Resources for Disabled Veterans

The resources listed in this reference guide are designed to assist disabled veterans, as well as their families or other caregivers.

Except where noted, the information and organizations found in this guide are not part of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled or the Library of Congress, and their inclusion does not imply endorsement.

According to Public Law 89-522, NLS patrons who have been honorably discharged from the armed forces of the United States receive preference in the lending of books, recordings, playback equipment, musical scores and instructional texts, and other specialized materials.

Please also visit our Minibibliography on Veterans Benefits.


Resources for Disabled Veterans and Their Caregivers

Employment and Rehabilitation Resources

PO Box 10878
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
[email protected] External

Provides a free service for people with disabilities to search for jobs online and to post resumes that companies can browse. Charges a fee to employers for posting their employment opportunities and for advertising online.

Career One Stop
200 Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20210
877-US2-JOBS (1-877-872-5627)
877-889-5627 TTY
[email protected] External

A program of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration that assists individuals in search of jobs, training, and contact information for local job centers.

Careers for People with Disabilities
401 Columbus Ave.
Valhalla, NY 10595
(914) 741-JOBS (5627) External
Helps individuals with learning, intellectual, developmental, psychiatric, and/or physical disabilities find jobs. Provides extensive on-the-job training and ongoing support services.

Disabled American Veterans
3725 Alexandria Pike
Cold Spring, KY 41076
(859) 441-7300 External

Helps veterans with service-connected disabilities regain health, learn new trades or professions, rejoin the civilian world, and secure disability benefits. Works with Congress and federal agencies to ensure veterans’ preferences are upheld and veterans receive priority access to employment services.

Disabled Businesspersons Association
Interwork Institute
6367 Alvarado Ct., Ste. 350
San Diego, CA 92120
(619) 594-8805
(619) 594-4208 fax External

Offers free self-employment and rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities, and assists professionals in rehabilitation, career, and business counseling nationwide.

Easter Seals
141 W. Jackson Blvd., Ste. 1400A
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 726-6200
800-221-6827 toll-free
(312) 726-4258 TTY
(312) 726-1494 fax External

Provides job training and employment services to adults with physical and mental disabilities. Helps individuals learn skills to enter the workforce or to return to work after an illness or injury. Provides a job-search portal that lists postings from more than 800 employers.

Employment Program for Homeless Veterans
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

810 Vermont Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20420
877-4AID-VET (1-877-424-3838)
800-827-1000 toll-free
800-829-4833 TTY External

Provides assistance, including the Homeless Veteran Supported Employment Program, the Compensated Work Therapy Program, and the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program, to homeless veterans in their area.

Feds Hire Vets
Office of Personnel Management, Veterans Services
1900 E St. NW, Rm. 7439-AF
Washington, DC 20415-1000
(202) 606-7304
[email protected] External

A division of the Office of Personnel Management that helps veterans secure employment in the Federal Government

Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
PO Box 6080
Morgantown, WV 26506-6080
(304) 293-7186
800-526-7234 toll-free
877-781-9403 TTY
[email protected] External

Facilitates the employment and retention of workers with disabilities by providing information on job accommodation options through case-by-case evaluations and the Searchable Online Accommodation Resource (SOAR) system. Offers technical assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act and other disability-related legislation.

National Business and Disability Council
Viscardi Center
201 I.U. Willets Rd.
Albertson, NY 11507
(516) 465-1400
[email protected] External

Helps businesses create accessible work conditions for their employees and accessible products for consumers. Responds to inquiries about Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, building and product accessibility, reasonable accommodations, and staff training.

National Veterans Foundation Job Board
5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 350
Los Angeles, CA 90045
(310) 642-0255
(310) 642-0258 fax External

Lists jobs that are specifically looking for veterans.

Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave. SW
Washington, DC 20202-7100
(202) 245-7700
(202) 245-7838 fax
[email protected] External

Administers and coordinates programs related to adult education and literacy, career and technical training, and community colleges. Has online reports and links to career, technical, and adult education by state.

Office of Veterans Business Development
U.S. Small Business Administration
409 3rd St. SW
Washington, DC 20416
800-827-5722 toll-free
855-440-4960 ASL customer support videophone
800-877-8339 TTY
[email protected] External

This office facilitates the use of all Small Business Administration programs by veterans, service-disabled, and others to help start and grow small businesses.

Paralyzed Veterans of America
801 18th St. NW
Washington, DC 20006-3517
[email protected] External

Provides vocational rehabilitation for paralyzed veterans seeking employment, as well as assisting them with health benefits, grants for housing, and other benefits.

Rehabilitation Services Administration
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave. SW
Washington, DC 20202-7100
(202) 245-7488 External

Administers grant programs and service projects that help individuals with disabilities obtain employment and support, such as job training and medical and psychological services. Provides funds to state vocational rehabilitation agencies for employment-related services.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
131 M St. NE
Washington, DC 20507
800-669-4000 toll-free
800-669-6820 toll-free TDD/TTY
844-234-5122 ASL videophone
[email protected] External

Enforces Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act, the law that prohibits employment discrimination based on disability.
Veterans’ Employment and Training Service

U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20210
866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365)
[email protected] External

The Veterans’ Employment and Training Service provides employment resources such as American Job Centers, Veterans Employment Center, and the Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program.

Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, eBenefits

810 Vermont Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20420
800-983-0937 technical assistance
800-827-1000 toll-free External

Provides services to help with job training, employment accommodations, resume development, and jobseeking skills coaching. Other services including assisting veterans in starting their own businesses or independent living services for those who are severely disabled and unable to work in traditional employment.

