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Resources

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.
 
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/
 
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/

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
 
The American Foundation for the Blind (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
 
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
 
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/
 
The National Rehabilitation Training Center offers courses that may be of interest to those adjusting to vision loss, such as Adjustmant 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/

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