Special Education

NYS School for the Blind, photos of the students
Vision Resources - Organizations

National Organizations | New York State Organizations

National Organizations

American Council of the Blind external link
Consumer information and referral on all aspects of blindness, public education and awareness training.

American Foundation for the Blind external link
Provides education, consultation, and technical assistance on all aspects of blindness, focusing on such areas as literacy, aging, employment, and technology. AFB Press publishes a wide variety of professional, reference, and consumer videos as well as textbooks and journals.

American Printing House for the Blind external link
APH is the official supplier of educational materials for visually impaired students below college level in the U.S. and its territories. The Advisory Services Division is available to provide informational, consultative, and administrative services in support of the Federal Quota System. Personnel are available to conduct training sessions, presentations, and workshops. APH produces materials on demand in Braille, cassette tape, and large print.

Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired external link
Professional membership organization whose mission is to develop and promote professional excellence through support of those who provide services to people with visual impairment. State, regional, and national chapters coordinate seminars, workshops, and conferences.

Council for Exceptional Children external link
National professional organization whose mission is to improve educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities.

Council of Schools for the Blind external link
Organization of schools for blind and visually impaired children in the United States and Canada. COSB serves as an information clearinghouse and advocate for areas of interest relating to specialized residential schools for the blind and visually impaired children.

Family Connect external link
An online, multimedia community for parents and guardians of children with visual impairments sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) and the National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI).

Hadley School for the Blind external link
National organization that provides legally blind or blind persons with academic, personal enrichment, and compensatory education and technical education through free home study courses, including Braille reading and writing. Offers a program for professional and paraprofessionals in the blindness field.

Mississippi State University: Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision external link
Federally funded research and training center based at Mississippi State University. The Center conducts research, disseminates information including research monographs, and provides education and training.

National Federation of the Blind external link
National consumer organization provides a comprehensive range of consultation, technical assistance, and education. Publications include the Braille Monitor, Future Reflections (for parents of blind children), and Voice of the Diabetic. NFB has affiliates in all states.

National Industries for the Blind external link
The NIB mission to enhance opportunities for employment and independence for persons who are blind is implemented through the 85 associated agencies employing over 500 people. NIB works closely with the member agencies to secure and administer contracts.

Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic external link
Recordings for the Blind maintains a lending educational library with over 80,000 taped textbooks, reference and professional materials. These materials are available to individuals who cannot effectively read standard print. Please contact Recordings for the Blind for information on registering and any fees.

United States Association for Blind Athletes external link
USABA offers training camps and competitions through the national office and representatives in each state. Established in 1976, the mission is to provide sports and recreation opportunities for people who are blind or visually impaired.

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New York Organizations and Resources

Baruch College Computer Center for Visually Impaired People external link
The Computer Center based at Baruch College of the City University of New York provides computer training, technical assistance, and education for people with severe visual impairment.

Brooklyn Bureau of Community Service
Telephone 718-875-0710
Services for people who are visually impaired as well as people with other disabilities include counseling, social work, self-help, employment, health, and rehabilitation.

Catholic Charities: Office for Disabled Persons
Telephone 718-722-6000

Catholic Charities Service for Visually Impaired Persons
Telephone 631-789-5213
Services for visually impaired person living in Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island include counseling, social work, information and referral, outreach, recreation, and rehabilitation. Training is provided in the client’s home and community.

Catholic Guild for the Blind
Established in 1953, the Catholic Guild provides low vision, health, and rehabilitation services. The Guild services focus on coping with the problems of everyday living with vision impairment and growing towards independence.

Dominican College external link
The graduate education Program for Teachers of Blind and Visually Impaired (telephone 845-359-3577) offers a Master of Science degree. Students attend on a full-time and part-time basis with classes both on-campus and through distance learning. Please contact the college for admission requirements and applications. The college is located in Rockland County, New York.

Helen Keller Services for the Blind external link
HKSB operates offices and provides comprehensive rehabilitation services (including low vision) in Brooklyn and on Long Island in Hempstead and Huntington. The agency operates day centers for legally blind seniors in these locations. In addition, HKSB operates a day treatment center for developmentally disabled visually impaired adults in Hempstead and a summer camp for blind children on Long Island. The Braille library produces and distributes materials in Braille and large print for students on Long Island and in New York City. The children’s preschool and parent center are located in downtown Brooklyn.

Hunter College of the City University of New York external link
Hunter College offers a graduate program for teachers of students who are blind or visually impaired and teachers of students who have severe/multiple impairments; rehabilitation teachers; and orientation and mobility instructors. Please telephone 212-772-4740 for information on admissions, class schedules, grants, and applications.

Jewish Guild for the Blind external link
JGB is a comprehensive rehabilitation and education agency based in New York City with affiliated Guildcare (for medically fragile seniors) programs based in other agencies throughout New York State and in New England. The Guild School, Preschool, and Early Intervention programs are based in the 15 West 65th Street location. The Jewish Guild operates the Home for the Aged Blind in Yonkers and Joslow House/Residence for developmentally disabled/visually-impaired adults in New York City. Please visit the web site for more detailed information.

