Links and Resources for Families
American Council of the Blind (ACB)
1155 15th Street NW, Suite 1004
Washington, DC 20005
ACB is a national organization of blind, visually impaired and sighted individuals whose purpose is to work toward independence, security, equality of opportunity, and improved quality of life for all blind and visually impaired people. ACB programs and services include "The Braille Forum", a free monthly publication available in braille, large print, on cassette and computer disk, and by e-mail subscription; numerous scholarship awards; and active participation in the national legislative and advocacy scene. ACB is also a valuable resource for information on programs and services in the blindness field and laws affecting blind persons.
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)
11 Penn Plaza, Suite 300
New York, NY 10001
AFB is a nonprofit organization founded in 1921 to improve services for people who are blind or visually impaired, conduct research, and inform the public. AFB’s regional offices work with State and local providers to improve and extend services. AFB produces talking books, publishes books and videos on blindness, monitors legislative developments, makes referrals, conducts psychosocial research on blindness, promotes improved special education and vocational rehabilitation, and maintains a library of over 30,000 materials. AFB responds to questions about access, rehabilitation, education, assistive technology, employment, low-vision services, and other issues relating to blindness.
AFB publishes Braille, recorded, large-type, and standard versions of its materials, some of which are available free of charge. Materials include periodicals, a catalog of products, research reports, program guides, films, a directory of agencies serving the blind, and booklets on various aspects of blindness. Serial publications produced by AFB include: Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness (monthly)–book reviews, news briefs, research notes, opinions; and AFB News (quarterly)–AFB activities and information for general readers.
American Printing House for the Blind (APH)
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Louisville, KY 40206
The American Printing House for the Blind is the world’s largest company devoted solely to researching, developing, and manufacturing products for people who are blind or visually impaired. Founded in 1858, it is the oldest organization of its kind in the United States. Under the 1879 federal Act to Promote the Education of the Blind, APH is the official supplier of educational materials for visually impaired students in the U.S. who are working at less than college level. The materials are distributed to programs serving individuals who are blind through allotments to the states. The allotments are based on an annual census conducted by APH of the number of students who are legally blind in each state and are provided in the form of credits. State education agencies and programs serving persons who are blind may order materials free of charge up to the amount of funds allocated to each state for educational materials. APH also conducts research related to developing and improving products and provides advisory services to professional and consumer organizations on the availability and use of materials produced by APH. Also housed at APH is the Fred’s Head Database, a source of tips and techniques for and by blind or visually impaired individuals, and the Louis Database of Accessible Materials.
Association for the Education & Rehabilitation of the Blind & Visually Impaired (AER)
4600 Duke Street, Suite 430
Alexandria, VA 22304
AER is the only international membership organization dedicated to rendering all possible support and assistance to the professionals who work in all phases of education and rehabilitation of blind and visually impaired children and adults.
Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)
1110 N. Glebe Road, Suite 300
Arlington, VA 22201
CEC is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities, students with disabilities, and/or the gifted. CEC advocates for appropriate governmental policies, sets professional standards, provides continual professional development, advocates for newly and historically underserved individuals with exceptionalities, and helps professionals obtain conditions and resources necessary for effective professional practice. CEC hosts ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center) clearinghouse on disabilities and gifted education information.
Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and Blind (ASDB)
Early Childhood and Family Education
P.O. Box 87010
Tucson, Arizona 85754
ASDB provides services and resources to deaf, hard-of-hearing, and visually impaired infants and toddlers and their families.
Dots for Families, Ongoing Literacy for Families of Children with Visual Impairments is a site is for families and others to learn about braille and how the young child might learn braille to develop literacy skills. Starting with the braille alphabet, families and others can learn to read and write braille through 15 short lessons. Additional resources and articles are also available on this site: www.pathstoliteracy.org/dots-families
Easter Seals, Inc.
230 W. Monroe St., Suite 1800
Chicago, IL 60606
Easter Seals has been helping individuals with disabilities and special needs, and their families, live better lives for more than 80 years. From child development centers to physical rehabilitation and job training for people with disabilities, Easter Seals offers a variety of services at 450 locations to help people with disabilities address life’s challenges and achieve personal goals. Major services include medical rehabilitation, job training and employment, inclusive, child care, camping, recreation and adult day services.
