The following organizations can be a good place to start if you’d like information on low-vision and blindness rehabilitation or services.
American Association of Diabetes Educators
Contact the AADE to locate a member of the Disabilities/Visual Impairment Specialty Practice Group. The Web site has a “Find An Educator” feature, which locates diabetes educators by name or area.
American Council of the Blind
Grants scholarship assistance to blind and visually impaired post-secondary students. Also has a toll-free hotline that provides information and referrals. Produces a free monthly magazine, “The Braille Forum,” available on the Web site or via e-mail, as well as in Braille, large print, audiocassette formats.
American Foundation for the Blind
(800) AFB-LINE (232-5463)
Publishes evaluations of assistive devices in the bimonthly periodical AccessWorld, located online at www.afb.org/aw. Produces a range of materials with information for the visually impaired and their families. Maintains a list of organizations throughout the United States and Canada that provide assistance to the blind and visually impaired.
Department of Veterans Affairs
Provides blindness rehabilitation services to veterans and their dependents, including orientation and mobility training, instruction in communication skills, and group meetings with other visually impaired people.
National Eye Institute
This Web site, which is produced in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health, includes a patient information library, photos and illustrations, low-vision information, news and events, clinical studies, and current research. Information is also available in Spanish. The National Eye Health Education Program has a Diabetic Eye Disease Education Program. See www.nei.nih.gov/nehep/ded.asp for program materials or call the National Eye Institute for more information on eye diseases.
National Federation of the Blind
Provides a list of diabetes resources for people with impaired vision. Information is available for free at www.nfb.org/nfb/Diabetics.asp or by contacting the organization.
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
(888) NLS-READ (657-7323)
The Talking Book Program is a free service for people who are visually impaired or who have a disability that prevents the use of printed materials. The service provides texts in Braille and audio formats, plus the equipment to play the audio recordings, via postage-free mail. Visit www.loc.gov/nls/find.html to locate a library in your area.
Voice of the Diabetic
A free quarterly newsletter about diabetes geared toward people who are blind or visually impaired. Available in print, audiocassette, e-mail, and on the Web site.