Lighthouse International external link
LHI provides a wide range of education, rehabilitation, research, and advocacy services. Vision rehabilitation services are available in the New York City Metropolitan area including Long Island and the Lower Hudson Valley. Services are provided on-site as well as in client’s homes and communities. LHI operates early intervention and preschool programs for children. Low vision services are available in several locations. The Arlene R. Gordon Research Institute conducts vision research. The Lighthouse Center for Education provides continuing education programs for professionals both nationally and internationally. Products for independent living can be found in the Lighthouse Consumer Catalog. Please visit the web site for more detailed information.

New York City Industries for the Blind external link
The New York State Talking Book and Braille Library (TBBL) lends digital audio, downloadable and braille books and magazines to eligible residents of upstate New York who have a qualifying visual, reading or physical disability. Currently, over 15,000 individual New Yorkers of all ages and from 55 counties are registered for and receive Talking Book services.

New York City Public Schools, District 75: Educational Vision Services
(Telephone 917-256-4259)
Education Vision Services, provided in the New York City Public Schools, are designed for students who, because of vision impairment, learn with the use of assistive materials and adaptive approaches. Assessments, computer training, literacy services, counseling, after-school work programs, parent assistance, and professional training are available.

New York Institute for Special Education external link
Founded in 1831, the New York Institute provides quality education, training, rehabilitation, and other related services in a multi-school facility for children, ages birth to 21 years of age. Handicapping conditions include blindness or visual impairment, emotional disturbance or learning disabilities. The school offers both day and residential programs for visually impaired students ages 5-21. Please visit the school’s web page for more comprehensive information.

New York Public Library: Andrew Heiskell Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped external link
The library provides talking books, talking book machines, large-print books, audiocassettes, and Braille books for blind and physically handicapped persons. The library serves individuals in the New York City and on Long Island.

New York State Education Department:

Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) external link
(ACCES-VR offers access to a full range of employment and independent living services that may be needed by persons with disabilities through their lives. Through its administration of vocational rehabilitation and independent living programs, VR coordinates policy and services related to transition, vocation rehabilitiation, independent living services, and business services.

Special Education Services external link
The Office of Special Education provides assistance to parents, advocacy groups, and schools related to services and programs for students with disabilities. Staff work together across various units to provide the most up to date policy and guidance, technical assistance, professional development, and monitoring to attain equal opportunities and positive results for students with disabilities across New York State.

New York State Office of Children and Family Services: Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped external link
Telephone for New York City Office 212-825-5710
Telephone for Long Island Office 516-564-4311
Telephone for White Plains Office 914-993-5371
CBVH enhances employability, maximizes independence, and assists in the development of capacities and strengths of person who are legally blind in New York State. In addition to vocational rehabilitation counselors, children’s consultants and transition specialists are based in each office. These consultants and specialists work closely with children and their families to provide supplemental services (including specialized summer programs and community work experiences), transition planning, short-term rehabilitation teaching and orientation and mobility. Please call the local office to get more specific information on services.

New York State Talking Book and Braille Library
The New York State Talking Book and Braille Library (TBBL) lends digital audio, downloadable and braille books and magazines to eligible residents of upstate New York who have a qualifying visual, reading or physical disability. Currently, over 15,000 individual New Yorkers of all ages and from 55 counties are registered for and receive Talking Book services.

New York Vision Rehabilitation Association - NYVRA
NYVRA is a non-profit coalition comprised of members, organizations and agencies located across New York State, addressing issues that impact services for people who are blind or partially sighted. NYVRA offers public awareness education regarding the abilities and needs of people of all ages who are blind or visually impaired as well as the professionals who serve them.

State University of New York: College of Optometry, Low Vision Service external link
SUNY College of Optometry conducts complete optometric and ophthalmologic evaluations, low vision assessments, head trauma assessments, visual assessments for infants, and special needs assessments. Optical devices and low vision devices are for sale on site. The College of Optometry conducts clinical research and provides professional training.

VISIONS - Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired external link
VISIONS provides a comprehensive range of vision rehabilitation services for people who are blind and visually impaired of all ages living in the New York City metropolitan area. Rehabilitation training in daily living skills and mobility are provided in the home. Specialized transition work programs after school and in the summer are offered for teenagers. VISIONS provides group programs and social services in 42 neighborhood senior center to promote integration of elders who are visually impaired. VISION operates the Vacation Camp for the Blind in Rockland County. This camp offers summer sessions and special winter weekends with a full range of recreation and social activities. VISION also operates rehabilitation, social services, training, and recreation programs at Selis Manor on 23rd Street in New York City. Please contact the web site for more detailed information.

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Last Updated: February 8, 2018