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Abstract Details for Best Practices in the Administration of the OIB Program

In recent years, there has been an increased emphasis and interest in providing services to older adults based on best known practices. When the Older Individuals who are Blind Technical Assistance Center (OIB-TAC) was funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), one of the four focus areas the OIB-TAC was to address was best practices in the administration of the state OIB programs. There was very little in the literature, almost no research, but many thoughts and opinions of what best practices might be. In the field of services to older adults who are blind or visually impaired, there is almost no research or literature that would assist in determining best practices. Because of this, the OIB-TAC developed a working definition to direct our efforts to determine best practice. Using this definition, the OIB-TAC formed a task force of 16 experts in the field, from a variety of disciplines and employment settings, and used a modified Delphi procedure to come to consensus about best practices. The expert panel identified best, acceptable, and unacceptable practices for 16 topics under administrative management, implementing an effective program, and development of quality staff. We believe this represents a significant step toward developing collaborative national standards of practice that reflects a degree of professionalism that is much needed in the OIB program. We hope this presentation of best practices will stimulate a national discussion about OIB services.