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BellaOnline's Vision Issues Editor

Finding Help and Support for the Visually Impaired

As a legally blind person, I often talk with individuals who face a future vision issue. During the conversation, the individuals usually reveal the concern of how to locate local programs, which would help and support the individualís vision situation.

Finding help and support for the visually impaired is not as easy as you might think. Locating programs and organizations that provide the skills, knowledge and support for a visually impaired person takes time and effort. Locating an organization, which can tailor a program specifically for each personís vision issue, can be difficult especially if the person has more than one condition needing attention. While attending the training center where I completed my vision impairment training I met several individuals who were dealing with vision and hearing issues and required a specially designed program.

Here are some useful organizational websites that can help locate the proper help a visually impaired individual requires. Each site offers a list or method of searching for a list of national and international blind organizations providing help and support.

1. The American Foundation for the Blind has put together a directory of services in a reference guide or book format, which is regularly updated and sold on the foundationís website. Visit www.afb.org and shop in the bookstore to purchase the reference guide containing programs and organizations worldwide that help and support the visually impaired. The AFB site is a great website.

2. the American foundation for the Blindís website contains a state by state locator allowing a user to enter the name of the state in the USA of residency then, press enter to obtain a listing of the different programs or organizations located in that state. I enter the state of Alabama and found twenty-three organizations with complete contact information.

3. Using the search keywords Blind organizations the website www.info.com provided a list of 129 different organizations offering help and support in the USA and worldwide.

4. A resource site called Blind Net provides information about national and international organizations providing programs for the visually impaired. The site is designed to allow representatives of a blind organization to add the organization to the website providing a regularly updated list of programs.

5. A site listed as www.99main.com list information about organizations ďOf and For the Blind.Ē The site-listed information for programs worldwide including supports groups and childrenís programs. The top twelve national and international organizations with a brief description of each organization appear on the website.

6. www.disaboom.com is a resource and information site allowing an individual to search a variety of topics with the results of the search listed in alphabetical order.

The above list contains a sample of the different websites available to help a visually impaired person or a concerned family member or friend locate help and support for dealing with a vision issue.

I personally use the American Foundation for the Blind website on a regular basis for locating information on all topics involving vision issues.

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