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Well-being, Community, Aid

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Blindline® is an information and referral service for people who are blind or visually impaired, their family members, friends, and professional service providers.

Our ever-growing database currently comprises more than 750 records of specialized resources located throughout New York State. The database contains a comprehensive list of blindness-related agencies, as well as many commercial businesses that provide accessible services and/or products to people with vision loss. As a "work in progress," we encourage consumers to let us know about businesses, products, or services that should be included in the database, or to comment on any of the products and services we currently catalogue.

Blindline® consists of both the web site and a telephone hotline staffed by trained individuals who are themselves visually impaired. If you are unable to find what you are looking for on the web site, please phone us toll-free, Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, at (888) 625-1616. Our trained Information Specialists will conduct additional research on any blindness-related topic, and return the results to you in the format of your choice (braille, large-print, via e-mail or phone).


Description of Services

Accessibility All services related to the provision of materials in accessible formats for visually impaired consumers and to bringing building facilities into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Advocacy Services directed toward ensuring that people who are blind or visually impaired have access to benefits, vocational rehabilitation, and other programs available to them in the community and that their interests are appropriately represented by their policymakers and government agencies.

Assessment Specialized evaluative processes conducted by professionals to determine the present needs and skill levels of clients.

Assistive Products All services related to the provision of assistive products and training in their use for clients who are blind or visually impaired, either for a fee or for free. These include technical support offered by manufacturers and distributors of such products as well as repair services.

Audio-described Movies Showing, renting, or selling movies which include descriptions and explanations of the visual aspects to make them understandable to individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

Audiodescription Descriptions and explanations of the visual aspects of films, television programs, or plays to make them understandable to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. These services also encompass the training of guides, describers, docents, or anyone who provides or is interested in providing this kind of narration.

Braille/Audio/Large Print Production Creation of materials in braille, audio, or large print upon the request of agencies or individuals.

Business/Personal Services Special personal services, such as pick up and delivery services and personal shopping assistance, to support and accommodate the needs of clients who are blind or visually impaired.

Community Outreach Programs Screening and other related activities conducted in the community to identify and assist individuals who are blind or visually impaired in need of assistance.

Computer Training Training in the use of appropriate computers and assistive technology. Computer training encompasses training in the use of such equipment as closed-circuit television systems, computer operating systems, database software, optical character recognition systems, screen magnification systems, speech output systems, and word processing software. It also includes computer training for instructors of students and other individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

Consultation/Technical Program Assistance Advice, assistance, and consultative support by specialized staff to local school systems, teachers of visually impaired students, and other agencies or professionals who work with blind and visually impaired persons.

Counseling Clinical evaluations, counseling, referrals, and support provided by professionals, such as psychologists and counselors, to visually impaired individuals and family members.

Dog Guide Training Instruction on how to work with a dog guide to negotiate the travel environment.

Early Intervention/Infants Services provided to infants, usually from birth to age 3, and their families to promote early childhood development. These may include assessment of a child's condition and needs, developmental enrichment, family-centered support, and coordination of health, social, and related services.

Education Services Services related to the education of blind and visually impaired children and young adults, usually from birth through age 21. These include services offered by agencies that provide adapted instructional materials and state and other agencies responsible for overseeing educational services to blind and visually impaired students.

Employment/Job Training Career and skill counseling, prevocational evaluation, career preparation training, and vocational placement.

Financial Assistance Assistance with obtaining funding or loans for vision-related expenses, such as assistive technology equipment.

Health/Fitness Programs that promote physical and mental fitness.

Health/Medical General medical and related services, such as eye evaluations, treatment of eye conditions, genetic counseling, and other assistance.

Housing Services Housing facilities or a variety of assistance related to the provision of housing for individuals, such as information and referrals to independent living arrangements, nursing homes, or assisted living facilities.

In-Home Services Services to individuals who are unable to avail themselves of services outside their homes as a result of an illness, functional limitations in activities of daily living, or disability. These services may be homemaker services, which include day-to-day household services such as housekeeping, laundry, limited personal care, grocery shopping, meal preparation, correspondence assistance, shopping assistance, and other nonmedical assistance provided in the client's home, and health care services, which include assistance for a health-related condition by paraprofessional personnel such as home health aides, personal care aides, and nursing assistants.

Information and Referral General information about blindness and visual impairment and referrals to sources of other information and services.

Legal Services Advice, counseling, information or representation with regard to legal matters provided by a licensed attorney or trained paralegal.

Library Services Organized, often formal, collections of materials in print or other formats for blind and visually impaired individuals and the professionals who work with them.

Low Vision Services Evaluation and testing of a client's vision; prescription of appropriate optical devices; support, follow-up, and referrals to other appropriate agencies and professionals. These services also include the provision of nonoptical (such as lamps, filters, bold-lined paper, writing guides) and optical devices (such as magnifiers, microscopes, telescopes) and training in their use.

Orientation and Mobility Training in the use of systematic techniques by which people who are blind or visually impaired orient themselves to their environment and move about independently.

Parent Assistance Consultation and referrals to appropriate agencies, parent workshops, and in-home visits and support services provided to parents of blind and visually impaired children.

Personnel Preparation Degree programs and areas of concentration to prepare professionals to work in various capacities with individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Services in this category also include distance education or off-campus programs for students who are working toward degrees or certification in specializations in the field of blindness and visual impairment.

Preschool Programs Programs specifically geared for infants and preschool-age children who are blind or visually impaired.

Professional Training Programs such as workshops, seminars, and in-service meetings whose objective is to train personnel who work with blind and visually impaired people.

Reading Services Radio broadcasts of newspaper articles, books, and consumer information for people with visual, physical, and reading disabilities, provided over otherwise unused radio frequencies; these services also include telephone reader or personal reader services.

Recreation Services Leisure activities--such as those related to arts and crafts, sports, music, and drama, and other similar activities--provided for blind and visually impaired persons.

Rehabilitation Services Training in adapted techniques for daily living and work activities, such as home management, personal management, communication, and travel, and other adaptive skills.

Services for Students Services offered in college or universities for students who are blind or visually impaired. Such services include the availability of computers with assistive technology, such as screen readers and screen magnification programs; video magnifiers; braille or large print materials; or live readers.

Support Groups Periodic meetings that provide participants with the opportunity to share information and talk about common experiences for mutual support, usually run by a facilitator or a professional who can provide guidance.

Talking ATM

Transportation Services Transportation provided either for free for eligible clients or for a fee to people with disabilities and senior citizens without transportation options or who cannot use public transportation due to their disability.


Blindline® (web site, call center and vocational training program) is an ongoing project of VISIONS/Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired. VISIONS acknowledges the many non-profit partners and corporate funders who support the project.

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has been invaluable to the project, by sharing information from its Directory of Services, and by providing technical expertise in creating both the web site and database.

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and the American Council of the Blind (ACB) have strongly supported the project from the start.

As the primary source of financial support, the Lavelle Fund for the Blind awarded VISIONS a major grant in support of Blindline®.

American Express responded with a grant for the cost of seven toll-free phone lines and marketing efforts.

IBM graciously donated seven state-of-the-art computer workstations and a printer, to get the call center up-and-running.

An exceptional Advisory Board of blindness professionals, consumers, technology and I&R experts assists our staff in expanding and strengthening the project, and planning for growth.

Group Members / View all (2) Group Members

  • Michael Cush
  • S.A.K.M. Shamsul Hauque, Shuvo

Information and referral service for people who are blind or visually impaired, their family members, friends, and professional service providers

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500 Greenwich Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10013
United States
(888) 625-1616

Contact Blindline

Moderator: Michael Cush