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The following are national organizations that offer services or information to blind and visually impaired people in the United States. They include government agencies, private social service agencies and many other organizations of and for blind and visually impaired people.
ADAPT: American Disabled for Attendant Programs Today.
American Council of the Blind: jobs bank, "Braille Forum" online, RealAudio and .wav files of ACB speeches, reports and meetings, as well as links to other online resources for the blind; one of their affiliates is the Council of Citizens with Low Vision.
American Foundation for the Blind.
BenefitsCheckUp is a service of the National Council on the Aging "that identifies federal and state assistance programs for older Americans" by means of a simple on-line form.
Blinded Veterans Association.
Disabled Peoples' International: "The purpose of DPI is to promote the Human Rights of People with Disabilities through full participation, equalization of opportunity and development. DPI is a grassroot, cross-disability network with member organizations in over 110 countries, over half of which are in the developing world."
The Foundation Fighting Blindness (formerly National Retinitis Pigmentosa Foundation).
The Hadley School offers a wide variety of free correspondence courses in Braille, academic subjects and for parents and families of visually handicapped children.
International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI): organizes training courses, seminars, conferences; provides information and expert advice; works with governments, non-governmental agencies and international bodies to improve special needs education; publishes "The Educator" and occasional papers.
The Knights Templar Eye Foundation has as its mission "To provide assistance to those who face loss of sight due to the need for surgical treatment without regard to race, color, creed, age, sex, or national origin provided that they are unable to pay or receive adequate assistance from current government agencies or similar sources and to provide funds for research in curing diseases of the eye."
Lighthouse: "the world's leading vision rehabilitation organization." Their publication, "Sharing Solutions: A Newsletter for People with Impaired Vision and Their Families" is available online.
Lions Clubs International is the umbrella organization for the many Clubs around the world that provide services to blind and visually impaired people. Click on "Directory Information" to find a local club.
Lions World Services for the Blind (Little Rock, AK): adult rehabilitation center whose "services include counseling, techniques for independent living, vocational evaluation, pre-vocational training, and extensive vocational courses."
Lupus Foundation of America: current information, frequently asked questions, interactive health forum:
1300 Piccard Dr., Ste 200
Rockville, MD 20850
Mobility International USA hopes to to empower people with disabilities around the world through international exchange, information, technical assistance and training, to ensure the inclusion of people with disabilities in international exchange and development programs." MIUSA publishes "A World Awaits You" in print and online.
National Alliance of Blind Students, an affiliate of the American Council of the Blind, is made up of students who "work together through networking to achieve educational equity and excellence, to seek opportunity and world-wide accessibility." It publishes "The Student Advocate" in various accessible formats, as well as online.
NABS-L is the mailing list of the NABS: to subscribe go to the NABS-L page on Yahoo Groups.
National Association of Blind Students (NFB), an affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind, provides "support, information, and encouragement to blind college and university students." It also publishes a magazine online and on cassette, "The Student Slate."
nabs-l is the mailing list of the National Association of Blind Students; to subscribe, send an email to: email@example.com with "subscribe nabs-l" in the body of the message.
National Association for Visually Handicapped: services for both the blind and those with some usable vision. It also has a mail-order and on-line store that sells a wide variety of visual aids.
The site of the National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems, Inc. provides a history of Client Assistance Programs and Protection and Advocacy Programs, as well as a directory of agencies by state, news briefs and recent legal developments.
National Camps for Blind Children is a project of Christian Record Services that runs summer and winter camps in eighteen locations around the country.
National Federation of the Blind: advocacy ("The blind speaking for the blind"), braille literacy, "Braille Monitor" and "Voice of the Diabetic" online; ordering information for books, articles and cassettes; excellent guide to adaptive technology.
Slate Pals: Call or write to arrange for braille pen-pals:
Attn: Deborah Stein
5817 N. Nina Chicago, IL 60631
Phone: 773- 631-1093.
Prevent Blindness America: has good brief explanations of a range of eye conditions and diseases.
Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic: "educational lending library of academic and professional textbooks on audio tape from elementary through post-graduate and professional levels"; also supplies books on e-text and sells four-track cassette players/recorders.
Sensory Access Foundation: job preparation, training, accomodation, retention, and access technology (the site was under reconstruction in February, 1999).
The Social Security Administration pamphlet, "If You Are Blind How We Can Help" is available on-line (revised as of February 1999).
VISION Foundation, Inc.: publishes a VISION Resource List of about 120 items dealing with eye conditions, resources and more general information (16th edition):
818 Mt. Auburn Street,
Watertown, MA 02172,
Vision World Wide provides information, education, guidance, support and consumer protection to blind and visually impaired people and the professionals who serve them. Vision World Wide also publishes a quarterly journal, "Vision Enhancement," which is available in large print, e-mail, floppy disk and audio tape formats.
"Yiddish for the Disabled" "is meant to aid the disabled to learn, appreciate and communicate with others the beauty of our mame-loshn [i.e. , the Yiddish language]." It has numerous links to resources for blind and visually handicapped people.
The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped has compiled a reference circular detailing the national organizations and agencies that provide services to people who are blind or visually impaired.
The most comprehensive directory of organizations and services, both national and local, is the "AFB Directory of Services for Blind and Visually Impaired Persons in the United States and Canada," 25th edition (New York: AFB Press, 1998; ISBN 0-89128-300-5, for print/CD-Rom edition) produced by the American Foundation for the Blind. It includes "A Brief Overview of Major Federal Programs," a subject index using broad categories, a listing of organizations by state, and a single alphabetical index. It comes with a CD-ROM "containing the same information, designed to be accessible with adaptive equipment."
Another source is the "Encyclopedia of Associations," available in most libraries either in print or as an online CD-ROM product. Search on such terms as "blind," "blindness," "visually handicapped," "visually impaired," etc. It lists over 400 national and local organizations dealing with those disabilities.
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