Organizations & Resources Supporting the Visually Impaired (2022)

Table of Contents

  • American Printing House for the Blind
  • American Foundation for the Blind
  • National Federation of the Blind
  • Perkins School
  • Additional Resources

There are myriad resources available throughout the country to make the world more accessible to people living with visual impairments. Programs and services exist to provide educational, career, health, legal, adaptive, and support services for people affected by vision loss.

One of the oldest foundations in the U.S. dedicated to helping individuals who are blind or visually impaired is the American Printing House for the Blind. This organization strives to break down everyday barriers that people with visual impairments face at home, in the workplace, at school, and out in the community.

The American Foundation for the Blind is a national organization dedicated to expanding employment opportunities for people who are blind or visually impaired. Through original research, development of assistive technology, and raising awareness among community leaders, this organization promotes equal opportunities for people with visual impairments.

Offering a wide range of services, including training and education, assistive technology and products, advocacy, and outreach, the National Federation of the Blind is raising awareness about the capabilities of people who are blind or visually impaired.

The Perkins School for the Blind delivers educational, technological, and accessibility services through four main platforms to children and adults living with visual impairments around the world. Perkins partners with organizations around the world to make the educational and digital worlds fully accessible to blind and visually impaired individuals.

(Video) Five resources on visual impairment you should know about!

American Printing House for the Blind

Organizations & Resources Supporting the Visually Impaired (1)The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) is a nonprofit organization that has been offering a wide array of resources for individuals living with a visual impairment and their families since 1858. The goal of APH is to break down barriers that people with visual impairments face, whether in the school setting, workplace, or everyday life, so they can live more independent lives.

These are specific programs offered by APH:

  • Vision Aware: The goal of Vision Aware is to encourage independent living for people with vision loss. Resources are offered for emotional support, for everyday living, for working life, and to become connected to visual impairment supports in your community.
  • Family Connect: For the parents of children with visual impairments, Family Connect provides information about educational options for their kids and services available for children who are blind or visually impaired. They also offer information on where to find services and parent groups, how to apply for supplemental social security income and additional funding, and much more.
  • Career Connect: Through Career Connect, individuals who are blind or visually impaired can explore career options and learn about accommodations for the workplace. They can also connect to a database of over 1,000 visually impaired individuals who volunteer as mentors for young people and adults searching for career information.

In addition to the designated programs at APH, a multitude of educational resources are available for parents, children, adult learners, and teachers working with students who are blind or visually impaired.

Educational resources offered by APH include:

  • Common core curriculum.
  • Expanded core curriculum.
  • Physical education.
  • Information on multiple disabilities.
  • Accessible textbooks.
  • Tactile literacy tools.
  • Tools for teachers.

APH can be reached by phone at (502) 895-2405 if you would like to speak with someone about accessing resources that would be beneficial to you. A toll-free customer support line is also available at (800) 223-1839.

American Foundation for the Blind

The primary goal of the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is to expand employment opportunities for individuals who are blind or visually impaired. The organization conducts original research, supports the development of accessible products and websites, publishes a monthly magazine titled AccessWorld Magazine, and brings together business leaders, public officials, and policymakers in order to promote equal opportunities for people with visual impairments.

(Video) Classroom Tools for Visually Impaired Students

Additionally, AFB advocates for:

  • Inclusion at schools, in the workplace, and in the community.
  • Children in need of specialized resources, such as books and classroom materials.
  • Older adults who wish to remain independent as they experience vision loss.

Along with advocating for people with vision loss, AFB also provides consulting services for organizations who are looking to expand their disability inclusion practices. AFB Consulting helps organizations in retail, telecommunications, finance, education, and technology better serve their employees and clients.

To get in touch with AFB Consulting and learn about how they could help make your workplace more accessible, you can email tgers@afb.org or call (212) 502-7633.

National Federation of the Blind

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) is the transformative membership and advocacy organization of blind people. Through a network of blind members, they coordinate programs, services, and resources to defend the rights of blind Americans, provide information and support to blind children and adults, and build a community that creates a future full of opportunities.

