Services for Individuals who are Blind or Low Vision
Academic classes within E.H. Gentry are tailored to meet the specific needs of each student. Students may enter with a goal of obtaining their high school diploma or General Education Diploma (GED) or may require remediation in one or more subjects before entering college.
Braille is a crucial skill for individuals with vision loss. Print surrounds us every day, in the workplace, at home and during our leisure time. Braille makes it possible for people who are blind or who have low vision to be literate, and literacy plays a huge role in achieving employment and an improved quality of life. Braille classes are taught within Gentry and through AIDB’s statewide network of Regional Centers.
Orientation and Mobility
Orientation and Mobility (O&M) involves teaching people who are blind or who have low vision how to determine where they are in space and how to travel through that space with independence, ease and efficiency. This is accomplished utilizing a variety of techniques depending on the individual’s degree of vision loss. Gentry offers O&M instruction through two instructors along with AIDB’s statewide network of Regional Centersin Birmingham, Dothan, Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery, Talladega, Tuscumbia and Tuscaloosa.
Independent Living, like O&M and many other Gentry programs, is individualized for each person’s specific needs and involves tactile instruction – in the classroom and in the field. The class is divided into both Home and Personal Management divisions with the ultimate goal for the student to be as independent as possible in both professional and personal paths.
Within Home Management, students are introduced to kitchen safety, basic food preparation and cooking techniques, recipe study, meal planning and preparation, use of tools and equipment and comparative shopping.
Personal Management gives students instructions in any area required to ensure ultimate independence. Topics of instruction include communication, daily living, maintaining a household and self-care, as well as work and study habits.
E.H. Gentry’s Assistive Technology program provides services to consumers across Alabama. Assistive technology devices not only improve quality of life for individuals who are blind or low vision, but also empowers those who are blind to succeed in fields that were once unavailable or unattainable.
A comprehensive Assistive Technology Lab gives individuals access and training on a variety of devices with the goal to recommend accommodations, computer software or specific devices to assist in the home, on the job or in the classroom. Assistive Technology services are also offered in many of AIDB’s Regional Centers.
Business Enterprise Program
The Business Enterprise Program (BEP) affords individuals with vision loss self-employment opportunities in the vending and foodservice industry. The Program, enacted by the Randolph Sheppard Act, has a presence in most states. Persons licensed under BEP operate locations ranging from vending at interstate rest areas to food service at federal installations and military dining halls.
Career Readiness Certification
Gentry provides remediation in the core WorkKeys® areas of Applied Mathematics, Locating Information and Reading for Information. A student who earns a WorkKeys® level of 3 or greater in each of these areas qualifies for an Alabama Career Readiness Certificate – a credential that documents an individual’s WorkKeys® scores for prospective employers.
Contact E.H. Gentry Facility Director of Blind Services Jack Harrison at (256) 761.3406 for additional information on how we can serve you!