Catalog Search

888-NLS-READ (888-657-7323)

Resources for Parents of Blind and Low-Vision Children

Introduction

This guide lists resources for parents of children who are blind or low vision. In it, you will find an explanation of terms parents should know when raising children with visual disabilities, support organizations for parents, where to find accessible reading materials, sports and athletic organizations for blind and low-vision athletes, games, camps, federal and state government agencies, and laws pertaining to the education of blind and low-vision children.

This guide is not comprehensive. If there is a topic or listing that you believe should be included, please contact the NLS Reference Section by email at [email protected] or by phone at 202-707-9275.

Listing of products, companies, or services in this guide does not imply endorsement.

Contents

Key Terms

Expanded Core Curriculum

The Expanded Core Curriculum teaches a set of skills complementing the skills students with visual impairments learn in school. These skills are necessary for students to be more successful, self-reliant adults. Skills include orientation and mobility instruction, career education, personal finance and budgeting, social interaction, and independent living.

Individualized Education Plan (IEP)

Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) are mandated by law for all public schools who serve students with disabilities. They are plans, drafted by a team, that are customized to suit the unique needs of each student. IEPs are drafted by teachers, school administrators, and, in some cases, the students themselves. IEPs spell out the educational and interpersonal goals for the students, milestones for meeting those goals, the responsibilities of their IEP team, and any resources they may need, such as assistive technology. The IEP team determines a schedule for future meetings to ascertain the student’s progress and make adjustments if necessary.

Transition

Transition is a term used in the special education field to describe the process a student with disabilities undergoes to move from one educational setting to another (e.g., middle school to high school or high school to a higher education institution), or to leave the educational system entirely and prepare for independent living and entrance into the workforce. Transition planning is important because each new stage in the process represents unique challenges for the students and those who support them.

Vocational Rehabilitation

Vocational rehabilitation is a service offered by state agencies where participants are individually instructed in how to be successful members of the workforce.

Support Organizations for Parents

ACB Families
An affiliate of the American Council of the Blind, ACB Families offers two virtual calls a month during which parents of children with visual impairments are able to connect and share resources with each other. The discussions allow for sharing ideas and best practices for parenting a blind or low-vision child. More information available from www.acb.org/affiliate-ACBF External.

APH FamilyConnect
A service of the American Printing House for the Blind, FamilyConnect offers a supportive environment for families of children with visual disabilities. Also provides curated information and resources. More information is available from https://familyconnect.org External.

NFB National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC)
A division of the National Federation of the Blind, the NOPBC acts a resource for parents providing them information and support. It allows for the sharing of resources and experiences between parents. More information is available from www.nfb.org/our-community/parents-blind-childrenExternal.

Sources for Reading Materials

AccessText Network
The AccessText Network is a partnership between publishers of educational materials and educational institutions. Publishers offer their materials through the network in accessible formats for students with disabilities, which are shared through the student’s college or university. A student with a qualifying disability approaches the disability services coordinator in their educational institution to request a book in an accessible format. That coordinator has login credentials to the AccessText Network and is able to download the item in a format that the student can read. More information is available from www.accesstext.org External.

Bookshare
Bookshare collects digital files provided by publishers and makes these files available to their members in accessible formats. Eligible users then download the files and read the material on their computers, through a digital audiobook player or via Bookshare’s mobile app. Bookshare’s material is offered in audio format via synthetic speech. It is free for students and costs $50 for non-students. More information is available from www.bookshare.org External.

HathiTrust
The HathiTrust is a partnership of more than a dozen member research libraries that scan their collections to make them available over the Internet. Full texts of materials in the public domain are available. The HathiTrust recently partnered with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) to make their collection accessible to people with print disabilities. Free for users. More information is available from www.hathitrust.org External.

Imagination Library
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library partners with the American Printing House for the Blind to offer audio and print/braille books to children who are blind or low vision. More information is available from https://sites.aph.org/dolly-partons-imagination-library External.

International Association of Audio Information Services (IAAIS)
IAAIS is a volunteer-driven membership organization that uses volunteers to record materials for people with print disabilities. They primarily record information from newspapers and other periodicals. The recordings are transmitted on a secure FM signal that can be received by users with authorized devices. Pricing is dependent on the IAAIS service in the user’s state. More information is available from www.iaais.org External.

Learning Ally
Learning Ally offers its members reading material in both synthesized and human speech. While Learning Ally does offer material for pleasure listening, they are also a primary source for access to instructional materials, such as textbooks. Materials can be accessed via a mobile app, through a computer, or on an audiobook player. Annual subscriptions for Learning Ally are $135. More information is available from www.learningally.org External.

LibriVox Audiobooks
LibriVox is an app available on Android and iOS devices. It makes books in the public domain, read by volunteers, available for download. The service is free for the user. More information is available from https://librivox.org External.

National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS)
NLS is a free library service from the Library of Congress for people unable to read regular print or use printed materials because of a disability. Service is provided to eligible US residents and American citizens living abroad by their local cooperating library. Free braille and talking books and magazines are available. Hundreds of thousands of popular books are offered, including best sellers, classics, historical fiction, mysteries, romances, westerns, and many others. NLS uses human voice actors to record NLS talking books. Books are delivered by mail, download, and mobile app for iOS and Android devices. Digital talking-book players—with high-quality sound and easy navigation—are loaned to the user, and NLS recently began to distribute refreshable braille displays to patrons who read braille. More information is available from https://loc.gov/nls.

