There are many organizations providing products and services to blind people. We have found these to be the most useful and reliable.
How do blind people do it?
The best information on techniques and methods usually comes from blind people who are actively performing various tasks and activities. The NFB of Utah maintains a website that gathers much of this information in one place. It contains many written, video, and audio articles, questions and tutorials covering topics from education, parents, and employment to entertainment and leisure.
Focused on enhancing the lives of people with visual and learning disabilities, HumanWare provides intuitive, intelligent solutions that enable their customers to participate effectively in today's information intensive and highly mobile society. Technological "breakthroughs" can often have quite the opposite effect for those with a disability. Creating humanize solutions that truly make life easier requires both innovation and inspiration. HumanWare's products are having a profoundly positive impact on the lives of people who are blind or visually impaired. These are the tools that empower them to live independently and compete effectively in a sighted world.
Freedom Scientific is the largest worldwide manufacturer of assistive technology products for those who are blind or have low vision. Freedom Scientific is also the only company with a complete line of products for those with vision impairments. All of these products are tested and guaranteed to work together. Freedom Scientific has been in business for over ten years and its products are sold in 55 countries and translated into 24 languages. Freedom Scientific has a close relationship with its customers and incorporates many user suggestions into future products.
En-Vision America, Inc. is a company providing high-tech products aimed at solving problems for those with visual impairments. Located in Normal, Illinois, En-Vision America has successfully introduced several voice-enabled products like i.d. mate Summit, the talking bar code reader, and ScripTalk, the talking pharmaceutical reader.
Since 1990, GW Micro has been a trusted pioneer in the adaptive technology industry, and continues to lead with innovative, customer driven solutions.
Sendero Group - the GPS company - Developers of the first accessible GPS and talking map software. GPS products "Powered by Sendero" software provide access to detailed street and business location information. The blind traveler can now be a co-pilot , not just a passive passenger in a car. He or she can keep the taxi driver honest, enjoy hearing about the sites and businesses being passed and know independently when to get off the bus. Students can also chart custom routes across campus or hikers can do the same in the woods. Sendero staff, most of whom are visually impaired, know from personal and professional experience that orientation and mobility skills and tools for blind folks are key to enjoyment and success in all walks of life. Sendero is first and foremost "the GPS company" as well as distributing other innovative adaptive technology.
A Mobile Reading
Now you can have the convenience of an OCR scanner in the palm of your hand. The KNFB Reader app is a revolutionary tool that you can use, with the touch of a single button, to read virtually any type of printed text, including mail, receipts, class handouts, memos, and many other documents. Proprietary document analysis technology determines the words and reads them aloud to the user with high quality text-to-speech. Read the words you want to read; live the life you want. Learn more at www.knfbreader.com.
Books, Magazines, and Newspapers
FREE SERVICE TO THOSE WHO CANNOT READ REGULAR NEWSPRINT! MORE THAN 300 NEWSPAPERS AVAILABLE. Would you like a newspaper with your morning cup of coffee? NFB-NEWSLINE® provides more than 300 newspapers, magazines, and wire feeds AND it's still growing the already-wide variety of content, including magazines that focus on science, technology, and culture. NFB-NEWSLINE® provides subscribers with on-demand access and the ability to read only those sections and articles of interest to the user from the publications available. Subscribers may read their favorite publications via a variety of methods, including using a touch-tone telephone, accessing content on the Web, or downloading publications to a digital talking book player or MP3 player. This enables those who cannot read conventional print to have access to all content offered on NFB-NEWSLINE® when traveling throughout the United States twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Every day, a subscriber can choose that day's, the previous day's, or the previous Sunday's issue of any newspaper in the service.
Free eBooks by Project
Project Gutenberg is the place where you can download over 33,000 free ebooks to read on your PC, iPad, Kindle, Sony Reader, iPhone, Android or other portable device. We carry high quality ebooks: Our ebooks were previously published by bona fide publishers and digitized by us with the help of thousands of volunteers. All our ebooks can be freely downloaded: Choose between ePub, Kindle, HTML and simple text formats. No fee or registration is required, but if you find Project Gutenberg useful, we kindly ask you to donate a small amount so we can buy and digitize more books. Other ways to help include digitizing more books, recording audio books, or reporting errors. Over 100,000 free ebooks are available through our Partners, Affiliates and Resources. Our ebooks are free in the United States because their copyright has expired.
Electronic Books for the
Bookshare® is an online library of digital books for people with print disabilities. It operates under an exception to U.S. copyright law which allows copyrighted digital books to be made available to people with qualifying disabilities. In addition, many publishers and authors have volunteered to provide Bookshare with access to their works. By requiring individuals to register as Members and provide a Proof of Disability, Bookshare ensures that only qualified individuals use the service. Bookshare Members download books, textbooks and newspapers in a compressed, encrypted file. They then read the material using adaptive technology, typically software that reads the book aloud (text-to-speech) and/or displays the text of the book on a computer screen, or Braille access devices, such as refreshable Braille displays.
National Library Service for
the Blind and Physically Handicapped
That All May Read . . . National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) is part of the Library of Congress. 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.
Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library
Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library (formerly the Minnesota Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped) provides direct library service to eligible Minnesotans who are legally blind or visually impaired (with visual acuity 20/200 or less in the better eye with corrective lenses), physically disabled (unable to use standard printed material as a result of physical limitations), or reading disabled. For more information on eligibility requirements visit the Website of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.
Braille and Audio
Reading Download (BARD)
Don't want to wait for the library to mail a braille or audio book to you? The BARD Website enables registered library users to download electronic braille and recorded books and magazines that can be read on specialized electronic readers.
