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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

SSB Needs Your Skills, Strengths, and Passion

SSB is proud to be an organization that is directed and strengthened through the support of community. We’re guided by a community-based council, the State Rehabilitation Council-Blind. Much of the councils work happens through its committees. A few of the council’s committees still have room for new members. Serving on a committee can be a great way to fill-out your resume, get experience, and most of all, play an important role in serving Minnesotans who are blind, DeafBlind, low vision, or who have a print-related disability.

Here are the committees and their open positions:

  • The Communication Center Advisory Committee has an opening for a college student, a Minnesota teacher of the blind or visually impaired (TBVI), and a representative from the Resource Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
  • The Employment Committee has openings for a TBVI, a representative from Vision Loss Resources, a community member, and a member of the Governor’s Workforce Development Board (GWDB).
  • The Minority Outreach Committee has two openings for community members and an opening for a representative from Vision Loss Resources.
  • The Senior Services Committee has two openings for community members.
  • The Vendor Outcomes Committee has openings for individual community partners/vendors, and an additional rep from a community rehabilitation program.

If you are interested in building a better SSB by serving on a committee, please email the SRC-B Chair, Michael Colbrun.

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.

COVID-19 Updates

We at State Services for the Blind are looking forward to the day when our offices will be open to the public. At this time, however, our offices remain closed. We invite you to reach us by giving us a call at 651-539-2300, or emailing ssb.info@state.mn.us. Subscribe to our email list for timely updates and other news and announcements that may be of interest. Download our updates.

Upcoming Events/News

How SSB Prepares Students for a Bright Future

One Student's Perspective

In June, Rocky Hart, a recent high school graduate who will be attending North Central University in the Fall, joined SSB as a Marketing and Outreach Associate. Rocky is one of six students working at SSB over the summer as part of a work-based learning experience program. In his first article for SSB, Rocky shares some of his thoughts as a customer of SSB.

My SSB Testimonial
by Rocky Hart

"People who are blind are a cross-section of society as a whole, mirroring society in every way with the same hopes, interests and desires, the same dreams, abilities and potential as everyone else. Most all the physical limitations associated with blindness can be overcome by learning and using alternative techniques for doing without sight what you would do with sight. With appropriate education, training and opportunity, persons who are blind can achieve in the world of work, can be independent in their home and community, can have and take care of a family, can be a tax paying and participating citizen and can be in every way a contributing member of society who can compete equally with his or her sighted neighbors."

The above was derived from the philosophy statement of Minnesota State Services for the Blind (SSB), Minnesota's rehabilitation agency for individuals experiencing vision loss. Having been a client of SSB since October 2017, I will enthusiastically affirm that the agency does its utmost to live up to this philosophy, providing to its consumers the resources necessary to live independently and work competitively.

Read all of Rocky's testimonial.

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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