Helpful resources for individuals living with vision loss.
Listed below are some of our “partner” organizations, with descriptions of their programs that have received funding from Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation.
American Council of the Blind (ACB), Alexandria, VA is developing best practices standards, curriculum, and software training for Zoom meeting hosts and attendees with vision loss. Once completed, these standards, curriculum, and training modules will be offered to all in the blind and vision impaired community who host Zoom meetings and events.
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), Arlington, VA seeks to decrease the prevalence of “career stagnation” in the blind and vision impaired community through a mentor/mentee program. This blind leadership program assists recently employed college graduates living with vision loss by pairing them with a seasoned professional, also living with vision impairment, in a similar career. Twenty-three mentor/mentee pairs participate in an established management training program that has been customized to address the needs of persons living with vision loss.
American Printing House for the Blind (APH), Louisville, KY sponsors the Kentucky Braille Challenge, a competitive academic event which aims to help blind students grades K – 12 on the road to braille literacy. APH promotes independence of people who are blind and visually impaired by providing specialized materials, products, and services needed for education and life.
The Research Foundation for The State University of New York (RF), Brockport, NY supports participants in their research-based adaptive physical education program, Camp Abilities Brockport. Camp Abilities’ athletic programs have been replicated nationally and internationally. They have produced serious competitive Paralympic athletes while simultaneously allowing all participating kids living with vision loss the opportunity to simply play ball on a field in the summer sun.
The Carroll Center for the Blind, Newton, MA The Carroll Center’s Screen Reader User Tester Training Program (SRUTT). SRUTT, an innovative vocational training program, addresses the ever-increasing problem related to the limitations of website accessibility. Many organizations need to have their websites tested to ensure that those using screen reader software can access the material being presented. The SRUTT program trains individuals living with vision loss to become Screen Reader User Testers for organizations that provide website consulting services to businesses wishing to ensure accessibility. Accessible websites allow companies access to the considerable buying power of the blind and vision impaired community and, in doing so, support compliance with the requirements of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The Chicago Lighthouse, Chicago, IL has developed the youth transition program to increase an adolescent’s independent living skills and exposure to career opportunities while still attending high school. This training program culminates with a summer internship before graduation. The result is an increase in opportunities for college matriculation, continued vocational training, or employment for all program participants.
A Closer Look, Inc, New York, NY is conducting an outreach campaign for the documentary film, Going Blind and GoingForward. Going Blind increases public awareness of vision loss and low vision issues, aiming to change the standard of care by bringing the issues of sight loss, including prevention, treatment, and coping, and the availability of vision enhancement services, to patients, the general public and medical professionals. Visit goingblindmovie.com to learn more.
Enrichment Audio Resource Services (EARS), Inc. has embarked on a Community Outreach Campaign in Westchester County, NY. EARS offers, free of charge, audio lessons (CDs and downloadable) that teach adaptive daily living skills to individuals who are visually impaired and their caregivers. The lessons, modeled after current blind rehabilitation techniques, teach adults coping with vision loss the skills necessary to continue living their lives with confidence and dignity.
Filomen M. D’Agostino Greenberg Music School, New York, NY is developing a database to house their extensive braille and large-print music collection. This initiative is a partnership with the American Printing House for the Blind and the Andrew Heiskell Braille & Talking Books Library of The New York Public Library. These institutions will house thousands of scores and make them available to any musician who wishes to access the materials., thereby improving the ability of musicians who are blind and vision impaired to learn how to play all kinds of music.
Future in Sight, Concord, NH is piloting a program that adds Occupational Therapy services to the vision rehabilitation process. This program doubles the amount of skills training seniors who are experiencing vision loss receive. These older adults, who have recently become vision impaired, will learn new skills to gain the proficiency and confidence to lead independent lives.
Guiding Eyes for the Blind (GEB), Yorktown Heights, NY has taken a leadership role with other guide dog schools to develop a database tracking the genetic traits among the dogs they mate, resulting in more reliable and accurate information to improve the use of genetics for breeding. This has resulted in the creation of more effective and longer-lasting guide dog teams, making it possible for individuals with vision loss to integrate into the overall community and maximize the benefits provided through service animals. Current funding supports training staff members of the schools involved to input their data with greater accuracy. The result: better data applied to breeding that will improve the quality of guide dogs across the nation.
Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Winnetka, IL, through the Braille for Everyday Use program, is developing large type materials to assist students as they make the transition from print to braille. Hadley promotes independent living through lifelong, distance education programs for individuals who are blind or visually impaired, their families, and blindness service professionals.
