Organizational resources for the blind – where do you turn?
This list is only intended to get you started with some resources for the blind I’ve found useful. Descriptions are generally from their websites, which will explain some of the inconsistency in content. If you uncover a great resource in the course of your journey, please email the link (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll add it to my blog. I’d especially like to build out a state-by-state list of recommended resources.
American Council of the Blind: The American Council of the Blind strives to increase the independence, security, equality of opportunity, and quality of life, for all blind and visually-impaired people. This is a “consumer organization” whose members and leadership are people who are blind or visually impaired.
American Foundation for the Blind: The American Foundation for the Blind removes barriers, creates solutions, and expands possibilities so people with vision loss can achieve their full potential. They also publish information about new technology in AccessWorld.
American Printing House for the Blind: The American Printing House for the Blind promotes independence of blind and visually impaired persons by providing specialized materials, products, and services needed for education and life.
Assistech: Assistech is an online company based in Tucson, Arizona. They provide assistive technologies for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, partly sighted, speech impaired, physically challenged, as well as those with mobility/dexterity issues, memory loss, and cognitive disorders. They’ve been in business since March 2000. They offer a 30-day trial period on most products, same-day shipping, fast delivery, and great customer service
Blind Golf Association: This national organization has many regional affiliates, all dedicated to helping people who have lost their sight return to the game they love. Golfers who are blind are paired with sighted golfers who help with alignment and putting.
Blinded Veterans Association: The mission of BVA is:
“To promote the welfare of blinded veterans so that, notwithstanding their disabilities, they may take their rightful place in the community and work with their fellow citizens toward the creation of a peaceful world.”
“To preserve and strengthen a spirit of fellowship among blinded veterans so that they may give mutual aid and assistance to one another.”
“To maintain and extend the institution of American freedom and encourage loyalty to the Constitution and laws of the United States and of the states in which they reside.”
Center for the Blind of the Assemblies of God: The mission is to provide Christian literature in Braille, audio and ink print/Braille formats including tactile pictures for children and a free cartridge Bible. They desire to “making the cross accessible”
Disability.gov: The site connects people with disabilities, their families and caregivers to helpful resources on topics such as how to apply for disability benefits, find a job, get health care or pay for accessible housing. You can also find organizations in your community to help you get the support you need.
Expertise.com: This guide aims to help make the federal grants available to seniors, veterans, and disabled people much easier to understand and take advantage of, particularly for remodeling homes for accessibility.
Flying Blind: Empowers persons who are vision-impaired with the necessary Adaptive Technology Solutions to make them independent and efficient in unlimited capacities.
Foundation Fighting Blindness: The urgent mission of the Foundation Fighting Blindness is to drive the research that will provide preventions, treatments and cures for people affected by retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, Usher syndrome, and the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases.
Freedom Scientific: Freedom Scientific develops the highest quality video magnifiers, braille displays, screen magnification software, and the #1 screen reader, JAWS® for Windows. For over 20 years, their products have provided access to print and computers for people with blindness, low vision, or learning disabilities.
The Hadley School for the Blind: Their mission is to promote independent living through lifelong, distance education programs for people who are blind or visually impaired, their families and blindness service providers.
Helen Keller International: Founded in 1915, Helen Keller International is dedicated to saving the sight and lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. They combat the causes and consequences of blindness and malnutrition by establishing programs based on evidence and research in vision, health and nutrition.
Laser Eye Surgery Hub: The Laser Eye Surgery Hub has compiled a listing of resources based on specific needs and situations. From help adapting to life with low or no vision, to financial assistance for the vision-impaired, these resources can provide assistance and helpful insights for easier daily living and a higher quality of life. When it comes to finding online resources for the blind and vision impaired, there is a range of tools, sources and solutions for most needs. Even so, becoming aware of and finding the tools that you need can be an overwhelming experience, not only because of the sheer numbers of tools available, but also because new eye health treatments and discoveries, as well as low vision tools and services are continuously emerging. Their resource list will help.
Lighthouse International: Since 1905, Lighthouse International has led the charge in the fight against vision loss through prevention, treatment and empowerment. Their founders, Winifred and Edith Holt, blazed a trail of firsts and opened up new doors of opportunity for people without sight. Today, they’re proud to continue the Holt legacy on behalf of all those who look to the Lighthouse as a beacon of hope today — and will for many years to come.
MaxiAids: Over the past 28-plus years, MaxiAids has grown to be the industry-leading supplier of products for independent living. Their many loyal customers enjoy an unequalled variety of products, the lowest available prices and superior service.
National Federation of the Blind: The ultimate purpose of the National Federation of the Blind is the complete integration of the blind into society on a basis of equality. This objective involves the removal of legal, economic, and social discriminations; the education of the public to new concepts concerning blindness; and the achievement by all blind people of the right to exercise to the fullest their individual talents and capacities. It means the right of the blind to work along with their sighted neighbors in the professions, common callings, skilled trades, and regular occupations. This is a “consumer organization” whose members and leadership are people who are blind or visually impaired.
National Industries for the Blind: For more than 75 years, National Industries for the Blind (NIB) has focused on enhancing the opportunities for economic and personal independence of people who are blind, primarily through creating, sustaining and improving employment. NIB and its network of 94 associated nonprofit agencies nationwide serve as the largest employer of people who are blind through the sale of SKILCRAFT® and other products and services provided by the AbilityOne® Program, established by the Javits-Wagner-O’Day Act.
Perkins School for the Blind: Perkins School for the Blind has a website where educators, families, and students can share information about technology for students with visual impairments and blindness.
Resources for Travelers: Great post by Andrea Reily, filled with links to facilitate travelers who are blind or visually impaired.
VisionAware: A collaboration between the American Foundation for the Blind and Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight which provides resources for independent living with vision loss.
Remember, please feel free to send shout-outs for your favorite organization serving people who are blind or visually-impaired to email@example.com and I’ll add them to my website resources.