The NFB emphasizes that being blind or low vision should not hold anyone back from living the life they want.

These programs and services are offered by NFB:

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Training and Education

  • National Center for Blind Youth in Science
  • NFB BELL Academy
  • Early childhood initiatives
  • Summer programs
  • Braille certification
  • Career mentoring
  • Blind parent mentoring

Advocacy and Outreach

  • Advocacy
  • Scholarships and awards
  • Legal program
  • Research program
  • Meet the Blind Month

Technology and Products

  • Independence market
  • Free White Cane Program
  • Center of Excellence in Nonvisual Access
  • NFB-NEWSLINE
  • KNFB reader
  • Free Slate and Stylus Program

If you would like to join the NFB community, you must first contact the president of your state affiliate. The NFB has a state affiliate in every state, along with the District of Colombia and Puerto Rico. Contact information can be found through the state affiliate webpages.

The NFB can also be reached directly at (410) 659-9314 or nfb@nfb.org.

Perkins School for the Blind

Organizations & Resources Supporting the Visually Impaired (2)Perkins School for the Blind is a leading national and international organization focused on providing educational services to children and young adults who are blind, deafblind, or have multiple disabilities. Headquartered in Watertown, Massachusetts, Perkins partners with organizations throughout the United States and the world.

These are the four primary areas of focus at Perkins:

  • Perkins School for the Blind: Academic, social, and self-advocacy skill-building is taught to children at the Perkins campus and at public schools throughout the country. Educational partnerships support community and outreach programs, such as the Infant-Toddler Program and transition services to support young adults with vision loss as they enter life after school.
  • Perkins International: This program targets the millions of children with visual impairments who are living in poverty around the world and unable to access quality education. Perkins International works to get these children in school, provide their educators with specialized tools to teach blind students, and connect the students and their families with important government and medical resources.
  • Perkins Solutions: The primary goal of Perkins Solutions is to break down accessibility barriers for people with vision loss through the use of technology. The program also offers digital accessibility consulting through Perkins Access to ensure that the digital world is accessible to everyone.
  • Perkins Library: Since 1837, the Perkins Library has made reading material accessible to people with visual impairments and other disabilities. Currently, over 500,000 pieces of reading material, DVDs, and other forms of content are distributed for free each year. The library also distributes assistive reading technologies and maintains a website to allow the downloads of accessible reading material.

If you would like to contact Perkins School for the Blind to learn more about any of their programs and services, you can contact them directly at (617) 924.3434 or info@Perkins.org.

Additional Resources

In addition to the array of programs and services offered by the above organizations, there are many resources available for people who are blind or visually impaired.

(Video) QUICK UPDATE VIDEO! and collecting resources for the Blind and visually impaired 😀 #LiveAccessible

References

About Perkins School for the Blind. Perkins School for the Blind.

About Us. National Federation of the Blind.

Emotional Adjustment to Vision Loss. Vision Aware: American Printing House for the Blind.

Overview of Services for Children Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired. Family Connect: American Printing House for the Blind.

What We Do: How AFB Changes Lives. American Foundation for the Blind.

The information provided on this page should not be used in place of information provided by a doctor or specialist. To learn more, read our Privacy Policy and Editorial Policy pages.

(Video) 87: Ivy Tech Tools and Resources for the Visually Impaired with STAND

FAQs

What resources are available to blind people? ›

Helpful Resources and links for the Blind
  • Social Security. ...
  • Essential iOS app list. ...
  • Essential Android app list. ...
  • SoCalGas. ...
  • Wonder Baby. ...
  • GoGoGrandparent. ...
  • The American Council of the Blind. ...
  • The American Foundation for the Blind.
27 Jan 2022

What is the most popular resource for visually challenged persons? ›

Answer: The most popular resource for visually challenged persons is Braille. Louis Braille developed this system and published it in 1821.

