About 54,000 Iowans have experienced vision loss. But that doesn’t mean accepting “limitations” that many people think accompany blindness and low vision. The Iowa Department for the Blind believes all Iowans can lead productive, fulfilling lives – including those who happen to be blind or low vision. The Department supports and encourages independent living and full participation in life – at home, at work and in communities. Vision loss knows no boundaries with respect to age, gender or ethnicity. It should not and does not need to limit accomplishment in whatever a person wishes to do.

The Iowa Department for the Blind helps educate, train and empower blind and low vision individuals to pursue lifelong goals. With offices in Des Moines and field staff operating statewide, the Department is committed to three goals:

— To improve skills so the blind and low vision may obtain or retain competitive employment throughout Iowa.
— To increase confidence and independence in all aspects of daily life.
— To improve access to information, activities and opportunities.

The Department is recognized as a leading provider of services in the United States. These services include innovative and effective vocational rehabilitation and independent living programs as well as world-class library services. The benefits to clients are profound in terms of impact on attitudes, confidence and independence. The collective social and economic impact is also significant. Productive citizens pay taxes and contribute to society and Iowa’s economy – lessening their reliance on state and federal support.

Much has been done, yet much remains to be accomplished. The Iowa Department for the Blind works to educate and inform businesses, family members, service providers, advocacy groups, businesses, community and service organizations as well as the general public about the true capabilities of people who are blind or low vision. It actively seeks ongoing communication, interaction and collaboration with all constituencies.

Always a ready resource, the Iowa Department for the Blind creates opportunities for independence throughout the state.