Financial Resources

Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes
552 Fort Evans Rd., Ste. 300
Leesburg, VA 20176
(703) 291-4605
888-447-2588 toll-free
[email protected] External

Helps severely wounded veterans and families of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation New Dawn recover from their injuries and illnesses, including providing emergency financial aid.

Operation First Response Inc.
20037 Dove Hill Rd.
Culpeper, VA 22701
888-505-2795 fax
[email protected] External

Serves all U.S. disabled veterans and their families with personal and financial needs.

Salute, Inc.
PO Box 2663
Palantine, IL 60078-2663
(847) 359-8811
(847) 359-8818 fax
[email protected] External

Works to meet the financial, physical, and emotional needs of injured military service members, veterans, and their families.

Semper Fi Fund
PO Box 555193
Camp Pendleton, CA 92055-5193
(760) 725-3680
(760) 725-3685 External

Provides direct financial assistance for combat wounded, critically ill, and catastrophically injured service members and their families during hospitalization and recovery.

USA Cares
11760 Commonwealth Dr.
Louisville, KY 40299
800-773-0387 toll-free
[email protected] External

Provides financial and advocacy assistance to post-9/11 active duty U.S. military service personnel, veterans, and their families.

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)
Unmet Needs Grant
406 W. 34th St.
Kansas City, Missouri 64111
[email protected] External

Offers the Unmet Needs Financial Grant program that provides up to $1,500 to assist with basic life needs.

United Spinal Association
120-34 Queens Blvd., Ste. 320
Kew Gardens, NY 11415

VetsFirst is a program of the United Spinal Association that assists veterans with spinal cord injuries in advocating for the benefits to which they are entitled.

Wounded Warrior Family Support
11218 John Galt Blvd., Ste. 103
Omaha, NE 68137
(402) 502-7557
(402) 502-4872 Fax External

Provides support to families of service members wounded, injured, or killed during combat operations.

Housing Resources

Building Homes for Heroes
65 Roosevelt Ave., Ste. 105
Valley Stream, NY 11581
(516) 684-9220 External

Builds and/or modifies homes and donates them to veterans who were injured while serving during the Iraq or Afghanistan wars.

Homelessness Programs and Resources
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
5600 Fishers Ln.
Rockville, MD 20857
877-SAMHSA-7 (877-726-4727) toll-free
800-487-4889 TTY
[email protected] External

Provides grants in support of behavioral health treatment and recovery-oriented services to homeless individuals.

Homes for Our Troops
6 Main St.
Tauton, MA 02780
866-787-6677 toll-free
[email protected] External

Builds and donates specially adapted custom homes to severely injured post-9/11 veterans.

Housing Grants for Disabled Veterans
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

810 Vermont Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20420
877-827-3702 toll-free
[email protected] External

Provides two grants programs to service members. The Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant helps veterans with certain service-connected disabilities live independently in a barrier-free environment. The Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) Grant helps veterans with certain service-connected disabilities adapt or purchase a home to accommodate the disability.

HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH)
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 7th St. SW
Washington, DC 20410
(202) 708-1112
(202) 708-1455 (TTY) External

Combines Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance for homeless veterans with case management and clinical services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
1730 M St. NW, Ste. 705
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 546-1969
800-VET-HELP (1-800-838-4357) toll-free
(202) 546-2063 fax
[email protected] External

Provides emergency and supportive housing, food, health services, job training and placement assistance, legal aid and case management support for homeless veterans.

Operation Homefront
1355 Central Parkway S, Ste. 100
San Antonio, TX 78232
(210) 659-7756
800-722-6098 toll-free
(210) 566-7544 fax
[email protected] External

Offers various types of aid to veterans and their families, including transitional and permanent housing programs.

Paralyzed Veterans of America
801 18th St. NW
Washington, DC 20006-3517
[email protected] External

Provides vocational rehabilitation for paralyzed veterans seeking employment, as well as assisting them with health benefits, grants for housing, and other benefits.

Department of Veterans Affairs
Legal Help for Veterans

810 Vermont Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20420 External

Certain VA facilities host non-VA legal services on site to assist veterans pro bono.

Disability Rights Section
U.S. Department of Justice

950 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20530
800-514-0301 toll-free
800-514-0383 TTY
(202) 307-1197 fax External

Provides information and technical assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Certifies building codes that meet or exceed the ADA Standards for Accessible Design. Offers ADA publications online in English and Spanish.

Federal Communications Commission: Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Disability Rights Office
445 12th St. SW
Washington, DC 20554
(202) 418-2517
888-835-5322 toll-free TTY
844-432-2275 videophone
[email protected] External

Seeks to ensure that the needs of people with disabilities are met as telecommunications technology advances. Offers technical advice and assistance to agencies, consumers, and those in the telecommunications field.

National Veterans Legal Services Program
PO Box 65762
Washington, DC 20035
(202) 265-8305
[email protected] External

Works to provide veterans and active duty service members the benefits to which they are entitled because of disabilities resulting from their military service to our country.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
131 M St. NE
Washington, DC 20507
800-669-4000 toll-free
800-669-6820 toll-free TDD/TTY
844-234-5122 ASL videophone
[email protected] External

Enforces Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act, the law that prohibits employment discrimination based on disability.

Veterans Legal Institute
2100 N. Broadway, Ste. 209
Santa Ana, CA 92706
(714) 852-3492
[email protected] External

Provides pro bono services to disabled, homeless, at-risk, and low-income current and former service members to aid in housing, healthcare, education, and employment.

