Your Road To Independence
WHAT IS BBVS?
The mission of the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) is to assist Pennsylvanians with disabilities to secure and maintain employment and independence. OVR’s Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services (BBVS) provides services to assist Pennsylvanians who are blind or visually impaired to work and maintain independent lives. BBVS has six district offices that provide a wide range of services throughout Pennsylvania.
VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION PROGRAM
The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program assists eligible individuals who need services to prepare for, or retain employment. Services may include employment evaluation, counseling and guidance, training, job placement, assistive technology, adjustment to blindness, occupational tools and equipment, orientation and mobility training, and rehabilitation teaching. Services are based on the individual’s needs and choices that are necessary for the person to enter or retain employment.
A VR counselor will determine eligibility for services after gaining a thorough understanding of the individual’s abilities, limitations, interests and aptitudes.
Together, the customer and counselor develop an employment goal and plan to identify the steps needed to achieve it. The plan states what services will be provided and what is expected of both the customer and BBVS, including responsibilities and costs.
Rehabilitation Teaching helps individuals safely and efficiently carry out their daily activities at home, on the job, and in the community. Each customer is evaluated to determine what activities they need help with, and then a plan of instruction is developed. Services may include Braille instruction, home management, in-home orientation and personal management.
ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING
Orientation and Mobility Training teaches individuals how to travel independently and safely within their homes, workplaces and communities. After an evaluation is completed, a training plan is developed to meet the individual’s specific needs.
BUSINESS ENTERPRISE PROGRAM
BEP can assist qualified, interested persons in developing creative business ventures ranging from a vending machine route to a full cafeteria that involves direct and frequent public contact. Specialized training is provided at the Hiram G. Andrews Center (HGAC) and BEP agents are available to provide ongoing technical business support.
SPECIALIZED SERVICES PROGRAM
Specialized Services assists adults and children in achieving safety and independence within their homes and communities. Specialized Services for adults and children may include vision enhancement services, advocacy, counseling, information and referral, rehabilitation teaching, and orientation and mobility services.
Specialized Services for children may also include advocacy for educational services, transition to employment, and assistive technology.
INDEPENDENT LIVING PROGRAM
The Independent Living Program helps people aged 55 and older become more self-sufficient and independent in their homes and communities. Available services are similar to those provided under the Specialized Services program. This program is serving an ever-increasing portion of our adult population.
For more information about services, please email
or contact the BBVS district office nearest to you. Alternate formats of this brochure are available upon request.
1130 12th Avenue -- Suite 300
Altoona, PA 16601
Voice: 814-946-7330 / 866-695-7673
TTY: 814-949-7956 / 866-320-7956
Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, Somerset, Union
4200 Lovell Place
Erie, PA 16503
Voice: 814-871-4401 / 866-521-5073
TTY: 814-871-4599 / 888-884-5513
Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Mercer, Potter, Venango, Warren
Forum Place -- 555 Walnut St. -- 8th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Voice: 717-787-7500 / 866-375-8264
TTY: 717-787-1733 TTY / 888-575-9420
Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, York
444 North 3rd St. -- 5th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19123
Voice: 215-560-5700 / 866-631-3892
TTY: 215-560-5725 TTY / 888-870-4473
Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia
531 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Voice: 412-565-5240 / 866-412-4072
TTY: 412-392-5921 / 888-870-4474
Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Washington, Westmoreland
300 G Laird St.
Voice: 570-826-2361 / 866-227-4163
TTY: 570-826-2023 / 888-651-6117
Berks, Bradford, Carbon, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wayne, Wyoming
1521 N. Sixth St.
Harrisburg, PA 17102
717-787-3201 / 800-622-2842
"Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities"
"Equal Opportunity Employer/Program"
OVR-BVS-525 (Rev. 01-13)