In the 21st Century, the disability community expects, and often demands, equal access to virtual and physical public facilities. Today, people with disabilities have greater opportunity for independence and employment than ever before.
To ensure a fully inclusive and accessible global society, we must adhere to national and international mandates and create barrier-free environments for people of ALL abilities. Only through unrestricted physical and virtual access will we be able to enjoy the wealth of opportunities the world has to offer. In order to realize our fullest potential both personally and professionally, it is essential, as well as nonnegotiable, that we must have full access to all the tools available in order to promote our individual abilities thereby allowing each of us to unlock the limitless possibilities the world has to offer. After all, historically, the disability community has always had a lot to offer the world! To learn more about the ways disabled people have contributed to the world in meaningful ways, research the life histories of Einstein, Edison, FDR, Sir Richard Branson and many, many others.
My Blind Spot advocates for adherence to legislation aimed at eradicating ignorance and systemic discrimination unintentionally directed at the disability community. We believe that the disability community must tap into our strengths rather than passively accept being denied access because of antiquated perceptions about our ability. To that end, we have compiled a list of informative links with resources for education, employment, travel, recreation, entertainment and more. Feel free to contact us with your suggestions for additional resources that we might have missed by writing us at our contact form.
Advocacy & Rights
The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) Founded in 1929, AFB is a leader in expanding possibilities for the more than 20 million Americans living with vision loss by providing resources and ensuring access for people with vision loss, and providing information and tools for the professionals who serve them.
The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is one of the nation's largest disability-rights organizations. They promote equal opportunity, economic power, independent living, and political participation for people with disabilities. AAPD represents a powerful force for change.
The American Council of the Blind (ACB), founded in 1961, has state affiliates and local chapters across the US. Since its inception, ACB has been at the forefront of the creation of policies and networks with agencies serving the blind. The ACB believes that each blind person has the potential to be seen as valued, capable, and independent individuals.
Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) is one of the leading nonprofit disability rights legal centers in the nation. Its mission is to advance equal rights and opportunity for people with all types of disabilities nationwide. DRA uses litigation, structured negotiations, advocacy, community education, and media to reform systems and practices that discriminate against people with disabilities.
Disability.gov is the U.S. federal government’s website for information on disability programs and services nationwide. The site connects people with disabilities, their families and caregivers to helpful resources on topics such as how to apply for disability benefits, find a job, get health care or pay for accessible housing. You can also find organizations in your community to help you get the support you need.
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) Founded in 1979, DREDF is a leading national civil rights law and policy center directed by individuals with disabilities and parents who have children with disabilities. DREDF’s mission is to advance the civil and human rights of people with disabilities through legal advocacy, training, education, and public policy and legislative development.
The Disabled American Veterans Organization (DAV) (DAV) is a nonprofit charity that provides a lifetime of support for veterans of all generations and their families. DAV is dedicated to empowering veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity and ensuring that our Veterans have the opportunity to participate in the American Dream their sacrifices have made possible by advocating on Capitol Hill and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life.
Disabled Peoples International (DPI) was the world's first successful cross-disability endeavor to convert the talk about full and equal participation of persons with disabilities into action. DPI is the world’s ONLY cross-disability Global Disabled People's Organization and has a presence in more than 150 countries. DPI's focus is particularly on those in developing countries who form 80 percent of the world's 1.3 billion people with disabilities and 20 percent of the world's poorest and most disadvantaged people.
The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) serves a wide range of individuals with disabilities – including, but not limited to, those with cognitive, mental, sensory, and physical disabilities – by guarding against abuse; advocating for basic rights; and ensuring accountability in health care, education, employment, housing, transportation, and within the juvenile and criminal justice systems.
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) was founded in 1940 and today has grown to include over 50,000 members in the USA. The NFB focuses on the removal of legal, economic, and social discriminations; the education of the public to new concepts concerning blindness; and their right to exercise, to the fullest, their individual talents and capacities
National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) is the longest-running national cross-disability, grassroots organization run by and for people with disabilities. Founded in 1982, NCIL represents thousands of organizations and individuals including: individuals with disabilities, Centers for Independent Living (CILs), Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs), and other organizations that advocate for the human and civil rights of people with disabilities.
