Independent Living Series Resource List

General Organizations

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association)
120 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000
Chicago, IL 60606-6995

This organization of food and nutrition professionals provides nutrition information for consumers. Its Commission on Dietetic Registration awards credentials to registered dietitians.

Action for Blind People
53 Sandgate St.
London SE15 1LE
United Kingdom
020 7635 4800

This organization provides support in the areas of work, housing, and leisure to people who are visually impaired in the United Kingdom.

American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults
1800 Johnson St.
Baltimore, MD 21230

This service agency provides assistance not always readily available from government and other service systems. Its purpose is to improve the quality of life for people who are blind or deaf-blind. It helps persons who are blind or deaf-blind to obtain reading material, aids, and appliances. It assists people who are losing vision later in life and educates the public about blindness.

American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE)
200 W. Madison St., Suite 800
Chicago, IL 60603

This membership organization for diabetes educators is dedicated to promoting diabetes self-management. It provides resources for people with diabetes, including product information and assistance in finding local educators.

American Council of the Blind (ACB)
2200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 650
Arlington, VA 22201

This membership organization advocates independence, security, equality of opportunity, and improved quality of life for all people with visual impairments. ACB conducts public education and is a source of information on programs, services, and legislation. ACB publishes the Braille Forum, a free monthly magazine available in various formats. This organization has information of interest to the general public as well as to ACB members.

American Diabetes Association
1701 N. Beauregard St.
Alexandria, VA 22311

This organization supports diabetes research, publishes scientific findings, and provides information and advocacy. It publishes a monthly magazine, Diabetes Forecast. Its website offers basic diabetes information as well as links to in-depth articles and other resources.

American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)
2 Penn Plaza, Suite 1102
New York, NY 10121
TTY: 212-502-7662
Voice and TTY: 800-232-5463
Voice and TTY: 212-502-7600

This organization promotes employment, independent living, literacy, and technology for people with visual impairments. It provides information and referral to people who are visually impaired, professionals, and the general public. AFB offers a free searchable online Directory of Services in the Find Services section of its website. AFB's online directory of resources is also available by telephone, and AFB may be contacted for a referral to local rehabilitation services. AFB Press has publications covering many topics related to visual impairment. AFB's CareerConnect website is an employment information resource. It helps students and job seekers explore career options, and it assists employers, professionals serving people with vision loss, and family members and friends.
The Benetech Initiative
480 S. California Ave., Suite 201
Palo Alto, CA 94306-1609

This organization provides access to books that are legally scanned for people who are visually impaired or print disabled. The books can be read with adaptive technology or in embossed braille. Note that Bookshare currently is free to Hadley students.

Carroll Center for the Blind
770 Centre St.
Newton, MA 02458

This organization serves people who are visually impaired. It provides rehabilitation, technology and other skills training, and educational opportunities. One program specifically teaches diabetes self-management.

CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind)
1929 Bayview Ave.
Toronto, Ontario M4G 3E8
416-486-2500, ext. 3868

This organization is Canada's primary provider of services to people with visual impairments. It also serves as a consulting and resource agency to professionals, and it offers a library of materials in accessible formats.

Council of Citizens with Low Vision International (CCLVI)
Affiliate of the American Council of the Blind (ACB)
1155 15th St. NW, Suite 1004
Washington, DC 20005

This membership organization, an affiliate of the American Council of the Blind, provides support and advocacy for people who are visually impaired. It focuses on the areas of rights, education, outreach, research, and development of services.

Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF)
3075 Adeline St., Suite 210
Berkeley, CA 94703
Voice and TTY: 510-644-2555

DREDF is a national law and policy center dedicated to protecting and advancing the civil rights of people with disabilities through legislation, litigation, advocacy, technical assistance, training, and education.

Foundation Fighting Blindness
7168 Columbia Gateway Dr., Suite 100
Columbia, MD 21046
TTY: 800-683-5551
TTY: 410-363-7139 (local)

This organization promotes research that will provide preventions, treatments, and cures for people affected by retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, Usher syndrome, or any retinal degenerative diseases.

Helen Keller International (HKI)
352 Park Ave. S., 12th Floor
New York, NY 10010

HKI is devoted to fighting and treating preventable blindness worldwide. It builds local capacity and provides technical and scientific assistance to governments, organizations, and individuals throughout the world.

JBI International
110 E. 30th St.
New York, NY 10016

The JBI Library provides books, magazines, and publications in audio, large print, and braille formats free of charge to people worldwide who are visually impaired, physically disabled, or reading disabled.

Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
TTY: 877-781-9403

JAN provides free guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment questions. JAN tries to find practical solutions benefiting both the employer and employee.

Job Opportunities for the Blind
National Federation of the Blind
1800 Johnson St.
Baltimore, MD 21230

This is a service of the National Federation of the Blind in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor. Anyone legally blind and a U.S. resident seeking work in the United States is eligible for services.

Learning Ally (Formerly Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic)
20 Roszel Rd.
Princeton, NJ 08540

Learning Ally digitally records books for people who are unable to read standard print because of a disability. It has thousands of titles available in a broad variety of subjects, including texts at all academic levels. Learning Ally offers both individual and institutional memberships.

Lighthouse International
111 E. 59th St.
New York, NY 10022-1202
TTY: 212-821-9713

Lighthouse International is a worldwide resource on vision impairment and vision rehabilitation. Its work includes vision rehabilitation services, public education, professional development, research, prevention, and advocacy. It can refer individuals to service providers in their area.

