Links & Resources
Links & Resources
A list of helpful links and resources for the blind and visually impaired:
New York State Office of Children and Family Services | Commission for the Blind The mission of the New York State Commission for the Blind is to enhance employability, to maximize independence and to assist in the development of the capacities and strengths of people who are legally blind.For more information or to find a local District Office please call:
The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want; blindness is not what holds you back.
The mission of the American Foundation for the Blind is to create a world of no limits for people who are blind or visually impaired. We mobilize leaders, advance understanding, and champion impactful policies and practices using research and data.
NEWSLINE is a free service available to anyone who is blind, visually impaired or print-disabled. Funded by state sponsors, NFB-NEWSLINE offers over 500 publications to choose from, including thirteen national newspapers like the Wall Street Journal and USA Today, thirty-two breaking news sources such as CNN, BBC and ESPN Online, seventeen international newspapers including Financial Times and Vancouver Sun, and countless state newspapers, as well as nearly seventy magazines like Family Circle, Time, Consumer Reports, Guideposts, Smithsonian and more.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.
The mission of Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired is to create personalized learning opportunities that empower people to thrive – at home, at work and in their communities.
Founded in 1920 by William Hadley and Dr. E.V.L. Brown, Hadley offers courses free of charge to its blind and visually impaired students and their families, and affordable tuition to blindness professionals. Today, Hadley is the largest provider of distance education for people who are blind or visually impaired around the world, serving more than 10,000 students annually in all 50 states and in 100 countries. Hadley is also the largest educator of braille worldwide. A 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, Hadley relies on contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations to fund its programs.
Lighthouse Guild is an American charitable organization, based in New York City, devoted to vision rehabilitation and advocacy for the blind. Its mission statement is “To overcome vision impairment for people of all ages through worldwide leadership in rehabilitation services, education, research, prevention and advocacy.
The American Printing House for the Blind promotes independence of people who are blind and visually impaired by providing specialized materials, products, and services needed for education and life.
Respect: We respect and honor the inherent value and the contributions of people who are blind and visually impaired.
Integrity: We conduct our business transparently, honestly, and ethically.
Empowerment: We are deeply dedicated to the potential of each person who is blind or visually impaired involved with USABA to realize his or her aspirations.
Diversity: We are committed to welcoming individuals from various cultural backgrounds and life experiences, regardless of disability, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion and age.
Inclusion: We foster an environment of acceptance through education and seek ways to broaden the integration of athletes who are blind and visually impaired into community-based sports programs and competitions.
The United States Association of Blind Athletes empowers Americans who are blind and visually impaired to experience life-changing opportunities in sports, recreation and physical activities, thereby educating and inspiring the nation.
The Blinded Veterans Association mission is to operate as a not-for-profit corporation exclusively for charitable, educational, patriotic, and civic improvement purposes; 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; and to maintain and extend the institutions of American freedom and to encourage loyalty to the Constitution and laws of the United States and of the States in which they reside. We will be there with encouragement and support, to ensure no blinded veteran is left behind.
Braille Institute is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate barriers to a fulfilling life caused by blindness and severe sight loss.
Each year, Braille Institute serves more than 75,000 people through a variety of free programs, classes and services at six centers and 220 community outreach locations throughout Southern California.
We Are Ending 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, age-related macular degeneration, Usher syndrome and the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases. A cure is in sight and you can help us reach it.
Since 1942, Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) has been creating partnerships between people, dogs, and communities. With exceptional client services and a robust network of instructors, puppy raisers, donors, and volunteers, we prepare highly qualified guide dogs to serve and empower individuals who are blind or have low vision from throughout the United States and Canada.
All of the services for our clients are provided free of charge, including personalized training and extensive post-graduation support, plus financial assistance for veterinary care, if needed. Our work is made possible by the generous support of our donors and volunteers; we receive no government funding.