Physical and Psychological Health Resources

Disabled American Veterans
3725 Alexandria Pike
Cold Spring, KY 41076
(859) 441-7300 External

Helps provide disabled veterans with rides to medical appointments and with filing insurance claims.

National Veterans Foundation – Lifeline for Vets
5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 350
Los Angeles, CA 90045
888-777-4443 toll-free (crisis hotline)

Aids in crisis management, as well as informational and referral needs to all U.S. veterans and their families.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
5600 Fishers Ln.
Rockville, MD 20857
877-SAMHSA-7 (877-726-4727) toll-free
800-487-4889 TTY External

Promotes behavior and substance abuse treatment to Americans who need assistance.

Veterans Health Administration
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

810 Vermont Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20420
877-222-VETS (877-222-8387) toll-free
800-273-8255 toll-free (Suicide hotline) External

A nation-wide health care system that provides service to veterans through medical and outpatient centers.

Quality of Life Resources

Adaptive Sports Center
PO Box 1639
Crested Butte, CO 81224
(970) 349-2296
866-349-2296 toll-free
[email protected] External

Strives to enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities through exceptional outdoor adventure activities.

American Legions
700 N. Pennsylvania St.
PO Box 1055
Indianapolis, IN 46206
(317) 630-1200
800-433-3318 toll-free
(317) 630-1223 fax External

Encourages camaraderie with other veterans through volunteer activities, sports (such as American Legion Baseball), and other support services.

Hope for the Warriors
1-877-246-7349 (1-877-2HOPE4W) toll-free
[email protected] External

Provides veterans with support focused on transition, health and wellness, peer engagement, and connections to community.

The Mission Continues
1141 S. 7th St.
St. Louis, MO 63104
(314) 588-8805
(314) 571-6227 fax
[email protected] External

Empowers veterans to continue their service through volunteer work in their communities, and connects veterans with under-resourced communities.

Operation Second Chance
20251 Century Blvd., Ste. 130
Germantown, MD 20874
(301) 972-1080
888-672-4838 toll-free
1-888-672-4838 fax External

Serves wounded, injured, and ill veterans through building relationships and supporting veterans’ needs. This included counseling services, as well as retreats and hospital visits and outings.

Team Red, White & Blue (RWB)
5428 Eisenhower Ave.
Alexandria, VA 22304-4820

Team RWB works to enrich the lives of United States veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity and providing opportunities for leadership and service. There are different chapters of Team RWB located throughout the United States.

Team Rubicon
6171 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 310
Los Angeles, CA 90045
(310) 640-8787 External

Pairs the skills and experiences of veterans with first responders, medical professionals, and others providing relief to areas affected by natural disasters.

Veterans of Foreign Wars USA (VFW)
200 Maryland Ave. NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 543-2239 External

Aims to foster camaraderie among all veterans of overseas conflicts. Also provides assistance through grants, VA benefits assistance, and advocacy.

Service-Dog Resources

These organizations help provide and train service dogs for all disabilities. Guide dog resources for visually impaired veterans can be found on page 29.

America’s VetDogs
371 E. Jericho Turnpike
Smithtown, NY 11787
(631) 930-9000
[email protected] External

Specialize in placing service and guide dogs at no cost to individuals with physical injuries, PTSD, hearing and vision loss, and seizures.

Canines for Service
221 Old Dairy Rd., Unit 1
Wilmington, NC 28405
(910) 362-8181
[email protected] External

Provides trained service dogs at no-cost to veterans who have mobility limitations, traumatic brain injury, and clinically diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder.

K9s for Warriors
114 Camp K9 Rd.
Ponte Vedra, FL 32081
(904) 686-1956
(904) 686-1957 fax
[email protected] External

Provides service dogs to post-9/11, disabled veterans.

National Education for Assistance Dog Services (NEADS)
World Class Service Dogs
PO Box 1100
Princeton, MA 01541
(978) 422-9064 Voice or TDD
(978) 422-3255 fax External

NEADS matches service dogs with veterans from any U.S. conflict who have a permanent physical disability, are deaf or who have profound hearing loss, or have MS or other progressive conditions (these disabilities do not need to be combat related). There are no fundraising requirements.

The Trauma Assistance Dog program (TAD) is designed for OIF/OEF/OND veterans with diagnosed combat-related post-traumatic stress.

Next Step Service Dogs
921 S. Andreasen Dr.
Escondido, CA 92029
(760) 607-9964
888-867-1690 fax
[email protected] External

Provides service dogs to active military members, veterans, and first responders with PTSD

Operation Freedom Paws
777 First St., PMB 515
Gilroy, CA 95020
(408) 683-9010 External

Matches dogs with individuals who have Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), Complex-Post Traumatic Stress (CPTS) and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) symptoms, or other physical, neurological, psychological or mobility needs.

Patriot Paws
254 Ranch Trail
Rockwall, TX 75032
(972) 772-3282
[email protected] External

Trains and provides service dogs at no cost to disabled American veterans with mobile disabilities and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

PAVE (Paws Assisting Veterans)
PO Box 871
Cornelius, OR 97113
[email protected] External

Trains and provides service dogs for veterans suffering from mental and/or physical disabilities.

Puppies Behind Bars
263 W. 38th St., 4th Fl.
New York, NY 10018
(212) 680-9562
(212) 689-9330 fax
[email protected] External

Puppies Behind Bars supports prison inmates who train and raise service dogs for wounded war veterans and first responders.