National Organization on Disability (NOD) is a private, non-profit organization that promotes the full participation and contributions of America’s 58.7 million people with disabilities in all aspects of life. NOD works to increase employment opportunities for Americans with disabilities through a suite of workforce solutions tailored to meet leading companies by building or enriching their disability inclusion programs.
International Association for Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) My Blind Spot is proud to be a founding member of IAAP, whose mission is to define, promote and improve the accessibility profession globally through networking, education and certification in order to enable the creation of accessible products, content and services. The IAAP is dedicated to promoting accessibility for all people of all abilities. The IAAP knows that true global accessibility and inclusion can never be complete unless all people can engage in education, networking and certification opportunities to become accessibility professionals with a common goal of creating, designing, and developing accessible digital content for people of all abilities.
National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is the nation's premier civil rights organization of, by and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the USA. Established in 1880, the NAD works to promote, protect, and preserve the civil, human and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing individuals. While the NAD works for deaf people it also works to promote knowledge about the rights, culture, and language of deaf people to hearing people.
National Council on Disability (NCD) is charged with reviewing all federal disability programs and policies. In 1986, NCD recommended enactment of the ADA, and then drafted the first version of the bill introduce in the House and Senate in 1988. NCD's mission is to be a trusted advisor, in collaboration with people with disabilities, to the President, the Congress, Federal, State, and local governments; tribal communities and other entities and organizations.
Americans with Disabilities Act Resources Run by the US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, this page provides information and technical assistance on regulations and policies regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act.
ADA National Network, with 10 regional centers throughout the country working together to develop projects and events of national significance, provides information, guidance and training on the ADA tailored to meet the needs of business, government and individuals at local, regional and national levels. The Network is not an enforcement or regulatory agency, but a helpful resource supporting the ADA's mission to "make it possible for everyone with a disability to live a life of freedom and equality."
www.visionaware.org, a project of American Foundation for the Blind® and Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight, is a self-help resource for those with vision loss.
The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund seeks to advance the civil and human rights of people with disabilities through legal advocacy, training, education, and public policy and legislative development.
Questions and Answers About Blindness and Vision Impairments in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has posted this very helpful Q&A on the Americans with Disabilities Act.
State Agencies for the Disabled
Find your state’s vocational rehabilitation agency (CSAVR agency listing) | Vocational rehabilitation (VR), a state-supported division of services, assists individuals with disabilities who are pursuing meaningful careers to secure gainful employment commensurate with their abilities and capabilities.
Find your state's agency for the blind(NCSAB agency listing)| Your state’s blindness agency can provide training in the alternative skills of blindness and can help pay for college or vocational school.
The Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired offers free on-line and distance education courses that can be useful in preparing for employment. Hadley's Professional Studies Program includes courses in braille, access technology, and independent living.
Braille for Children Merry-Noel Chamberlain has compiled this page with a lot of information related to presenting braille to parents, siblings, and others.
National Certification in Literary Braille | Individuals can register to take the National Certification in Literary Braille Exam.
Teaching Tolerance Seeks to reduce prejudice, improve intergroup relations and support equitable school experiences for our nation's children. Provides free educational materials. Web offerings include downloadable curricula, other classroom activities and materials for youth and parents/guardians.
The TechVision Difference | Education, instruction, and keystroke based lessons for blind/visually impaired/sighted people, teachers, parents and adults working with them. These are not manuals but actual lessons used with students for easy instruction and learning. Hundreds of articles and videos to learn from also.
Employment Guidance and Supports for Individuals and Organizations
The U.S. AbilityOne Commission is committed to a world where every person who is blind or has a significant disability is able to achieve his or her maximum employment potential. Our focus is on making the most of the AbilityOne Program, and creating job opportunities for people who are blind or have significant disabilities. Today, more than 45,000 people who are blind or have significant disabilities are employed through the AbilityOne Program’s national network of more than 550 nonprofit agencies.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.
DisabilityJobs.net is a member of the JustJobs.com family of job search engines developed by LatPro, Inc. for the USA. This extensive network of job boards gives jobseekers free access to job listings and was created to help employers connect with the disability community.