OUR MISSION Guiding Eyes for the Blind provides guide dogs to people with vision loss. We are passionate about connecting exceptional dogs with individuals for greater independence. Guiding Eyes is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with all services provided completely free of charge. At Guiding Eyes, we rely upon the contributions of our generous donors to fulfill our mission. We work out of our Headquarters and Training Center in Yorktown Heights, New York, and our Canine Development Center in Patterson, New York. Guiding Eyes is an accredited member of the International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF), the organization that establishes worldwide standards for the breeding and training of guide dogs.
The Seeing Eye is a philanthropic organization whose mission is to enhance the independence, dignity, and self-confidence of blind people through the use of Seeing Eye®dogs.
Freedom Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc. is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization based in Upstate New York, which breeds, raises, trains and places guide dogs with the blind and visually impaired through a distinctive program called Hometown Training.
The Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind is dedicated to improve the quality of life of visually impaired Israelis. We provide them with mobility, independence, self-confidence and companionship through the faithful assistance of guide dogs specially trained in Hebrew to meet Israel’s rigorous and challenging environment. Founded in 1991, the Israel Guide Dog Center serves Israel’s 24,000 blind and visually impaired citizens and is the only internationally accredited guide dog program in the country.
Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation is committed to partnering men and women who are blind with our elite breed of German Shepherd Guide Dogs. Thanks solely to the generosity of our donors and tireless work of our staff and volunteers, Fidelco is able to create exceptional guide dog partnerships that empower our clients’ independence and forever change their lives.
VENDORS OF VISION Aids and Equipment
Ai Squared has been a leader in the assistive technology field for over 20 years. Their flagship product, ZoomText, is the world’s best magnification and reading software for the vision impaired. They pride themselves on delivering the highest quality software products and superior technical support. Their products are available in 20 languages and are sold in 45 countries through our network of over 350 dealers across the globe. Additionally, they provide professional development on their products.
Beyond Sight specializes in independent living aids and adaptive technology. Products include braille embossers, computer technology, games, kitchen aids, magnifiers and mobility aids. In addition, they provide training for using the products
Braille Gifts specializes in braille embroidery and products for children and adults who are visually impaired. Many new products have been added including: HYPER DASH, Tie Dye Shirts, Talking Picture Frames, Heart Shaped & Piano Shaped Music Boxes, the popular Say What and No Brainer Games, Torx and Brain Warp by Hasbro, Recorder Keychains & Pens, Talking Calculators, Braille Playing Cards, Braille Jewelry, Recording Magnets, Talking Pedometer/Radio, Braille Wristbands, Braille Refrigerator Magnets, and much more!
The Braille Superstore
Future Aids, The Braille Superstore, is a forward-thinking company with exciting new products for the blind and visually impaired. They offer Braille supplies, talking gadgets, household items, card and board games, audible toys, cool gift ideas, and so much more.The Braille Bookstore offers print/braille books featuring over 200 popular, current, and classic titles. Book-of-the-month club available in four age categories.
CAL – Creative Adaptations for Learning
CAL-Creative Adaptations for Learning is a non-profit organization that develops, tests and publishes tactile pictures.
Duxbury Systems leads the world in software for braille. The Duxbury Braille Translator (DBT) and MegaDots, are used by virtually all of the world’s leading braille publishers. No one supports more languages than Duxbury Systems — DBT supports grade 1 and grade 2 translation in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Arabic, Malaysian, Swedish, and other languages. Our software can produce contracted and uncontracted braille, mathematics, and techn
eBrailler Cosmo Braille Writer
The non disruptive and multi function eBrailler Cosmo Braille Writer was specifically designed to allow a student who is blind to write braille in the classroom as quietly as a sighted student writing with a pencil on paper. They keyboard is designed similar to a piano keyboard and has no electronic parts or wires. The eBrailler Cosmo can be used as a stand alone braille typewriter or as a computer input and output braille device when using the duxbury Braille Translation application.