What different facilities are available to help the blind? ›

Reading Assistance
  • JAWS Screen Reader. JAWS stands for Job Access With Speech and is a popular screen reader. ...
  • Kurzweil Education. This text-to-speech software can help those who are blind or visually impaired use computers and also can read scanned printed material. ...
  • Refreshable Braille Displays.
2 Aug 2022

What does RNIB offer in terms of support? ›

Living with sight loss

If you're affected by sight loss, we're here for you. Through our Sight Loss Advice Service, RNIB offers support to blind and partially sighted people across the UK. We can help you to find the right assistive technology, support you in education and work, access financial help and much more.

What community resources can you refer the older persons with visual impairment? ›

Resources for Older Individuals Who Are Blind or Visually...
  • American Association of Retired Persons. 601 E St. ...
  • American Council of the Blind. 1703 N. ...
  • American Foundation for the Blind. ...
  • Association of Area Agencies on Aging. ...
  • EyeCare America. ...
  • Health in Aging. ...
  • Lighthouse Guild. ...
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.

What are some organizations that can help a family cope with color blindness? ›

Organizations & Resources Supporting the Visually Impaired
  • American Printing House for the Blind.
  • American Foundation for the Blind.
  • National Federation of the Blind.
  • Perkins School.
  • Additional Resources.
7 Apr 2022

Which tool is helpful for the people with impaired vision in computer? ›

Screen Readers are a type of software program that allows people who are blind or visually impaired to be able to read text that is displayed on a computer screen. These days, even mobile devices and tablets can have screen readers installed on them.

Who is the most famous blind person? ›

Perhaps the most well known blind person was Helen Adams Keller (fig. 1), (June 27, 1880 - June 1, 1968), an American author, political activist, and lecturer. Helen Keller was the first deaf-blind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree.

How do you help someone who has lost their eyesight? ›

Here are some tips to help your loved one better cope with their vision loss:
  1. Avoid being overprotective.
  2. Help build self-confidence.
  3. Recognize progress being made.
  4. Encourage self-reliance.
  5. Don't be afraid. ...
  6. Ask before helping to encourage independence.
24 Mar 2022

What is assistive technology for visually impaired? ›

There are many low-tech visual aids that can help older adults with visual impairment, such as magnifying glasses, a long cane, glasses, optoelectronic reading systems (i.e., video magnifier), large-print books, audiobooks, a touch watch, a phone with enlarged buttons, books in Braille, and walking aids.

What type of media can be used to help visually challenged individuals? ›

Screen Reading software and special talking and Braille devices allow those of us with no vision to use computers, cell phones and other electronic devices independently.

Which assistive technology is used by blind users? ›

Assistive Technology Used by Blind People

For those who are blind, the main AT are screen readers, braille displays, and speech recognition software.

Who does Royal National Institute of Blind People support? ›

Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) - Local Offer. Services for children and young people in Northamptonshire (aged 0-25) with special educational needs and disabilities.

What benefits can a blind person get UK? ›

Blind Person's Allowance is an extra amount of tax-free allowance. It means you can earn more before you start paying Income Tax.

How can the RNIB help? ›

Everyone who is blind or partially sighted has their own unique experience, so we don't take a one‑size‑fits‑all approach. Our services include: Sight Loss Advice Service offering information, advice, practical and emotional support.

Which is a recommended source for the availability of free material and resources to help the visually impaired? ›

The National Library Service (NLS) for the Blind and Physically Handicapped is one of the largest resources for adapting printed material for use by people who are visually impaired or blind.

How do you adapt activities for visual impairment? ›

Provide high-contrast backgrounds so objects are more visible, for example, placing a dark-colored object on a yellow or white background. Foam sheets, which are inexpensive, washable, and available in a variety of colors, can be used to provide different color backgrounds.

What activities can blind people do? ›

With a little adaptation and flexibility, many activities can be reworked to suit a person who is blind or has low vision.
  • Books and magazines. ...
  • Cards, chess and other games. ...
  • Cooking. ...
  • Craft. ...
  • Exercising at home. ...
  • Gardening. ...
  • Music. ...
  • Accessing specialised equipment.

Is there a national color blind Day? ›

Colour Blind Awareness Day – 6th September every year!

The date for Colour Blind Awareness Day was chosen because it's the birthday of John Dalton. John Dalton was a scientist who was born on 6th September 1766. He was the first person known to realise colour blindness exists.