Retrieving Freedom
1152 230th St.
Waverly, IA 50677
(319) 505-5949 External

Retrieving Freedom focuses on training dogs to serve the specific needs of veterans and children with autism.

The Sam Simon Foundation
30765 Pacific Coast Hwy., #113
Malibu, CA 90265
(310) 457-5898 voice/TTY
(310) 457-9312 fax
[email protected] External

Provides service dogs trained for post-9/11 veterans diagnosed with service connected PTSD.

Smoky Mountain Service Dogs
110 Tooweka Circle
Loudon, TN 37774
[email protected] External

Provides custom-trained service dogs at no-cost to veterans with physical and psychological disabilities.

Veterans Moving Forward
44225 Mercure Circle, Ste. 130
Dulles, VA 20166
(866) 375-1209 External

Provides service dogs at no cost to veterans with physical and mental health concerns.

Resources for Veterans who are Blind or Visually Impaired

Eye Disease and Injury Resources

American Diabetes Association
2451 Crystal Dr., Ste. 900
Arlington, VA 22202
800-342-2383 toll-free
[email protected] External

Seeks to prevent and cure diabetes and to help people live with the disease and manage its complications. Provides information to people with diabetes, their families, health professionals, and the public. Develops materials to help people understand their risks for diabetes and the need for diabetic retinopathy screening. Maintains a national call center. Advocates for the rights of people with diabetes. Funds research and publishes scientific findings in journals for physicians who specialize in diabetes and for general practitioners.

American Macular Degeneration Foundation
PO Box 515
Northampton, MA 01061-0515
(413) 268-7660
888-622-8527 toll-free External

Works for the prevention, treatment, and cure of macular degeneration by educating the public, supporting scientific research, and raising funds. Provides educational videos on the Internet.

BrightFocus Foundation
22512 Gateway Center Dr.
Clarksburg, MD 20871
800-437-2423 toll-free
(301) 258-9454 fax
[email protected] External

Offers educational services pertaining to conditions that affect vision or brain function, including glaucoma and macular degeneration. Hosts and records online chats.

The Foundation Fighting Blindness
7168 Columbia Gateway Dr., Ste. 100
Columbia, MD 21046
(410) 423-0600
(410) 363-7139 TDD
800-683-5555 toll-free
800-683-5551 toll-free TDD
[email protected] External

Funds research to find treatments and cures for retinal degenerative diseases, including retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, and Usher syndrome. Provides information and referral services.

The Glaucoma Foundation
80 Maiden Ln., Ste. 700
New York, NY 10038
(212) 285-0080
[email protected] External

Funds research to determine the causes of glaucoma, improve methods of treatment, and develop cures. Provides resources and support groups.

Glaucoma Research Foundation
251 Post St., Ste. 600
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 986-3162
800-826-6693 toll-free
(415) 986-3763 fax
[email protected] External

Seeks a cure for glaucoma through research and education. Provides resources and free publications on glaucoma.

Glaucoma Service Foundation to Prevent Blindness
Wills Eye Institute
840 Walnut St., Ste. 1130
Philadelphia, PA 19107-5598
(215) 928-3190
(215) 928-3194 External

Funds research on glaucoma. Provides glaucoma support contact, articles, blogs, chat highlights, and free videos on glaucoma on their website.

Macular Degeneration Foundation
PO Box 531313
Henderson, NV 89053
(702) 450-2908
888-633-3937 toll-free
(702) 450-3396 fax
[email protected] External

Seeks to develop cures for macular degeneration and to educate patients, professionals, and the public about methods of prevention and treatment.

Macular Degeneration Partnership
The Gavin Herbert Eye Institute
University of California, Irvine
850 Health Sciences Rd.
Irvine, CA 92697
888-430-9898 toll-free
[email protected]

Provides the latest news related to macular degeneration. Funds research into new treatments and possible cures for the disease. Gives advice on living with macular degeneration and improving daily life, and includes information for family and caregivers.

MD Support (Macular Degeneration Support)
3600 Blue Ridge Blvd.
Grandview, MO 64030
(816) 761-7080
888-866-6148 toll-free
[email protected] External

Offers information for people with macular degeneration and similar retinal diseases. Provides accessible reading materials, lists of agencies, organizations, eye-care hospitals, and distributors of low-vision aids. Holds monthly support-group sessions by telephone.

Ocular Melanoma Foundation
1717 K St. NW, Ste. 900
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 684-9380
800-663-5930 toll-free External

Promotes awareness of ocular melanoma and advocates for funds to research the condition.

Research to Prevent Blindness
360 Lexington Ave., 22nd Fl.
New York, NY 10017
(212) 752-4333
800-621-0026 toll-free
[email protected] External

Maintains an online research library of material relating to visual disorders and a directory of practitioners who work with people with visual disabilities. Provides eye research-grant support to scientific institutions in the United States. Seeks to develop treatments and cures for diseases that damage sight.

Federal Resources

Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who Are Blind
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services
400 Maryland Ave. SW
PCP, Rm. 5155
Washington, DC 20202
(202) 245-7454
[email protected] External

Offers adults with vision loss training in independent living skills, assistive technology, and orientation and mobility through state agencies. Provides counseling to individuals and families. Administers the Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who Are Blind.

National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20892
800-860-8747 toll-free
[email protected] External

Responds to inquiries regarding diabetes and vision disorders that result from diabetes. Distributes professional and patient education publications including factsheets and booklets. Material is available in English and Spanish.

