A career planning and employment resource for people who are blind or partially sighted

Living Independently Resources

Below are profiles of organizations, programs, services and useful websites from around the world. Don’t hesitate to check out resources from other countries; they may be useful to you even though they aren’t specific to where you live.

  • W. Ross Macdonald School

    A school for students who are blind, partially sighted or deafblind. It offers a residency program at its location in Brantford, Ontario and provides life skills training, music therapy and workshops for educators. Within the school you can also find a Resources Services Library which provides Braille and alternate print formats for students across Ontario.

    Keywords: Ontario, life skills, training, high school , elementary school, post- secondary students, education, vocational training, music therapy, braille library, residency program, orientation and mobility, communication skills

  • PAL

    PAL Reading Services

    A registered charity, PAL provides recorded reading material for elementary and post-secondary school students, individuals, agencies and businesses.

     

    Keywords: Audio Canada, Pre-school, Elementary school, High school, Post-secondary, Education, Training, Communication skills, Career advancement

  • American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) Directory

    Offering a large list of services in the US and Canada; you can also search via service or organizational name and you can narrow your search to specific Canadian provinces or American states. There are 325 listings under the heading “employment, job training”. 

    Keywords: directory, international, training, employment, sports and recreation, workplace accommodations, financial assistance, education, job seeking, career preparation

  • The Hadley School for the Blind - Directory

    The largest educator of people who are blind or partially sighted around the world, serving more than 10,000 students annually in 50 states and 100 countries, Hadley’s directory offers a comprehensive list of useful websites such as dog guide schools, distance education, specialized schools employment, parenting and independent living.

    Keywords: international, independent living, parenting, guide-dogs, job seekers, employment, training, education, assistive technology, recreation, directory

  • CNIB

    CNIB provides community-based support, education, advocacy for Canadians who are blind or partially sighted. CNIB offers a range of services, including personalized rehabilitation support—in one’s home, community or at a local CNIB office—as well as emotional and wellness support. As part of CNIB’s Employment Services program, employment counselors can help with career planning, job search, job retraining and workplace accommodations. Visit your province or territory’s section of the site to see what specific employment services are available in your community.

    In partnership with AFB, CNIB offers Career Connect Canada, a free resource that connects job seekers with mentors who also have vision loss.

    CNIB physical and online store provides assistive products that help with all aspects of daily life. The CNIB library offers books, magazines and newspapers in various accessible formats.

    A comprehensive mix of information, education, tools and resources, the website provides a dedicated section on Independent Living, offering tips and advice on how to keep enjoying everyday activities and stay safe doing so. The site helps people stay connected and informed through such resources as a blog, podcast and e-newsletter. It also educates readers on various eye conditions and offers an “ask the expert” section.

    Keywords: Canada, independent living, radio, podcast, online learning, library, workplace accommodations, employment services

  • FamilyConnect

    American Foundation for the Blind

    A resource that offers tips for parents of children who are blind or partially sighted, including information on technology, education, and a toy guide. There are also message boards, blogs and videos.

    Keywords: international, video, online learning, training, parenting, toys, assistive, technology, education, blog, pre-school, elementary school

  • The Hadley School for the Blind

    The largest educator of people who are blind or partially sighted in the world, with students in all 50 states and 100 countries, Hadley offers distance education courses free of charge to individuals and their families and affordable tuition courses to service providers in the field. Hadley is also the largest educator of braille. Students must be blind or partially sighted and over 14 years of age, a relative, or a service professional working with people who are blind or partially sighted.

    Keywords: high school, post-secondary, free courses, distance education, online high school education, online continuing education, disability specific skills training, assistive technology

  • CNIB Library

    Makes library services accessible to people across Canada who cannot read print because of a visual, physical or learning disability. Services, available in English and French, are free. You can receive books and other materials online through the CNIB Digital Library or by having them mailed directly to your home. Also, in some participating provinces, you can access the CNIB Library materials through your public library. Accessible formats include audio, Braille and e-text.

    Keywords: Canada, directory, online learning, education, career preparation, job exploration

  • Assistive Devices Program

    Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care

    Offers support and funding to Ontario residents who have long-term physical disabilities and provides access to personalized assistive devices, with the intention of increasing independence.

    Keywords: Ontario, accessibility, assistive technology, workplace accommodations

  • NAPVI – useful links

    Links by NAPVI— a national membership-based organization providing parents of children who are blind or partially sighted with information, resources, leadership, support and training. Links include schools in the U.S., parenting sites, health information and private and government organizations.

