The Blind Readers' Page--Main Menu
Lee Allen's "The Hole In My Vision: An Artist's View of His Own Macular Degeneration" includes not only an account of his macular degeneration but a collection of his drawings of the holes in his vision. It is available from the Penfield Press.
The American Printing House for the Blind sponsors an annual juried art competition and exhibition designed exclusively for visually impaired artists, both children and adults.
Art Education for the Blind: ". . . guidelines for making visual art accessible were developed by Art Education for the Blind, Inc., (AEB). AEB, a nonprofit organization, is committed to the belief that blind and visually impaired individuals should and can be provided with the perceptual information necessary to have full intellectual access to the history and culture of our world. With this goal in mind, AEB provides access to visual art through programming and educational materials suitable for use in museums, in educational institutions, and at home through independent learning."
AEB produces "Art History Through Touch and Sound," a multi-sensory textbook.
935 Madison Ave.
New York, NY 10021
Phone: 212-879-5100. [no website as of October 2002]
Art for Students Who Are Blind is a pilot program for students and teachers, created by the SNOW Project and the Art Gallery of Toronto.
The Art of the Eye, I and II: The Delta Gamma Foundation sponsors two touring collections of multi-media works of art created by professional artists who are visually impaired.
Artslynx offers an extensive list of arts programs and resources for people with varying disabilities. They offer resources specifically for those who are deaf or hard of hearing as well as for those who are blind or who have low-vision. Resources include programs in theatre, dance, visual arts and music.
"Assistive Technology and Art," prepard by Melissa Enderle for the Wisconsin Assistive Technology Initiative, has pictures and descriptions of products for making art, as well as art software and a review of the literature.
"The Association for Theatre and Accessibility is a membership based organization whose mission is to foster full participation and involvement of individuals with all types of disabilities in drama and theatre activities."
Blind Theater Company: New Life (Novi Zivot), Hrvatska, Zagreb, Croatia. This site also has a link to the "1st International Blind and Visually Impaired Theatre Festival," Zagreb, 7th to 10th October 1999.
The Deaf-Blind Theatre Access Project: "with specially trained interpreters, close-up seating, and an opportunity to experience sets, costumes, and props through touch, Deaf-Blind people can experience the magic of theatre." The site is a manual of how to do this.
"Extraordinary Art: Beyond the Museum: Exceptional Art by Artists with Exceptional Challenges," by Sara Steele and Kim Flounders in "Palaestra" magazine describes a number of programs for and by blind artists.
Marty Klein publishes reviews of current movies, judging them "based on my ability to follow the picture with the aid of a sighted assistant" and rating them on a scale of 1 to 10.
Music by Ear offers "complete courses for the piano and guitar, including courses specifically for those with visual impairments, as well as individual lessons teaching an entire songs all the way through." The courses "Intro to the Guitar for the Visually Impaired" and "Intro to the Piano for the Visually Impaired" can also be found on the site.
National Arts and Disability Center is a "national information dissemination, technical assistance and referral center specializing in the field of arts and disability." Their site has an extraordinarily wide range of information about organizations, programs and disabled artists.
"National Exhibits by Blind Artists, Inc." is a Philadelphia-based nonprofit, volunteer organization dedicated to showcasing the work of legally blind artists. Exhibits of outstanding pieces have created 19 highly successful juried shows presented in prominent museums and galleries in the United States and abroad."
The National Theatre Workshop of the Handicapped is located in Maine and New York: "In addition to offering the highest level of professional academic instruction in acting, oral interpretation, music, movement, dance, playwriting, theatre management and technical theatre, NTWH teaches students how to present themselves off the stage as well." Scholarships are available.
Recordings for Recovery lends music recordings to people who are institutionalized, homebound or otherwise limited by disabling conditions.
A gallery of pictures by painter Ann Roughton, who developed macular degeneration, is available online. She also has some advice for painters with macular degeneration who want to continue creating art.
