Frequently Asked Questions

Who can attend the Center?

California Residents
Each applicant must be 18 years of age, visually impaired, and a client of the California Department of Rehabilitation. Each applicant must also have a monthly source of income. Due to the independent nature of the Hatlen Center, applicants need to be able to make emergency decisions, such as what to do in case of fire or medical crisis. In addition, applicants must be able to administer their own medications.

Applicants From Other States
The requirements are the same as for California residents, except that the sponsor may be a state Department of Rehabilitation, a State Commission for the Blind, or a private source.

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How much does it cost to attend the Center?

California Residents
The California State Department of Rehabilitation pays The Hatlen Center a monthly tuition for students who are California residents. However, students pay all of their own expenses out of their own income, including: rent, food, utilities, transportation, telephone, and incidentals. Most students receive SSI.

Students From Other States
Students from other states pay all of their expenses from their own income, including: rent, food, utilities, transportation, telephone, and incidentals. However, the sponsor, whether it is a state Department of Rehabilitation, a state Commision for the Blind, or a private source, will pay The Hatlen Center a monthly tuition for operation costs during a student’s stay in the program.

Since students’ bills are in their own names, they are building a very real credit reputation. For this reason, every student is assigned a teacher to be a “Financial Advisor,” and the financial management curriculum is extremely high on our priority list. We believe that learning to manage one’s own finances is an important key to independence. For more information, do not hesitate to call (510) 234-4894 or email us at: pmaffei@juniorblind.org.

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What about if I have other disabilities in addition to blindness?

Not a problem. The Hatlen Center has had students with cerebral palsy, diabetes, orthopedic disabilities, mild developmental disabilities, as well as deaf-blind students.

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Can I work or attend school while I am at the Center?

Once students demonstrate that they have achieved a basic level of independence in living skills, they are supported and encouraged to move to the next level. For many students, this includes enrolling in college classes part time, or finding part-time volunteer or paid employment. FULL-TIME school or work are not allowed.

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Can I live alone?

All students share a two-bedroom apartment with a roommate.

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What is located near the Center?

The Hatlen Center is located in the San Francisco Bay Area. The local bus system, paratransit system, and Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) make it easy to get to activities and locations throughout the Bay Area. Students travel to the Oakland Coliseum, the city of San Francisco, concert venues, shopping malls, and restaurants throughout the Bay Area.

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Do you have a wait list?

The wait list changes often. Email or call at any time for an update.

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What is the average age of students who attend the Center?

The average age is between 18 and 26; however, there is no upper age limit. Attending students sometimes are in their 40’s, 50’s, or even older.

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Can I have overnight visitors while I am attending the Center?

You are welcome to have overnight visitors, including family and friends. However, it is best if friends visit on the weekends so as not to disrupt classes during the week. Also, The Hatlen Center has a three-day rule: visitors cannot stay more than three days at a time.

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What other rules do I have to follow?

Applicants must agree to participate fully in the program. The Hatlen Center’s students, like all tenants at the apartment complex, are expected to follow the apartment complex rules regarding use of the pool and the laundry room, being respectful of neighbors and so on. New students are presented copies of these rules when they arrive at the program.

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Is it possible for me to communicate with people familiar with your program?

Certainly. The contacts listed below have graciously agreed to respond to any questions you may have. Please put ‘The Hatlen Center’ in the subject line.

Louis Bryant (graduate): l_bryant2004@yahoo.com
Samir Shaibi (graduate/current Living Skills Instructor at The Hatlen Center): sshaibi@juniorblind.org
Judith Lesner (parent of graduate and officer in the National Association of
Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI)): MAVEno1@aol.com

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