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Welcome

We offer tools and training for employment and for helping seniors remain independent and active. As Minnesota’s accessible reading source we also transcribe books and other materials into alternative formats, including audio and braille. We assist Minnesotans who are blind, DeafBlind, losing vision, or who have another disability that makes it difficult to read print.

We hope you find what you need here. We've also created a Tips for Using Our New Website page.

If you’d like to apply for services, learn more, or have more questions, just give us a call. You’ll find contact information for all of our offices on our contact page, or you can call our main office at 651-539-2300.

Thanks for visiting.

Updates

Personal Passport Webinar for Families of Deafblind Students

Creating a “personal passport” is a great way for families to share important information about their child with dual sensory disabilities. Every person is unique, with their own preferences, abilities, interests, and dreams. A personal passport brings together some of these unique qualities and preferences and can be shared with teachers and others so they know how best to offer support. This 4-week virtual, interactive webinar is led by Amy Query and is designed for families with students who have multiple disabilities. Join us from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m., January 10, 19, 26, and February 2. Note that the January 10 session is just for guardians/parents.

For registration information email Sheila.koenig@state.mn.us.

For more information, see this flyer.

Read the Latest Issue of The Spectacle

The Spectacle is our newsletter for families, teachers, and students. In this issue you'll find some tips on practicing gratitude, more info on our College 101 event, and an intro to our new SSB counselors who will be working with our students.

Thinking of Volunteering with SSB?

Thanks for Reading this Update First!

At SSB, we rely on a diverse group of talented volunteers to help in the labor-intensive work of making the printed word accessible in braille, audio, and e-text.

At this time, we are very fortunate to have a full complement of volunteers for readers (audio recording)and for processing print (structuring).

While we are still accepting applications from persons interested in volunteering with our engineering and braille services, our Audio Services section is at capacity and not processing new applications at this time.

If you have expertise in braille transcription, or if you are interested in repairing equipment, please read more about these volunteer positions, and consider applying.

If you have an interest in audio recording, or working with the technical aspects of structuring books, please check back with us at a later time. We currently have no openings for these volunteer positions.

We remain very grateful to everyone who has a passion for making the printed word accessible, and for all those who wish to volunteer their time and talent. You make this world a better place!

SSB’s Online Senior Referral Form

State Services for the Blind is proud to work alongside ophthalmologists, optometrists, low vision specialists and other eyecare professionals to make sure that Minnesotans experiencing vision loss have all the tools and support they need in order to live life to its fullest. If you’re an eye care professional, you can use our secure online form to safely submit a referral. You can also download and print our referral form. Thanks to all of Minnesota’s eye care professionals for the invaluable work that you do!

Changes to Our Radio Talking Book Service

Radio Talking Book (RTB) is a free news and information service that broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week to listeners across Minnesota and the nation. We broadcast daily newspapers, current magazines and periodicals, and a wide variety of books to appeal to a diverse range of interests. RTB is now available as an Alexa Skill on Amazon devices, and through an app on Apple and Android smartphones and tablets. You can also listen through our online stream. Please note that we are no longer broadcasting through a radio signal to the RTB radio receivers. Find out about all the ways you can access RTB and learn more about the reasons for the changes in our service through our Frequently Asked Questions.

Upcoming Events/News

College 101 Presentation Now Available

The recording of our November 2022 College 101 webinar is now available. In this presentation you’ll hear from current college students with their advice and recommendations for navigating college as a blind, DeafBlind, or visually impaired person. It’s a lively and informative listen with great tips from students who share from their own experience.

Follow the link below and use the password: X^5SE&d+

College 101 Presentation

Help Guide the Work of State Services for the Blind

SSB is fortunate to be guided by the work of a dynamic council, the State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind (SRC-B). Meeting six times during the year this council of consumers and advocates gives advice and recommendations on our services and programs. Each seat on the council is designated to represent a particular constituency. Currently there are several open positions as new terms begin. Learn about these open positions and submit an application by going to the Commissions and Appointments page of the Office of the Secretary of State.

Learn more about council membership by visiting the SRC-B website.

Video Makes the Case for Digital Accessibility

A video produced by Minnesota’s Office of Accessibility shows how universal design has made life easier for everyone. Making sure that documents, websites, and other digital content is accessible also benefits many of us. Included are some helpful tips and resources.

What Would I Do, if I Couldn’t See?

Lots of us ask that question from time to time. The simple answer is that with a few new skills, you’d be going about your everyday life. Three short videos showcase Minnesotans who are blind, losing vision, or DeafBlind, doing just that.

"How Could I do This Job If I Can't See" (audio described) shows Minnesotans using high tech and low tech solutions at work. It’s a nice introduction for hiring managers who might be wondering if an applicant who is blind, low vision, or DeafBlind could indeed be the best person for a job.

"How Can I do It If I Can't See It" (audio described) speaks to the experience of seniors who are wondering how to live well with vision loss.

"How Can I Read It If I Can't See It" (audio described) is for everyone who loves reading and worries that vision loss, or another disability, might take away their ability to read. This video demonstrates how our Communication Center has become "Minnesota’s Accessible Reading Source."

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