National Eye Institute
Information Office
31 Center Dr. MSC 2510
Bethesda, MD 20892
(301) 496-5248
[email protected] External (Spanish) External

Conducts and supports research on eye diseases and vision disorders. Offers professional and public education programs, including a school curriculum on vision for grades 4–8 and a traveling exhibit.

Veterans Health Administration
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Blind Rehabilitation Service, Rm. 117B
810 Vermont Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20420
(202) 461-7317
855-574-7286 toll-free External External

Offers training in skills for daily living such as orientation and mobility and home care. Provides counseling services to veterans with visual disabilities and their families.

Financial and Support Resources

Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs
1020 S. Spring St.
Springfield, IL 62704
(217) 522-7985
(217) 522-9966 TTY External

A directory of state assistive technology act programs, which provide training, loan programs for technology, as well as financial assistance for obtaining assistive technology products.

Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc.
Robert W. Bigley
1033 Long Prairie Rd., Ste. 5
Flower Mound, TX 75022-4230
(214) 888-0220
(214) 888-0230 fax
[email protected] External

Offers direct access to medical eye care, often at no out-of-pocket cost, for underserved older Americans through the Seniors Eye Care and Glaucoma programs. Funds research into nonsurgical treatments for strabismus.

Low Vision Center
4905 Del Ray Ave., Ste. 504
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 951-4444
[email protected] External

Demonstrates various assistive technologies that are available for purchase. Offers community outreach services and educational opportunities. Provides referrals to physicians, assistive technology products, and social services.

New Eyes for the Needy
549 Millburn Ave.
Short Hills, NJ 07078
(973) 376-4903
[email protected] External

Provides vouchers to low-income U.S. residents to obtain new prescription eyeglasses. Distributes reusable eyeglasses to medical missions and welfare agencies in developing nations.

General Resources

American Council of the Blind (ACB)
1703 N. Beauregard St., Ste. 420
Alexandria, VA 22311
(202) 467-5081
800-424-8666 toll-free
(605) 475-8130 ACB Radio
[email protected] External

Advocates on behalf of people with visual impairments on issues related to civil rights, educational opportunities, vocational training, Social Security benefits, and health and social services. Serves as an information clearinghouse on blindness and provides advisory services on federal legislation. Has a special interest group for veterans, the Visually Impaired Veterans of America.

American Foundation for the Blind
1401 S. Clark St., Ste 730
Arlington, VA 22202
800-232-5463 toll-free External

Provides information on blindness for people who are visually impaired, professionals, schools, organizations, corporations, and the public. Conducts research and mounts programs to promote inclusivity, especially in the areas of literacy, technology, and aging and employment services. Advocates for services and legislation. Maintains the Directory of Services—a database of agencies and service providers.

Association of Blind Citizens
PO Box 246
Holbrook, MA 02343
(781) 961-1023
(781) 654-2000 news and activities line
[email protected] External

Works to enhance the social, political, and economic well-being of individuals with visual impairments by increasing opportunities in education, employment, culture, and recreation. Offers the Assistive Technology Fund, which covers 50 percent of the retail price of adaptive devices and software.

Blinded American Veterans Foundation
PO Box 65900
Washington, DC 20035
(202) 670-1038 External

Maintains a nationwide volunteer corps to offer employment networking and rehabilitation counseling for veterans with visual disabilities. Supports medical research on sensory disabilities.

Blinded Veterans Association
125 N. West St., 3rd Fl.
Alexandria, VA 22314
844-250-5180 toll-free
(202) 371-8258 fax
[email protected] External

A national membership organization of veterans with visual impairments and their families that assists veterans in obtaining benefits through its Field Service Program. Offers rehabilitation training and access to technology through local resources. Advocates on behalf of veterans with visual disabilities before Congress and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Offers the Kathern F. Gruber and Thomas H. Miller scholarships to assist children of blinded veterans in paying for higher education tuition. Provides free hockey lessons for veterans who are blind in the Washington, D.C., area.

Blindness: Learning in New Dimensions (BLIND) Inc.
100 E. 22nd St.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
(612) 872-0100
800-597-9558 toll-free
(612) 872-9358 fax
[email protected] External

Offers instruction in braille, orientation and mobility skills, and home and life skills as well as computer instruction and skills to help people who are blind or visually impaired gain employment. Provides referrals to resources that address their needs.

Blind Rehabilitation Services
Veterans Health Administration
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

810 Vermont Ave. NW, Rm. 117B
Washington, DC 20420
1-877-222-8387 (1-877-222-VETS) General Health Care
202-461-7317 (Blind Rehabilitation Service Program Office) External

This area of the VA provides support to veterans and service members who are blind or who have low vision. They work with the veteran or service member, their families and significant others to aid them in regaining their independence. This program includes rehabilitation services, Visual Impairment Service Team (VIST) Coordinators, and other resources.

Carroll Center for the Blind
770 Centre St.
Newton, MA 02458
(617) 969-6200
800-852-3131 toll-free External

Live-in vocational rehabilitation center offers courses in independent-living skills for people with visual impairments. Includes assistive technology training, orientation and mobility instruction, employment training, senior services, and recreation.

Computer Center for Visually Impaired People
Computer Center for Visually Impaired People
Helen Keller Services for the Blind
180 Livingston St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 522-2122
[email protected]External

Offers free, self-paced courses that teach people with visual impairments of any age how to use a computer, tablet, and smartphone. Provides individualized instruction on accessible devices and curates a list of accessible apps. Also provides braille production, web usability testing, and scripting services for a fee.

