The Carroll Center is committed to the independence of blind and visually-impaired persons by providing rehabilitation, skills training, and educational opportunities to achieve independence, self-sufficiency, and self-fulfillment and by educating the public regarding the potential of persons who are blind and visually-impaired. History: The Carroll Center for the Blind's rehabilitation programs grew out of the developments made by the Veteran's Administration in the 1940's to rehabilitate veterans blinded in WWII. Based on the success of this program, Fr. Thomas J. Carroll, one of the pioneers of these first rehabilitation efforts of the VA, founded the first residential rehabilitation program for civilians who became blind in 1954. Through this effort Fr. Carroll gave new hope and provided new opportunities to all recently blinded persons to develop skills for living independent and productive lives. He documented his success in his widely acclaimed book, "Blindness: What it is, What it does, and How to live with it." His legacy, Carroll Center for the Blind, is a state of the art rehabilitation center for blind and visually impaired persons of all ages. Since the death of Fr. Carroll in 1971, the Carroll Center maintains the same goals of instilling independence and self confidence, while the programs and services have been vastly expanded to accommodate the modern day needs of the person who is blind or visually impaired. Today the Carroll Center provides short term programs for working age adults, elders and schoolchildren to live independently, use adaptive technology, perform successfully in the workplace, in the classroom and in the home. Programs can be provided at the Carroll Center's residential campus or in the individual's community and can range in time from one week of introduction to 16 weeks of intensive training.
There are five major Operating Programs not including other secondary services:
The Residential Rehabilitation Program is a very intensive program designed to address the specific needs of a blind adult in order to make the personal adjustments to blindness or vision impairment and to return to living independently.
In order to address the individual's specific needs in a cost effective manner, the program has a high staff/client ratio (oftentimes 1:1) serving 2000 persons in fiscal year 2007. The length of service may vary from one week to 12 weeks. Approximately sixteen to eighteen adults participate in the program at one time, and gain a positive life-changing experience.
Community Services of Mobility/ safe travel skills were provided in the community to 695 children and adults who are blind or visually impaired.(FY2007) Educational Support Services were provided to over 188 blind or visually impaired children in the classroom.(FY2007)
Adaptive Computer Technology Service was provided to 99 individuals. (FY2007) This instruction was provided mostly at the Carroll Center campus, while some training was provided on the job site. Instruction includes fluency in the use of the latest state-of-the-art computer equipment using braille or speech access, for use in the work-place, in the classroom or in the home.
Job Placement: Through a new initiative, The Carroll Center now prepares qualified candidates for employment, including resume writing, interviewing techniques and internships. Candidates achieving success in these areas are eligible for placement in competitive employment positions in the community developed by the Carroll Center Job Specialists.
Vision Resource Library: The Center operates the materials development Center for Massachusets Schools, providing braille and large print books to over 700 blind and visually impaired youngsters in K-12 in Fiscal year 2007.