    Keywords: United States friends family relatives caregivers health parenting resources support training online education pre-School elementary School high School

  • CareerConnect - Aaron’s Adventures in Employment

    American Foundation for the Blind

    ​A video-radio series that follows Aaron, a teenager, as he searches for a job, deals with less-informed co-workers and gets college-ready, all the while offering tips, advice and good humour.

    Keywords: international, employment, high school, video, audio, success stories, mentor, training, interview preparation, interview follow up, workplace accommodation, career advancement, college preparation

  • Vision Aware

    American Foundation for the Blind and Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight

    An online resource providing free, practical, hands-on information to help promote independence and enhance quality of life for individuals who are blind or partially sighted, as well as their families, friends and service providers. Offers tips related to accessibility, living independently, employment and more.

    Keywords: international, training, online learning, career advancement, career preparation, workplace accommodations, interview preparation, interview follow-up

  • Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)

    Offers a comprehensive range of services and information to help people who are blind or partially sighted live independently. The website’s section on eye health includes information on various eye conditions; its employment section offers job tips and search opportunities. RNIB also runs schools for children, offers courses for adults and produces talking books and a number of magazines for people who are blind or partially sighted, including its member’s magazine, Vision. Among other services, RNIB offers technology support, advice on home safety and managing one’s finances. And for professionals, the organization provides training, consultancy services and practical online support, while offering information for employers too.

    Keywords: UK, job search skills, interview skills, leaving home, starting college, parents, video

  • Vision Australia

    Offers a wide range of services includes help for employers and career seekers, adaptive technology consultancy services, training courses and mobility services. Vision Australia also places a strong emphasis on advocacy and community education through its Speaker’s Network and other offerings. The organization offers audio books, a radio station and other means for communication. And Vision Australia provides orientation and mobility series such as cane training and orientation with guide dogs. They also provide education and training for children and adults

    Keywords: Australia, online learning, online courses, directory, disability specific, skills training, training, continuing education

  • Video Clips on Blindness Tips

    Washington State School for the Blind

    A variety of videos and accompanying material offering tips on how to learn a range of life management skills.

    Keywords: international, videos, training, online learning, education, disability specific skills training

  • Links/Resources Canadian Council of the Blind

    A host of links to various sites in Canada and across the globe. Categories include sports and recreation, employment, education and literacy, technology products and eye health resources.

    Keywords: international, directory, sports and recreation, disability specific skills, training, schools, employment, job seeking/search skills, finding job leads, interview preparation/follow-up, career advancement, health

  • Bookshare

    Benetech

    An online library of digital books for people with print disabilities, members download books, textbooks and newspapers in a compressed, encrypted file, then read the material using adaptive technology.

    Keywords: international, education, training, directory

  • Learning Ally

    A collection of more than 70,000 digitally recorded textbooks and literature titles, downloadable and accessible on mainstream as well as specialized assistive technology devices.

    Keywords: international, directory, online learning, education, books, high- school, post- secondary, career exploration, job preparation

  • Action for Blind People

    RNIB – Action for Blind People

    Offers a range of services, including: financial advice and housing support toward living independently; job search, building career skills and support for self-employment; social, sport and activity clubs for kids and emotional support and clinics for those recently diagnosed. They also provide technology training, support and advice, enabling people who are blind or partially sighted to become more independent and have better access to information, while parents have support groups to turn to. An ongoing blog offers personal first-hand accounts of people living with vision loss, the entries both inspiring and educational. The organization also runs a number of projects to help people who are blind or partially sighted, such as, the Concept Conference Centre—a social enterprise that trains and employs people who are blind or partially sighted to work in the kitchen and administration—and Supporting People which provides housing-related support.

    Keywords: UK, sports and recreation, mentors, labour market information, blog, training, self-employment support

  • Persons with Disabilities Online

    Government of Canada

    Providing access to services and information for Canadians with disabilities, family members, caregivers, some of the topics covered include: accessibility, advocacy, assistive technology, employment, housing and health. The site also offers the Accessible Travel and Tourism Information Finder, so individuals can locate a variety of accessible Canadian travel and tourism information.