Envision, Inc.
610 N. Main St.
Wichita, KS 67203
(316) 440-1600
866-319-4646 toll-free
[email protected] External

Provides vocational rehabilitation services and occupational and physical therapy. Offers training in independent living skills, orientation and mobility, assistive technology, and braille.

Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired
700 Elm St.
Winnetka, IL 60093
(847) 446-8111 phone and TTY
800-323-4238 toll-free
(847) 446-9916 fax
[email protected] External

Offers free distance-education courses to people with visual disabilities, their relatives, and the professionals who work with them. Courses include adjusting to blindness and braille reading and writing. Course materials are available in a number of formats including podcast, digital audiobook, large print, English Braille American Edition, and Unified English Braille.

Lighthouse Guild International
250 W.64th St.
New York, NY 10023
800-284-4422 toll-free (use ext. 711 for TTY) External

Offers a range of vision rehabilitation services for children, working-age adults, and older adults as well as a distance continuing-education program for professionals. Provides evaluations and instruction to prepare children with visual impairments to transition to public education. Maintains Vision Health, an online resource on vision impairment and rehabilitation.

Lions Clubs International
300 W.22nd St.
Oak Brook, IL 60523-8842
(630) 571-5466 External

Initiates service projects such as sight conservation and diabetes education through more than 46,000 clubs in 200 countries. Provides free glaucoma screenings and devices, including braillewriters and white canes. Collects used eyeglasses to distribute in developing countries and sponsors guide dogs. Supports eye research centers worldwide and Lions Club camps for people with visual disabilities.

National Association of Blind Merchants
7450 Chapman Hwy., #319
Knoxville, TN 37920
888-687-6226 toll-free External

Organization of people with visual impairments who work with the Randolph-Sheppard vending program or are self-employed offers information pertaining to the needs of blind merchants, such as taxes, Social Security Disability Insurance, and rehabilitation.

National Federation of the Blind
200 E. Wells St.
at Jernigan Pl.
Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 659-9314
(410) 685-5653 fax
[email protected] External

Monitors state and federal laws and regulations affecting people with visual impairments. Informs members of services available to them and of their rights under the law. Maintains the International Braille and Technology Center for the Blind. Developed the KNFB Reader App, which takes a photo of text and reads it aloud. Offers NFB-NEWSLINE, a telephone service that provides audio versions of print newspapers and magazines free to subscribers with visual disabilities. Sells assistive devices and publications.

National Industries for the Blind
3000 Potomac Ave.
Alexandria, VA 22305
(703) 310-0500 External

Increases opportunities for economic and personal independence of people who are blind by creating, sustaining, and improving employment. Develops business opportunities in the federal, state, and commercial marketplaces for NIB’s network of associated nonprofit agencies. Allocates federal government contracts for SKILCRAFT, a line of products created largely by individuals who are visually impaired or severely disabled,and for other products and services produced through the AbilityOne Program.

The National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision
108 Herbert-South, Rm. 150 Industrial Education Department Bldg.
PO Drawer 6189
Mississippi State University
Mississippi State, MS 39762
(662) 325-2001
(662) 325-8989 fax
[email protected] External

Enhances employment and independent living outcomes for individuals with visual impairments and agencies that serve them through research, training, and education. Provides a National Technical Assistance Center website for businesses, service providers, and consumers. Publishes studies on successfully navigating transitions into higher education and employment.

Wayfinder Family Services
5300 Angeles Vista Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90043
(323) 295-4555
(323) 296-0424 fax
[email protected] External

Offers independent-living skills, orientation and mobility instruction, and assistive technology training. Courses include financial management and pre-vocational training. Provides recreational learning opportunities and braille instruction.

Guide Dog Resources

Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation
103 Vision Way
Bloomfield, CT 06002
(860) 243-5200
(860) 769-0567 fax
[email protected] External

Connects people who have visual impairments with Fidelco guide dogs, a special breed of German shepherd. Offers “in-community” placement wherein the person is trained in their own neighborhood to use the guide dog.

Freedom Guide Dogs for the Blind
1210 Hardscrabble Rd.
Cassville, NY 13318
(315) 822-5132
(315) 256-0174 fax
[email protected] External

Breeds, raises, trains, and places guide dogs for people who are blind or visually impaired. Program is based in upstate New York and is offered to people in the Eastern United States at no cost.

Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind
371 E. Jericho Turnpike
Smithtown, NY 11787-2976
(631) 930-9000
800-548-4337 toll-free
(631) 930-9009 fax
[email protected] External

Provides intensive two-week, on-campus, customized training program with the guide dog and blind partner. Offers a program that matches guide dogs with a person’s mobility, personality, lifestyle, and physical needs in mind.

Guide Dogs for the Blind
PO Box 151200
San Rafael, CA 94915-1200
(415) 499-4000
800-295-4050 toll-free External

Offers training for the appropriate use of guide dogs by people with visual impairments and continuing-education courses for orientation and mobility instructors. Provides specialized services to children and seniors.

Guide Dogs of America
13445 Glenoaks Blvd.
Sylmar, CA 91342
(818) 362-5834
800-459-4843 toll-free
(818) 362-6870 fax
[email protected] External

Offers breeder program, volunteer foster homes, formal training, and three weeks of on-campus training between the guide dog and blind partner.

Guide Dogs of the Desert
PO Box 1692
Palm Springs, CA 92263
(760) 329-6257 External

Provides four-week intensive training for guide dogs and their blind partners. Maintains a puppy development center and guide dog and puppy training programs.

