Adaptive Living Program (Age 55+)


Are you over age 55 and facing new challenges due to vision loss? Whether you have some amount of usable vision or are fully blind, Helen Keller Services for the Blind (HKSB) can help you to become more self-reliant and to improve your quality of life.

Most vision loss is a result of age-related eye disorders such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and glaucoma. Whether it comes on gradually or suddenly, a change in vision can leave you with a lot of questions: What do I do in an emergency? Can I continue to live alone? Do I need a guide dog? How do I figure out what adaptive equipment is right for me? Where can I go for help? At HKSB, we'll help you to find the answers, providing you with the guidance, training and devices you need to handle challenging situations with confidence.

After an intake assessment, our staff of experts will help you to set rehabilitation goals and make a plan to achieve them. You’ll receive individualized rehabilitation and low vision services tailored to your specific needs.

During the program, you’ll have the opportunity to:

  • Be examined by a low vision doctor.
  • Try out the latest in low vision aids, including lenses and magnifiers.
  • Learn strategies to help you take care of your home, travel safely, enjoy leisure activities and more.
  • Find out about services and resources that are available to you.
  • Get support from a social worker who has experience helping people adjust to vision loss.
Man and woman with canes standing by the railing on a boat.

Hands-on Training

Woman stands in front of stove top talking to man leaning on the counter with back to camera.Take back as much control as possible by learning the basics of coping with vision loss. You’ll work one-on-one with experts in low vision eye care, orientation and mobility, communications and daily living activities to identify your strengths and weaknesses, and you’ll receive personalized instruction that will help you to live your life to the fullest.

As part of your training, you’ll:

  • Learn how to tackle tasks like meal preparation, cleaning, laundry, money management and bill paying.
  • Master the basics of safe travel.
  • Find out how to create and use Braille labels to better organize your home.

And you’ll explore adaptive equipment including:

  • Large-button phones
  • Large-face clocks and talking watches
  • Signature guides
  • Tactual markers and other labeling systems
  • E-readers
  • Recorders
  • Optical aids such as magnifiers, pocket-sized telescopes and specialized lighting


The Adapted Living Program is open to New York City and Long Island residents who are age 55 and over and are legally blind. Services are free if you meet the eligibility requirements and participate in a NYS Commission for the Blind rehabilitation program. Certain optical aids and adaptive equipment are provided based on economic need. 

Contact us for more information

Success Story

Video & Transcript

Woman standing in street holding file folder

Sherry’s Story: Making Things Easier for Mitchell

Sherry, an HKSB vision rehab therapist, made a house call to Mitchell, bringing him adaptive equipment that will help put his daily life in focus.

Go to Sherry's Story Go to All HKSB Success Stories