NFB-NEWSLINE
NFB-NEWSLINE provides its subscribers access to more than 300 newspapers and magazines from a touchtone phone, computer, portable digital audiobook player, or mobile app. Free for the user. More information is available from https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-newsline External.

Open Library
Open Library is a product of the Internet Archive. It is an online repository of records and scanned copies of reading material. Patrons of NLS and Bookshare are allowed to access scanned books from Open Library that would otherwise be inaccessible to the general public due to copyright restrictions. Books can be read from Open Library directly with Open Library’s built-in text-to-speech system. Open Library has books on STEM subjects, bestsellers, and classics. Free for the user. More information is available from https://OpenLibrary.org External.

Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg makes over 60,000 books in the public domain available to the general public. Books can be downloaded in multiple formats, including HTML and plain text. Free for the user. More information is available from www.gutenberg.org External.

Laws Pertaining to Education of Blind/Disabled Children

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The ADA is one of the most expansive civil rights laws in the US. It prohibits discrimination based on disability in employment, government programs, public facilities, private facilities, transportation services, and telecommunication services. Under the ADA, it is unlawful for educational institutions and employers to discriminate, or restrict services for, people with disabilities.

Assistive Technology Act
The Assistive Technology Act awards federal grant money to the states to provide assistive technology to their residents throughout the course of their lifetimes. Grant money is used most commonly for loans of assistive technology products to individuals. In addition, these programs may also provide financial assistance to individuals seeking to purchase assistive technology. A listing of Assistive Technology Act programs is available.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 2004
IDEA ensures that children with documented disabilities are entitled to educational opportunities in public schools throughout the US, preventing the creation of additional financial burdens for parents or guardians.
IDEA 2004 has six main principles:

  1. 1. Free and Appropriate Education: Students with disabilities are entitled to a free and public education that fits their needs.
  2. 2. Least Restrictive Environment: Students with disabilities are educated with peers without disabilities as much as possible.
  3. 3. Comprehensive Evaluation: A formal documentation process is used to determine the scope of the student’s special education needs.
  4. 4. Individualized Education Program (IEP): This plan is developed by members of an educational team based on the results of the comprehensive evaluation.
  5. 5. Parents’ and Students’ Input into Educational Decisions: This ensures that the parents and students can fully participate in the educational planning for the student.
  6. 6. Procedural Safeguards: These are safeguards established by the student’s school district, or other similar entity, in order to enforce the student’s educational rights.

Rehabilitation Act of 1973
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 mandates equity in education and employment for people with disabilities. The amendments of 1983 and 1986 allow for the funding of services to foster productive transition to the workforce for people with disabilities and to support them in their careers.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act is a federal law to protect the rights of people with disabilities in the public education system. Any educational program receiving funding from the Department of Education must comply with Section 504. Affected institutions include public school systems, trade schools, colleges, and universities. For more information on Section 504, please visit the Department of Education’s website.

Federal Government Agencies

Americans with Disabilities Act Information
An information depository of publications and resources provided by the Department of Justice to the general public.
www.ada.gov External

Civil Rights Division/Disability Rights Section
US Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
4CON, 9th fl.
Washington, DC 20530
202-307-0663
www.justice.gov/crt/disability-rights-section External
The Civil Rights Division/Disability Rights Section of the Department of Justice enforces federal law as it pertains to the rights of individuals with disabilities. They also provide information to answer questions about the law.

Office of Special Education Programs: Department of Justice
400 Maryland Ave. SW
Washington, DC 20202
202-401-2000
[email protected]
www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/osep/index.html External
Provides support to school districts aiding them in providing services to students with disabilities.

Rehabilitative Services Administration
400 Maryland Ave. SW
Washington, DC 20202
202-401-2000
800-872-5327 toll-free
[email protected]
https://rsa.ed.gov External
Provides resources, leadership, and advice for states and other agencies so they may best provide vocational rehabilitation counseling to those who need it.

State Government Agencies

Alabama

Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services
602 S. Lawrence St.
Montgomery, AL 36104
334-293-7500
https://www.rehab.alabama.gov/Home External
Provides resources, treatments, services, and therapies for Alabamians with disabilities. Works with Alabama school systems to ensure students with disabilities are able to meet their educational goals.

Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind
1209 Fort Lashley Ave.
Talladega, AL 35160-2339
www.aidb.org External
Follows the same academic model of a traditional Pre-K through 12 public school with added emphasis on skill building for blind and low-vision youth. Distributes accessible reading materials throughout the state.

Alaska

Alaska Department of Education & Early Development
Special Education (SPED)
801 W. Tenth St., Ste. 200
Juneau, AK 99801-1878
907-465-2972
https://education.alaska.gov/sped External
The central offices of the state’s special education department.

Alaska Family (Disability) Directory
907-742-3874
[email protected]
www.asdk12.org/afd External
Lists resources for parents of children with special needs throughout the state.

Arizona

Arizona Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired
3100 E. Roosevelt St.
Phoenix, AZ 85008
602-273-7411
[email protected]
www.acbvi.org External
Offers assistive technology training, vocational rehabilitation, and resources for people who have visual impairments. Also offers certification for aspiring information technology professionals.

