Information and Referral
Under the Office for Special Services, the Office of Services to the Blind (OSB) provides information and referral on services, programs, entitlements, and products of benefit to individuals who are blind or visually impaired and their families or service providers. OSB staff assists such individuals in understanding the availability of services, their eligibility for services, and the purpose and scope of the various service programs.
Public Information and Awareness
Our goal is to increase awareness to persons who are blind and visually impaired of the potential to be self-sufficient and self-supporting and to provide information about the tools and resources available to help persons who are blind and visually impaired reach their potential.
Assistance Dog Special Allowance Program
OSB administers the Assistance Dog Special Allowance (ADSA) Program which provides a monthly payment to eligible persons who use a guide, signal, or service dog to help them with their disability-related needs. The allowance is to help pay the costs of food, grooming, and health care for the dog. Prospective recipients must live in California, be blind, deaf/hard of hearing, or disabled. Recipients must receive benefits from one or more of the following programs: Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP), In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS), Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI), and/or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). SSDI recipients must also meet federal poverty guidelines.
Referral services are available to any individual regardless of income. OSB has published the Handbook of Resources and Services for Persons Who Are Visually Impaired, a comprehensive directory of social, financial, medical, and technology related to services and products available throughout the State. The Handbook is an invaluable guide to products and services designed to assist individuals coping with vision loss to maximize their capacity for self-esteem and self-sufficiency and is available free of charge in a CD version upon request. The handbook can be downloaded from this website in either PDF or text format.