American Printing House for the
APH is the world's largest provider of accessible educational and daily living products, with over 150 years of service. It manufactures textbooks and other educational publications for students who are visually impaired, provides publications useful to adults, such as cookbooks and dictionaries, and creates recorded books on a contract basis. APH develops and manufactures hundreds of products, tools, and supplies that support students and adults who are visually impaired and increase their independence.
National Braille Press
National Braille Press is a Boston-based nonprofit braille printing and publishing house founded in 1927. Each year NBP presses 15 million braille pages using special translation software and computer-driven equipment. The guiding purposes of National Braille Press are to promote the literacy of blind children through braille, and to provide access to information that empowers blind people to actively engage in work, family, and community affairs.
Braille, Recorded, and Radio Books
The Communications Center of State Services for the Blind provides books, newspapers, magazines and other printed materials in alternate formats for people who are blind, visually impaired, DeafBlind or who have other disabilities that make it difficult for them to read. Through our Communication Center, the only facility of this kind in Minnesota, we offer a wide variety of services to help people stay informed, in-touch with their communities, entertained, and to meet their education and employment goals.
"Braillerman" provides COMPLETE repair, updating, and general reconditioning for any Perkins Brailler. For the finest care your Braille writer can receive, let Alan Ackley make it right. He has reconditioned more than 7000 Braillers for individuals, schools, and agencies in every state and Canada. He is Factory Trained. He maintains a complete inventory of Factory Parts. He is certified as a Braille Transcriber by the National Library Service. Prompt Turnaround. Reasonable Charges. All Work Guaranteed.
The mission of VBS is to train and support volunteer braille transcribers, improving the accuracy and effectiveness of their braille transcriptions through continuing education, and to provide transcribed materials for braille readers. Volunteer Braille Services was incorporated in 1968 for the purpose of training sighted volunteers to transcribe print into braille.
Daily Living Aids
The National Federation of the Blind Independence Market offers blindness-related literature, resources, and products as a service to individuals who are blind or experiencing vision loss, to their friends and families, and to the general public. The blindness-related products that we carry (such as canes, talking watches and clocks, print and Braille writing aids, magnifiers, and medical devices) enable the user to perform everyday tasks more independently. Greater independence empowers blind people to live more productive and fulfilling lives. Our extensive free literature collection includes how-to materials, inspirational and thoughtful speeches and articles, and stories on all aspects of blindness—all from the perspective of the blind person. Parents of blind children, blind students, blind job seekers, blind parents, and seniors new to severe vision loss will find literature that addresses their specific needs.
Independent Living Aids is the oldest, privately-held, direct marketing/distribution company in the United States of products for people who are blind or have low vision. For more than 33 years, ILA has provided this community with quality products at reasonable prices with superb service -- helping millions of people around the world lead active, independent lives. ILA looks forward to helping you MAGNIFY YOUR LIFE.
Education and Training
Alternative Techniques Used
By Blind People
Blindness: Learning In New Dimensions (BLIND), Incorporated is an adjustment to blindness training center. We teach the skills that blind people need to become independent and employable such as braille, home management, the use of the white cane, and computers with screen reading software, etc. But just as importantly, we instill in our students the confidence to put these skills into practice. We utilize the positive view of blindness of the National Federation of the Blind. We work from the premise that blindness doesn't have to be a tragedy. We know that, if given training and opportunity, blind people can live full and productive lives. BLIND, Incorporated offers training for adults, children, teenagers, and seniors.
Recorded Textbooks for Blind
Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic® (RFB&D) works with leading publishers and technology innovators to bring accessible materials to individuals with visual and learning disabilities. Available in every grade level and most subjects, RFB&D textbook and literature titles are used nationwide. In addition to the classics, RFB&D’s digital library provides current editions of state adopted texts ensuring students learn from the same versions as their classmates. Our textbooks, literature titles and other adult resource books are suitable for individuals, students and working professionals so that all can participate in lifelong learning. Used as part of a multisensory learning system, RFB&D’s audiobooks allow educational equality for students who struggle with reading so they can learn along side their peers in class, at home or wherever they choose. No other provider offers the selection of accessible materials that have made RFB&D a trusted resource for more than 60 years.
Database of Producers and Books
The American Printing House for the Blind provides Louis, a database that allows teachers, parents, and students to locate thousands of textbooks in braille, large print, recorded, and computer disc formats available from producers across the United States
Braille Book Club
The National Braille Press provides the only Children's Braille Book Club featuring a new print/braille book every month! Every month, children's book publishers donate popular children's books in print. National Braille Press cuts the print books apart at the spine and inserts the identical text in braille on transparent plastic sheets. The books are rebound in a print/braille format the whole family can enjoy. As a private nonprofit organization, National Braille Press subsidizes the books it sells to blind readers, so that they cost no more than the retail print books.
Minnesota State Academy
for the Blind
For over 140 years, the Minnesota State Academy for the Blind (MSAB) has provided educational services to blind/visually impaired students who range in age from newborn to 21. MSAB is a statewide public school with dormitory facilities that provides 24 hour programming to students who come from all regions of the state, and who often have additional disabilities.
American Action Fund for
Blind Children and Adults
The American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults is a service agency which specializes in providing to blind people help which is not readily available to them from government programs or other existing service systems. It operates through countless volunteers across the nation, overseen by a volunteer board. The purpose of the American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults includes offering services to blind children and their parents. It provides several children's programs such as Braille Readers Are Leaders, Science Academies, scholarships, the Kenneth Jernigan Library for Blind Children, and a free braille books program.