There are slightly different eligibility requirements depending on the services you’re seeking. You’ll find more details on the relevant pages of this website. In general, to be eligible, corrected vision in your best eye needs to be 20 over 60 or higher. Corrected vision simply means what you can or can’t see while wearing glasses or lenses. Also, if you have limited peripheral vision, you may be eligible for services.
The services in our Communication Center are available to anyone who has a disability that limits their ability to read print. This includes Minnesotans who are blind or have low vision, and Minnesotans who have other disabilities, such as a disability that makes it difficult to hold a book, or focus on print. The application form on our Communication Center page provides much more detailed information about eligibility and all of the options and services available.
In addition, our Communication Center services are available to Minnesotans of any age.
We work with Minnesotans who are looking for work, or who want to get the skills in order to be ready to look for work, or who have a job, but need accommodations in order to keep that job.
Please see our job seeker page to learn more.
If you are experiencing vision loss and you are finding it difficult to do everyday tasks like reading the newspaper, we may be able to help. You don’t need to be legally blind, or have a specific level of vision loss to be eligible for our services. You may have a condition like macular degeneration, and you know that you will be losing more of your vision. We’re here to help make that adjustment easier. We’re also here to help anyone with more significant vision loss with tools and training to maintain your quality of life. If you’re having trouble seeing, and you think you could use some help, give us a call.
Our Transition Services team works with students starting at age 14. If you have a blind, DeafBlind, or visually impaired child younger than 14, contact the Minnesota Department of Education for services and resources. The services from our Communication Center are available for eligible children and adults of any age.
In most cases, there is no cost to our consumers for our services. In those instances where we may ask consumers to share costs, we will let you know up front, so that you can make your decisions.
We have offices throughout the state of Minnesota and cover all of Minnesota. Our contact page shows all of our office locations. If you’re not sure of which office to call, give our main office a call at 651-539-2300.
We get a lot of questions about driver's licenses from potential clients. Here are the most common:
Yes. Every applicant for a driver's license must undergo a vision screening with the Division of Motor and Vehicle Services. Those with insufficient vision can take steps with eye-care professionals to achieve the best vision possible. If vision interferes with the safe operation of a motor vehicle, driving privileges are denied.
Yes. Some clients do have restricted licenses. Our counselors determine eligibility based on visual acuity or visual field, impediments to employment, and functional limitations.
Yes. Each quarter, we provide the Department of Public Safety (DPS) with a list of new SSB applicants. DPS contacts the applicants about driving restrictions and qualifications and may request more information (such as a driver's license vision report) or require additional testing to ensure highway and road safety.
DPS makes the determination.
Effective October 1, 2015, SSB Workforce Development Unit is on Order of Selection.
OOS is a method of prioritizing eligible applicants. The federal government requires agencies to use OOS when there are not enough resources to serve everyone who is eligible.
A functional limitation means that a person requires services or accommodations not routinely made for others, due to an impairment, in order to prepare for, enter, engage in, or retain employment. The number of functional limitations identified determines which category applicants are assigned to. Seven areas of functional limitations are reviewed:
Priority Category A: This is a customer who has limitations in five or more functional areas and requires multiple services over an extended period of time of at least 6 months.
Priority Category B: This is a customer who has limitations in three or four functional areas and requires multiple services over an extended period of time of at least 6 months.
Priority Category C: This is a customer who has limitations in zero, one, or two functional areas and requires multiple services over an extended period of time of at least 6 months.
Download our Resource Guide for information on education, employment, aging, assistive technology, and helpful agencies and organizations.