The Bureau of Services for Blind Persons provides services to blind and visually impaired Michigan residents of all ages. These services are provided using state and federal funds -- there are no fees charged to you or your patient.
Ages 14 and over -- Refer your patient to BSBP:
Your patient must be age 14 or over and meet at least one of these criteria:
- Visual acuity with best correction must be 20/200 or worse in the better eye, or
- Visual fields must subtend an angle of less than 20 degrees in each eye, or
- Visual acuity with best correction must be 20/100 or worse in the better eye with a prognosis of rapid deterioration.
An eye exam is required. The exam can be done by any licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist. The BSBP Eye Report form, signed by the patient and the eye doctor who did the exam, serves as the referral form. The form may be filled out electronically and then printed for the signatures, or the form may be printed blank and then filled out and signed by hand. The form may be faxed or mailed to the BSBP central office in Lansing or to your local BSBP office.
BSBP rehabilitation services include diagnostic evaluations, vocational or independent living counseling, and training in skills of blindness. Based on individual need and goals, services may also include low-vision equipment, vocational training, technical school training, a college education, job development and placement, and follow-up. Specific programs and services include the Vocational Rehabilitation Program, Independent Living Program, Youth Transition Services, DeafBlind Services, Business Enterprise Program, and the BSBP Training Center in Kalamazoo.
Youth Low Vision Program (ages birth-26) -- Refer your patient to ISD:
To receive services through this BSBP program, your patients must be referred to BSBP by their Intermediate School District (ISD). For more information, contact the ISD's Teacher Consultant for the Visually Impaired. Services are available to youth from birth to 26 years with an acuity of 20/70 or less in the better eye or with a restricted field of 20 degrees or less. Youth Low Vision services are available every other school year, as long as needed, up to age 26 (age at the start of the school year). The program assists students with low-vision exams when not covered by insurance and with the purchase of head-borne devices such as microscopes, telescopes, and prescriptions not covered by insurance. The eye exam can be done by any licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist who provides low-vision services.