"See, Hear, Imagine" is an on-line exhibition for the visually impaired that features the art of Finnish symbolist painter Hugo Simberg through six of his works. The works are presented through detailed descriptions of the pictures and by analyses of their background and themes. [The link is to an English-language version.]
Theater by the Blind (New York, NY) produced "Brecht on Brecht" in the summer of 2002.
VSA arts promotes "the creative power in people with disabilities" through programs, exhibits and education. Their Wisconsin affiliate has programs, teacher training, festivals, exhibitions and artist-in-residence programs.
The Wisconsin Conservatory of Music has a program of music therapy and adaptive music offering private and group services to organizations and individuals with disabilities and/or medical problems.
Many museums have special programs and tours for people with visual or physical disabilities:
Access Outdoors is a web site by Wilderness Inquiry and "is an information resource for persons with disabilities who are looking for trips, destinations, products and services related to accessible outdoor recreation."
The American Camping Association database lists over sixty camps for people with blindness or visual disabilities.
Fishing Has No Boundaries, Inc. (Hayward, WI) has as its goal "to open the great outdoors for people with disabilities through the world of fishing." Phone: 800-243-3462 Phone: 715-634-3185.
Grown-Up Camps lists twelve camps for grown-ups with visual impairments in the United States and Canada.
Christian Record Services runs National Camps for Blind Children every summer in 26 locations, including Wisconsin.
Kids' Camps: "the Internet's most comprehensive directory of camps and summer experiences," lists 65 camps for visually handicapped children in the United States and Canada. It also lists camps for children having two dozen other sorts of special needs.
The National Center on Accessibility "is an organization committed to the full participation in parks, recreation and tourism by people with disabilities" by providing "cutting edge technical assistance, education and research on accessibility issues to the parks, recreation and tourism industries."
Space Camp for Interested Visually Impaired Students (SCIVIS).
Wisconsin Lions Camp.
The State of Wisconsin has a special deer hunting season for people with disabilities. http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/land/wildlife/hunt/deer/sponsor.htm
Wisconsin publishes a pamphlet, "What You Should Know About Permits for People With Disabilities" aimed at disabled hunters and fishermen.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has many accessible parks, forests, trails and facilities, including accessible cabins.
Wilderness Inquiry: Outdoor adventures for campers of all abilities.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) list in its "Orders, Public Notices, Notices and Press Releases" an order directing the major networks to provide at least fifty hours per quarter of described programming. There is also an FCC fact sheet on video description and the requirement that emergency information scrolled across the screen be made accessible.
Joel Snyder's "Audio Description--The Visual Made Aural" is an account of audio description from the point of view of the describer. it can be found, along with another short essay on the subject, on Snyder's Audio Description Home Page.
Descriptive TheatreVision offers audio-described motion pictures for the blind and visually impaired in movie theaters. It also has produced a described version of "Titanic."
P.O. Box 900
Woodland Hills, CA 91365
AudioVision Canada, part of the National Broadcast Reading Service of Canada, makes described videos available to Canadian individuals and libraries. There is an online list of titles available.
The Audiovision service provides blind people in France with about fifty described movies and a hundred stage plays.
Descriptive Video Service sells described videos of current and classic Hollywood films; they also produce a monthly schedule of described Public Broadcasting System programs and of the weekly described cable broadcast on the Turner Classic Movies channel. There is also a listing of described movies currently being shown in theaters.
The CPB/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media has developed the Media Access Generator (MAGpie), an authoring tool for making Web- and CD-ROM based multimedia materials accessible to persons with disabilities.
The Motion Picture Access Project is making first-run films accessible in movie theaters by means of captioning for deaf people and audio description for blind people.
A list of theaters, including one in Wauwatosa, WI, where captioning and description are available is posted at the WGBH site. The address of the Wauwatosa theater is:
AMC Mayfair Mall
2500 North Mayfair Road
Narrative Television Network has several dozen described movies available for downloading on its web site.