Guiding Eyes for the Blind
611 Granite Springs Rd.
Yorktown Heights, NY 10598
(914) 245-4024
800-942-0149 toll-free
(914) 245-1609 fax
[email protected] External

Provides guide dogs, user training for people who are blind or visually impaired, and support for the team throughout the lifetime of the dog at no charge.

Leader Dogs for the Blind
1039 South Rochester Rd.
Rochester Hills, MI 48307-3115
(248) 651-9011
888-777-5332 toll-free
[email protected] External

Maintains a breeding program, volunteer puppy raisers, and four months of formal harness training with a professional guide dog mobility instructor. Offers specialized programs for people who are deaf-blind. Partners with Lions Clubs International.

OccuPaws Guide Dog Association
PO Box 45857
Madison, WI 53744
(608) 772-3787
866-854-3291 toll-free fax
[email protected] External

Trains guide dogs for visually impaired residents of Wisconsin at no charge. Provides an in-home training program. An International Guide Dog Federation-accredited school.

Pilot Dogs, Incorporated
625 W. Town St.
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 221-6367
(614) 221-1577 fax External

Offers a one-year in-home puppy training program, formal guide dog training, and a four-week on-campus training session with the guide dog and blind partner.

The Seeing Eye
PO Box 375
Morristown, NJ 07963-0375
(973) 539-4425
[email protected] External

Trains guide dogs and provides instruction to their partners. Services are provided at cost.

Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc.
4210 77th St. E.
Palmetto, FL 34221
(941) 729-5665
800-944-3647 toll-free
[email protected] External

Trains dogs for veterans and people who are blind at no cost. Offers puppy training, and dog training classes for individuals who are interested in donating time and funds to the national nonprofit program.

Resources for Accessing Reading Materials

American Printing House for the Blind (APH)
1839 Frankfort Ave.
Louisville, KY 40206
(502) 895-2405
800-223-1839 toll-free
(502) 899-2284 fax
[email protected] External

Provides educational texts (primary through secondary level) in large print and braille for visually impaired students in the United States and its territories. Maintains the Louis Database of Accessible Materials and APH File Repository. Offers assessment, a bookstore, and articles on daily living and family life. Catalogs are downloadable in multiple formats.

800-258-7544 toll-free
[email protected] External

Offers braille production services, including tactile graphics and Nemeth code. Transcribes documents in English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German. Also offers large print, audio, accessible PDFs, and Section 508 document remediation. Fee-for-service.

Horizons for the Blind
125 Erick St., A103
Crystal Lake, IL 60014
(815) 444-8800
(815) 444-8830 fax
[email protected] External

Converts material into accessible formats upon request. Offers assistance to businesses and organizations seeking to make themselves more accessible.

International Association of Audio Information Services (IAAIS)
1294 E. 1600 Rd.
Lawrence, KS 66046
800-280-5325 toll-free
[email protected] External

Consults with services that produce audio programming for people with a print disability. Provides a Facebook conversation group, mentoring, and updates on critical issues for audio programming personnel. Maintains state listings of audio information services.

Learning Ally
20 Roszel Rd.
Princeton, NJ 08540
800-221-4792 toll-free
[email protected] External

Lends digitally recorded textbooks for all academic levels from kindergarten through graduate school to individuals with a documented visual, physical, or learning disability that substantially limits reading. There is a one-time registration fee and annual membership fees at the individual or institutional level. Catalog and ordering system on the website.

National Braille Association
95 Allens Creek Rd. Bldg. 1, Ste. 202
Rochester, NY 14618
(585) 427-8260
(585) 427-0263 fax External

Standardizes braille and supports transcribers through a help-message board and professional development activities. Offers a wide range of materials for braille transcribers in the fields of mathematics, computer notation, textbook formats, tactile graphics, music, and computer-assisted production.

National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled
Library of Congress

Washington, DC 20542-4962
(202) 707-5100
888-NLS-READ (888-657-7323) toll-free
[email protected] External

Administers a free national library program of braille and recorded books and magazines for blind or physically disabled individuals. Distributes reading materials and playback machines through cooperating regional (state) and subregional (local) libraries to eligible borrowers. Lends music materials through its Music Section in Washington, D.C., including scores in braille and large print; magazines and books about music and musicians in braille, large print, and recorded format; and instruction for voice and for instruments in braille and recorded format. Veterans are given preferential treatment for materials and equipment. See NLS/BPH section.

OrCam North America
1115 Broadway, 11th Fl.
New York, NY 10010

Veterans who have VA health coverage are entitled to be eligible for an OrCam device. This device can be clipped onto glasses, and can read text, identify products, and recognize barcodes.

The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled

The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS), Library of Congress, administers a free national library program that provides braille and recorded materials to persons who cannot see regular print or handle print materials. Established by an Act of Congress in 1931 to serve blind adults, the program was expanded in 1952 to include children, in 1962 to provide music materials, in 1966 to include individuals with other physical disabilities that prevent reading regular print, and in 2016 to permit NLS to provide refreshable braille displays. The NLS Program is funded annually by Congress, and books and materials mare mailed as “Free Matter for the Blind or Handicapped” through a separate appropriation to the U.S. Postal Service. Cooperating network libraries are funded through a combination of state, local, and/or federal sources.

