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.
- HotBraille: You can compose a message on the HotBraille Web site and they will transcribe your message in Braille and send it to the address you provide, using a "Free Matter for the Blind" stamp. HotBraille's service is free to users.
- 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.
- Equal Access to Software and Information (EASI): A resource for information about adaptive computer technology, particularly as it relates to education (K-12 schools, colleges, libraries and the workplace).
- National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities: NICHCY is a national information and referral center that provides information on disabilities and disability-related issues for families, educators, and other professionals. Their special focus is children and youth (birth to age 22).
- 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.
- Home Education Magazine's Homeschooling Information and Resource Pages
- NNCC Eight Ways Parents Can Promote Reading at Home: from the National Network for Childcare (NNCC)
- 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 Council of the Blind: This site provides general information about the Council, including recent issues of its monthly publication, The Braille Forum.
- 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.
- National Association for the Visually Handicapped (NAVH): NAVH is a non-profit health agency that is solely dedicated to providing assistance to the visually impaired.
- 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 Commission on Quality of Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities: The Commission now includes NYS Office of Advocate for Persons with Disabilities. It is an independent, New York State government agency charged with improving the quality of life for New Yorkers with disabilities and protecting their rights.
- 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.
- The National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY) features a New York State Resources page. An Organizations Database lists national organizations in a searchable database.
- 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.
- Project ACTION Accessible Traveler's Database: Users can search a database of accessible transit services in the United States.
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: This site provides information on VA programs, veterans benefits, VA facilities worldwide, and VA medical automation software.