New Media Services offers about one hundred described videos for sale. For a catalog, write to:
New Media Resources, Inc.
22222 Sherman Way, Suite 100
Canoga Park, CA
AudioVision Canada sells about fifty described versions of movie classics.
GoodLife TV Network provides about seventeen hours per week of audio-described movies and television series.
The Vision World Foundation is attempting to create the Vision Descriptive Television Network, "the only 24-hour-7day-a-week television network which will be by and for blind and visually impaired people utilizing state-of-the-technology [to create] narrative video . . . comedies, dramas, children's shows, public affairs, theater, and movies, all with narration . . . English, Portuguese and Spanish."
Vocaleyes is a British audio-description service specializing in live theater performances. Besides description of the performance itself, they provide a pre-production tape with information on access to the theatre and performance notes. Before the production, blind theatregoers are given a Touch Tour of the stage.
Local organizations like the Washington Ear (D.C.), Access Arts Austin (Texas),the Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute (Ohio) and the Audio-Reader Network (Kansas)--among many other organizations--provide audio description for local theaters and art exhibitions. There is an internet mailing list for people interested in audio description (AUDIODESCL) and international conferences have been held to bring describers together.
For those who want to be constantly informed and updated about games accessible to the blind, there is the Blindgamers list. It is a discussion list for blind gamers and game developers and is quite active. To subscribe, send a blank E-mail to:
Audyssey is a magazine and mailing list devoted to text-based computer games. The current issue and all back issues can be viewed online or downloaded.
There is also an online discussion forum for games.
The V.I. Guide has an extensive set of links to text-based and speech-friendly computer games.
Bavisoft makes "Grizzly Gulch Western Extravaganza," a newly-released game created purely from sound imagery.
Dreamtech Interactive sells "World of Darkness," an interactive fiction game that uses many true-to-life sound effects.
"ESP Softworks is in the development stage of producing several games and entertainment software titles for the blind and visually impaired community."
Games for the Blind sells games "designed and written specifically for blind gamers by a totally blind programmer"; they offer about ten different games.
GMA Games designs sophisticated Windows-based games that are fully accessible to blind and visually impaired individuals. The first offerings include "Lone Wolf," "Trek 2000" and "Shades of Doom."
A selection of accessible interactive fiction games is available from the Interactive Fiction Archive.
Jim Kitchen creates free speech-friendly games for DOS and Windows.
MindsEye2: Computer Games for the Blindproduces educational software and computer games for the blind, including crosswords, anagrams and matching games.
[no web site as of October 2002]
Personal Computer Systems sells over twenty different computer games for blind gamers.
"Zform is a new software entertainment company focused on creating games that are fully accessible to both the blind and sighted communities. Using parallel audio/video interfaces and Internet play, Zform plans to conquer the "graphical divide" between blind and sighted gamers."
Kchess Elite is a computer chess program with many advanced capabilities for saving, printing and analysing games. According to its creator, it is "suited for use with screen reader software for the blind or visually impaired."
Josiane Rommes describes half a dozen party games that don't require vision and that can be played by blind and sighted people together.
United States Blind Chess Association
30 Snell Street
Brockton, MA 02401.
United States Braille Chess Association
"Challenger" is the magazine of the U.S. Braille Chess Association (USBCA.) It contains results, scores and analysis of members' games, USBCA news, general chess news and grandmaster games, instructional articles on chess, sources of chess books and equipment and reviews of chess computer games and databases that are accessible to blind players. Challenger is published quarterly on a 60-minute cassette. A subscription costs $20.00 for two years or $12.00 for one year. A free sample issue is available upon request.
Jay Leventhal, Editor
111-20 76th Rd. Apt. 5L
Forest Hills, NY 11375
BrailleChess.Net is a site for deafblind and blind people who want to learn braille chess.
Ann Morris Enterprises sells about forty different games for players of all ages and skill levels.
The Genealogical Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped has instructional materials in Braille, large print, and on cassette, plus a 5,000 volume collection (in regular print) of genealogical books, pamphlets and magazines.