Arkansas

Arkansas Division of Services for the Blind
1 Commerce Way
Little Rock, AR 72202
501-682-5463
https://portal.arkansas.gov/agency/department-of-commerce/department-of-workforce-services/division-of-services-for-the-blind External
Works with Arkansans who are blind or low vision to find resources and services to better enable their success.

California

California School for the Blind
500 Walnut Avenue
Fremont, CA 94536
510-794-3800
[email protected]
www.csb-cde.ca.gov External
Serves blind and low-vision California school-aged students in both day and residential settings. It provides guidance to other state education entities who serve a similar population. Offers resources to parents and teachers of blind or low-vision children.

Office of Services to the Blind
744 P Street, M.S. 9-7-96
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-657-3327
[email protected]
www.cdss.ca.gov/blind-services/handbook-of-resources-and-services-for-visually-impaired External
Offers referrals to services available to Californians who are blind or low vision.

Colorado

Colorado Department of Education
Tanni Anthony, Blindness/Low Vision Specialist
201 E. Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
303-866-6681
[email protected]
www.cde.state.co.us/cdesped/sd-vision External
Offers resources from the Colorado Department of Education on services to blind and visually impaired students.

Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind
33 N. Institute St.
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
719-578-2100
https://csdb.colorado.gov External
Educates blind, deaf-blind, and low-vision students from Colorado in a residential setting. Teaches students the expanded core curriculum, braille, and orientation and mobility. Also has a post-secondary transition program for students once they complete their high-school requirements.

Connecticut

Connecticut Department of Aging and Disability Services
Children’s Services Program—Bureau of Education and Services for the Blind
55 Farmington Ave., 12th fl.
Hartford, CT 06105
860-424-5055
https://portal.ct.gov/AgingandDisability/Content-Pages/Programs/Childrens-Services-Program–Bureau-of-Education-and-Services-for-the-Blind External
Provides services to children who are visually impaired by working with families and schools and ensuring that curricula are accessible. Teachers in the program instruct students in braille, assistive technology, and independent living.

Delaware

Delaware Department of Health and Social Services
Division for the Visually Impaired
1901 N. DuPont Hwy.
Biggs Building, Door 3
New Castle, DE 19720
302-255-9800
www.dhss.delaware.gov/dvi External
Provides assistance to Delawareans who are blind or low vision by connecting them to services for education and independent living. Teachers of the visually impaired provide itinerate services to blind and low-vision students in public, charter, and private schools.

District of Columbia

Department of Disability Services
Services for People with Blindness and Visual Impairments
250 E. St. SW
Washington, DC 20024
202-730-1700
[email protected]
https://dds.dc.gov/service/services-people-blindness-and-visual-impairments External
Provides assessments, vocational rehabilitation training, transition planning, orientation and mobility instruction, and assistive technology training.

DC Public Library
Center for Accessibility
901 G St. NW
Washington, DC 20001
202-727-2142
[email protected]
www.dclibrary.org/services/accessibility External
Provides NLS talking books to District of Columbia students, offers assistive technology training, and other programs.

Florida

Division of Blind Services
325 W. Gaines St.
Turlington Building, Ste. 1114
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0400
850-245-0300
800-342-1828
https://dbs.fldoe.org External
Has a children’s program to supplement services offered by the school system, teaching braille, sectional interaction skills, career and vocational training. Home to the Florida talking book program.

Georgia

Georgia Academy for the Blind
2895 Vineville Ave.
Macon, GA 31204
478-751-6083
www.gabmacon.org External
Administered by the Georgia Department of Education, the Georgia Academy for the Blind offers both residential and commuter options for K-12 students with visual impairments. They follow the Georgia Standards of Excellence curriculum in addition to educational content for the benefit of students with disabilities.

Georgia Instructional Material Center
Georgia Department of Education
1562 Twin Towers East
205 Jesse Hill Jr. Dr. SE
Atlanta, GA 30334
678-340-6448
www.gadoe.org External
Provides accessible educational materials to Georgia school districts for eligible K-12 students.

Hawaii

Ho‘opono Services for the Blind
1010 Richards, Suite 217
Honolulu, HI 96813
808-586-5269
[email protected]
https://humanservices.hawaii.gov/vr/hoopono/about External
A vocational rehabilitation and support agency for blind, low-vision and deaf-blind Hawaiians.

Idaho

Idaho Commission for the Blind & Visually Impaired
341 W. Washington St.
PO Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0012
208-334-3220
800-542-8688 (toll-free in state)
[email protected]
https://icbvi.idaho.gov External
Offers transition services for students fourteen years old and older, instructs eligible individuals in braille, orientation and mobility, assistive technology, and job readiness.

Illinois

Illinois School for the Visually Impaired (ISVI)
658 E. State St.
Jacksonville, IL 62650
800-919-5617
www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=87427 External
A residential and day school for students with visual impairments, preschool age to twenty-two. It also serves as a statewide resource for students with visual impairments and their families.

Indiana

Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
7725 N. College Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46240
317-253-1481
www.in.gov/isbvi External
Educates students both inside their residential campus and throughout Indiana via their outreach program. Teaches skills relevant to the needs of blind or low-vision students combined with Indiana’s core curriculum.

