Montana Association for the Blind
Helena, MT 59624
The Montana Association for the Blind (MAB) offers several programs promoting social and economic self-sufficiency for blind and low vision Montanans. In 2009 the following programs were offered:
-Summer Orientation Program – This is an intense 4-week program for blind and partially sighted Montanans. Twenty students are taught adaptive ways to cope with the loss of vision through classes in cooling, computer skills, orientation and mobility, aids to daily living, low vision appliances, Braille, woodworking, crafts and more. Most of the instructors are blind.
-Newsline – Approximately 180 Montana residents subscribed to Newsline which provides phone access to 250 daily newspapers and periodicals, including the daily newspapers of the Billings Gazette, the Missoulian and the Great Falls Tribune.
-Emil A. Honka Scholarship – Assisted one visually impaired Montana student to further his/her education in social work at Montana State University.
-Student Division of the Montana Association for the Blind – The MAB supported the formation of this division. Members of this division are students at one of the university system schools in Montana. During the year they have been mentored during the Washington Seminar (advocacy day for the blind in Washington, DC), at the annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind, and attended the annual convention of the MAB.
-Memorial Loan Fund – Interest-free loans are made to legally blind members of the association for technological needs/purposes. We had one active loan during 2009.
-Elder Blind Equipment Program – Montanans with impaired vision and over the age of 55 may purchase adaptive equipment through this interest-free lease/purchase program. This provides for about 50 people to obtain equipment within the financial resources available to them.