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Aging Eyes Initiative

The Aging Eyes Initiative partners with community programs and organizations throughout Minnesota to help seniors adjust to vision loss by providing:

  • Information about eye conditions common to seniors, such as macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy
  • Low-vision aids and devices at no charge
  • Referrals for more extensive assistance at State Services for the Blind (SSB). Learn more about SSB's services for seniors.

Becoming a Community Partner

We provide training and resources to community partners at no charge. Training includes a three-hour course with CEUs. Upon completion, partners are able to:

  • Understand common eye diseases and how they affect vision
  • Provide information about vision loss and strategies for adjusting to it
  • Use evaluation tools to help identify needs.
  • Modify living space so seniors with vision loss can remain safe and independent
  • Coordinate referrals to SSB’s Senior Service Unit for additional independent-living assistance

A wide variety of senior-service organizations can become community partners. Here are a few examples of our current partners:

  • Living At Home Network Programs, which focus on helping seniors maintain good health
  • Faith Community Nurse Network of the Greater Twin Cities, which combine professional nursing and spiritual care
  • Centers for Independent Living, which help people with vision loss (or other disabilities) function at home, work and in their communities

Once trained, partners sign a Community Partner Agreement of Understanding with SSB and receive a kit of low-vision aids and devices to be given to seniors at no charge. Kits include:

20/20 pens Bold-Line ½ Paper Check Writing Guide Signature Guide
Needle Threader Large Print Calendar Large Print Cross Word/Word Search Large Print Playing Cards
Bump Dots for Kitchen and Appliances Large Print-Kitchen Timer Keychain Talking Clock 3X illuminated Pocket Magnifier
Indoor/Outdoor Sunglasses Resources for Vision Aids Sources Amsler Grid Communication Center Form (NLS, TBP. RTB)

Aging Eyes Initiative Receives Award for Innovation

State Services for the Blind was honored to receive a Minnesota State Innovation in Government Award in recognition of our Aging Eyes Initiative. The initiative provides training and a kit of low vision aids and devices to community members who work with seniors. These community partners can then provide practical assistance to seniors in the early stages of vision loss. The awards, organized by the Humphrey Institute's Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center and the Bush Foundation highlight innovative projects that improve the lives of Minnesotans. The award sponsors showcased the work of the Aging Eyes Initiative in a short video.

Watch it with Audio Description (or with captions). Read the transcript.

Forms for Current Community Partners

These forms help partners work with clients and communicate with SSB.

Join Our Partner Network

If you provide services to seniors in your community and would like to assist seniors experiencing vision loss, join our growing network of community partners. Email us at, call us at 651-539-2276 or complete the form below and we'll contact you.

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