Helen Keller International (HKI), New York, NY provides vulnerable youth and adults across the United States with vision screenings, eye exams, and prescription eyeglasses.
Helen Keller Services for the Blind (HKSB), Brooklyn, NY sponsors Camp Helen Keller, a summer program in offering an opportunity for children of all ages who are living with vision impairment come together and engage in fun outdoor activities. Helen Keller Services for the Blind offers a wide range of services and programs for people of all ages.
Learning Ally, Princeton, NJ is developing an accessibility component for their new web-based program platform. This new platform will house all of their reading and educational tools and audio books in one place. The platform will be “born accessible” and allow students living with vision loss to access reading and educational materials alongside their sighted peers.
Lighthouse Guild, New York, NY has partnered with Cyber Seniors, an organization that provides intergenerational technology training, so that adolescents can work with seniors to teach them how to use their mobile phones and tablets. In expanding their existing program, Lighthouse Guild is bringing together adolescents and seniors with vision loss to master the accessibility features on their devices. Lighthouse Guild is a vision and healthcare organization providing a broad range of medical, rehabilitation, educational, vocational, long-term care and social services for people of all ages.
National Braille Press (NBP), Boston, MA provides braille and large print teaching materials to Teachers of the Vision Impaired (TVI) to use with their students through their TVI Braille Ignition Kits Program. Getting these materials in the hands of the TVI’s increases the literacy rate of students in the blind and vision impaired community. Their Great Expectations: Making Picture Books Come Alive for Blind Kids program promotes early literacy through playful multisensory activities that inspire blind and visually impaired children to become actively engaged and excited about reading. NBP promotes the literacy of blind children through braille and provides access to information that empowers blind people to actively engage in work, family, and community affairs.
Perkins School for the Blind, Watertown, MA has a full-service program to meet the educational needs of children with Cortical Vision Impairment. As part of their CVI Center, they have launched Seeing Possibility: A New Initiative for Children with Cortical/Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI). Perkins serves children and young adults with multiple disabilities, their families, educators, researchers, and professionals around the globe through educational services, accessibility, professional development, and innovation.
Prevent Blindness, Chicago, IL has launched the ASPECT training program, where people living with vision loss (or family members) are taught how to become effective story tellers and then how to use their personal story to advocate for the rights of persons living with vision loss or funding for the blindness community at large. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates participate in advocacy opportunities designed to benefit the blindness community communities across the nation. RDPFS is supporting their Evaluation and Engagement project, specifically, development of a web-based alumni platform to increase the program’s effectiveness, where alumni can directly interact with the Prevent Blindness team and other alumni advocates, sharing materials, advocacy opportunities, and experiences.
Salus University – Blindness and Low Vision Studies Programs, Elkins Park, PA is developing an internship program for their graduating Vision Rehabilitation Therapists and Orientation and Mobility Specialists. By allowing graduates to complete the internship portion of their training in the Philadelphia area, this program promises to increase in-person orientation and mobility and rehabilitation therapy services in the “City of Brotherly Love.”
U.S. Association of Blind Athletes (USABA), Colorado Springs, CO convenes the “Get Out and Play Blind” Soccer Symposium for Adaptive Sports Physical Education Instructors and Coaches. USABA was recognized by the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee as the official national governing body of blind soccer, leading the Association to structure and prioritize the growth of grassroots and elite programming for the sport. Implementing blind soccer programming across the country, USABA is now looking to grow awareness of and access to this new exciting, and emerging Paralympic sport in the lead up to the 2026 FIFA World Cup and the 2028 Los Angeles Paralympic Games. The Get Out and Play Soccer Symposium seeks to educate Adapted Physical Education Teachers and Athletic Instructors who work with persons who are visually impaired about blind soccer. Teachers and coaches can then bring the sport back to their organizations, develop their skills, and facilitate organized league play. This will foster the creation of an elite team.
VisionLink, Philadelphia, PA has launched three projects to: Increase computer skills training, with in person classes; develop a train-the- trainer program for a new computer curriculum; and conduct an untraditional outreach program targeting cultural and
social service organizations with the goal of developing partnerships so people living with vision loss feel welcomed when they access their programing along with their fully sighted peers.
VISIONS Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired, New York, NY developed an “outreach and services connectivity” program aimed at ensuring that all persons with vision impairment in seven counties in New York’s Hudson Valley have access to independent living skills training. Once a person is identified as living with vision loss and needing training, the VISIONS staff contacts them immediately and offers the full array of independent living services. This immediate service delivery approach ensures that no one “falls through the cracks” while waiting for funding to be approved.