- Ackley Appliance Services (a Braille repair service)
- Braille Bible Foundation - Braille International, Inc.
- Enabling Technologies, Inc. - Manufacturer of Braille embossing equipment
- Florida Bureau of Braille and Talking Book Library Services
- National Association to Preserve the Use of Braille (NAPUB)
- National Braille and Technology Center
Because many of our clients are recently blind, they are not always aware of the resources available to them by a variety of government agencies, commercial enterprises and non-profit organizations.
The Florida Center for the Blind is an advocate for the rights of the blind and works to insure that the needs of the individual are met.
The client is made aware of the laws in force concerning the blind. Florida Statutes relating to property taxes, the Florida White Cane Law, guide dogs, etc., are taught. FCB assists the individual in applying for services available to the blind such as free telephone directory service, the Bible on cassette tape from the Bible Alliance, among other services.
Clients of the Florida Center for the Blind are made aware of service agencies and organizations that can be of assistance as well as publications that can be subscribed to that will keep them current on the latest news and technology.
Services Available to the Blind
Each individual person deals with their visual impairment in a different way.
Our goal of rehabilitation is such that the person is comfortable in their home environment as well as in their public environment. Each individual can have a varying level of remaining vision, and some may have no remaining vision, and we want to help people work within their unique situation.
The skills blind people learn are often called "alternative techniques." They are simply different ways of doing the same things sighted people do.
Rehabilitation at home includes learning different ways to perform daily living skills such as cooking and laundry. In order to help the individual remain able to perform these skills we can label the household appliances in such a way that it works for that person. We also work with things such as folding money, so that it is identifiable in the wallet or purse. These are only two examples of the many topics covered in rehabilitation.
Rehabilitation out in public includes Orientation and Mobility. This helps each person learn with one of the many types of canes to identify landmarks and clues to help them navigate safely while out and about. We also cover how to work with customer service while out should the need arise.
The Florida Center for the Blind, Inc. strongly advocates for blind peoples' civil rights.
Anyone may call or email requesting services at any time. Please ask to speak to Robin Whiteley, and she will get you set in the right direction whether it is for group based services at our center, home based services, or community outreach services.
Innovative technology, adapted for use by the blind, enables the blind to access the latest in computers and electronic communications.
The FCB provides instruction for the following equipment and software: (As technology changes, so will FCB's courses of instruction.)
- JAWS for Windows Screen Reader - Henter-Joyce, Inc.
- Open Book - Scanner software, Arkenstone, Inc.
- Windows 98, Office 2000 and other related software - Microsoft Corporation
- ZoomText Xtra for Windows Screen Magnification software - Ai Squared, Inc.
- ipad and iphone
For more information, call us at (352) 873-4700
Florida Center for the Blind offers a range of services that include classes at the center, home based services, and outreach groups.
Center based services are for those students who wish to come for the classes at the center that include: Independent Living, Orientation and Mobility, Cooking, Group Support, Computer, Braille, and Recreation and Leisure. These classes are offered Monday and Wednesday from 10 am until 2:15 pm.
Home based services are for those clients who do not wish to come to the center and those who are unable to get to the center for any reason. We will come and do an assessment at home, determine what your needs are, and set up for the amount of training you will need to be done in your home.
Community outreach classes are for those communities who have multiple people interested in services that are out of the immediate Ocala area. We will find a central location in your community, and complete assessments and hold training in your area once a week for 4-6 weeks.
All of our services are free of charge. We do ask that you provide a copy of your most recent eye report. These can be obtained by calling your eye doctor and having them mail you a copy.
- Florida Department of Education, Division of Blind Services 1-800-443-0908
- Conklin Centers for the Blind 1-386-258-3441
- Hadley School for the Blind (Correspondence) www.hadley.edu
- Veterans Blind Rehabilitation Center Bruce Davis, 1-800-324-8387 ext. 5560
There are special programs specifically designed to aid blind job seekers. For additional information, contact the following:
- Florida Department of Education
- Division of Blind Services
- Marion County Community Technical & Adult Education
- Job Opportunities for the Blind (JOB)
A low vision specialist is an optometrist who has gone through special training and certification to work with patients who are legally and/or functionally blind to help them maximize the remaining vision they do have with high powered magnifiers and additional optical aids that require prescriptions.
Florida Center for the Blind's staff works very closely with low vision clinics located in North Central Florida. You may call FCB, or request a referral from your Ophthalmologist, to locate the clinic that is nearest you.
If you are having vision problems limit your ability to enjoy your hobbies, read your favorite magazines or personal mail, you may be able to benefit from electronic magnification. There are many different devices and technologies that we can recommend, and many that we have that you can try to see how they may benefit you.
- Marion County School System
- Central Florida Community College
- North Central Florida Lions District 35L
- Lions Clubs International
- State of Florida, Division of Blind Services
- United Way of Marion County
- Marion County Community Technical & Adult Education
- National Federation for the Blind
- NFB Newsline
- The Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission
- Senior Providers - Directory of senior services, facilities and resources.
- Ocala Star-Banner
- Marion County, Florida
- City of Ocala, Florida
- Ocala-Marion County Chamber of Commerce
- Access Ocala
- South Marion Citizen
- The Able Trust
- Citrus County Family Resource Center
- Maxi Aids Low Vision Products
- Magnifying Aids