Hearing & Vision

Gradual vision and hearing loss is common as we age. For some, vision or hearing impairment can interfere with work, driving, socializing, or other activities of daily life. These programs help older adults and others to diagnose, treat, and adapt to vision or hearing loss so they can continue to lead full, independent lives.

Click on the v-shaped arrow to the right of each program description to view more information.

This service makes books, magazines, newspapers and other printed materials available in braille and audio formats. Reader advisors assist clients to access these materials. The Reading Room offers all library patrons access to equipment such as closed-circuit magnifiers, accessible computers, and a Kurzweil reading machine as well as large-print reading materials.

Cost: no cost

Who Is Eligible: Northern California residents who cannot read standard print material due to vision or physical disability

Address: 900 N Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: (916) 654-0640 or (800) 952-5666

Email: btbl@library.ca.gov

Website: https://www.library.ca.gov/btbl/service/

This state agency helps Californians living with disabilities access assistive devices, training, and other supportive services so they can work and live independently. The department has several programs specifically for blind or hard of hearing consumers.

Cost: no cost

Who Is Eligible: Californians living with disabilities

Address: several offices in Sacramento County, including the main office located at 721 Capitol Mall, Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: (916) 324-1313 or (800) 952-5544

Website: https://www.dor.ca.gov/

This program provides free specialized phones and accessories for mobile phones for Californians who have a qualifying medical need (e.g., hearing or vision impairment).

Cost: No cost

Who Is Eligible: must live in California, have telephone service (landline or mobile), and have a documented medical need for a specialized phone (see website or contact the program for details)

Address: Sacramento CTAP Service Center, 1300 Ethan Way, Suite 105, Sacramento, CA 95825

Phone: (800) 806-1191

Email: can send message through the Contact Us form on the website

Website: https://californiaphones.org/

Note: clients can test out and pick up equipment at their local CTAP office

This state program helps Californians with hearing or speech limitations make and receive telephone calls.

Cost: no cost

Who Is Eligible: Californians who have speech or hearing limitations

Phone: (800) 806-1191

Website: https://ddtp.cpuc.ca.gov/relay.aspx

Note: see website for how to receive information and services in languages other than English

This non-profit organization offers information, education, support, and advocacy for Californians with hearing loss.

Cost: free information, membership dues for those who wish to join

Who Is Eligible: anyone

Email: bazastrow@hearinglossca.org

Website: https://stage.hearinglossca.org/

Medi-Cal beneficiaries can receive comprehensive routine eye examinations, low vision evaluations, and prescription glasses at no cost.

Cost: no cost

Who Is Eligible: Medi-Cal beneficiaries

Phone: (800) 541-5555 or (916) 636-1980

Email: vision@dhcs.ca.gov

Website: https://www.dhcs.ca.gov/provgovpart/pharmacy/Pages/Vision.aspx

Medi-Cal will pay for hearing aids, molds, repairs, an initial set of batteries, and visits for training, adjustments, and fitting. There is an annual benefit cap of just over $1,500.

Cost: no cost

Who Is Eligible: Medi-Cal beneficiaries

Phone: (800) 541-5555 or (916) ​636-1980

Website: https://www.dhcs.ca.gov/services/Pages/HearingAidCapFAQ.aspx#question1

Note: Medi-Cal does not generally pay for hearing screenings except for certain groups, including residents of licensed nursing homes

This website provides medically-reviewed articles about vision and eye health.

Cost: no cost

Who Is Eligible: anyone

Website: https://myvision.org/

Note: a guide on eye health and aging can be downloaded at https://myvision.org/guides/aging-and-eyesight-guide/

This non-profit organization offers a variety of classes and services to address issues faced by deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Through the Senior Choices program, older clients can receive regular calls to help them stay socially connected, attend social events, and participate in driver safety trainings.

Cost: no cost

Who Is Eligible: older adults who are deaf or hard of hearing

Address: 4044 N. Freeway Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95834

Phone: (916) 349-7500

Email: info@norcalcenter.org

Website: https://norcalcenter.org/

This non-profit health clinic offers eye examinations on a sliding fee basis (Medi-Cal accepted).

