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DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
REHAB SERVICES
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SERVICE TO THE BLIND
SOUTH DAKOTA DEVELOPMENTAL CENTER
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service to the blind

Frequently Asked Questions

How do people with vision loss accomplish daily living tasks?

Independent Living Older Blind Services

Rehabilitation Teachers provide services to individuals, who are visually impaired or blind, in their homes and teach alternative methods of doing every day activities. Learning these skills increases the individual's ability to live independently and contributes to their confidence in successful employment or activities in the community.

Eligibility Requirements:

Significant visual impairment, substantial limitation in ability to function independently, a reasonable expectation that Independent Living Older Blind Services will assist the individual, and reside in South Dakota.

Services Available:

  • cane travel skills
  • communications
  • writing letters
  • Braille
  • telling time
  • homemaking
  • counseling
  • utilizing low vision
  • leisure activities
  • and referral to public and private organizations.

An audio version of the information and application packet For SBVI Independent Living Older Blind Services is provided.


How to apply for services


Contact Information

Any SBVI Office, or

Sandy Neyhart, Program Manager
Independent Living Older Blind Services
Address: Hillsview Plaza
3800 East Highway 34
c/o 500 East Capitol
Pierre, SD 57501-5070
Phone: (605) 773-4644

Fax: (605) 773-5483
Email:

If I'm blind or visually impaired, can I be employed?

Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Professional Rehabilitation Counselors provide guidance and deliver services that allow consumers to select occupations of their own choosing. The counselor and consumer jointly develop a plan that will result in employment. SBVI can pay for training and employment preparation costs that lead to meaningful employment in a broad range of careers for blind citizens.

Eligibility Requirements

Services are available to individuals who have a visual disability that interferes with obtaining or retaining employment. The individual must be able to benefit from services in terms of an employment outcome and must require vocational rehabilitation services to achieve that outcome.

Services Available

All services must be part of an Individualized Plan for Employment and must be jointly agreed to by the consumer and counselor. Services may include, but are not limited to:
  • Vocational Counseling

    Throughout the process, a skilled counselor, knowledgeable about disability issues, will assist you in planning for the future and help you resolve problems along the way.

  • Work Skills

    In order for people to become employed, they must have vocational skills needed by employers. If lacking such skills, training may be provided on-the-job, through supported employment, at a vocational technical school, or at a college or university.

  • Skills of Blindness Training

    SBVI staff are trained to assist individuals who are blind or visually impaired in the areas of orientation and mobility (independent travel), communications (Braille, money identification, writing guides), computers, and homemaking (cooking, cleaning).

  • Job Site Accommodations

    For some individuals, special equipment or changing the way the job is done will be necessary in order to meet the work requirements of an employer. This may involve purchasing special equipment or redesigning a work area for an employer.

  • Medical Services

    Medical services, such as laser treatment or corrective surgery, may be needed for an individual to obtain work or maintain employment.

  • Job Placement

    The focus of all services is to enable individuals to get or keep a quality job. Individuals and their counselor will develop a placement plan that will help in finding a job in the workforce.

  • Employer Services

    Many employers have questions about how best to accommodate the needs of a worker with a disability. Free technical assistance is available to employers in our state.

How to apply for services


Contact Information

SBVI Vocational Rehabilitation
Address: Hillsview Plaza
3800 East Highway 34
c/o 500 East Capitol
Pierre, SD 57501-5070
Phone: (605) 773-4644
Fax: (605) 773-5483

Where do I go for services for myself or relative?

SBVI provides vocational rehabilitation and independent living older blind services throughout the state of South Dakota. We have listed below all counties in the state. By selecting your county in the drop down list and clicking the go button, you can see which of our offices serve your area of the state, and how to contact that office for more information regarding vocational rehabilitation services or independent living older blind services.

Vocational Rehabilitation Services




Aberdeen Area Office - SBVI
1707 4th Avenue SE, Suite A
Aberdeen, SD 57401
Phone: (605) 626-2395
TTY: (605) 626-2398
Fax: (605) 626-3089
Toll Free: 1-800-439-3417
Pierre Area Office - SBVI
912 E. Sioux Avenue
c/o 500 E. Capitol
Pierre, SD 57501-5070
Phone: (605) 773-3318
TTY: (605) 773-3318
Fax: (605) 773-5161
Toll Free: 1-877-873-8500
Rapid City Area Office - SBVI
2330 N Maple, Suite 2
Rapid City, SD 57701
Phone: (605) 394-2253
TTY: (605) 394-2261
FAX: (605) 394-1659
Toll Free: 1-800-439-8861
Sioux Falls Area Office - SBVI
Dept. 22