Iowa

Iowa Department for the Blind
524 Fourth St.
Des Moines, IA 50309-2364
515-281-1333
800-362-2587
[email protected]
https://blind.iowa.gov External
Provides educational materials, counseling, orientation and mobility instruction, and assistive technology instruction. Home to the Iowa talking book library.

Kansas

The Kansas State School for the Blind
1100 State Ave.
Kansas City, KS 66102
913-305-3000
800-572-5463
[email protected]
https://kssb.net External
Provides instruction to students with visual disabilities throughout the state and on campus.

Kentucky

Kentucky Career Center
Blind Services Division
500 Mero St., 4th fl. NE
Frankfort, KY 40601
800-372-7172
[email protected]
https://kcc.ky.gov/Vocational-Rehabilitation/Blind-Services/Pages/Blind-Services-Division.aspx External
Provides vocational rehabilitation services, independent living skills, and orientation and mobility training.

Kentucky School for the Blind
1867 Frankfort Ave.
Louisville, KY 40206
502-897-1583
www.ksb.kyschools.us External
Incorporates the expanded core curriculum and specialized instruction for students with disabilities in addition to the Kentucky Academic Standards. Students not in the Louisville area can enroll in the Short Course Program of intensive instruction in skills needed for successful transition to adulthood.

Louisiana

Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired
2888 Brightside Dr.
Baton Rouge, LA 70820
225-757-3481
https://lsvi.org External
Provides academic and specialty services to blind and visually impaired students in Louisiana.

Maine

Maine Department of Labor
Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired
54 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0054
www.maine.gov/rehab/dbvi External
Works with parents as well as teachers from Catholic Charities to develop an IEP for blind and visually impaired students. Teaches vocational rehabilitation, assistive technology, and orientation and mobility.

Maryland

Maryland Department of Education
Division of Rehabilitation Services Blind and Vision Loss Services
2301 Argonne Dr.
Baltimore, MD 21218
410-554-9442
888-554-0334 toll-free
[email protected]
https://dors.maryland.gov/consumers/specialized/OBVS/Pages/default.aspx External
Provides specialty training in independent living skills for blind and visual impaired individuals. Maintains the All About College program, where blind and low-vision students spend two weeks over the summer exploring different college opportunities.

Michigan

Michigan Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP)
702 W. Kalamazoo St.
PO Box 30007
Lansing, MI 48909
517-241-1100
800-292-4200
https://michigan.gov/leo/0,5863,7-336-94422_28313—,00.html External
Assists students in developing and following their IEPs for successful transition. Provides magnifying headgear to youths up to twelve years old. BSB is the home of the Michigan Braille and Talking Book Library. It has a residential training center where participants can learn braille, assistive technology, orientation and mobility, and other skills necessary for independence.

Minnesota

Minnesota State Services for the Blind
2200 University Ave. W., Ste. 240
St. Paul, MN 55114
651-539-2300
800-652-9000 toll-free
[email protected]
https://mn.gov/deed/ssb External
Works with blind teenage Minnesotans to aid in their development as young adults for successful transition.

Minnesota Department of Education
Specialist for the Blind/Visually Impaired
1500 Hwy. 36 W.
Roseville, MN 55113
651-582- 8843
[email protected]
https://education.mn.gov/MDE/dse/sped/cat/bvi External
Provides technical assistance to teachers of the visually impaired and to local school districts in regards to successful education of blind and low-vision students.

Mississippi

Mississippi School for the Blind
1252 Eastover Dr.
Jackson, MS 39211
601-984-8200
888-672-1848
[email protected]
www.msb.k12.ms.us External
Provides accredited K-12 education as well as specialty instruction to students who are blind or visually impaired. Through the Comprehensive Home-based Intervention Program (CHIP), the school provides at home intervention where teachers for the visually impaired visit the homes of children with visual disabilities up to five years old to make recommendations to parents.

Missouri

Rehabilitation Services for the Blind
State Office
PO Box 2320
615 Howerton Ct.
Jefferson City, MO 65102-2320
573-751-4249
800-592-6004 toll-free
[email protected]
https://dss.mo.gov/fsd/rsb/children-services.htm External
Has staff who work with children up to fourteen years old. Offers casework and counseling to parents and guardians of children with visual disabilities.

Montana

Blind and Low Vision Services
111 N. Last Chance Gulch, Ste. 4C
PO Box 4210
Helena, MT 59604-4210
406-444-2590
877-296-1197 toll-free
[email protected]
https://dphhs.mt.gov/detd/blvs/blvs-vr External
Offers vocational rehabilitation training and job readiness skills.

Nebraska

Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired
4600 Valley Rd., Ste. 100
Lincoln, NE 68510-4844
402-471-2891
877-809-2419 toll-free
https://ncbvi.nebraska.gov External
Offers post-secondary transition services to blind and low-vision Nebraskans. Clients receive mentorship and can enroll in job-training programs designed for blind and low-vision youth. Provides outreach services to teachers of the visually impaired.

New Jersey

International Dyslexia Association: New Jersey Branch
New Jersey Commission for the Blind & Visually Impaired
153 Halsey St., 6th fl.
PO Box 47017
Newark, NJ 07101-47017
973-648-3333
877-685-8878 toll-free
[email protected]
www.state.nj.us/humanservices/cbvi/home External
Provides vocational and independent living instruction.