Cost: sliding fee (free for Medi-Cal beneficiaries)

Who Is Eligible: anyone

Address: 1500 21st Street, Sacramento, CA 95811

Phone: (916) 443-3299

Website: https://onecommunityhealth.com/services/vision/

RIL works with and for consumers living with disabilities to promote their independence in the community. To support consumers to meet their own goals, RIL can help consumers access and use assistive devices, develop independent living skills, hire and manage personal care assistants, connect with peers and other supportive services, and advocate for themselves and others.

Cost: no cost

Who Is Eligible: anyone who lives in RIL's service area (which includes Sacramento County) and has a disability

Address: 420 I Street, Level B: Suite 3, Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: (916) 446-3074

Email: reception@ril-sacramento.org

Website: https://www.ril-sacramento.org/

This non-profit health center provides a range of medical services, including vision, care. Anyone in the community is welcome; there is no tribal membership or affiliation requirement to receive care. Vision services include comprehensive eye exams, diabetic eye exams, retinal photography, and glaucoma screening.

Cost: varies, multiple insurance types excepted including Medi-Cal

Who Is Eligible: anyone

Address: 2020 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95811

Phone: (916) 341-0575

Email: info@snahc.org

Website: https://www.snahc.org/vision/

Through the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders on the Sacramento State University campus, this center provides speech, language, and hearing testing and services for children, teens, and adults. The audiology clinic offers comprehensive hearing evaluations, hearing aid services, tinnitus evaluation and management, and more.

Cost: no cost (donations accepted)

Who Is Eligible: check with center for specific eligibility requirements

Address: Folsom Hall, Suite 1000, 7667 Folsom Boulevard, Sacramento, CA 95826

Phone: (916) 278-4697

Email: audiology-clinic@csus.edu

Website: https://www.csus.edu/college/health-human-services/community-services/audiology-clinic.html

The Society for the Blind offers a variety of services and classes to help those who are blind or severely visually impaired carry out daily tasks, participate in activities, and build confidence. In addition to taking skills classes, clients can participate in support groups, get connected to other resources, and receive assistance from a personal reader to handle personal or business matters.

Cost: some services are free, others may be fee-based (contact program for details)

Who Is Eligible: must be blind, legally blind, or severely visually impaired

Address: 1238 S Street, Sacramento, CA 95811

Phone: (916) 889-7516

Email: can send message through Contact Us page on website

Website: https://societyfortheblind.org/programs-services/classes-services/

This program offers services and classes specifically designed to help older adults learn how to use non-visual techniques and devices to navigate their environment and perform daily tasks. Participants can also participate in support groups.

Cost: some services are free, others may be fee-based (contact program for details)

Who Is Eligible: at least 55 years old and blind, legally blind, or severely visually impaired

Address: 1238 S Street, Sacramento, CA 95811

Phone: (916) 889-7516

Email: can send message through Contact Us page on website

Website: https://societyfortheblind.org/programs-services/programs-for-55/

Clinic staff conduct evaluations and provide demonstrations and recommendations for assistive devices. The clinic offers a wide variety of low vision lenses and other assistive technologies.

Cost: costs vary, services may be covered by the Department of Rehabilitation, Medicare, or private insurance

Who Is Eligible: anyone diagnosed with a low vision condition

Address: 1238 S Street, Sacramento, CA 95811

Phone: (916) 889-7545

Email: can send message through Contact Us page on website

Website: https://societyfortheblind.org/low-vision-clinic/about-our-clinic/

The VA offers comprehensive audiology services, including hearing evaluations, hearing aids, and other assistive devices.

Cost: contact program for details

Who Is Eligible: all veterans enrolled in the VA's health care system are eligible for audiology diagnostic evaluations; other eligibility rules apply to hearing aid services

Website: https://www.prosthetics.va.gov/audiology/index.asp

The VA offers a variety of care and services for blind and low-vision veterans, including low vision optometry exams, functional vision evaluations, adaptive trainings, and assistive technologies.

Cost: contact program for details

Who Is Eligible: veterans eligible for VA health benefits who have a visual impairment or have received a designation of excess disability (impact on functional abilities)

Website: https://www.prosthetics.va.gov/blindrehab/index.asp

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This page was created by Catheryn Koss.