Frequently Asked Questions about the Division for the Visually Impaired
How to Apply or Register
- Where do I go to apply or register for DVI Services?
- What documents will I need to provide when I apply or register for services?
- How do I request a change of address?
- How do I add or remove my name from the mailing list?
- What are some of the Services that DVI offers?
- Are there Support Groups available for the Visually Impaired?
- How do I register for workshops?
Q. What is DHSS?
A. DHSS is Delaware’s largest state agency, employing almost 5,000 individuals in a wide range of public service jobs. Our department includes 12 divisions which provide services in the areas of public health, social services, substance abuse and mental health, child support, developmental disabilities, long term care, visual impairment, aging and adults with physical disabilities, and Medicaid and medical assistance. The Department includes four long term care facilities and the state's only psychiatric hospital, the Delaware Psychiatric Center.
Q. What is DVI?
A. The Division for the Visually Impaired (DVI) is one of Delaware’s oldest state agencies having celebrated its 100th year of providing services to blind and visually impaired citizens in 2009. DVI has a state funded staff of approximately 65, (with an additional 45 positions in the Delaware Industries for the Blind and 17 in the Business Enterprise Program) and an annual budget of state and federal funds of approximately $9 Million dollars.
Q. What is the mission of DVI?
A. Working in partnership with Delawareans who are blind or visually impaired empowering them to be self-sufficient.
Q. Who qualifies for DVI Services?
A. Eligibility for services is established by an individual’s visual acuity as determined by their doctor and supplied by a signed doctor's report.
Eligibility for services from DVI is prioritized as follows:
- Totally Blind - No Light Perception.
- Legally Blind - 20 / 200 visual acuity in the better eye with correction; OR, has a field restriction limited to 20 degrees or less.
- Severely Visually Impaired - 20/70 to 20/200 visual acuity in the better eye with correction.
Q. How can I find out if I can get DVI Services?
A. You can find out if you qualify for DVI services by speaking with a DVI representative or by calling DVI Central Intake at 302-255-9848. You may be asked to provide some medical information related to your eye condition.
How to Apply or Register
Q. Where do I go to apply or register for DVI Services?
A. To apply or register for DVI services, please call Central Intake at 302-255-9848. Central Intake will gather basic demographic information and may send you any necessary forms to be either completed by you or your eye physician.
Q. What documents will I need to provide when I apply or register for services?
A. You will need to provide a copy of your recent eye exam (less than one year old). If you do not have a copy, call Central Intake at 302-255-9848 for further assistance and guidance in order to apply or register for services.
Q. How do I request a change of address?
A. If you have moved and would like to report your address change, please contact DVI at 302-255-9800 or 302-424-7240.
Q. How do I add or remove my name from the mailing list?
A. Please call DVI at 302-255-9800.
Q. What are some of the Services that DVI offers?
A. The following are some of the services provided by DVI:
Independent Living Skills
Provision of adaptive techniques and devices that help consumers to maintain independence:
- Time and financial management
- Training in self-care
- Meal preparation/kitchen skills/appliance use
- Braille Instruction
- Instruction by specialists to help consumers travel independently and safely via Orientation and Mobility techniques.
- Evaluation and training with non- optical aids (magnifiers) and optical aids to achieve goals such as reading mail to maximize remaining vision.
- Assistive Technology training including computer screen magnification and computer screen access.
- Senior Employment Program
- Help for consumers to keep their jobs or learn new jobs when they experience vision loss.
- Entrepreneurial support for the visually impaired.
We also provide information and referral services to link consumers to other available resources such as the Newsline. The Newsline provides the content of over 300 local and national newspapers and magazines to the visually impaired without charge via touch-tone telephone and the Internet twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Another resource is Talking Books, a cooperative program with local libraries which mail audiobooks, magazines, and audio equipment directly to blind or visually impaired enrollees at no cost.
Q. Are there Support Groups available for the Visually Impaired?
A. Yes. There are support groups throughout the state. Contact Delaware Association for the Blind for the most current listing at 302-654-1376.
Q. How do I register for workshops?
A. DVI sponsors workshops on a variety of topics. For a current list of workshops, call 302-255-9800