What can help with color blindness? ›

There's no cure, but special glasses and contact lenses can help. Most people who are color blind are able to adjust and don't have problems with everyday activities.

How do you raise awareness for color blindness? ›

You could end up becoming a role model for a young child who may be struggling to come to terms with his/her colour blindness. Sharing your story on social media or via word of mouth are two great ways to increase awareness of colour blindness and bring the community together.

How can modern technology be used to overcome impairments? ›

Cell phones and tablets have revolutionized the way people who are blind or visually impaired interact and use technology. Screen reading and magnifying software – like that used in computers – allows us to use these devices independently.

Which of the following is invisible tool for low vision persons? ›

Braille was created by Louis Braille in 1824 after he lost his vision at age 15. It is basically a code in which a sequence of dots represent each letter of the alphabet.

What is the difference between blind and visually impaired? ›

What is the difference between visual impairment and blindness? The definition of visual impairment is “a decrease in the ability to see to a certain degree that causes problems not fixable by usual means, such as glasses.” Blindness is “the state of being unable to see due to injury, disease or genetic condition.”

Can Johnny Depp see out of eye? ›

When Johnny Depp first swashbuckled across the screen as Captain Jack Sparrow in “Pirates of the Caribbean,” he had a secret – he's blind in one eye and near-sighted in the other. It wasn't until a 2013 interview in Rolling Stone magazine that he revealed his visual impairment. “I've never had proper vision,” he said.

What are blind people called? ›

Blind (the), visually impaired (the) Say "person who is blind", "person with vision impairment or low vision" Confined to a wheelchair, wheelchair-bound (a wheelchair provides mobility not restriction)

How do you help a blind family member? ›

Do's
  1. Always treat the blind person as all other individuals in the family.
  2. Remember that blindness is a physical challenge and hence, one should treat the person with due care and affection.
  3. If you are willing to offer assistance, wait till they accept the offer. ...
  4. Always speak in a normal tone.

How do you help a blind parent? ›

If your aging parent is experiencing vision loss or anticipating total blindness, you may feel like you don't know how to them through it.
...
Helping your loved one through the emotional effects of blindness
  1. Empathize and offer support. ...
  2. Don't take things too personally. ...
  3. Encourage them to seek professional help.
25 Feb 2022

Which device is best suited for a visually impaired person? ›

Top Products for People who are Blind
  • LyriQ Text-to-Speech Reader.
  • Victor Reader Stream.
  • ZoomText Fusion Screen Reader – Professional Edition.
  • JAWS Screen Reader – Professional Edition.
  • BrailleNote Touch Plus 32 Plus – Braille Note Taker/Tablet.
  • Focus 40 5G Braille Display.
  • Brailliant BI 40X Braille Display.

What are the modern alternative technologies for the visually challenged? ›

Affordable smartphone apps have empowered the blind and visually impaired. Now, artificial intelligence (AI) is taking those apps' capabilities to the next level. AI and machine learning technologies, specifically computer vision, have grown sufficiently robust to improve the lives of the blind and visually impaired.

How can social media be accessible for visually impaired? ›

Limiting emojis, adding captions, and using the hashtag #caption are simple ways to make your social media more accessible. Here are a few more things you can do: List alternative means of contact, such as your phone number or a “Contact Us” link, on your social media platforms.

How do you think technology can help blind people overcome communication barriers? ›

Although there are solutions that can convert text into speech, Braille remains the closest thing to reading for blind persons. There already are devices capable of reproducing Braille characters in real time, but they are based on moving parts that go up and down to form points of symbols.

What devices are available to assist legally blind doctors? ›

Low Vision Aids are devices designed to help people with poor vision to read and see more clearly. Examples include Electric Video Magnifiers, standing and hand-held magnifiers, strong magnifying reading glasses, loupes, and small telescopes.

Which are the devices used by the visually impaired persons in their daily life? ›

People who are blind just have different ways of accessing these devices. Blind people use what's called assistive technology, including screen readers, refreshable braille displays, and digital screen magnification to interact with high-tech products.

