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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Browse the AFB Directory of Services for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

  • Advocacy

    Services directed toward ensuring that people who are blind or visually impaired have access to benefits, vocational rehabilitation, and other programs available to them in the community and that their interests are appropriately represented by their policymakers and government agencies.

  • Assessment/Evaluation

    Specialized evaluative processes conducted by professionals to determine the present needs and skill levels of clients.

  • Audio, Braille or Large Print Books

    Sources of braille, audio, and large print books.

  • Braille and Reading Instruction

    Instruction and training braille to promote literacy among blind and visually impaired persons.

  • Braille Transcription

    Transcribers of printed material to braille.

  • Braille/Electronic/Audio/Large Print Production

    Creation or publication of materials in braille, electronic, audio, or large print formats.

  • Community Outreach Programs

    Screening and other related activities conducted in the community to identify and assist individuals who are blind or visually impaired in need of assistance.

  • Computer/Assistive Technology Training

    Training in the use of appropriate computers and assistive technology. Computer training encompasses training in the use of such equipment as closed-circuit television systems, computer operating systems, database software, optical character recognition systems, screen magnification systems, speech output systems, and word processing software. It also includes computer training for instructors of students and other individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

  • Consultation/Technical Program Assistance

    Advice, assistance, and consultative support by specialized staff to local school systems, teachers of visually impaired students, and other agencies or professionals who work with blind and visually impaired persons.

  • Counseling

    Clinical evaluations, counseling, referrals, and support provided by professionals, such as psychologists and counselors, to visually impaired individuals and family members.

  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training

    Training in adapted techniques for daily living and work activities, such as home management, personal management, communication, and travel, and other adaptive skills.

  • Distance Education

    Education or training provided through the use of audio and/or visual communications technologies. Includes online courses, satellite courses, videotaped courses, correspondence courses, teleconferencing, and other methods of delivery in which teacher and student are not physically in the same place.

  • Dog Guide Training

    Instruction on how to work with a dog guide to negotiate the travel environment.

  • Early Intervention/Infant Services

    Services provided to infants, including assessment of the child's condition and needs, developmental enrichment, and coordination of health, social, and related services.

  • Education for Blind or Visually Impaired Students (Schools for the Blind)

    Residential or day schools that are specifically geared to serve children from kindergarten to grade 12 who are blind or visually impaired. They can be state schools or privately run. In addition to educational services, these schools may also provide a variety of related counseling, rehabilitation, health, low vision, outreach, and other services.

  • Employment/Job Training

    Career and skill counseling, prevocational evaluation, career preparation training, and vocational placement.

  • Health-related Services

    General medical and related services including eye evaluations, treatment of eye conditions, and genetic counseling.

  • Information and Referral

    General information about blindness and visual impairment and referrals to sources of other information and services.

  • Instructional Resources (Instructional Materials Centers)

    These centers provide adapted materials, such as braille textbooks, large print, and texts on tape, for visually impaired students, usually through either grade 12 or age 21. They also provide library functions and materials for professionals in the field. Their operation and funding differ; most are affiliated with state departments of education, but some are affiliated with schools for blind students, state departments for visually impaired persons, or U.S. Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped regional libraries. Known as Instructional Materials Centers or Instructional Resource Centers, they generally serve school districts rather than individual students or persons outside the school system.

  • Low Vision Services

    Evaluation and testing of a client's vision; prescription of appropriate optical devices; support, follow-up, and referrals to other appropriate agencies and professionals. These services also include the provision of nonoptical (such as lamps, filters, bold-lined paper, writing guides) and optical devices (such as magnifiers, microscopes, telescopes) and training in their use.

  • NLS Libraries

    Libraries that are part of the network of libraries under U.S. Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, headquartered in Washington, DC. These libraries lend free reading materials on tape, disk, or braille to individuals who are unable to read regular print books because of a visual or physical disability. In addition, some of these libraries provide additional assistive equipment such as magnifiers or reading machines; resources such as volunteer readers; and materials such as large-print books and disability-related information and catalogs; as well as serve as reference libraries on blindness and visual impairment.

  • Personnel Preparation

    Degree programs and areas of concentration to prepare professionals to work in various capacities with individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Services in this category also include distance education or off-campus programs for students who are working toward degrees or certification in specializations in the field of blindness and visual impairment.

  • Preschool Programs

    Programs for preschool-age children who are blind or visually impaired.

  • Professional Training

    Programs such as workshops, seminars, and in-service meetings whose objective is to train personnel who work with blind and visually impaired people.

  • Radio Reading Services

    Radio broadcasts of newspaper articles, books, and consumer information for people with visual, physical, and reading disabilities, provided over otherwise unused radio frequencies.

  • Recreation Services

    Leisure activities--such as those related to arts and crafts, sports, music, and drama, and other similar activities--provided for blind and visually impaired persons.

  • Summer/Day Camps and After-school Programs

    Activities provided for children after school hours and during the summer months.

  • Support for Parents

    Training and workshops for parents and support services, such as in-home visits, respite care, and referrals to appropriate agencies for services.

  • Support Groups

    Periodic meetings that provide participants with the opportunity to share information and talk about common experiences for mutual support, usually run by a facilitator or a professional who can provide guidance.

  • Telephone or Personal Reader Services

    Telephone reader or personal reader services.

  • Training in the Use of Low Vision Devices

    Training in the use of low vision devices.

  • Travel/O&M Training

    Training in the use of systematic techniques by which people who are blind or visually impaired orient themselves to their environment and move about independently.

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