Enabling Technologies offers braille embossers, braille translation software, braille graphics as well as other supplies and accessories.
Enhanced Vision is a leading developer of assistive technology specifically for persons who are visually impaired. Dedicated to helping individuals maintain their independence, Enhanced Vision has developed leading assistive technology to create a full line of superior, easy-to-use low vision tools at affordable prices.
With over 1,000 products, Eschenbach has the widest selections of low vision aids and magnification devices to help you with every activity: from reading, writing, working on hobbies or craft work, watching a play at the theater, enjoying outdoor leisure activities, to birding or hunting. Eschenbach offers a professional resource center. The center offers catalogs, brochures, user manuals, training modules, clinical case studies, videos, as well as live and recorded webinars.
Freedom Scientific is the largest worldwide manufacturer of assistive technology products for those who are blind or have low vision. Freedom Scientific offers a complete line of products for those with vision impairments including products for those with low vision and for those who are blind. All of these products are tested and guaranteed to work together. They also offer training and certification opportunities specific to technology on their website through a combination of free and paid webinars.
Since 1990, GW Micro has listened to screen-reader users and incorporated many of their suggestions into one powerful product: Window-Eyes. They offer a wide variety of speech features and the flexibility needed for running many of today’s most advanced Windows applications. GW Micro has strived to find the ideal combination of flexibility and automaticity.
HumanWare is a pioneer in mastering rapid advancements in digital technology to create and deliver humanized solutions that help people with blindness, low vision, and learning disabilities. From advanced Braille products and electronic magnifiers to digital talking book players and beyond, their tools help end-users to live independently and compete effectively in today’s world.
Independence Science products assist in compliance with ADA regulations and increase student confidence and comfort with science procedures, field studies, and lab experiments. Their product, the Talking LabQuest, is an adapted data collection device is a hand-held, portable computer that improves student participation in hands-on science experiments with a lab group.
Independent Living Aids provides a catalogue and purchasing equipment for low vision devices and independent living aids. Their Low-Vision store offers: assistive technology; braille; canes; clocks & timers; healthcare; lamps; low vision watches; magnifiers; talking products; and telephones. They also have a Low-Hearing store, mobility store, and a daily living store.
E.A.S.Y. LLC is a company that produces raised-line drawing products for persons who are blind. The company currently offers the InTACT sketchpad and InTACT eraser and is in the process of developing a version of the sketchpad that would allow drawings to be shared digitally. The company’s founders have a strong belief that drawing is for everyone and that blind students should have access to drawing tools in a variety of contexts.
Library Reproduction Service
Library Reproduction Service (LRS) is a producer of large print books. It provides Large Print School Books for Visually Impaired and other print-challenged students who are taught in a mainstreamed classroom environment. Their durable hardcover books have been used in schools across the USA for over 45 years. The enlarged page retains the layout and numbering of the original, while the LRS-developed calendar format maintains a small closed-book size along with an 18 point text. Each book is custom-made for the VI student.
LS&S is specialized in offering a variety of products for the blind, visually Impaired, deaf and hard of hearing. Products include: clocks/watches; electronics; CCTV’s; games & crafts; magnification; educational products; healthcare; daily living products; telephones; books and reading stands; O&M devices; children’s products; alerting devices; TTY’s and TDD’s; hearing accessories; braille products; sunglasses; and talking products.
MaxiAids is a leader in providing adaptive products, products for independent living and products designed to enhance lifestyles by making every-day tasks easier. They are specialized in offering a variety of products for the blind, visually Impaired, deaf and hard of hearing. Products include braille, large print, and talking items.
The National Braille Factory is dedicated to producing the highest quality braille documents and products in a timely and professional manner. They offer a wide variety of personal products in braille including greeting cards, coloring books, and chocolates. They also offer audio and braille books for purchase.
National Braille Press
National Braille Press is a nonprofit Braille printing and publishing house offering low-cost braille books and magazines. This organization provides a wide variety of books in accessible formats, including braille, audio, and electronic files. It also offers a braille book club for children, with text in both regular print and braille.
