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Resources

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Accessible Pharmacy Services for the Blind

Accessible Pharmacy Services for the Blind is a comprehensive, home delivery pharmacy service specializing in the needs of the blind and low vision community. It can offer both high-tech and no-tech solutions to assist with reminders, refills and error reduction and overall medication management.  There are no additional fees for this support.  For more information, visit the web site at:
 
https://www.accessiblepharmacy.com/

Aging and Vision Loss, When the Golden Years Begin to Lose Their Luster

Larry P. Johnson, M.A. PHR, has written an advocacy article entitled “Aging and Vision Loss, When the Golden Years Begin to Lose Their Luster”, in which he discusses the issues facing seniors experiencing vision loss and the dire need to increase resources to assist them.  He notes the significant and rising number of persons dealing with older sight loss, the principal causes for this, the major consequences and the types of services and interventions needed.  To read his analysis, download the file by clicking here.

AMD Groups Website

The American Macular Degeneration Foundation, BrightFocus Foundation, MD Support, Prevent Blindness and The SupportSight Foundation have launched AMD Central, an online resource that curates trusted information and tools from leading advocacy organizations to support the age-related macular degeneration (AMD) patient and caregiver community.  Visit the site at:
AMDCentral.org

American Council of the Blind (ACB)

The American Council of the Blind (ACB) strives to increase the independence, security, equality of opportunity, and quality of life for all blind and visually impaired people.  ACB has effectively collaborated with Vision Rehabilitation Service providers to develop the principles and values that should be at the heart of providing adjustment and placement services to people who are blind.  ACB has worked with governments at all levels to enhance and ensure adequate accommodations and rehabilitation services are provided both through policy initiatives and program implementation.  It has also advised and encouraged private companies and organizations to provide fair access and non-discriminatory treatment for those with vision loss.  Information can be found by calling (202) 467-5081 or (800) 424-8666 or by visiting ACB’s web site at:
http://www.acb.org

American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)

The AFB is a national non-profit foundation dedicated to seeking equal access and opportunities for people with vision loss.  It connects families to sources of knowledge and support.  It advises on the creation of more accessible products.  It offers publications and eLearning courses to educate professionals in the field.  Its advocacy helps to implement disability legislation including the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Information can be found by calling (212) 502-7600 or by visiting AFB’s web site at:
http://www.afb.org

American Red Cross

The American Red Cross provides information and tips for visually limited persons to handle emergencies and disasters.  Information can be found by visiting the web site at:
http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family/disabilities

Blinded Veterans Association (BVA)

The Blinded Veterans Association (BVA) is an organization of blinded veterans helping blinded veterans.  Through its service programs, regional groups, resources, and advocacy before the legislative and executive branches of government, it hopes to make life better for blinded veterans.  It also hopes to be there with encouragement and support.  There is no charge for any BVA service and membership is not a prerequisite to obtain help.  All legally blinded veterans are eligible for BVA’s assistance whether they become blind during or after active duty military service.  Information can be found by calling (800) 669-7079 or by visiting BVA’s web site at:
http://www.bva.org

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

CMS offers resources describing how to assess practices, develop communication plans, and how to be prepared to implement accessible services for individuals who are blind, have low vision, deaf, or are hard of hearing.  For information, visit the web site at:
https://www.cms.gov/files/document/omh-visual-sensory-disabilities-brochure-508c.pdf

Council of Citizens With Low Vision International (CCLVI)

The Council of Citizens With Low Vision International (CCLVI), an affiliate member of ACB, is an advocacy membership organization for persons who have some but limited sight.  Its purposes are to establish the right of persons with low vision to make full use of their vision through all available aids, services and technology, to provide a mechanism through which low vision people can express their individual needs, interests and preferences, to educate the general public, professionals, and low vision people themselves as to the potentialities, capabilities, and needs of low vision people, to establish outreach programs to insure that all individuals with low vision have access to necessary services, to promote research to prevent blindness, improve maximum utilization of sight, and improve environmental conditions and access for low vision people, and to support the development of and expansion of pre-service and in-service training programs to improve the quality and quantity of medical and rehabilitative low vision services.  Information can be found by calling (800)733-2258 or by visiting CCLVI’s web site: 
http://www.cclvi.org

