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JEFFERSON CITY –– The Missouri Department of Social Services’ Rehabilitation Services for the Blind is tops in the nation among state vocational rehabilitation agencies that exclusively serve the blind. RSB was the only agency of its kind to meet or exceed all performance standards in the most recent evaluation of vocational rehabilitation agencies conducted by the Rehabilitation Services Administration. The RSA, which funds state programs to assist persons with disabilities to live independently and pursue meaningful careers, measures each state vocational rehabilitation agency’s success in helping eligible individuals get and retain jobs.
“States are evaluated on their ability to provide vocational services that lead to quality jobs and make services accessible to minorities with vision impairments,” said Deputy Director for RSB Mark Laird. “Our agency was the only one of 24 programs that exclusively serve the blind to pass all performance indicators. Meeting those standards is vital to enabling us to accomplish our mission to help the visually impaired achieve personal and vocational goals.”
2009 is the second consecutive year RSB has received top ratings in the annual evaluation, including:
–– 531 blind Missourians obtained or retained employment (compared to 521 the previous reporting period); and,
–– 79.73% of blind persons exiting the Missouri program after receiving services achieve their employment goal, compared to the average of 66.6% for all agencies that exclusively serve the blind.
Services to assist Missouri’s visually impaired have been available since 1945 when the Bureau for the Blind was created. In 1993 the Bureau for the Blind became Rehabilitation Services for the Blind, with a continued mission of helping the blind and visually impaired attain personal and vocational success.
RSB has eight offices located throughout the state. Missourians who could benefit from RSB services can get information on eligibility requirements by calling 800-592-6004, or writing to: Rehabilitation Services for the Blind, P.O. Box 2320, Jefferson City, Mo. 65102 or visit web site http://dss.mo.gov/fsd/rsb/.