Optelec’s mission is “Improving the quality of life for the visually impaired and blind by reaching out with simple and effective solutions.” They provide awareness information and products in the areas of optical, daily living aids, electronic video magnification, and speech solutions. They also offer a connected network for all products solutions and low vision rehabilitation in your local area to ensure you find a solution that best meets your visual needs. They offer product demonstrations with no obligation, hands-on training, as well as workshops, technical support
OrCam My Eye
The OrCam My Eye provides a small, light and inconspicuous smart camera which is mounted on the frame of the user’s eyeglasses and connected by a thin cable to a base unit the size of a smartphone. It is pre-installed with the ability to instantly read any printed text – newspapers, books, menus, signs, labels on consumer products and text on a computer screen or smartphone. Proprietary facial recognition and product identification functionality allow for faces and objects and to be added to its library by the user. When the user points a finger at text to read or item that they want to identify, the OrCam My Eye device discreetly relays the relevant information to the wearer via a small personal speaker.
Pocket Full of Therapy offers pediatric and school based therapeutic products. The site is maintained by occupational therapists. They offer unique products and resources needed to provide effective, appropriate, motivating and fun, therapy and learning.
Seedlings is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the opportunity for literacy by providing high quality, low cost braille books for children. There are over 1200 books available. In addition to books, they also sell gifts including charms, pins, keychain, playing cards, clothing, and canvas book bags.
Southpaw Enterprises, Inc. offers therapeutic products for children with special needs. Although their focus is on clinic-based therapy, they develop products for teachers in classrooms and for parents for use at home under the guidance of a therapist.
Tactile Vision Graphics
Tactile Vision Graphics is a great source of a range of pre-made tactile diagrams. Science diagrams include: Layers of Skin, Spinal Column, Respiratory System, Nervous System, The Eye, Lymphatic System, Circulatory System, The Heart, The Brain, and the Digestive System. They also provide braille/tactile maps, cards, books, and math diagrams.
Tack-Tiles Braille Systems
Tack-Tiles Braille Systems are a teaching tool for all ages based on LEGO-type blocks. These blocks are available in English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian literary braille codes as well as nemeth braille code for mathematics, braille code for music notation, and computer braille code.
Therapro provides therapists, teachers, parents and other caregivers with the highest quality and most economical therapeutic and educational resources for all ages and abilities, from kids to adults. They provide unique speech and occupational therapy supplies for preventive, developmental, and rehabilitative care.
The VisAbility store is an online source for people with vision loss. VisAbility provides access to more than 1,000 products that can help make life easier for persons with visual impairments. Their products include: assitive technology; books; braille; canes; games; health & wellness; kitchen & cooking aids; labeling and marking aids; low vision items; sporting goods; telephones; toys; and watches/clocks.
Vision Associates offers products as well as resources and workshops. Their products include kits; LEA symbols; LEA numbers; tests; occluders; and other assessment tools.
WoodLake Technologies is a provider of assistive technology solutions for people with disabilities. They offer low vision devices (electronic magnifiers, reading machines, magnification software, simple solutions, and magnifying glasses), devices for persons who are blind (reading machines, screen readers, refreshable braille displays, braille embossers, braille translation, daisy players and software, navigation, notetakers, bar code scanners and tactile graphics), as well as products for speech, hearing and learning disabilities.
ZOOMAX Technology Co
ZOOMAX Technology Co., Limited is a leading company specializing in electronic magnifiers and other assistive technology for people who are visually impaired. The products are available globally. The ZOOMAX products include portable, handheld and desktop video magnifiers. Their website also provides information on low vision.
ZSK Braille Embroidery
Using a patented embroidery technique, ZSK is able to embroider braille characters into a wide variety of fabrics. Initials for the identification of class uniforms, color identification or care instructions, can be embroidered onto all textiles.