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Arambula’s Bill to Help the Blind Is Signed by Newsom

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Legislation signed by Gov. Newsom on Sunday aims to help people with vision loss receive training to live independently. (Shutterstock)
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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.

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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