Under a special provision of the U.S. Copyright Law, and with the permission of authors and publishers of works not covered by that provision, NLS selects books and magazines for full-length publication in braille, ebraille, and digital audio format. Reading materials are circulated through a network of libraries throughout the United States and its territories, and to American citizens living abroad. The materials and free playback equipment needed to read audiobooks (called talking books) and magazines are circulated to patrons by libraries by postage-free mail. Digital audio and ebraille materials are also available through the NLS Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) service and the BARD Mobile app for iOS and Android devices. In early 2019, the U.S. joined the Marrakesh Treaty as its 50th member, allowing NLS to assist patrons in requesting accessible materials in a wide range of languages from the other libraries around the world that are also Marrakesh Treaty members.


Any resident of the United States or American citizen living abroad who is unable to read or use regular print materials as a result of temporary or permanent visual or physical limitations may receive service.

Book Collection

Books are selected for the NLS collection on the basis of their appeal across a wide range of interests. Approximately sixty-five percent are fiction, and thirty-five percent are nonfiction. Bestsellers, biographies, fiction, and how-to books are in great demand. The collection includes books in Spanish and a few titles in other languages. Books for youth—from preschool to young adult—are also provided in audio, braille, and print/braille.

Registered borrowers learn of new books added to the collection through two bimonthly publications: Braille Book Review and Talking Book Topics. The NLS book collection and other resources from cooperating agencies are listed in the NLS Catalog.
The NLS Union Catalog contains more than 269,000 book records, of which more than 71,000 are braille books and more than 198,000 are talking books.


Currently, 47 audio and 39 braille magazine titles, selected for the program based on reader interest, are available through NLS by subscription. Other magazines are available on BARD (see below). Readers may subscribe to such titles as People, National Geographic, and Consumer Reports in audio and ESPN: The Magazine and the New York Times Large Print Weekly in braille. A variety of magazines for children are also available. Current issues are mailed to readers shortly after print issues are released.

Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) and BARD Mobile Apps

BARD, a free online service, provides access to thousands of special-format books, magazines, and music materials. The same materials that are offered on digital cartridge and braille are also available for download in compressed digital audio and ebraille formats. The password-protected service is operated as a partnership between NLS and its network of cooperating libraries. Digital audio and ebraille materials are also available through the BARD Mobile app for iOS and Android devices. BARD Express provides NLS patrons with an easy way to access BARD on Windows-based computers and transfer them to a NLS cartridge or USB drive.

BARD contains more than 107,000 book titles, 70 digital audio magazine titles, and 53 ebraille magazine titles, with new materials added regularly.

Equipment and Accessories

Patrons are loaned playback equipment free of charge for use with talking books and magazines. Players are available in two models (standard and advanced), provide high-quality sound, offer variable speed controls, and have built-in audio instructions. The advanced player also enables bookmarking and navigation, allowing readers to skip to different parts of a book. Accessories for the players include lightweight headphones, adapters to facilitate the use of commercial USB flash drives, and a remote control. Readers with significant hearing loss may request a high-volume player and headphones.

Music Scores and Books

Individuals who are interested in materials for playing or learning about music may receive them directly from the NLS Music Section in Washington, D.C. The collection consists of braille and large-print music scores and instructional materials. Music appreciation materials on a wide variety of topics and self-instruction for voice, piano, organ, keyboard, guitar, recorder, accordion, banjo, harmonica, and other instruments are available on audio cartridge. Audio and braille music materials also are available through BARD. The Music Section may be reached at [email protected] or 1-800-424-8567 ext. 2, and more information can be found on the NLS Music Notes blog.

The NLS music collection (braille, audio, large print) is the largest of its kind in the world, with approximately 25,000 titles.

Currency Reader

NLS has partnered with the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) in support of BEP’s U.S. Currency Reader Program, which provides currency readers, free of charge, to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. The program is part of the government’s Meaningful Access Initiative to assist individuals who experience difficulties identifying U.S. currency.

The currency reader, called the iBill Talking Banknote Identifier, is a compact device that announces a note’s value by voice, a pattern of tones, or a pattern of vibrations. Users insert a bill into the device and press a button to have the denomination identified. Visit the Currency Reader application page to download an application for the currency reader.

Volunteer Services

Volunteers contribute important services to the NLS program in the areas of braille transcription and proofreading, talking-book production, library service, and machine repair. NLS sponsors free correspondence courses leading to certification in braille transcribing (literary, music, and mathematics) and braille proofreading, and local recording groups may request training in talking-book production. Network libraries engage volunteers in a variety of service maintenance projects. National volunteer groups also assist network libraries in repairing playback equipment.

Reference Services

NLS and its cooperating libraries respond to questions about various subjects relevant to people who are blind or have a physical disability. This free service is available to individuals, organizations, and libraries. Publications resulting from such queries are available for free in a variety of formats. For a list of what is available, visit Reference Publications or email [email protected]

Consumer Relations

The NLS consumer relations officer maintains regular contact with consumer groups and individual users of the program to identify and resolve service problems and to ensure that the needs of NLS patrons are met. NLS also meets biennially with two advisory groups that include patrons, members of consumer organizations, and network librarians: the Collection Development Advisory Group and the Reading Technology Advisory Group (formerly the National Audio Equipment Advisory Committee). These groups provide critical feedback to help shape NLS policy in providing service to its patrons.

Find Out More . . .

If you or someone you know is interested in receiving more information about the braille and talking book program, call 1-888-NLS-READ (1-888-657-7323) toll-free and follow the prompts to be connected to the braille and talking book library in your state. Or go to Information Request, complete and submit the form, and someone from your local talking-book library will contact you. To find the nearest library serving people who are blind, visually impaired, or have a disability, visit Find Your Library.

Have a question? Need assistance? NLS librarians are here to help you. Email [email protected] or visit the Ask a Librarian! page.

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