Adult Blindness and Visual Impairment:
How Does It Happen?

Unless it happens to them, most adults don't know what causes blindness or severe visual impairment.  Listed below are some of the major causes of vision loss.

  • Macular Degeneration: A medical condition that results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field because of damage to the retina.
  • Cataracts: A clouding that develops in the lens of the eye or in its envelope obstructing the passage of light.
  • Glaucoma: A disorder in which the optic nerve suffers damage, permanently damaging vision; it is often, but not always, associated with increased pressure of the fluid in the eye.
  • Stroke: A stroke is the rapidly developing loss of brain function(s) due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain.
  • Diabetic Retinopathy:  Retinopathy is damage to the retina caused by complications of diabetes.
Are you blind or having severe eyesight problems, is your vision changing?  No need to worry...we have the latest technology to help you live a life without any obstacles.  With assistive technology, you can live life with confidence.

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San Diego Center for the Blind: Overview of Our Programs

The History of Vision Rehabilitation

All of our services utilize a specialized field of service, called Vision Rehabilitation, which plays a central role in addressing age-related vision loss.  This field has evolved over the past 50 years, developing from a variety of skilled interventions and technologies.  The result is that people with impaired vision, ranging from those who have no sight to those with partial sight, are able to lead independent and productive lives.

Taking the First Step Towards Independence*

San Diego Center for the Blind (SDCB) provides the first step toward adjustment to vision loss through its comprehensive and specialized rehabilitation program. These services greatly impact the vision impaired individuals’ response to his or her disability and their ultimate return to an independent lifestyle in their community. Accurate and timely rehabilitation efforts will facilitate the individual's adjustment to their vision loss.

*For Your Convenience: Transportation Included
We're here to serve and support our constituents, including providing round-trip transportation to our programs at no cost to our students participating in the vision rehabilitation services.

Types of Services

At SDCB we provide a wide range of Vision Rehabilitation services - all designed to rebuild independence for individuals with vision loss.
  • Assistive Technology Center/Store:  This is the only facility of its kind in San Diego County. We provide a wide range of products for individuals with no vision to those with changing vision. Products include: Magnifiers, lighting, kitchen aids, accessible computer hardware and software, time pieces and more. Individuals are able to be assessed for their needs and requirements and try out various types of equipment that will best help them to achieve their goals.
  • Counseling: Making the transition from being a fully sighted member of the community to one of being non- or partially sighted can be an overwhelming, if not a traumatic, event. Our instruction and counseling focuses on making this transition as smooth and successful as possible, particularly for individuals who are in an emotionally fragile state following sight loss. Once the goals of the individual have been reached, the blind or vision impaired adult is better able to return to an independent lifestyle. Professional staff include Clinical Psychologists, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Rehabilitation Counselors.
  • Independent Living Skills: We offer an extensive schedule of all the courses necessary to train individuals in essential life skills including safety skills, daily living skills, sensory awareness, kitchen skills and more -- all designed to ensure successful independence.  
  • Orientation and Mobility: Training on how to travel safely and efficiently is critical for the individual with vision loss to continue living as independently as possible. This includes the proper use of white canes, utilizing public transportation and traveling safely at home, in the neighborhood, city, state and abroad. This is a highly specialized course taught by master degreed certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists.
  • Communication Skills:   Training is provided to those with vision on how to navigate a keyboard which is necessary in order to access computers using various hardware and software specifically designed for someone with no vision to those with changing vision. In addition, instruction on reading and writing Braille are provided as well.
  • Low Vision: Low vision screening and assessment is provided by a Certified Low Vision Specialist. Clients are trained on the use of low vision equipment such as handheld, portable and desktop magnifiers. In addition, clients are assessed and evaluated for lighting, sunshades and more.
Half of the professional staff at the San Diego Center for the Blind are blind and vision impaired and provide over 100+ years of personal and professional experience.