A bill by Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) signed Sunday by Gov. Gavin Newsom will help Californians with vision loss.
AB 2480 updates the training that blind people receive. And, it requires the state Department of Rehabilitation to award grants to private organizations with demonstrated expertise in serving adults who are blind or have low vision.
Additionally, the new law requires the department to start a grant program promoting independent living for adults who are blind or have low vision and who are not eligible for vocational rehabilitation from the federal government.
Updated Training for Blind Adults
Under the old requirements, a counselor-teacher was assigned to teach a blind adult reading and writing of braille, typing, travel techniques, and household arts and crafts, according to the person’s needs.
The new law eliminates the requirement for typing and household arts and crafts. Instead, a counselor-teacher will teach independent living skills and provide assistive technology training.
Law Helps Older Adults With Vision Loss Live Independently
The Legislature found that as many as 50% of people in nursing facilities have significant vision loss but, with proper support, many of them could “acquire the skills they need to remain in the community and live independently and productively.”
The bill passed the Assembly, 79-0, and the state Senate, 40-0.