New Mexico

New Mexico Commission for the Blind
2200 Yale Blvd. SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
505-841-8844
888-513-7958
www.cfb.state.nm.us External
Operates the Students in Transition to Employment Program (STEP) where students learn independent living skills though activities such as rock climbing, horseback riding, going to movies, dining out, etc. Provides assistive technology to children under the age of eighteen.

New York

New York State Commission for the Blind (NYSCB)
(Multiple district offices throughout the state. Contact them or visit their website to find yours).
866-871-3000
https://ocfs.ny.gov/main/cb External
Offers services for children with visual impairments from birth through adulthood. NYSCB works with parents to supplement their children’s educational needs at an early age. Offers summer camps and year-round recreational activities to foster independence.

North Carolina

NC Department of Health and Human Services
Services for the Blind
2601 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699 – 2601
919-527-6700
866-222-1546
www.ncdhhs.gov/divisions/dsb External
Offers client assistance, assistive technology training, and other independent living skills.

Ohio

Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities
Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired
400 E. Campus View Blvd.
Columbus, OH 43235
800-282-4536
[email protected]
https://ood.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/ood/individuals-with-disabilities/services/services-for-the-visually-impaired External
Offers blind and visually impaired Ohioans vocational rehabilitation services beginning at age fourteen.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services
3535 NW Fifty-Eighth St., Ste. 500
Oklahoma City, OK 73112
405-951-3493
800-845-8476
[email protected]
https://oklahoma.gov/okdrs External
Maintains the Accessible Instructional Material (AIM) Center. The AIM center is a depository of braille and large print materials, developmental toys, and other educational aids for children and young adults. Offers free science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) camps for students with disabilities.

Oregon

Oregon Commission for the Blind
535 SE Twelfth Ave.
Portland, OR 97214
971-673-1588
[email protected]
www.oregon.gov/blind External
Provides training in braille, white cane travel, assistive technology, and independent living skills. Offers post-secondary transition services to blind and low-vision students.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services
BBVS Central Office
1521 N. Sixth St.
Harrisburg, PA 17102
717-787-6176
800-622-2842 toll-free
www.dli.pa.gov/Individuals/Disability-Services/bbvs External
Offers special services to children and their parents including advocacy skills, orientation and mobility instruction, assistive technology, and summer programs.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island Department of Human Services
Office of Rehabilitation Services
Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired
40 Fountain St.
Providence, RI 02903
401-421-7005
[email protected]
www.ors.ri.gov/SBVI.html External
Offers counseling, orientation and mobility instruction, IEP support, and information and referral.

South Carolina

South Carolina Commission for the Blind
Multiple locations
888-335-5951 (statewide office) toll-free
www.sccb.state.sc.us External
Provides advice and counseling to parents of blind children. Offers summer camps to blind campers to teach independent living skills.

Tennessee

Tennessee School for the Blind
115 Stewart’s Ferry Pike
Nashville, TN 37214
615-231-7300
www.tsbtigers.org External
Provides free, accredited, education for blind and low-vision Tennessee students in residential and non-residential environments.

Texas

Texas Health and Human Services
Blind Children’s Vocational Discovery & Development Program
Brown-Heatly Bldg.
4900 N. Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78751-2316
PO Box 13247
Austin, TX 78711-3247
512-424-6500
www.hhs.texas.gov/services/disability/blind-visually-impaired/blind-childrens-vocational-discovery-development-program External
Provides individualized vocational rehabilitation services to children who are blind and low vision and guidance to their parents and caregivers.

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
1100 West Forty-Fifth St.
Austin, TX 78756
512-454-8631
800-872-5273 toll-free
www.tsbvi.edu External
Serves blind and low-vision students ages six through twenty-two throughout Texas, both virtually and on their campus in Austin. Through their outreach programs, they are able to serve students in their school districts. Publishes guidelines and standards for educating students.

Vermont

Vermont Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired
HC 2 S. 280 State Drive
Waterbury, VT 05671-2040
888-405-5005 toll-free
[email protected]
https://dbvi.vermont.gov External
Provides vocational rehabilitation and transition services. Offers resources from their website for people with disabilities.

Virginia

Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired
397 Azalea Avenue
Richmond, VA 23227
804-371-3140
800-622-2155 toll-free
www.vdbvi.org External
Has an education program for children who are blind or visually impaired. Has a post-secondary transition program for students ages fourteen through twenty-one.

Washington

Washington State Department of Services for the Blind
PO Box 40933
Olympia, WA 98504-40933
206-906-5500
800-552-7103 toll-free
[email protected]
https://dsb.wa.gov External
Has Youth Services Specialists who help blind and low-vision youth learn about their strengths and develop skills around those strengths. Offers summer programs that include paid work experience and staying at universities.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Blind or Visually Impaired Information and Services
1 W. Wilson St.
PO Box 2659
Madison, WI 53701-2659
888-879-0017 toll-free
[email protected]
www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/blind External
Offers vocational rehabilitation training, including assistive technology, and training braille literacy skills. Provides resources from their website for interested parties.

Physical activities/sports options

Sports for people who are blind and low vision

Beep Baseball

A baseball variation in which the ball beeps. There is no second base. First and third bases are padded cylinders with speakers. Unlike traditional baseball, the goal is not to make it to home plate but to reach one of the cylinders before the ball is successfully fielded by the opposing team. The appropriate cylinder is chosen at random.

