Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Braille Institute offers a wide array of programs and services for the blind and visually impaired that are designed to help people with vision loss lead enriched and fulfilling lives. And, while these programs and services are typically provided in our physical centers, we are now offering remote service options – like workshops, classes and virtual one-on-one sessions – online and over-the-phone during the COVID-19 ‘safer-at-home’ order. View class catalogs and online workshops here. Funded entirely by private donations, all Braille Institute services for the visually impaired are completely free of charge.
Download our Services and Programs Brochure
At our seven Regional Centers and hundreds of Outreach Locations throughout Southern California, we offer free services for Adults, Young Adults, Youth and Children. However, due to the COVID-19 order, these in-person, physical options are temporarily suspended. Meanwhile, we are offering remote service options via online workshops and classes – view class catalogs and online workshops here.
Our award-winning Braille Institute Library offers more than 1.4 million books on audio, in braille, and in large-print format, for those who are visually impaired or physically disabled. Our new technology centers, called Connection Pointe, are now open and can help you learn about the latest in mainstream and accessible technology.
Braille Institute sponsors National Programs that extend our reach across the county. The Braille Challenge, a literacy competition for the best and brightest visually impaired students in the country, and Special Collection, a program that delivers free books to blind youth have a national reach. New programs like Cane Quest are quickly growing. Finally, we offer a number of Digital Programs that provide service using mobile technology.
All of these services are offered free of charge thanks to the support of our donors.
Below are highlights of our services for the blind, which we offer to people of all ages.
Free Services for Visually Impaired and Blind Adults
We offer a broad range of educational, social, and recreational classes for adults, all focused on teaching adults how to live well with low vision. Braille Institute provides on-site services for visually impaired or blind adults at any of our seven Regional Centers, in addition to providing services for the blind through community programs in your area via hundreds of Outreach Locations throughout Southern California. Learn more about our programs and services for adults.
Free Services for Blind and Visually Impaired Youth
Braille Institute offers programs for blind and visually impaired youth, both nationally and here in Southern California.
Services for visually impaired youth include the Braille Challenge, which is an academic competition designed to motivate braille literacy in blind and visually impaired students. We have also developed Cane Quest, a challenging orientation and mobility contest for students in grades 3-12 that has several regional Cane Quest events across the country that your child can compete in! Additional youth services include free braille books and storybook kits, our child development program, Braille Institute’s Youth Program, and our Summer Reading program. Visit our Youth Services page for more information.
Free Books and Audio Formats for Blind and Visually Impaired People
Many people who are blind or visually impaired often cannot use printed materials, depriving them of reading materials that most people take for granted.
Braille Institute’s Library Services—the Southern California branch of the National Library Service (NLS), which is a network coordinated by the Library of Congress—provides free books for the blind and visually impaired. Books, periodicals and other texts are available in braille and recorded formats. With a Reader Advisor’s help, choosing books is easy; patrons select from more than 100,000 titles and 1.2 million volumes accessible from the Library’s collection. Learn more about our library services.
For more information call 1-800-BRAILLE (272-4553) Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PST).