What are the educational provision for the visually impaired? ›

Free distribution of Braille Kits

Every blind child irrespective of whether he/she is studying in special school or IE program must have access to a braille kit. A Braille kit contains basic educational devices needed by blind students for learning braille, arithmetic, geometry, etc.

What is blind support? ›

Welcome to Blindness Support Services

We at Blindness Support Services are dedicated to teaching those who are blind or have visual impairments to become more independent and adapt to the challenges they have.

How do blind people get talking books? ›

Through the National Library Service (NLS), every state provides braille and audio books for blind, visually impaired and print for disabled people. Users can download books, but you do not need a computer to use this service.

What is considered legally blind for disability? ›

If your vision is 20/200, or legally blind, you may qualify for disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers “legal” or “statutory” blindness as a qualified disability.

What does the National Federation of the blind do? ›

Organization of Americans who are blind and visually impaired. Provides advocacy, education, research, technology, and programs encouraging independence and self-confidence.

How do you help someone with visual impairment? ›

Approach and Attitude
  1. Always treat a blind person normally; speak first and introduce yourself.
  2. Shake hands but only if a hand is offered.
  3. It is also politeness to look at him/her during conversation and adopt the same level of position, e.g., sit or stand.

How do we help those people who Cannot see? ›

Answer:
  1. Do Include them. The most important thing you can do for a blind person, or any person really, is to be friendly, include them socially and engage in conversation with them. ...
  2. Don't assume they are helpless. ...
  3. Do communicate clearly with them.
16 Feb 2020

How can we help visually challenged people? ›

DO give a clear word picture when describing things to an individual with vision loss. Include details such as color, texture, shape and landmarks. DO touch them on the arm or use their name when addressing them. This lets them know you are speaking to them, and not someone else in the room.

Are RNIB Talking Books free? ›

Our Talking Books service is absolutely free. Giving you access to over 37,000 fiction and non fiction books for adults and children in accessible formats that suits you.

What are books for the blind called? ›

Braille is a system of raised dots that can be read with the fingers by people who are blind or who have low vision. Teachers, parents, and others who are not visually impaired ordinarily read braille with their eyes. Braille is not a language.

Is RNIB library free? ›

The RNIB Library is the largest of its kind in the UK, and it's completely free with over 60,000 items in the collection.

How do blind people make money? ›

Now, there is nothing wrong with occupations that have been stereotyped as "jobs that blind people can do." There are blind people who are happy and satisfied as medical transcriptionists, piano tuners, social workers, packagers and piece workers, computer programers, and lawyers.

Is having a lazy eye a disability? ›

Particularly if lazy eye is detected early in life and promptly treated, reduced vision can be avoided. But if left untreated, lazy eye can cause severe visual disability in the affected eye, including legal blindness. It's estimated that about 2 to 3 percent of the U.S. population has some degree of amblyopia.

How much is blind person's allowance? ›

What is Blind Person's Allowance? The Blind Person's Allowance is added to your tax-free Personal Allowance and increases the amount of income you can have each year before you start paying tax. The Blind Person's Allowance for the tax year 2022-23 is £2,600, regardless of your age or income.

Is National Federation of the Blind a good charity? ›

Good. This charity's score is 88.94, earning it a 3-Star rating. Donors can "Give with Confidence" to this charity.

When was the National Federation for the Blind? ›

The National Federation of the Blind was founded November 16, 1940, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

How many members are in the NFB? ›

Founded in 1940, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) is the nation's largest and most influential membership organization of blind persons. With fifty thousand members, the NFB has affiliates in all fifty states plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, and over seven hundred local chapters.

Videos

1. Helpful resources for the blind and low vision during COVID-19 with Sassy Outwater
(Sunu)
2. Visually impaired can ‘see’ with this assistive technology
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3. Development of an Online Digital Resource Accessible for Students with Visual Impairment/Blindness
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4. Webinar: Supporting Students with Visual Impairments Learning at Home
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5. Resources in Wisconsin for People with Vision Impairment
(Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired)
6. Supporting The Blind and Visually Impaired | Nonprofit Report
(mOppenheimORG)

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