Blind and Low Vision

Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities

The following links will take you to information about a variety of services of benefit to the blind and low vision.

The Associated Blind

110 William Street
New York, NY 10038
V (212) 766-6800
Fax (212) 766-6809

The Associated Blind is a privately funded non-profit agency, founded in 1938, which promotes autonomy and self-determination through economic independence. The Adaptive Solutions Institute is a program development division of The Associated Blind. All programs strive to provide blind or visually impaired individuals with the incentive, and ability, to set and achieve personal, educational, and career goals.

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Visions Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired

500 Greenwich Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10013
V (212) 625-1616
Fax (212) 219-4078

VISIONS is a non-profit agency that promotes the independence of people who are blind or visually impaired.

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Helen Keller Services for the Blind

57 Willoughby Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201-5211
V (718) 522-2122
Fax (718) 935-9463

Provides community rehabilitation services, senior day centers, pre-school programs, day treatment programs, social services, adaptive low-vision clinic, and audiological services.

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NYS Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (CBVH)

270 Broadway, 5th Floor, Room 528
New York, NY 10007-2383
V (212) 417-5227
TTY (212) 961-4444
Fax (212) 417-4627

CBVH provides services to individuals of all ages who are legally blind and reside in New York State. CBVH provides adaptive equipment to assist individuals with their independent living skills and employment.

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The Lighthouse International

111 E. 59th Street
New York, NY 10022
V (212) 821-9200
TTY (212) 821-9713
Fax (212) 821-9707

Assists persons of all ages who are blind or partially sighted to lead independent and productive lives. Services include:

  • The Print Access Center: Makes printed materials accessible to people who are blind or partially sighted. Braille transcription can be produced rapidly from computer disks. Volunteers record material onto cassette tapes in fully equipped recording booths. A general interest library stocks a complete selection of reading materials in audio, Braille, and large-print formats.
  • Career Services for Adults: Assists individuals in formulating career plans, secure first jobs, and maintain current employment. The Lighthouse educates employers regarding effective and inexpensive techniques for workplace modifications.
  • Life Skills for Adults: Includes a full range of programs fostering independence for adults who are blind or partially sighted.
  • Low Vision Clinical Care: A low-vision exam is the first step for new Lighthouse consumers and is provided by specially trained optometrists or ophthalmologists. The goal is to help people with partial sight function more independently by prescribing optical devices, lighting strategies and other techniques, to make use of remaining vision.
  • Counseling: Assists individuals and their families to cope with depression and other emotions associated with vision loss. Individual and group sessions are available.
  • Independent Living Training: Focuses on lifestyle changes and adaptations that increase or maintain the ability to function at home, work, and in the community. Methods for managing shopping, cooking, childcare and other daily living tasks are included. Individual sessions in the home are available for frail adults, and group classes are provided at all seven Lighthouse locations. Orientation and mobility training is conducted by specialists who teach specific strategies, including the use of a cane, and moving safely both indoors and outdoors despite impaired vision. Using residual vision auditory cues or a cane, people with serious vision impairments can learn to safely navigate stairs, street corners, busy sidewalks, bus stops, subway cars, office corridors, etc.
  • The Music School: Offers individual and group instruction in a range of wind, string, percussion, and brass instruments, as well as vocal performance instruction. The curriculum has been designed to meet the needs of students who are blind or partially sighted, and to give them the skills they will need to participate in mainstream musical settings. The Music School presents a full season of concerts held both in the community and at Lighthouse Headquarters in Manhattan.

