US Government Agencies
These agencies provide guidance and support specific to individuals who are blind and visually impaired.
Administers the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and related programs for the education of children with disabilities. Within the US Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs in the Division of Visual Impairment. The primary purpose of the Division of Visual Impairment is to advance the education of individuals with visual impairments and to promote related educational, scientific, and charitable purposes. Specifically, the Division intends: to assist and provide support to The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) in all its efforts on behalf of persons with exceptionalities and to participate in all appropriate governance activities of CEC subject to the general supervision and control of CEC.
Provides national leadership and technical guidance for the federal-state vocational rehabilitation program. Administers grants to the states for vocational rehabilitation of the disabled. Provides demonstrations, professional training, and independent living grants for persons with disabilities including those with visual impairments.
The National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health, leads the federal government's research on the visual system and eye diseases. NEI supports basic and clinical science programs that result in the development of sight-saving treatments. Resources include a clinical studies database, publications, and materials list, photos, images and videos as well as statistics and data.
Oversees programs for veterans who are blinded within the Veterans
Health Administrations. Services include Visual Impairment Services Teams (VIST) assistance and Blind Rehabilitation Center and Clinic Programs. There is at least one VIST designated for each state.
It provides compensation and pensions for a disability or death to veterans and their dependents. Additionally, it provides vocational rehabilitation services, including counseling, training, and assistance toward employment to veterans who have been blinded and are identified as eligible.
The VA oversees many rehabilitation centers whose services include rehabilitation training and job preparation of those who formerly served in the armed forces. They provide hospital and outpatient treatment as well as nursing home care for eligible veterans in Veterans Administration facilities. They also provide nonvocational inpatient residential rehabilitation services to veterans who are legally blind and eligible for services.
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped Library of Congress provides a free correspondence course to certify Braille transcribers. They offer a wide variety of braille books on loan. NLS has also compiled a directory in large print and braille formats that provides names of volunteer groups and individuals who transcribe and record books and other reading materials for people who are blind. They provide an alphabetical listing by state.
Sign up for free membership to access the FREE downloadable templates, handbooks and handouts on the Printables page. Simply click on the Log In | Register link in the navigation bar. If you haven't joined yet, you will be prompted to create a password.
Visit the VI Store to view the range of materials and resources to support your instructional and VI program needs.