811 East 10th Street
Sioux Falls, SD 57103-1650
Phone: (605) 367-5330

TTY: (605) 367-5330
Fax: (605) 367-5327
Toll Free: 1-800-265-9679

Independent Living Services




Aberdeen Area Office - SBVI
1707 4th Avenue SE, Suite A
Aberdeen, SD 57401
Phone: (605) 626-2395
TTY: (605) 626-2398
Fax: (605) 626-3089
Toll Free: 1-800-439-3417
Pierre Area Office - SBVI
912 E. Sioux Avenue
c/o 500 E. Capitol
Pierre, SD 57501-5070
Phone: (605) 773-3318
TTY: (605) 773-3318
Fax: (605) 773-5161
Toll Free: 1-877-873-8500
Rapid City Area Office - SBVI
2330 N Maple, Suite 2
Rapid City, SD 57701
Phone: (605) 394-2253
TTY: (605) 394-2261
FAX: (605) 394-1659
Toll Free: 1-800-439-8861
Sioux Falls Area Office - SBVI
Dept. 22

811 East 10th Street
Sioux Falls, SD 57103-1650
Phone: (605) 367-5330

TTY: (605) 367-5330
Fax: (605) 367-5327
Toll Free: 1-800-265-9679

Do you have help for students with vision loss?

Transition Services

Transition services are available to assist high school students who are blind or visually impaired to prepare to enter the world of work. Counselors from SBVI and a statewide transition specialist, employed through a cooperative agreement between the School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (SDSBVI) and SBVI, will meet with the student(s), their parents and the IEP team to assist with planning for entry into the world of work. In addition, the SD Transition Project is available to consult with students, families, counselors, and teachers.

Services available

Rehabilitation counselors and the statewide transition specialist will assist with the provision of services. As with other vocational rehabilitation services, transition services must be for the purpose of obtaining employment and are individualized to the person's needs and informed choice. Services may include:
  • Counseling and Guidance
  • Referral to other programs
  • Assessments
  • Career exploration
  • Project Skills
  • Youth Leadership Forum
  • Other services as appropriate

Contact Information:

Any SBVI Office or

Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired
Address: Hillsview Plaza
3800 East Highway 34,
c/o 500 East Capitol
Pierre, SD 57501-5070
Phone: (605) 773-4644
Fax: (605) 773-5483
Toll Free: 1-800-265-9684

Are there watches, guides, computers, magnifiers, etc. that can help me accomplish tasks?

Independent Living Older Blind Services

Rehabilitation Teachers provide services to individuals, who are visually impaired or blind, in their homes and teach alternative methods of doing every day activities. Learning these skills increases the individual's ability to live independently and contributes to their confidence in successful employment or activities in the community.

Eligibility Requirements:

Significant visual impairment, substantial limitation in ability to function independently, a reasonable expectation that Independent Living Older Blind Services will assist the individual, and reside in South Dakota.

Services Available:

Services may include: cane travel skills, communications, writing letters, Braille, telling time, homemaking, counseling, utilizing low vision, leisure activities, and referral to public and private organizations.

An audio version of the Information and Application Packet For SBVI Independent Living Older Blind Services is provided here as a tool.
  1. Introduction (3 minutes & 7 seconds)
  2. South Dakota Rehabilitation Center for the Blind (2 minutes & 17 seconds)
  3. Statement of Financial Economic Status (3 minutes & 27 seconds)
  4. VA Health Care Visual Impairment (3 minutes & 37 seconds)
  5. Department of Human Services Release of Personal Information (4 minutes & 25 seconds)
  6. Adult Services and Aging (2 minutes & 39 seconds)
  7. South Dakota Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities (1 minute & 49 seconds)
  8. Conclusion (12 seconds)

how to apply for services


Any SBVI Office, or

Sandy Neyhart, Program Manager
Independent Living Older Blind Services
Address: Hillsview Plaza
3800 East Highway 34
c/o 500 East Capitol
Pierre, SD 57501-5070
Phone: (605) 773-4644
Fax: (605) 773-5483
Email

Where can I find help for children with vision loss?

South Dakota School for the Blind & Visually Impaired

The South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (SDSBVI) has been designated by state law to provide a variety of services to meet the individual needs of students in South Dakota who are visually impaired, blind, or deaf-blind.

As a part of the state's educational system, the school does not charge for tuition, room, and board or fees for any services provided by the school or staff, including educational assessments.

When should eye professionals refer to SBVI?

The sooner the better. Individuals benefit from services at all levels of vision loss even if their vision is near normal such as 20/40 or 20/50. When a patient is experiencing vision problems causing them functional limitations, it’s time to refer to SBVI. Often help is available to patients that will retain their employment or independence with the assistance of low vision aids and assistive technology.