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Regional Offices:

60-05 Woodhaven Boulevard
Elmhurst, NY 11373-5529
V (718) 899-9100
Fax (718) 261-3853

White Plains
44 Church Street
White Plains, NY 10601

Bronx Outreach
350 East Gun Hill Road
Bronx, NY 10467
V (718) 920-0730
Fax (212) 821-9743

110 Main Street
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
V (914) 473-2660
Fax (914) 473-7350

Staten Island/Brooklyn
1122 Coney Island Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11230
Brooklyn (718) 421-1280
Staten Island (718) 816-9777
Fax (718) 421-4002

Medford (Long Island)
1731 North Ocean Avenue
Medford, NY 11767

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The Jewish Guild for the Blind

15 W. 65th Street
New York, NY 10023
V (212) 769-6200; (800) 284-4422
Fax (212) 769-6266

The Guild provides a wide range of services from birth to adulthood, such as Early Intervention, pre-school, education, communication skills, rehabilitation, medical and vision services, adult day care, residential care, and volunteer and library cassette programs.

Comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitation Facility (CORF)

  • Medical rehabilitation services designed to meet the needs of persons with visual impairments.
  • Physical, speech, and occupational therapy.
  • Rehabilitation, nursing, social work, and psychiatry.

The Guild School: Provides a specialized learning environment for students 5 to 21 who are blind, visually impaired, or deaf-blind with developmental disabilities.

Rehabilitation Services

  • Orientation and mobility training, assistance with activities of daily living.
  • Counseling, vocational assessment and training, and job placement.

Medical and Vision Services

  • Diagnostic and Treatment Center providing intensive short-term restorative therapies and diabetic education.
  • Low Vision Services at the Estelle R. Newman Center, provides low-vision evaluation, visual aids, and training.

Residential Care

  • The Guild Home for Aged Blind: A skilled nursing and health-related facility in Yonkers for visually impaired and blind elderly individuals.
  • The Newman Center for Alzheimer Care: A skilled nursing unit of the Home for visually impaired persons with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • The Center for AIDS Care: Offers an inpatient nursing facility for AIDS patients who require residential care. There is also an outpatient Day Health Care Program for persons with AIDS who live in surrounding communities.

Guild Net: provides case management and vision and health-related services to visually impaired elderly residents of New York State. The program reduces unduly long hospital stays, expedites the transfer from hospital to community-based facilities, and helps blind and visually impaired persons lead independent lives.

The Guild’s Day Treatment Program: Provides ongoing treatment for visually impaired persons with psychiatric diagnoses as well as for deaf/blind persons who are cognitively impaired.

The Guild’s Psychiatric Clinic: Specializes in treating the emotional impact of blindness. It offers a variety of diagnostic and treatment services, and support groups for blind and visually impaired persons and their families.

Volunteer Services: Volunteers act as escorts, serve lunch, perform clerical tasks, record tapes, and write letters.

The Guild Cassette Library: One of the world’s largest private circulating collections of taped literature for visually impaired people. The library currently lists 1,600 unabridged alts, including best-selling works of fiction and nonfiction.

IN TOUCH Networks: The Guild’s national radio reading service for blind, visually impaired, or physically handicapped people is on the air 24 hours a day.

Regional Office:

GuildcareTM (Estelle R. Newman City Center)
15 W. 65th Street
New York, NY 10023-6601
V (212) 769-7847
Fax (212) 769-6266

Provides diagnostic evaluation and short-term comprehensive rehabilitation, as well as personal adjustment training, job preparation, and placement for deaf-blind youth and adults 18 years of age and older. Many of the services are residential. There is a tuition fee.

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Andrew Heiskell Library for the Blind and Visually Impaired

40 W. 20th Street
New York, NY 10012-4211
V (212) 206-5400; 24-hour answering machine (212) 206-5425
TTY (212) 206-5458
Fax (212) 206-5418

This barrier-free branch of the New York City Public Library provides comfortable reading rooms, large collections of specially-formatted materials, audio playback equipment for listening to recorded books and magazines, and a variety of other electronic reading aids. The Library has a children’s room and a meeting room for concerts, lectures, and other special events. Also operates an extensive mailing program that delivers thousands of recorded and Braille books a day. The books are shipped free of charge, as part of a federal program established by the Library of Congress.

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Community Resource Links
Blind & Low Vision
Deaf & Hard of Hearing
Learning Disabilities
Advocacy & Independent Living

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