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Information on Blindness and Low Vision

August 7, 2002
Related Topics: Disabilities, Featured Article, Compensation, Benefits

The following Web sites offer information on all aspects of low vision and blindness, including employment, low- and high-tech assistive technologies, legislation, and more.

  • Abledata
    ABLEDATA is a federally funded project whose primary mission is to provide information on assistive technology and rehabilitation equipment available from domestic and international sources to consumers, organizations, professionals, and caregivers within the United States.

    This searchable database is offered free-of-charge. Provides information on some 27,000 products, including many of interest to individuals with visual impairments.

  • American Foundation for the Blind
    Excellent source of information on services and technologies for people with visual impairments. Particularly useful is the searchable database of thousands of agencies and organizations in the United States and Canada that provide services for people who are blind or visually impaired - including low vision centers, etc.

  • American Printing House for the Blind
    APH manufactures Braille, large type, recorded, computer disk, and tactile graphic publications, as well as a wide assortment of educational and daily living products. APH also offers a variety of services to assist consumers and professionals in the field of vision, such as Louis, a database listing materials available in accessible media from organizations across North America.

  • Apple Computer Disability Information Page
    Provides an overview of the accessibility features built into the latest McIntosh products, as well as links to major vendors of software and hardware for visually impaired computer users.

  • Baruch College Computer Center for Visually Impaired People (CCVIP)
    Baruch College's CCVIP offers a wide range of computer classes, assistance to employers, and career development assistance for blind and visually impaired adults seeking to expand their educational and career opportunities.

  • Blindness Resource Center: The New York Institute for Special Education
    Excellent resource for educators and employers. Particularly valuable for its sections on blindness, deaf-blind, low-vision resources, and vendor links.

  • CAST (Center for Assistive Technology)
    CAST is an educational, not-for-profit organization that uses technology to expand opportunities for all people, including those with disabilities. CAST provides a particularly useful tool, BOBBY, free-of-charge on its Web site. With BOBBY, Web designers can check their sites to see if and where there are obstacles to accessibility by persons with disabilities, including visual impairments.

  • Closing The Gap
    Closing the Gap is a not-for-profit organization that disseminates information on assistive technologies for classroom and rehabilitation use. In addition to its annual conference, Closing the Gap provides a wealth of information on its Web site, including a very comprehensive, searchable database of hardware and software.

  • EASI: Equal Access to Software and Information
    EASI is a not-for-profit organization that collects and disseminates information on uses of technology by persons with visual and other disabilities. Of particular interest is the organization's electronic journal, Information Technology and Disabilities, which is made available free-of-charge on the Web site.

  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
    The EEOC is charged with eradication of discrimination in the workplace. This Web site includes information on anti-discrimination legislation for employers and employees.

  • Jim Thatcher /Disability Consulting
    This independent consultant’s website is recommended primarily for its free tutorial on Web site accessibility. It can be found at

  • Job Accommodations Network
    Excellent resource for employers seeking assistance in the provision of reasonable accommodations. Includes a Searchable Online Accommodation Resource (SOAR), which gives practical advice on specific disabilities and accommodations. Also offers an excellent series of links to disability legislation.

  • Microsoft Accessibility Website
    Microsoft's Accessibility page provides a wealth of information, obviously geared toward its own operating system and applications software. Included here is technical information for people with visual and other disabilities, tips for information technology and other professionals, and more.

  • NARIC: The National Rehabilitation Information Center
    NARIC is a federally funded center that disseminates information on disability research. Numerous searchable databases provide references to journal articles, books and documents of interest to professionals seeking to learn more about persons with various disabilities.

  • National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
    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. Included on the NLS Web site is a searchable catalog of accessible texts.

  • Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D)
    RFB&D, the nation's educational library for people with print disabilities, provides educational materials in recorded and computerized formats from kindergarten through postgraduate level. RFB&D's materials are for all people who cannot effectively read standard print because of a visual, perceptual or other physical disability.

Workforce does not endorse or bear any responsibility for the content of these sites.

Reprinted with permission from "A Practical Guide to Accommodating People with Visual Impairments in the Workplace," Copyright 2002 by Baruch College’s Computer Center for Visually Impaired People. To order the book, call 800-490-6609.

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