Searching for free senior and disabled services, assistance, or programs that help provide basic needs for daily independent living? Or perhaps you’d just like to find out about how to volunteer your time in the community, or where to go to socialize and have some fun?
You may have friends, family, co-workers or neighbors that are experiencing physical challenges. We see them striving to accomplish the everyday tasks we take for granted; opening a door, switching on a light, or using a microwave to heat lunch. The struggle is real and as compassionate as we are, sometimes the best gifts we can give people are resources!
Free Senior and Disabled Services and Assistance
One of those over looked resource is the Braille Institute. Many of us may recall a brief introduction to braille but if it did not pertain to us at the time, we may have dismissed how valuable they really are! This organization offers free programs not just for the blind, but for those who may eventually have their vision impaired.
People dealing with cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, or macular degeneration don’t always consider themselves candidates to access services for the blind, but the Braille Institute could help them too. Those who have endured vision loss due to a traumatic brain injury or stroke, may be more open to getting help, but for anyone willing to explore the technology that is now available, this could be life-changing!
The Braille Institute offers free consultations with Low Vision Rehabilitation Specialists. These professionals can assist and recommend the proper devices to maximize the remaining vision.
If your loved one is having challenges reading books, labels, medicine bottles or even recognizing their own hand-writing or familiar faces, perhaps it’s time to reach out and offer some of these free senior and disabled services and resources. Glasses are not always able to help with low vision.
Struggling with these challenges doesn’t mean one must surrender participation in activities that they enjoy. There may be practical steps we can take to change lighting, create contrast or learn about devices that could help.
The Braille Institute also offers free in-home services as well, to support home safety, community mobility and adaptive technology. For the past 100 years, they have been empowering those with vision loss. If you need print converted to audio while reading medication labels, mail or the expiration date on milk, there is assistive technology that can help!
The Braille Institute offers classes and events with locations throughout Southern California. They are encouraging people to participate in workshops to learn about the accessibility features for their cell phone and gather information on free audiobooks and magazines.
Some seminars are for family and friends who wish to learn more. There are even music festivals and events where attendees can learn from and meet with a bestselling author and disability rights advocate.
Another organization that is a best kept secret is California Phones. They are from the California Telephone Access Program (CTAP) and are generously providing free senior and disabled services, phones, and accessories for all qualified Californians.
Qualification does not mean you have to be blind, deaf or of a lower income status. People who have prescription glasses could qualify! The qualification process can be a simple meeting with a:
- Licensed medial doctor
- Nurse practitioner
- Physician assistant
- Speech-language pathologist
- Counselor from the department of rehab
All of these mentioned are considered to be authorized agents. People with mobility concerns or cognitive challenges may also qualify. For eligibility, the person in need must live in California, have telephone service and a recommendation from a certifying agent as previously mentioned.
You can submit your application to apply today. In order to get approved for a California Phone, section 2 of your application form must be certified by a qualified professional. Learn more about how to find a Certifying Agent near you.
California Phones offers devices for individuals:
- With mobility challenges
- Who have difficulty hearing
- With low vision
- With speech issues
- Who have cognitive impairment
They offer many telephone selections ranging from models with larger number pads and talking keypads to photo-frame buttons and phones that print text for those who process information by reading rather than hearing.
If you or someone you know could benefit from these free phones and other related senior and disabled services, it would be well worth your time to visit one of their locations that span from Redding to San Diego! Their team members are known to visit senior centers, Veterans Transition Centers and Independent Living Centers through out the state of California.
CTAP is a California State mandated program administered by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The primary goal of the program is to provide specialized telephone equipment and services to Californians who may have difficulty using a standard telephone. CTAP phones make it easier for these individuals to connect with friends and family, conduct business and access medical and safety-related senior and disabled services.
Organizations like these should be in the contact list of every Californian. When one member of our community is suffering, we are all affected. Communication is all about staying connected and when people experience hinderances in that arena, they start feeling isolated. Isolation breeds depression and a sense of loneliness. As caring, compassionate Californians, sometimes the best gifts we can give people are resources.