The Genealogical Library for the Blind
P. O. Box 88534, Atlanta, GA 30358.
Handi-Hams, "Amateur Radio for Persons With Disabilities," lists sources of study materials, adaptive ham radio equipment and other organizations. They also supply taped manuals and instruction courses. Their newsletter, "Handi-Ham World," is available on cassette and online.
Slate Pals: Call or write to arrange for braille pen-pals:
Attn: Deborah Stein
5817 N. Nina Chicago, IL 60631
Phone: 773- 631-1093.
Virtual Volunteering Project, for people with disabilities who want to serve as online volunteers.
Avalon Therapeutic Equestrian Center (Watertown, WI) "provides therapeutic horseback riding and horsemanship education which enhances the overall quality of life for persons who are physically, emotionally, and developmentally challenged."
Inner Vision Championships for blind and visually impaired riders.
North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) has a list of twelve therapeutic riding centers in Wisconsin.
S.M.I.L.E.S.--Special Methods In Learning Equine Skills: "offers therapeutic and recreational horsemanship to children and adults with physical, cognitive or emotional disabilities;" has a very full set of links to other therapeutic riding organizations in the U.S. and Canada.
Stable Hands, Inc., Therapeutic Riding Program for the Disabled, "a specialized service that brings together qualified instruction, trained volunteers and gentle horses"; located in the Wausau/Merrill area of Central Wisconsin. Contact Diane Abitz: E-mail: email@example.com
American Blind Bowling Association
411 Sherriff Street
Mercer, PA 16137
American Blind Golfers Association
300 Carondelet St.
New Orleans, La. 70112
American Blind Skiers, Inc.
2325 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90403
American Blind Skiing Foundation (ABSF)
610 S. William St.
Mount Prospect, IL 60056
The Blind Bodybuilders Association is a nonprofit organization founded to promote physical fitness and better health for blind individuals through weight training and exercise. BBA publishes "The Muscle Gazette," a newsletter available in large print or on four-track cassette.
2314 River Park Circle, #2111
Orlando, FL 32817-4828.
Blind Outdoor Leisure Development (BOLD): an organization of blind and visually impaired individuals who participate in outdoor and cultural activities, based in Pittsburgh, but some sources are of general interest.
Blind and Vision Impaired Golf: This site contains information about the International Blind Golf Association and the member associations. Learn how blind golf is played, its rules, member qualifications, and tournament schedules. "You don't have to see it to tee it!"
Bowling for the Blind and Visually Impaired (lawn bowling, that is), as bowled in Australia, Canada and England.
Diving with Disabilities, created by a doctor, has good links to a number of programs for blind divers.
Football [soccer, in the United States] for the blind is played indoors, "with a sighted goalkeeper whose movements are limited by the small penalty area, and with a guide behind the opponent's goal to direct the players when they shoot."
Goalball: The International Paralympic Committee site offers an introduction to the game, official rules and links to goalball organizations around the world. From the home page, click on "sports" and find "Goalball" in the drop-down box.
Independence First (Milwaukee, WI) offers wheelchair basketball, football and ice hockey, as well as adaptive skiing and adaptive movement and dance classes.
International Blind Sports Federation: links to national sports organizations.
Judo for Blind Athletes has general information, schedules and coaching tips.
The site of National Beep Baseball Association has news and schedules, plus a RealAudio feed of the Game of the Week!
The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD) offers information and resources including guidelines to consider before beginning an exercise regimen as well as fact sheets on many popular games, recreational activities, and sports that have been adapted to allow people with disabilities to participate as fully as possible. Their website features searchable databases, documents, and discussion groups, all providing up-to-date information that can help people with disabilities become more physically active.
The National Sports Center for the Disabled provides recreational downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing lessons, competition training to ski racers with disabilities. Summer recreation opportunities include biking, hiking, in-line skating, sailing, therapeutic horseback riding, white water rafting, baseball, fishing, rock climbing for the blind, and camping.