Goalball

Teams of three attempt to get a ball with bells inside it into their opponent’s goal.

Organizations for Blind and Low-Vision Athletes

National Beep Baseball Association
www.nbba.org External
Promotes beep baseball for blind and visually impaired athletes.

Ski for Light
1455 W. Lake St.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
612-827-3232
www.sfl.org External
Organizes an annual cross-county skiing event for blind and low-vision skiers. Teaches skiers the fundamentals of the sport to encourage its growth among the blind and low-vision population.

United States Association of Blind Athletes
1 Olympic Plaza
Colorado Springs, CO 80909
719-866-3224
719-866-3400
www.usaba.org External
Offers opportunities for blind and low-vision athletes to participate in various athletic activities including skiing, track and field, tandem cycling, biathlon, and goalball. Member of the US Olympic & Paralympic Committee and US Soccer, USABA.

Sources of Games and Toys

American Printing House for the Blind
1839 Frankfort Ave.
Louisville, KY 40206
502-895-2405
800-223-1839
[email protected]
www.aph.org External
Offers educational resources, tactile graphics, low-vision materials, early learning resources, core curriculum, and more.

Learning Sight & Sound
145 River Rock Dr.
Buffalo, NY 14207
800-468-4789
https://lssproducts.com External
Offers games, large-print puzzle books, playing cards, crafts, teaching aids, children’s books, bell balls, and more.

MaxiAids
42 Executive Blvd.
Farmingdale, NY 11735
800-522-6294
[email protected]
www.maxiaids.com External
Offers games including sound puzzle with braille pieces, talking alphabet, Brain Master braille puzzle, diamond cube tactile wooden puzzle, geo puzzle board, geo safari talking globe, sound puzzle, talking numbers, and sudoku braille cube.

National Camps

Camp Abilities
www.campabilities.org External
Camp Abilities is an international organization based in Brockport, NY. They are a traditional summer camp, offering horseback riding, swimming, canoeing, and kayaking. They also have recreational activities specifically designed for campers with visual impairments such as beep baseball, goalball, and showdown. Offers training materials for others who want to create a summer camp for blind and low-vision youth in their local area.

NFB BELL Academy
https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy External
The NFB BELL Academy is a multistate residential summer program where participants engage in activities that promote braille literacy and independent living.

Camps

Alabama

Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind
1209 Fort Lashley Ave.
Talladega, AL 35160-2339
256-761-3251
www.aidb.org/domain/3357 External
Offers campers arts and crafts, water play, horseback riding, food preparation, and community outings.

NFB BELL Academy Alabama
6060 Southbend Dr. N.
Mobile, AL 36619
251-605-7882
[email protected]
https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy External
See NFB BELL Academy listing above for description.

Arizona

Camp Abilities Tucson
8987 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
#309-104
Tucson, AZ 85749
https://campabilitiestucson.org External
See Camp Abilities listing above for description of activities.

Camp Abilities Flagstaff
Cameron Trading Post
466 US-89
Cameron, AZ 86020
[email protected]
www.campabilitiesfourcorners.org External
See Camp Abilities listing above for description of activities.

NFB BELL Academy Arizona
3767 E. Grant Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85716
520-977-7219
[email protected]
https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy External
See NFB BELL Academy listing above for description.

Arkansas

Jump Start Program
Division of Services for the Blind
PO Box 3237
Little Rock, AR 72203
501-682-5463
800-960-9270 toll-free
Participants ages sixteen through twenty-one participate in a number recreational and enrichment activities as well as work a part-time job.

California

Camp Bloomfield
Wayfinder Family Services
5300 Angeles Vista Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90043
323-295-4555
800-352-2290 toll-free
[email protected]
www.wayfinderfamily.org/program/camp-bloomfield External
Offers outdoor camping activities for children with multiple disabilities and blindness.

Enchanted Hills Camp for the Blind
Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired (San Francisco)
1155 Market St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
415-431-1481
https://lighthouse-sf.org/enchanted-hills/about-enchanted-hills External
Located on over 300 acres of land in Napa Valley, Enchanted Hills offers developmental activities to blind or low-vision people of all ages. Activities include woodworking, music, chemistry, and horseback riding.

Colorado

Colorado Lions Camp
28541 Hwy. 67N
Woodland Park, CO 80863
719-687-2087
[email protected]
www.coloradolionscamp.org External
Offers sports, horseback riding, swimming, music, drama etc.

NFB BELL Academy Colorado
2233 W. Shepperd Ave.
Littleton, CO 80120
303-778-1130
[email protected]
https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy External
See NFB BELL Academy listing above for description.

Connecticut

Camp Hemlocks
120 Holcomb St.
Hartford, CT 06112
860-286-3108
www.easterseals.com/oakhill/our-programs/camp-hemlocks External
Offers traditional summer camp activities for people with disabilities. Activities are not exclusively for people who are blind or visually impaired.

NFB BELL Academy Connecticut
77 Knox Rd.
Stamford, CT 06907
860-620-3128
[email protected]
https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy External
See NFB BELL Academy listing above for description.

