Blindness and Disability Resources
The following links are provided as resources for information related to blindness, visual impairment, or other physical disabilities that result in an inability to read printed matter. Links on this page go to external web sites.
- Braille Plus, Inc.: Braille Plus is a fee-based service that will convert print documents to alternative formats, including braille, large print, audio tape or electronic format.
- Braille Bug: The American Foundation for the Blind's kids' channel was created to teach sighted children about braille and to encourage literacy among all children. Designed for children in grades three through six.
Education Resources and School-Related Information
- Learning Ally (formerly Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic): Textbooks and other educational materials in audio format for students (kindergarten through post-graduate studies) with print disabilities. There is an annual fee to use the service.
- The New York Institute for Special Education (NYISE): NYISE is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian educational facility which provides quality programs for children who are blind or visually disabled, children who are emotionally and learning disabled, and preschoolers who are developmentally delayed.
- HEATH Resource Center (Higher Education and the Handicapped): A national clearinghouse on postsecondary education for individuals with disabilities.
- Hadley School for the Blind: Offers a variety of distance-education courses, including learning to read Braille. Courses in Braille are offered for both blind and sighted individuals who want to learn Braille.
- Special Education in New York State for Children Ages 3–21, A Parent's Guide: from the New York State Education Department, Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID).
- Sources of Custom Produced Books: Information from the National Library Service (NLS) on getting books and other materials in alternative formats.
- The New York State Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (CBVH): Part of the NYS Department of Family Services, CBVH provides rehabilitation services to individuals who are legally blind and reside in New York State.
- American Foundation for the Blind (AFB): A national resource for people who are blind or visually impaired, the AFB focuses on nonmedical aspects of blindness and visual impairment, including developing and disseminating information, identifying issues that are critical to those who are blind or visually impaired, and educating policy makers and the general public.
- Canadian National Institute for the Blind: A Canadian organization that helps blind, visually impaired, and deafblind Canadians survive and thrive in a sighted world.
- Lions Clubs International: The Lions raise funds for charitable giving with a major focus on sight conservation.
- National Federation of the Blind (NFB): This organization has two goals: to help blind people achieve self-confidence and self-respect, and to act as a vehicle for collective self-expression of people who are blind. NFB provides public education about blindness, information and referral services, scholarships, literature and publications about blindness, aids and appliances and other adaptive equipment for the blind, advocacy services and protection of civil rights, Job Opportunities for the Blind, development and evaluation of technology, and support for blind persons and their families.
- Matilda Ziegler Magazine for the Blind : A source for blindness news and information, this newsletter is available as a weekly e-mail, a monthly audio edition, or via RSS feed.
- Guidedog Foundation for the Blind: A not-for-profit organization that provides guide dogs free of charge to blind people who seek enhanced mobility and independence.
- The Seeing Eye: Its mission is to help blind people achieve greater independence, dignity and self-confidence through the use of Seeing Eye dogs.
- LD Online: Learning Disabilities Information and Resources - A guide to learning disabilities for parents, teachers, and other professionals. The monthly newsletter, LD Online Report, has useful information for all of these groups.
- Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA): A national, non-profit, volunteer organization, LDA is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for all individuals with learning disabilities and their families.
- Adult Career and Continuing Education Services - Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR): Part of the NYS Education Department, ACCESS-VR (formerly VESID) oversees special education services for students in public and private schools, provides vocational rehabilitation services (e.g. vocational assessment, vocational counseling, and job training and placement), and administers 15 Early Childhood Direction Centers and 38 Independent Living Centers.
- NYS Justice Center - For the Protection of People with Special Needs: The Justice Center's vision is that "[p]eople with special needs shall be protected from abuse, neglect and mistreatment. This will be accomplished by assuring that the state maintains the nation’s highest standards of health, safety and dignity; and by supporting the dedicated men and women who provide services."
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Home Page: The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, programs and services provided by state and local governments, goods and services provided by private companies, and in commercial facilities. This site is maintained by the U.S. Department of Justice, which provides technical assistance and enforcement for ADA.
- Cornucopia of Disability Information: Based at the University of Buffalo, this site serves as a community resource for consumers and professionals by providing disability information in a wide variety of areas. The site provides information on topics such as education, government documents, computer access, legal issues, aging, assistive technology, and universal design for local (Buffalo and western NY), state, national and international audiences.
- Disability Resources Monthly: A guide to disability resources on the Internet.
- New York State Disability vote project - "One of its primary purposes is to ensure that all of our citizens have the opportunity to vote privately and independently, including citizens with disabilities.
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: This site provides information on VA programs, veterans benefits, VA facilities worldwide, and VA medical automation software.