, Kiowa, Lane, Lincoln, McPherson, Meade Mitchell, Morton, Ness, Ottawa, Pawnee, Pratt, Reno, Republic, Rice, Rush, Saline Scott, Seward, Stafford, Stanton, Stevens and Wichita counties)
For further information, contact Kelly Miller, 620-663-3989
4. Resource Center for Independent Living (RCIL), Topeka (serving residents in Allen, Anderson, Brown, Chase, Clay, Coffey, Dickinson, Doniphan, Geary, Greenwood, Jackson, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, Morris, Nemaha, Osage, Pottawatomie, Riley, Shawnee, Wabaunsee and Washington counties)
For further information, contact Mandy Smith, 785-267-1717
5. Southeast Kansas Independent Living Resource Center (SKIL), Parsons and Hays (serving residents in Chautauqua, Cherokee, Crawford, Elk, Labette, Montgomery, Neosho, Wilson and Woodson counties)
For further information, contact Greg Jones, 620-421-5502
Northwest Region SKIL (serving Cheyenne, Decatur, Ellis, Gove, Graham, Logan, Norton, Osborne, Rawlins, Rooks, Russell, Sheridan, Thomas, Trego, Wallace, Phillips, Sherman and Smith counties)
For further information, contact Randy Kohl, 785-628-8019