NAtional Resources

Sites and forms available to the United States that facilitate mobility, education, and managing life with vision loss

 
 

Key

Resources are categorized and tagged geographically to identify where the resource is useful

 

Logistics and Planning
Help and information on day-to-day living

Training and Education
Courses and programs for independent living and professional development 

Financial Assistance
Programs and forms to help afford living with vision loss

Emotional Support and Lifestyle
Recreation and support groups for those coping with blindness

 
 

National Resources

 

Bookshare
Category: Training and Education
Location: Online Internationally
Range: Global

Bookshare is an international library dedicated to providing access to books for those who cannot read traditional print text. For students the service is free, and for non-students there is a low annual fee.

 

 

America Foundation for the Blind (AFB)
Categories: Logistics and Planning, Training and Education
Location: New York, NY
Serves: USA and Canada

AFB is an all-purpose resource in the USA and Canada. They prepare and help the families of the visually impaired and run courses to educate and train visually impaired professionals.

AFB also possesses a directory that helps find local services.

 

 

National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS)
Category: Training and Education
Location: Online Nationally
Serves: United States

NLS provides free braille and audio literature and materials to eligible borrowers in the United States by postage-free mail. To receive access to the Library of Congress please fill out their application and send it to your nearest cooperating library found at www.loc.gov/nls/find, or call 1-888-NLS-READ (1-888-657-7323).

 

 

Supplementary Security Income (SSI) Form
Category: Financial Assistance
Serves: United States

SSI is designed to help aged, blind and disabled persons with little or no income by providing stipend to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.  Unfortunately the federal government does not provide a means to apply for SSI online-- contact your local social security office to make an appointment.  To know if you are eligible to apply, you can fill out the Social Security Administration’s questionnaire.

Applicants qualify by one the following: Be 65 years or older; or have a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the best eye with the use of a corrective lens. Applicants must also be considered to have limited income and limited resources, and be a U.S. citizen.  To meet the SSI income requirements, you must have less than $2,000 in assets (or $3,000 for a couple) and a very limited income.  

 

 

In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) FORM
Category: Financial Assistance
Serves: United States

IHSS helps those that qualify pay for domestic services, such as cleaning, laundry, meal preparation, yard work and transportation to medical appointments or alternative sources of services. Applicant must be blind and considered low-income, with the same requirements as SSI/SSP, with the additional requirements of living in a home or apartment that they are unable to live safely alone at without care.

 

 

State Supplemental Payment (SSP) Form
Category: Financial Assistance
Range: United States in participating states (follow link to check yours)

SSP is a state supplementation that augments the SSI benefits (see above). Additional state benefits via SSP differ from state-to-state. These benefits combined with the SSI benefits are to help cover the basic living costs of low-income, disabled individuals. Unfortunately the federal government does not provide a means to apply for SSI and SSP online-- contact your local social security office to make an appointment.

Applicants qualify by one of the following: Be 65 years or older; have a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the best eye with the use of a corrective lens.

 

 

Blind Rehabilitation Centers (BRC) of the Veterans Affairs
Category: Logistics and Planning, Training and Education
Range: United States

The BRCs are residential programs that provide blindness training to veterans of the United States military. Live-in centers are found all over the continental United States and Puerto Rico. Training programs provide orientation and mobility training, computer access and general life skills, and visual rehabilitation.