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Helpful Links

Find Your Local Agency

To find the agency which provides services in your area, select your county from the drop down menu below.

Assistance in Obtaining Eyecare

Financial Aid for Eye Care – The National Eye Institute does not help individuals pay for eye care. However, if you are in need of financial aid to assess or treat an eye problem, they’ve provided a list of programs which may be able to help you.

Vision Care Financial Assistance Information – Our friends at Prevent Blindness have put together this list of organizations and services that provide financial assistance for vision care.

EyeCare America – EyeCare America works with volunteer ophthalmologists to provide no-cost medical eye exams. Follow the link to see if you qualify.

Operation Sight – Operation Sight is the ASCRS Foundation’s U.S.-based charitable cataract surgery program. Its mission is to eliminate treatable cataract blindness in the U.S. If you have questions on how the program works and eligibility requirements, please see their Patient Frequently Asked Questions.

Foundations & Associations for the Blind

American Council of the Blind – A national membership organization of blind people. There are state and local affiliates.

American Foundation for the Blind – provides valuable information on blindness and low vision. They also maintain a directory of services state-by-state to help you locate direct service agencies in your area.

American Macular Degeneration Foundation – provides the latest news, help and advice on how to cope with AMD.

Glaucoma Research Foundation – providing the latest information on living with glaucoma, treatment, and research.

National Eye Institute – part of the National Institutes of Health and provides the most comprehensive information available on eye diseases and current research.

The National Federation for the Blind – located in Baltimore, MD is one of the nation’s largest and most influential membership organizations of blind persons.

United States Association of Blind Athletes – The mission of the United States Association of Blind Athletes is to increase the number and quality of grassroots-through-competitive, world-class athletic opportunities for Americans who are blind or visually impaired.

Preventive Resources

Pennsylvania Optometric Association is a partner with the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind. Together we work to prevent unnecessary vision loss in children and adults. This site contains a wealth of information for parents. They operate InfantSEE®, a public health program designed to ensure that eye and vision care becomes an integral part of infant wellness care to improve a child’s quality of life. Under this program, member optometrists provide a comprehensive infant eye assessment within the first year of life as a no cost public health service.

Prevent Blindness America – a website providing information on prevention of blindness and eye safety.

Educational Resources

Hadley School for the Blind – offering distance education courses free to eligible students. View parent/family programs and course catalogs at the site.

National Industries for the Blind – working to enhance the opportunities for economic and personal independence of persons who are blind, primarily through creating, sustaining and improving employment.

Overbrook School for the Blind, located in Philadelphia, PA – a school for blind children.

Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services – a Commonwealth agency that assists Pennsylvanians who are blind or visually impaired gain the skills necessary to live and work independently in their communities.

eSight Careers Network – providing practical employment tips and resources for blind individuals, including discussion groups and job postings.

VisionAWARE, a program of AWARE, is a self-help resource center with a wealth of information to promote independence and enhance quality of life for people who are blind or have low vision.

The Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children – located in Pittsburgh, and is an educational facility committed to training visually impaired students with additional disabilities ages 3-21. The School also provides vital early intervention and outreach services to children and youth with visual impairment throughout Pennslyvania.

Emergency Preparedness – Emergencies and disasters can strike quickly and without warning and can force you to evacuate your neighborhood or confine you to your home. They can pose a real challenge for the millions of Pennsylvanians who have physical, medical, sensory or cognitive disabilities. Planning ahead is the best way to keep you and your family safe. Pennsylvania Association for the Blind and the American Red Cross will help you plan ahead.

Affordable Colleges Online’s “A Guide to Visual Disabilities” – Obtaining a college education is no easy task, but for students with visual disabilities, the path to completing a degree program is lined with unique challenges and barriers. The following guide explores how visual impairments impact the educational experience, what colleges are doing for the visually impaired, and includes numerous resources, as well insight and tips from experts and a list of scholarships and grants.

Support Resources

Association for the Education & Rehabilitation for the Blind & Visually Impaired – a membership organization representing the professionals who provide services in all phases of education and rehabilitation to the blind and visually impaired.

Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc. – Provides assistance to those who face loss of sight due to the need for surgical treatment without regard to race, color, creed, age, sex or national origin provided they are unable to pay or receive adequate assistance from current government agencies or similar sources and to provide funds for research in curing diseases of the eye.

Lighthouse International – providing up-to-date information on rehabilitation and the latest products for people who are visually impaired.

The National Organization of Parents of Blind Children – A division of the National Federation of the Blind which helps families and blind children themselves maximize the child’s skills, independence, and opportunities. This is a national membership and advocacy organization.

Pennsylvania Senior Centers – a resource site for Seniors, Families, and Friends for all Pennsylvania Senior Centers, Community Activities, Long Term Care and other useful links for Seniors. Search for your local Senior Center by county. – a resource site for Seniors including Independent Living, Assisted Living, Nursing Homes, and Retirement Communities. There are also resources for Caregivers including information on caregiver burnout.

Emergency Preparedness – Emergencies and disasters can strike quickly and without warning and can force you to evacuate your neighborhood or confine you to your home. They can pose a real challenge for the millions of Pennsylvanians who have physical, medical, sensory or cognitive disabilities. Planning ahead is the best way to keep you and your family safe. Pennsylvania Association for the Blind and the American Red Cross will help you plan ahead.

Product Resources for the Blind

American Printing House for the Blind – website is a resource for Braille and large print educational materials and products for visually impaired people.

Descriptive Video Service for Persons who are Blind – DVS® pioneered access to television for viewers who are blind or visually impaired. The service provides descriptive narration of key visual elements, which is then inserted within the natural pauses in dialogue to help low-vision viewers to better understand the story.

Financial Assistance to Purchase Adaptive Devices or Software

Freedom Scientific – maker of JAWS and ZoomText Software.

The Seeing Eye, Inc. is an organization in Morristown, New Jersey that provides seeing eye dogs for people with vision impairment.

UniqueSource – marketing products and services provided by persons with disabilities throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. – Accessible internet radio directory.

IRS Provides Assistance for People with Disabilities

Hundreds of the most popular federal tax forms and publications are available for download from the IRS website for sight impaired individuals. These products range from talking tax forms to Braille formats, and are accessible using screen reading software, refreshable Braille displays and voice recognition software.

More Help is Available

The IRS also offers customer service assistance for persons who are deaf or who have hearing disabilities. People with TTY equipment may call 800-829-4059, which is a toll-free number, for assistance.

People who are unable to complete their tax return because of a physical disability may get assistance from an IRS office, or through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) sponsored by IRS. Taxpayers can find a nearby location by calling 1-800-906-9887.

Publication 907, Tax Highlights for Persons with Disabilities, explains the tax implications of certain disability benefits and other issues, and is available at

Visit and click on the word “accessibility” for help and information.