The Optimist-Braille Institute Olympics are held each year in May and are open to all legally blind persons 6 to 18 years old. The Games are sponsored by Optimist Clubs throughout California, Utah, Arizona, Maryland, Deleware, North Carolina, Georgia and Texas.
"Safe Without Sight" is a practical self-defense manual for people who cannot see, available in print, braille, cassette or on computer diskette from the National Braille Press.
The Skating Association for the Blind and Handicapped (Buffalo, NY) teaches ice skating to people of all ages and with all sorts of disabilities.
Ski for Light: sking trips that match blind skiers with sighted guides, for skiers of all abilities; partial stipends available for first-timers. Ski For Light's 26th annual cross-country skiing event was held in Green Bay, WI, January 21-28, 2001. Ski For Light pairs visually- and mobility-impaired skiers with non-disabled guides for a week-long international skiing program.
Tandem Windsurfing for Visually Impaired aims to "to provide an experience for the Visually Challenged Individual with the use of safe Tandem Windsurfing Equipment."
United States Association of Blind Athletes: USABA trains 3,000 blind and visually impaired athletes in nine sports--alpine and nordic skiing, goalball, judo, powerlifting, swimming, tandem cycling, track and field and wrestling.
United States Blind Golfers Association:
3094 Shamrock North
Tallahasse, Fl 32308
The Victoria Blind Cricket Association has a description of how the game is played; it "tends," they write, "to be noisier than a game of sighted cricket."
World Blind Sailing Championships, Italy, September 23-29, 2002.
Access-Able Travel Source: searchable travel database, discussion forums, travel tips, links to travel agents and publications.
Amtrak offers a complete description of its special services for people with disabilities, including information about fare discounts.
"The Accessible Guide for Specialized Ground Transportation: A Transportation Guide for Disabled and Elderly Travelers," published by Accesssible Transportation for the Disabled, is available in print and on CD-ROM.
Beyond Ability International has compiled a list of web sites and addresses of travel agents "that have identified their business as one with expertise and experience with mature and disabled travellers."
The Bioptic Driving Web Site "is devoted to the dissemination of information about low vision driving with the use of a bioptic [telescope]. . . . there is an option available that may allow them to obtain their driver's license even if they cannot meet their state's standard vision requirements for driving."
"Describe Online is publishing text guides to public premises, on a website which is accessible to all who can benefit from this information." The sites described are British National Rail Stations and London Underground Stations. The guides cover environs, facilities, and general and detailed descriptions of the premises.
The Feathered Star Bed and Breakfast (Egg Harbor, WI) is barrier free, meets ADA acessibility standards and welcomes disabled vacationers--and their pets.
Gimp on the Go, "The Internet's Premier Disabilities Travel Publication," has travel news, tips, bulletin boards, a searchable database of U.S. travel destinations and many links to other sources of travel information for disabled travelers around the world.
TravAbility Unlimited is a travel agency that caters to the needs of travelers with special needs and prepares accessible tour packages for special events. Contact:
Dawn Green, Travel Consultant
2825 S. Chicago Ave., Suite 117
South Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53172
Phone toll-free: 888-964-TRAV
United States Department of Transportation (DOT) has developed a new hotline on which airline passengers with disabilities may obtain information and assistance if they should experience disability-related air service problems. The toll-free number for the DOT aviation consumer disability hotline is (866) 266-1368 (Voice) and (866) 754-4368 (TTY).
The Welcome, H.O.M.E.--House of Modification Examples (Newburg, WI) is a fully accessible bed-and-breakfast on a 15-acre wooded area with wheel-chair accessible hiking trails.
Gardens designed especially for blind people are popular travel destinations. Here are some examples:
The Mississippi State Information and Resource Referral Project has a list of "Blind Sports and Recreation Resources."
"Directory of Sports Organizations for Athletes with Disabilities" (on-line), compiled by the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, covers a nationwide listing of organizations, by type of sport.
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