Directions for Me

Directions for Me Is a web site that provides a complete, consistent, reliable source of packaging information, for everything from preparation instructions to ingredients and nutrition facts, for over 400,000 grocery, health and beauty products.  Directions for Me was designed to be completely accessible to those who use adaptive technology.  It also offers adjustable fonts for those who would prefer larger print.  Visit the site at:
https://www.directionsforme.org

Ears for Eyes - Enrichment Audio Resource Services

Ears for Eyes - Enrichment Audio Resource Services provides free audio lessons promoting independent living.  Information can be found by calling (800) 843-6816 or visiting its web site at:
http://www.earsforeyes.info/

Foundation Fighting Blindness

The Foundation Fighting Blindness provides information and outreach programs.  The Foundation is driving research to 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.  It funds leading-edge research in promising areas such as genetics, gene therapy, retinal cell transplantation, and pharmaceutical and nutritional therapies.  Information can be found by visiting its web site at:
http://www.blindness.org

Getting Started 2020: A Guide for People New to Vision Loss

The VisionAware division of APH has a booklet available in large print or online aimed at newly blind adults called "Getting Started 2020: A Guide for People New to Vision Loss"
https://visionaware.org

Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired (formerly The Hadley School for the Blind) offers lifelong, distance education programs for individuals who are blind or visually impaired, their families and blindness service providers.  Hadley offers courses free of charge to its blind and visually impaired students and their families and affordable tuition to blindness professionals.  It provides free audio seminars described in its monthly newsletter.  Information can be found by calling (847) 446-8111 or by visiting Hadley's web site at:
http://www.hadley.edu/

ICanConnect (National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program)

ICanConnect (National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program) is available for those with significant combined vision and hearing loss meeting Federal income guidelines.  They can receive communication technology and training to stay connected with family members and friends at no cost.  Information can be found by calling (800) 825-4595, TTY (888) 320-2656 or by visiting the web site at:
http://www.icanconnect.org

Instacart Senior Support Service

Instacart’s new Senior Support Service is now available to help customers who are 60+ learn how to safely and efficiently use grocery delivery.  Information can be found by calling (844)981-3433 or by visiting the web site at:
https://www.instacart.com/help/

Lions Clubs International

Lions Clubs International has local Lions Clubs which provide resources and support to benefit individuals with vision loss.  Information can be found by calling (630) 571-5466 or visiting its web site at:
http://www.lionsclubs.org

MD Support

MD Support provides recordings to assist persons dealing with vision loss at the following site:
http://www.mdsupport.org

Medicare provides low cost health insurance for seniors

While basic Medicare covers hospitalization, doctor visits and prescription drugs, co-pay and deductible payments may be required and not all needed medical coverage is included.  Supplemental, alternative and additional drug plans are available at varying costs and coverage levels.  Deciding what elections to make can be quite confusing.  For information on coverage and options, please visit Medicare’s web site at:
https://www.medicare.gov/

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) also provides information about Medicare on its web site at:
https://www.aarp.org/health/medicare-insurance/?intcmp=FTR-LINKS-SSMEDI-MEDICAID-EWHERE

National Research & Training Center on Blindness

The National Research & Training Center offers courses that may be of interest to those adjusting to vision loss, such as Adjustment and Acceptance of Blindness, Basics of Blindness and Low Vision, the Low Down on Low Vision and others.  For more information, visit the web site at:
https://www.oib-tac.org/

NRTC provides videos to help older people experiencing sight loss learn new skills and resources.  Visit:
https://www.oib-tac.org/resources/healthy-aging/
 