Delaware

Camp Abilities Delaware
1200 N. Dupont Highway
Dover, DE 19901
[email protected]
www.campabilitiesdelaware.org External
See Camp Abilities listing above for description of activities.

Florida

Camp Abilities North Florida
307 Sunrise Circle
Neptune Beach, FL 32266
904-556-9287
904-545-7249
[email protected]
www.campabilitiesflorida.com External
See Camp Abilities listing above for description of activities.

Georgia

Camp Abilities Georgia
4225 University Ave.
Columbus, GA 31907
706-507-8800
866-264-2035 toll-free
[email protected]
https://kinesiology.columbusstate.edu/camp-abilities External
See Camp Abilities listing above for description of activities.

Georgia Lions Camp
Waycross, GA
912-283-4320
www.glcb.org External
Offers swimming, canoeing, adaptive sports, horseback riding, arts and crafts, among other activities.

NFB BELL Academy Georgia
302 Lismore Ter.
Woodstock, GA 30189
443-929-2489
[email protected]
https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy External
See NFB BELL Academy listing above for description.

Hawaii

Camp Cool
Assistive Technology Resource Center of Hawaii
200 N. Vineyard Blvd., Ste. 430
Honolulu, HI 96817
808-532-7112
888-202-4449 toll-free
[email protected]
https://www.atrc.org/camp-cool-1 External
A STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) camp for children ages eight to fifteen with disabilities.

NFB BELL Academy Hawaii
180 Noke
No. 3
Honolulu, HI 96734
808-754-2793
[email protected]
https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy External
See NFB BELL Academy listing above for description.

Idaho

NFB BELL Academy Idaho
7300 Highland Valley Rd.
Boise, ID 83716
[email protected]
https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy External
See NFB BELL Academy listing above for description.

Illinois

Camp Lions Free Summer Camp
700 N. Peace Rd., Ste. B
DeKalb, IL 60115
815-756-5633
https://lionsofillinoisfoundation.org/camplions External
Offers traditional camp activities to campers who are blind, deaf, or deaf-blind.

NFB BELL Academy Illinois
1709 Arrowhead Dr.
Bloomington, IL 61704
217-816-5060
[email protected]
https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy External
See NFB BELL Academy listing above for description.

Iowa

Iowa Educational Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired
3501 Harry Langdon Blvd.
Council Bluffs, IA 51503
712-309-0678
www.iesbvi.org/student-services/activities-camps-sports External
Has a number of different summer programs for children and young adults who are blind or visually impaired. Activities include cultural exploration, sport and activities, and transition preparation.

Kansas

NFB BELL Academy Kansas
8023 Grandview Ln.
Overland Park, KS 66204
303-842-9661
[email protected]
https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy External
See NFB BELL Academy listing above for description.

Kentucky

Lions Camp Crescendo
PO Box 607
1480 Pine Tavern Rd.
Lebanon Junction, KY 40150
502-264-0120
[email protected]
www.lionscampcrescendo.org External
Contact for activities.

NFB BELL Academy Kentucky
4805 S. Fourth St.
Louisville, KY 40214
502-500-7675
[email protected]
https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy External
See NFB BELL Academy listing above for description.

Louisiana

NFB BELL Academy Louisiana
895 Woods Rd.
Ruston, Louisiana 71270
318-245-8955
[email protected]
https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy External
See NFB BELL Academy listing above for description.

Maryland

NFB BELL Academy Maryland
101 S. Ellwood Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21224
484-624-9778
[email protected]
https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy External
See NFB BELL Academy listing above for description.

Massachusetts

Camp Abilities Boston
175 North Beacon Street
Watertown, MA 02472
617-972-7812
[email protected]
www.perkins.org/get-involved/events/camp-abilities External
See Camp Abilities listing above for description of activities.

Missouri

Camp Abilities Missouri
6714 Scanlan Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63139
314-873-9022
[email protected]
https://campabilities-stlouis.org External
See Camp Abilities listing above for description of activities.

NFB BELL Academy Missouri
3910 Tropical Ln.
Columbia, MO 65202
573-268-6989
[email protected]
https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy External
See NFB BELL Academy listing above for description.

Nebraska

Camp Abilities Nebraska
(531) 355-1234
www.boystownhospital.org/classes-and-events/camp-abilities External
See Camp Abilities listing above for description of activities.

NFB BELL Academy Nebraska
3810 L Ave.
Kearney, Nebraska 68847
308-224-1134
[email protected]
https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy External
See NFB BELL Academy listing above for description.

Nevada

NFB BELL Academy Nevada
735 Endicott Ct.
Las Vegas, NV 89123
702-600-6547
[email protected]
https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy External
See NFB BELL Academy listing above for description.

New Jersey

NFB BELL Academy New Jersey
405 Leyden Ave.
Bordentown, NJ 08505
609-888-5459
[email protected]
https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy External
See NFB BELL Academy listing above for description.

New Mexico

NFB BELL Academy New Mexico
4000 Hendrix Rd. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87110
505-328-3349
[email protected]
https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy External
See NFB BELL Academy listing above for description.
New York

Camp Abilities-CABVI
507 Kent St.
Utica, NY 13501
315-797-2233
877-719-9996 toll-free
https://cabvi.org/services/adaptive-sports-recreation/camp-abilities-cabvi External
See Camp Abilities listing above for description of activities.

