Older Blind

Losing vision in your later years? If so, you're in good company.

One in four older adults has significant vision loss.


What are the main causes of visual impairment and blindness for older adults?



Most of these conditions do not cause total blindness, but older people can experience problems such as:

  • Limited Side Vision
  • Limited Central Vision
  • Glare and Sensitivity to Light
  • Insufficient Available Light
  • Fluctuating Vision
  • Blurred or Hazy Eyesight
  • Double Vision
  • Lack of Depth Perception


Any of these can make everyday tasks awkward and frustrating to do visually. Learning to pay attention to your other senses, especially good old "common sense," enables you to do things easily again. If you are experiencing difficulty with daily activities because of diminished vision, the teaching and counseling offered by NCBVI can help.


The Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (NCBVI) is established to assist visually impaired and blind Nebraskans toward fuller and more rewarding lives. It is the mission of NCBVI to provide blind and visually impaired persons the counseling, training, placement and procurement services to increase independence and/or improve employment opportunity. NCBVI accomplishes its mission through the efforts of skilled, dedicated and caring people who make a positive difference both in the lives of those they serve and in the lives of each other.



What services are available?

Training & Counseling

Learn non-visual ways of doing things such as cane travel, telling time, reading, cooking and so much more. Continuing with activities which were important to you before vision loss promotes a positive attitude and can help you regain your self-confidence. Rehabilitation teaching and counseling are provided individually, at home in all parts of Nebraska and in group training programs where participants learn from each other as well as from our staff.



Information & Referral

Ask us for information about blindness, the services we offer or other resources. We can also provide speakers for your meetings.

For additional information about NCBVI's services for older blind individuals, contact Erin Brandy at erin.brandyberry@nebraska.gov


To learn more about vision problems and how to continue active living despite them, contact:  

Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired

4600 Valley Road, Suite 100 
Lincoln, Nebraska 68510-4844 
Telephone: (402) 471-2891 
Fax: (402) 471-3009 
Toll Free Number: (877) 809-2419

Helpful hints for people with vision loss

  • You can distinguish coins by feeling the rim with your fingernail. The penny and nickel are smooth, the dime and quarter have ridges.
  • Paper money can be folded in a way you will remember. You can leave your ones unfolded, fold the five dollar bills in half lengthwise, fold your tens in half the short way and fold your twenty dollar bills in thirds. Use a system that works for you. Be imaginative.
  • Dial the phone by feel. On push-button phones the top row is always 1 - 2 - 3, the second row is 4 - 5 - 6, and so on. The rotary dial is easy too. Feel where the 1 and 0 are, then count around the dial to the numbers you need. You don't have to see the phone to make a call. With a little practice you'll dial quickly and easily.
  • A simple cardboard template with windows cut out can fit over your bank checks allowing you to feel where to write the date, amount, etc. You can keep your records in large print with a black marker or on a cassette tape.
  • Cooking can be done by listening, using a timer, feeling the "doneness" with a fork and learning the settings of the dials by feel.
  • To tell time you can use a Braille watch, or simply remove the cover of an ordinary clock, allowing you to feel where the hands are. Talking clocks and watches are also available.
  • Using a long white cane, you can walk safely and confidently regardless of lighting conditions or your amount of vision.
  • If you can't see faces clearly, listen. Usually, you can identify people by their voice, step or other individual characteristic.
  • These and other alternative techniques can be learned with practice and a little patience. Our staff is available to help you develop ways of doing daily tasks with ease.

There Is No Charge For Services. Give Us a Call!  

The services of this agency are available to all Nebraskans on a nondiscriminatory basis, without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age or handicap. Anyone with an inquiry or complaint is urged to contact:

Carol Jenkins
Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired 
Deputy Director for Services
4600 Valley Road, Suite 100 
Lincoln, NE 68510-4844 
(402) 440-8120
Fax: (402) 471-3009 
Toll Free Number: (877) 809-2419

Spanish Translation:  Ciegos adultos mayores

French Translation:  Personnes âgées devenues aveugles

More Resources

Older Blind Services - A Historical Perspective

AFB Senior Site