US Office of Personnel Management | The Federal Government is actively recruiting and hiring persons with disabilities. We offer a variety of exciting jobs, competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and opportunities for career advancement. People with disabilities can be appointed to Federal jobs non-competitively through a process called Schedule A. Learn how to be considered for Federal jobs under the noncompetitive process. People with disabilities may also apply for jobs through the traditional or competitive process.
disABLEDperson, Inc. is a premier Job Board for People with disABILITIES since 2002. We boast over 200,000 active jobs with hundreds of new jobs posted every day from all across the U.S. posted by companies who are looking to hire people with disabilities. Disability Employment is our passion as we work closely with employers to place their job openings for you, the disability community
RecruitDisability is a national job board connecting employers and job seekers with disabilities, including veterans. Designed to link millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans with disabilities to employment opportunities, RecruitDisability.org is powered by the depth of industry expertise, and over 20 years of connections to job seekers, agencies and businesses alike.
One More Way The Sierra Group’s One More Way collaborative’s million-member-strong, self-serve model is available for your independent use as a job seeker with a disability, an agency providing services, or a hiring manager looking to hire Americans with disabilities. In addition to our no-fee job board, sponsored by DiversityInc, One More Way is also the go to resource for employment incentives and educational teleseminars.
For more than 75 years, National Industries for the Blind (NIB) has focused on enhancing the opportunities for economic and personal independence of people who are blind, primarily through creating, sustaining and improving employment. NIB and its network of 94 associated nonprofit agencies nationwide serve as the largest employer of people who are blind in the United States, offering a wide range of career opportunities with no boundaries. NIB mentors and supports its agencies through business development, program management, and marketing and sales.
The American Foundation for the Blind—AFB CareerConnect® has over 1,000 mentors who are blind or visually impaired. The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) also offers other helpful employment-related services, including resources for job seekers and employers, as well as a database of successfully employed adults who are blind or have low vision
CareerNet is an online employment resource and collaborative effort between National Industries for the Blind (NIB) and The American Foundation for the Blind's CareerConnect. It is available to people who are blind or have low vision and are seeking employment at NIB-associated non-profit agencies throughout the United States.
The American Council of the Blind (ACB) provides information about their local chapters, including connections with working individuals who are blind and have low vision. The ACB Job Connection provides a range of job opportunities and other employment-related information
National Industries for the Blind's Business Leaders Program prepares individuals who are blind for careers in business. By providing educational and employment opportunities, this program encourages professional development and transforms high-potential employees and participants into successful business people and future business leaders.
Hire Disability Solutions promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities in the workforce and provides job leads and workplace solutions for employers and job seekers.
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is a free service provided by the Office of Disability Employment Policy of the U.S. Department of Labor. JAN provides a free consulting service designed to increase the employability of people with disabilities and links that assist with finding employment.
Employment Resources for Corporations
Employment Alliance for People with Disabilities is a nonprofit organization focused on increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities and helping businesses recruit, hire and retain employees with disabilities. Partners with national and state associations and disability advocacy groups to develop best practices for employment of people with disabilities.
Disability Employment – Community of Practice is an online learning destination for public workforce system staff and partners, jobseekers, community-based organizations, grantees, and the business sector, who provide services and programs to people with disabilities and/or other challenges to employment.
The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) knows that Community Employment Agencies are critical resources for assisting job seekers with disabilities find integrated, community-based employment opportunities that reflect the individuals' preferences, skills and abilities. Whether agencies are already using a community-based employment approach or are considering developing the increased capacity to do so, the ODEP has resources that highlight issues to consider and provides practical, applicable resources to support effective service delivery.
disABLEDperson, Inc. - It is our mission to work with proactive employers to find jobs for the disabled. disABLEDperson.com now has over 40,000 active disabled jobs with hundreds to even thousands posted every day. Federal Contractors must meet disability compliance goals as set by the Office of Federal Contracts and Compliance Programs, and we at disABLEDperson, Inc. work hard every day to connect our community with these proactive employers.