Camp Abilities Long Island at Adelphi University in Garden City, NY
917-885-5467
631-432-0569
[email protected]
www.campabilitieslongisland.org External
See Camp Abilities listing above for description of activities.

Camp Abilities Brockport
The College at Brockport, State University of New York
350 New Campus Dr.
Brockport, NY 14420
585-395-5361
[email protected]
www.campabilities.org/contact-us.html External
See Camp Abilities listing above for description of activities.

Camp Abilities Saratoga, NY
PO Box 601
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
518-290-7050
[email protected]
https://campabilitiessaratoga.org External
See Camp Abilities listing above for description of activities.

Lions Camp Badger
725 LaRue Rd.
Spencer, NY 14883
800-232-7060
[email protected]
www.lionscb.orgExternal
Contact camp to learn about activities.

North Carolina

S.E.E. Adventure Camp
Wildwater Nantahala
10345 Hwy. 74 W
Bryson City, NC 28713
[email protected]
https://ifbsolutions.org/programs-services/see-summer-camps/see-adventure-camp External
Located at Wildwater Nantahala in Western North Carolina, S.E.E. Adventure Camp offers hiking, rafting, swimming, and ziplining to campers who are blind or visually impaired.

S.E.E. Camp H2O
1225 Camp Hanes Rd.
King, NC 27021
828-667-9778, ext. 5802
[email protected]
https://ifbsolutions.org/programs-services/see-summer-camps/see-camp-h2o External
Located at a YMCA facility, S.E.E. Cam H2O offers a traditional camp experience to campers who are blind or visually impaired. Actives include archery, kayaking, climbing, and ropes courses.

Ohio

Highbrook Lodge
12944 Aquilla Rd.
Chardon, OH 44024
216-791-8118 ext. 4596
[email protected]
www.clevelandsightcenter.org/highbrook-lodge/about-highbrook-lodge External
Offers arts and crafts, performing arts, sports, and naturalist activities for blind and low-vision campers.

NFB BELL Academy Ohio
4183 Indianola Ave
Columbus, OH 43214
614-377-9877
[email protected]
https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy External
See NFB BELL Academy listing above for description.

Oregon

Camp Spark Oregon
703 Broadway St., Ste. 600
Vancouver, WA 98660
360-448-7254
800-880-9837 toll-free
[email protected]
https://nwaba.org/programs/camp-spark External
Organized by the Northwest Association of Blind Athletes. Offers track and field, tandem biking, judo, goalball, beep baseball, and more. Camp is located at Linfield College, in McMinnville, Oregon.

NFB BELL Academy Oregon
522 Sixty-Fifth St.
Springfield, OR 97478
503-512-9599
[email protected]
https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy External
See NFB BELL Academy listing above for description.

Pennsylvania

Camp Abilities PA @ WCU
311 Sturzebecker HSC
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383
[email protected]
www.campabilitiespa.org External
See Camp Abilities listing above for description of activities.

South Carolina

NFB BELL Academy South Carolina
155 Derby Dr.
West Columbia, SC 29170
803-960-9977
[email protected]
https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy External
See NFB BELL Academy listing above for description.

Tennessee

NFB BELL Academy Tennessee
748 W. Creek Dr.
Clarksville, TN 37040
931-237-4307
[email protected]
https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy External
See NFB BELL Academy listing above for description.

Texas

Camp Abilities Texas
1303 N. Elm St.
Denton, TX 76201
940-369-4098
[email protected]
www.dentonisd.org/campabilities External
See Camp Abilities listing above for description of activities.

NFB BELL Academy Texas
1600 E. Highway 6, Ste. 225
Alvin, TX 77511
281-968-7347
[email protected]
https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy External
See NFB BELL Academy listing above for description.

Utah

NFB BELL Academy Utah
4764 Spicewood Way
Taylorsville, Utah 84129
801-910-2542
[email protected]
https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy External
See NFB BELL Academy listing above for description.

Virginia

NFB BELL Academy Virginia
4301 N. Henderson Rd.
Apt. 406
Arlington, VA 22203
402-817-8934
[email protected]
https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy External
See NFB BELL Academy listing above for description.

Washington

Camp Abilities Olympia
1618 Pear St. NE
Olympia, WA 98506
360-915-2223
[email protected]
www.campabilitiesolympia.com External
See Camp Abilities listing above for description of activities..

Camp Spark Washington
703 Broadway St., Suite 600
Vancouver, WA 98660
360-448-7254
800-880-9837 toll-free
https://nwaba.org External
Organized by the Northwest Association of Blind Athletes. Offers track and field, tandem biking, judo, goalball, beep baseball, and more. Camp is located at University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington.

NFB BELL Academy Washington
3200 California Ave. SW
No. 35
Seattle, Washington 98116
206-604-5507
[email protected]
https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy External
See NFB BELL Academy listing above for description.

West Virginia

NFB BELL Academy West Virginia
833 Chapell Rd.
Charleston, WV 25304
304-993-5103
[email protected]
https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy External
See NFB BELL Academy listing above for description.

Wisconsin

NFB BELL Academy Wisconsin
27824 Nuthatch Rd.
Kendall, Wisconsin 54638
608-387-1865
[email protected]
https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy External
See NFB BELL Academy listing above for description.

Back to top of page

Skip to main content