NRTC also provides state-by-state information about services offered for blind and low vision persons.  Visit:
https://www.oib-tac.org/time-to-be-bold/

Sylvia Perez, Director of the OIB Technical Assistance Center, has written helpful articles about eye health. Visit:

https://ncoa.org/older-adults/health/physical-health/eye-health?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CHA
 
https://www.ncoa.org/article/living-with-vision-loss-practical-tips-for-safety-and-independence?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CHA
 
https://www.ncoa.org/article/helping-moms-with-low-vision-maintain-their-important-family-roles?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CHA
 
https://www.ncoa.org/article/how-to-care-for-your-eyes-as-you-age-and-get-help-with-vision-loss?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CHA

Nursing Home Abuse Justice

Nursing Home Abuse Justice was founded to expose the widespread abuse and neglect that occurs in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Some statistics indicate that as many as 1 in 3 senior residents have been victims of nursing home abuse. Our mission is to educate seniors and their loved ones of these horrors so that we can work together to stop the cycle of abuse harming our seniors. For more information, visit the web site at:
https://www.nursinghomeabuse.org/nursing-home-abuse/

OE Patients

 The Association for Macular Diseases has partnered with Ophthalmic Edge to provide a web site, OEPatients.org, which provides practical tips and encouraging advice for living well with vision loss.  It offers an insider’s guide, filled with a wide-range of constructive ideas and strategies in categories that include Accessibility & Technology, Making Adjustments, Health & Well-Being and the OE Patients Podcast.  Visit:
www.oepatients.org

Rehabilitation White Paper

Doug Powell has prepared a White Paper on current rehabilitation offerings for older blind and visually impaired persons and suggestions for improvements.  He hopes to present this for legislative action.  He is also preparing recommendations to the Rehabilitation Services Administration in the Department of Education for the need for more rehabilitation specialists and funding to assist older persons under the Older Independent Blind initiative. To read the white paper, visit the web site:
https://acb.org/rehabilitation-white-paper

Social Security Administration (SSA)

The Social Security Administration (SSA) pays disability benefits prior to retirement to persons with disabilities including blindness if they or other members of their family have worked long enough and they can show that their medical condition has prevented them from working or is expected to prevent them from working for at least 12 months or end in death.  The benefits are modest.  Application can be made on SSA’s web site.  Information can be found by calling (800) 772-1213 or by visiting SSA’s web site at:
http://ssa.gov/benefits/ssi or https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/disability/

Sound Solutions Series

Braille Institute of America offers the Sound Solutions Series which promotes independence while educating and empowering the entire family through free audio dramatizations.  Information can be found by calling (800) 272-4553 or visiting its web site at:
http://www.brailleinstitute.org

State Agencies

Each state has an agency to help its blind and visually limited residents obtain the skills and tools needed to deal with sight loss.  Usually, they offer these services to assist residents find or maintain employment.  They provide job placement assistance, orientation and mobility training, support for courses leading to potential employment, magnification and screen reading software and training, other aids to assist with basic life activities, and general information to aid in seeking and holding jobs.  While retirees will not be looking for job assistance, they may ask for help as homemakers; how much assistance these people may obtain will depend on their home states.

Vision Aware Program

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), in connection with American Printing House (APH), provides the Vision Aware program. They can be found through the following link:
https://www.visionaware.org/

VisionServe Alliance

VisionServe Alliance is a consortium of nonprofits located throughout the United States that provide unique and specialized vision rehabilitation services.  It is spearheading the new Aging & Vision Loss National Coalition to tackle critical issues related to older people experiencing impaired sight as the result of age-related eye diseases.  The coalition is comprised of 15 national, state, local, private and public agencies representing broad constituencies who will advocate for equal access and quality of life for older Americans with vision loss.  It offers its members two annual conferences.  For more information, visit its web site at:
https://visionservealliance.org

Further blindness resources

Further blindness resources can be found by visiting the web site at:
http://www.samobile.net/users/happytrails/bookmarks/6313