Hadley School for the Blind
700 Elm Street
Winnetka, IL 60093
The Hadley School for the Blind offers tuition-free distance education courses to blind and visually impaired students and parents. The four program areas include: Adult Continuing Education, High School, Family Education and Professional Education. Courses are available in braille, large print and on audio cassette.
111 East 59th Street
New York, NY 10022
Founded in 1905, Lighthouse International is a leading non-profit organization that helps people of all ages overcome the challenges of vision loss. Through clinical services, education, research and advocacy, the Lighthouse enables people with low vision and blindness to enjoy safe, independent and productive lives.
National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI)
PO Box 317
Watertown, MA 02272
NAPVI is a non-profit organization of, by and for parents committed to providing support to the parents of children who have visual impairments. NAPVI operates a national clearinghouse and support network for information, education, and referral. Services available for members include: a parent matching service for parents whose children have similar eye conditions, a quarterly newsletter “Awareness” available in print and cassette, as well as legislative updates.
National Association of Private Special Education Centers (NAPSEC)
1522 K Street NW, Suite 1032
Washington, DC 20005
NAPSEC is a non-profit association whose mission is to represent private special education centers and their leaders. NAPSEC promotes high quality programs for individuals with disabilities and their families and advocates for access to the continuum of alternative placements and services. NAPSEC publishes a membership directory containing lists and descriptions of private special education schools throughout the United States and a free referral service for parents or professionals seeking an appropriate private special education placement for their child or client.
National Braille Press, Inc. (NBP)
88 St. Stephen Street
Boston, MA 02115
National Braille Press is a nonprofit braille printer and publisher offering braille books, magazines, textbooks, tests, and customized embossing services. NBP offers the Children’s Braille Book Club which is a subscription service and ReadBooks! which is a national children’s braille literacy program to encourage families with blind children to read print/braille books together.
National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB)
345 N. Monmouth Ave.
Monmouth, OR 97361
As a national technical assistance center funded by the federal Department of Education, NCDB works to improve the quality of life for children who are deaf-blind and their families by: creating visibility and direction for identified priorities through a range of practices, activities, supports and partnerships; identifying and encouraging new innovations in practice and policy; promoting opportunity for reflection, debate, and constructive dialogue around ideas and developing practice and maintaining a rich repository of content, history, and knowledge, easily available and shared by all who are part of the community of deaf-blindness.
National Family Association for Deaf-Blind (NFADB)
111 Middle Neck Rd.
Sands Point, NY 11050
NFADB is a national organization which advocates for persons who are deaf-blind, and encourages founding and strengthening of family organizations in each state dedicated to assisting families of persons who are deaf-blind. NFADB regional representatives can be contacted to share information and provide resources and referrals.
National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
1800 Johnson Street
Baltimore, MD 21230
The NFB improves blind people’s lives through advocacy, education, research, technology, and programs encouraging independence and self-confidence. In January 2004 the NFB opened the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute, the first research and training center in the United States for the blind led by the blind.
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS)
1291 Taylor Street, NW
Washington, DC 20542
Through a national network of cooperating libraries, NLS administers a free library program of braille and audio materials circulated to eligible borrowers in the United States by postage-free mail. NLS also provides reference services on blindness-related topics.
PACER, Inc. (Parent Advocacy Coalition for Education Rights)
8161 Normandale Blvd.
Minneapolis, MN 55437
The mission of PACER Center is to expand opportunities and enhance the quality of life of children and young adults with disabilities and their families, based on the concept of parents helping parents. Through its ALLIANCE and other national projects, PACER, a national center, responds to thousands of parents and professionals each year. PACER offers assistance to individual families, workshops, materials for parents and professionals, and leadership in securing a free and appropriate public education for all children.
Seedlings: Braille Books for Children
P.O. Box 51924
Livonia, MI 48151
Seedlings Braille Books for Children is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization dedicated to increasing the opportunity for literacy by providing high quality, low cost braille books for children.
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
1100 W. 45th St.
Austin, TX 78756
TSBVI serves as a special public school in the continuum of statewide placements for students who have a visual impairment. It is also a resource to parents of these children and professionals who serve them, both in Texas and nationally.