National Organization on Disability partners with foundations and government agencies to develop innovative develop innovative programs that provide mutual benefit for people with disabilities and businesses seeking to employ them. We then share the findings, promoting widespread adoption of effective practices and advancing evidence-based public policy. The National Organization on Disability provides best-in-class data and analysis, as well as access to a network of leading industry experts.
The mission of the United States Business Leadership Network is to help business drive performance by leveraging disability inclusion in the workplace, supply chain, and marketplace. They work toward a world in which the US business community recognizes the contributions of people with disabilities and as a result includes them in their workplaces, supply chains, and marketplaces.
Sports and Recreation Organizations
Achilles International, founded by Dick Traum (the first amputee to run the New York City Marathon) brings athletes together in cities and towns throughout the world. Today, this non-profit organization has chapters and members in over 65 locations within the United States and abroad. Achilles provides athletes with disabilities with a community of support. Able-bodied volunteers and disabled runners come together to train in an environment of support and community.
Inclusive Fitness Coalition (IFC) is an expanded group of organizations and individuals representing a cross-section of the disability rights, sports, health/fitness and civil rights communities. The IFC is charged with promoting equitable access to, and safe use of, fitness and recreational equipment, facilities, and programs, to help reduce debilitating secondary conditions associated with disability and a sedentary lifestyle.
International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) is in charge of a wide range of sports for athletes who are blind or partially sighted. IBSA believes that sports can be one of the best ways to promote mainstreaming and integration in society for people with a visual impairment. Sports can help people overcome their disability by boosting their self-esteem and their ability to overcome adversity.
Since 1967, Disabled Sports USA (DSA) has improved the lives of wounded warriors, youth and adults with disabilities by providing sports and recreation opportunities. DSA has provide national leadership and opportunities for individuals with disabilities to develop independence, confidence, and fitness through participation in community sports, recreation and educational programs.
The National Sports Center for the Disabled The National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD) is one of the largest outdoor therapeutic recreation and adaptive sports agencies in the world, based out of Winter Park Resort and Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Colorado. The NSCD teaches a variety of year-round sports and activities to individuals with almost any physical, cognitive, emotional or behavioral diagnosis.
The mission of Ski for Light is to enhance the quality of life and independence of visually or mobility-impaired adults through a program of cross-country skiing. Ski for Light, Inc. is an all-volunteer non-profit organization founded in 1975 that teaches the basics of classic cross-country skiing to adults who are visually- or mobility-impaired, while giving participants who have already learned the basics of the sport the chance to improve their skills or to just have fun on the snow.
Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship and is a global organization that changes lives by promoting understanding, acceptance and inclusion among people with and without intellectual disabilities.
The National Beep Ball Association facilitates and provides the adaptive version of America's favorite pastime for the blind, low-vision and legally blind since 1976. This is your primary source and home to find information about the game of beep baseball, so take a peek.
The American Disabled Golfers Association (ADGA) is a nonprofit with a mission to help create access to golf courses for golfers who are disabled. They provide a variety of golf related benefits which help improve the quality of life and well-being for the disability community. ADGA continues, with the help from WGTF and PGA professionals, to partner with many golf courses, owners, and golf course managers throughout the nation.
Leisure and Accessible Travel
If you're blind or visually impaired it can be difficult to travel, but not impossible. You just have to come prepared. For tips, try these sites:
The Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality (SATH), founded in 1976, is an educational nonprofit membership organization whose mission is to raise awareness of the needs of all travelers with disabilities, remove physical and attitudinal barriers to free access and expand travel opportunities in the United States and abroad. Members include travel professionals, consumers with disabilities, and other individuals and corporations.
Travel blogger Peter Greenberg has a number of posts about travel issues of those who have disabilities.
There are many different types of travel agents. You may want to find a full service agent that can help you with your flight, hotel, accessible van rental, and anything else you may need. Or if you are willing and able to make those arrangements yourself, then you can use a specialized travel agent for a specific trip. My Blind Spot is familiar with the agents listed below, and you may find more listings at www.disabledtravelers.com. Mind's Eye Travel creates tours for people with visual impairments. The hosted trips let both visually challenged and fully sighted people tour comfortably and free of worry. Traveleyes is a travel company with a difference. It provides holidays for both blind/visually impaired and sighted travelers, journeying together in a spirit of mutual independence