    Keywords: Canada, directory, training, accessible travel

  • Ontario Disability Support Program: Employment Supports

    Ontario Government: Ministry of Community and Social Services

    Run by the Ministry of Community and Social Services, ODSP Employment Supports provides diverse employment services to Ontarians with all types of disabilities at the local level. These include help finding a job, job coaching and interviewing skills, transportation and mobility services, assistive devices and training, and assistance setting up a small business. The application package can be found on the website. Medical documentation of a disability is required, though this is waived for Ontarians who are legally blind and who are registered with the CNIB.

     

    Keywords: Ontario, employment counseling, training, grants, interview preparation, training, self-employment support

  • Balance for Blind Adults

    Offers a range of services including income support, employment accommodations, language programs, adaptive technology support, recreation and health facilities. Services are only available to those living in Toronto, Ontario.

    Keywords: Toronto, Ontario, sports and recreation, training, online learning, workplace accommodation

  • AFB YouTube channel

    American Foundation for the Blind

    Fifty-one videos on a range of topics including golfing, workplace accommodation, orientation & mobility, assistive technology and Helen Keller.

    Keywords: international, interview preparation/ follow-up, career advancement workplace accommodation, online learning, training, video

  • Action for Blind People—Employment Success

    Action for Blind People

    Video by Action for Blind People showcasing a successful story of employment in the UK and the Access to Work scheme.

    Keywords: international, training, mentors, video, workplace accommodation, workstations, equipment, employer concerns

  • NFB-Link

    National Federation of the Blind (NFB)

    Provides mentoring relationships for individuals who are blind or partially sighted. Offers guidance and resources on a variety of things, such as, career development, advice for families and friends, tips for seniors and living independently.

    Keywords: United States, mentor, support

  • Technology Center

    National Federation of the Blind

    Offers up-to-date lists of assistive technology with prices; technology magazines and tutorials; digital and eBook resources; and recommendations on user-friendly consumer electronics. Its Baltimore-based International Braille and Technology Center gives advice and training in person and by phone. The Access Technology Blog provides news, tips, and personal reflections on many types of assistive software and devices.

    Keywords: international, assistive technology, workplace accommodation, training, equipment

  • Carroll Tech

    Carroll Center for the Blind

    Carroll Tech is a web-based distance learning service intended to assist people who are blind or partially sighted as well as to train education and rehabilitation professionals. Courses are primarily in access technologies such as screen readers, screen magnifiers, Braille embossers, note-takers and scanners.

     

    Keywords: international, online learning, training, videos, access technology, job maintenance, career advancement

  • Lighthouse International Publications

    A list of three publications designed to help people with vision loss by educating their families and support networks with supportive insights, coping strategies and information.

    Keywords: international, information resource, support, relatives

  • MAB-Mackay Rehabilitation Centre

    A Quebec-based service, working in a collaborative and interdisciplinary fashion, the organization provides specialized and ultra-specialized adaptation, rehabilitation, and social integration services to people with a significant and persistent disability.  The Centre’s clients range and include children and adolescents who are blind or partially sighted. Services offered include visual skills training, assessments, psychosocial support and occupational therapy. Services are offered in French and in English and only to those living in Québec.

    Keywords: Quebec, training, rehabilitation

  • Centre for Independent Living (CILT)

    Promotes the attainment and maintenance of optimum Independent Living of persons with disabilities in Toronto. Provides attendant services (AS), independent living skills training, peer support such as a diner’s club, and information about the Direct Funding program information, where persons with disabilities can become the employers of their own attendants. ​

    Keywords: Toronto, independent living, support,

  • Regroupement des aveugles et amblyopes du Québec

    Le RAAQ

    An organization based in Quebec (with 12 regional associations) dedicated to helping individuals who are blind or partially sighted integrate, defend their rights and promote their interests. The site also offers information and definitions for educational purposes.

    Keywords: french language, Quebec, definitions, self-advocacy, integration, online learning, self-advocacy

  • Institut Nazareth et Louis-Braille (INLB)

    Through twelve rehabilitation centres, the Institut Nazareth offers residents of Montréal, Laval, and the Montérégie region (southwest Quebec) services including vision evaluations, daily life skills training, counseling, assistance with adaptive technology, and career support. Applicants must have their vision loss confirmed by an optometrist or ophthalmologist. The organization also hosts over 6,500 offline documents on vision loss and rehabilitation, along with an online database; several videos; and an online store.

    Keywords: Québec, online store, career counselling, workplace accommodations, disability specific, skills training, training

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