Lions Clubs International
300 W. 22nd St.
Oak Brook, IL 60523-8842

Members of Lions Club International serve people who are visually impaired and participate in local efforts committed to preserving sight. They collect and recycle eyeglasses for distribution in developing countries and treat millions to prevent river blindness.

Lions World Services for the Blind
2811 Fair Park Blvd.
Little Rock, AR 72204

This organization offers on-site rehabilitation services, including job training and placement, and a technology learning center so people who are visually impaired can function independently.

National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI)
P.O. Box 317
Watertown, MA 02471

This is an organization of, by, and for parents. It provides information, resources, leadership, support, and training to family members and others. It offers a newsletter and an online directory of parents interested in contacting other members.

National Braille Press (NBP)
88 Saint Stephen St.
Boston, MA 02115-4312

This organization provides a wide variety of books in accessible formats, including braille, audio, and electronic files. It also offers a braille book club for children, with text in both regular print and braille.

The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)
1710 Rhode Island Ave. NW, 5th Floor
Washington, DC 20036
TTY: 202-207-0340

NCIL, which is governed by people with disabilities, advocates the development and expansion of a nationwide network of centers for independent living. It helps the centers build their organizational capacity to promote social change, eliminate discrimination, and create opportunities for people to participate in their communities. It provides materials related to disability policies and laws to its membership, Congress, federal agencies, and the general public.

National Eye Institute/U.S. National Institutes of Health (NEI/NIH)
31 Center Dr. MSC 2510
Bethesda, MD 20892-2510

This U.S. government agency is dedicated to preserving vision. It supports and conducts research on the prevention and treatment of eye conditions and diseases. It provides free information about eye conditions and treatments.

National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
200 East Wells St.
at Jernigan Place
Baltimore, MD 21230

NFB is a membership organization of persons who are blind, offering support to individuals and their families. Its goal is the complete integration of people who are visually impaired into society on a basis of equality. It provides services, public education, information and referral, publications, adaptive equipment, and advocacy. NFB has divisions that deal with issues such as deaf-blindness, braille and technology, diabetes, and parenting.

Perkins School for the Blind
175 N. Beacon St.
Watertown, MA 02472

This school is committed to helping children and adults who are blind, deaf-blind, or have multiple disabilities reach their greatest possible independence. In addition to its on-campus programs, Perkins serves communities throughout the world.

Prevent Blindness America
211 West Wacker Dr., Suite 1700
Chicago, IL 60606

This organization conducts research and works to preserve sight and prevent blindness. It offers public and professional education on eye health and safety, advocacy, certified vision screening training, and screenings for children and adults.

Royal Blind Society (RBS)
RBS House
56-61 Sea Lane
Rustington, West Sussex BN16 2RQ
United Kingdom
01903 857023

RBS assists people who are visually impaired and in financial need. It provides cash grants and offers recreational opportunities.

Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB)
105 Judd St.
London WC1H 9NE
United Kingdom
0303 123 9999

RNIB is a membership organization that offers information, support, and advice to people with sight problems. RNIB fights for equal rights for people with sight problems and funds research for preventing and treating eye disease.

Toastmasters International
P.O. Box 9052
Mission Viejo, CA

Meetings are workshops where members improve their skills in public speaking and leadership in a no-pressure environment.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Blind Rehabilitation Service (117B)
810 Vermont Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20420
TTY: 800-829-4833

This government agency provides health care and federal benefits to veterans and their dependents. It offers vocational rehabilitation, training in independent living skills, and other services to veterans with disabilities. The Department of Veterans Affairs maintains a network of rehabilitation centers and clinics.

The VA's Blind Rehabilitation Centers (BRCs) include instruction in visual skills, O&M, manual skills, daily living skills, and communication. BRCs are inpatient facilities and provide ophthalmologic and optometric care as well as medical services. Psychologists and social workers also provide assistance at BRCs.

The Veterans Administration has a family training program (FTP). FTP provides information and training to help the veteran and his or her family discuss the family's adjustment to vision loss. This helps family members reinforce the training the veteran is receiving.

World Blind Union (WBU)
1929 Bayview Ave.
Toronto, Ontario M4G 3E8

WBU represents people who are visually impaired from organizations all over the world. It aims to promote prevention and treatment of blindness, and to advance the well-being of people with visual impairment worldwide, especially those in developing countries.

World Health Organization (WHO)
Avenue Appia 20
1211 Geneva 27
+ 41 22 791 21 11

WHO is the United Nations specialized agency for health. Its objective is the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health or the state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being.

General Websites

This site offers books in large print on a wide range of topics.

Low Vision Chef

This website offers products and tips for cooks who are visually impaired.

Low Vision Gateway

This website provides access to Internet information related to the fields of low vision rehabilitation and blindness.

VisionAware is a free and practical website developed by experienced vision rehabilitation personnel. It aims to help adults losing vision to continue to live full and independent lives. It offers information, techniques, a directory of services, and an online community. Its Senior Site offers resources and solutions for seniors with vision loss as well as family members and caregivers. VisionAware also features an Information Hub for veterans with vision loss. The following pages may be particularly helpful:

Cataracts offers information and resources related to cataracts.

Diabetes offers information and resources related to diabetes.

Glaucoma offers information and resources related to glaucoma.

Macular Degeneration offers information and resources related to macular degeneration.

Volunteer Match

This organization helps people connect with causes and find volunteer opportunities.

Volunteer Solutions

This volunteer matching application helps volunteer centers connect people to opportunities in their communities. Individuals can search online for volunteer opportunities based on skills, interests, and location.

(Submitted by: Patti Jacobson and Ginger Irwin; Last updated: July 31, 2013)

Back to Resources List