Resources

Resources

Learn about Vison Loss and Social Security Disability Benefits

  • Adaptive Technology Resources

  • Massachusetts Vision Loss Resources

    Resource Directory of Massachusetts Agencies and Organizations Serving Individuals Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired (PDF)

    Single copies of this publication in braille, large print, cassette or electronic formats are available at no cost from the Perkins Braille & Talking Book Library. For pricing on multiple copy orders, contact the Library.
    617-972-7240 or 1-800-852-3133
    Fax: 617-972-7363
    TTY: 617-972-7690
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Quick Links to some of the social service agencies found in the Resource Directory:

    Carroll Center for the Blind
    Located in Newton, serves persons of all ages who are blind or visually impaired. Campus or community-based programs include independent living skills, computer training, orientation & mobility training, education and employment services and an outdoor enrichment program.
    770 Centre St Newton, MA 02458
    (617) 969-6200 or (800) 852-3131
    http://www.carroll.org

    Deaf Blind Contact Center
    Provides social/recreational activities and SSR volunteer services for Deafblind individuals during events. Also provides training and education about deaf-blindness.
    215 Brighton Ave Allston, MA 02134
    (617) 254-4925 (Voice/TTY and Fax) Relay: 711
    E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Lowell Association for the Blind
    Provides social and recreation programs, sports, braille lessons, craft classes, Drop-In Center, information and referral and volunteer services throughout Greater Lowell and the Merrimack Valley. The Center provides adaptive equipment assessments and training, and computer and braille training, Also an authorized agent for the Massachusetts Telephone Access Program.
    174 Central St Lowell, MA 01852
    (978) 454-5704
    E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    www.lowellassociationfortheblind.org

    Massachusetts Commission for the Blind
    MCB is part of the state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services. MCB provides rehabilitation and social services to legally blind residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
    48 Boylston St Boston, MA 02116-4718
    617-727-5550
    http://www.state.ma.us/mcb

    Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary
    The Vision Rehabilitation Center offers vision evaluation by a low vision specialty team, evaluation for optical aids and devices and training for their use. Services also include evaluation for daily living skills, reading machines and computer software adaptations. psycho-social counseling, sale of optical non-optical devices and CCTV’s.
    243 Charles St Boston, MA 02114
    (617) 573-4177
    www.meei.harvard.edu

    Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission
    Responsible for Vocational Rehabilitation Services, community services, and eligibility determination for the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) federal benefits programs.
    27-43 Wormwood St Boston, MA 02210
    (617) 204-3600 or (800) 245-6543
    http://www.state.ma.us/mrc/

    National Braille Press
    A nonprofit braille printer and publisher offering braille books, magazines, textbooks, tests, and customized embossing services.
    88 St. Stephen St Boston, MA 02115
    (617) 266-6160 Toll-free: (888) 965-8965
    http://www.nbp.org

    Perkins School for the Blind
    A residential school in Watertown for individuals who are blind, visually impaired, deafblind, and blind with additional disabilities. The Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library provides free Braille, large-print, and recorded books; audio described videos; and Newsline, a telephone based newspaper listening service. Perkins Outreach Services to Elders offers community-based and center-based services to seniors 60+ who are legally blind. The Howe Press manufactures and sells the Perkins Brailler and other products for people who are blind or visually impaired.
    175 North Beacon St Watertown, MA 02472
    (617) 972-7240 or (800) 852-3133 (New England only)
    E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    http://www.perkins.org

    Sight Loss Services, Inc.
    Provides peer support, information and referral, and home independence training to individuals on Cape Cod & the Islands who are learning to cope and function safely and independently with the loss of sight.
    87 School St P.O. Box 414 West Dennis, MA 02670
    (508) 394-3904 or (800) 427-6842 (MA only)
    E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    www.sightloss.org

    Talking Information Center (TIC)
    The radio reading service for persons with a print disability in Massachusetts. See web site for affiliates that provide current print information to residents with a print disability in their areas.
    P.O. Box 519 130 Enterprise Drive Marshfield, MA 02050
    (781) 834-4400 or (800) 696-9505
    www.ticnetwork.com

    The Talking Book Library at the Worcester Public Library
    Provides cassette books, large type books, descriptive videos and print/braille materials to individuals unable to read regular print due to a visual physical or neurological disability.
    3 Salem Sq Worcester, MA 01608-2074
    (508) 799-1730 or (800) 762-0085 (MA only) or (508) 799-1724 (TTY)
    E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    http://www.worcpublib.org/talkingbook

    Visual Impairment Services Team At The Boston V.A. (VIST)
    Provides services to veterans who are legally blind whether or not they are service-connected for their blindness. Benefits review and psychosocial assessments are completed on all veterans and appropriate referrals to community and V.A. agencies are made.
    251 Causeway St Boston, MA 02114
    (617) 248-1360

  • National Resources and Websites

  • October is White Cane Awareness Month

    October is White Cane Safety Awareness Month, to raise understanding and awareness of orientation and mobility tools for individuals who are blind and visually impaired.

    Annual White Cane Safety Day 2015 is on October 13. Join MABVI and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) from 10am to Noon at the State House in Boston, MA, to celebrate independence and raise awareness!

    About White Cane Law

    The white cane allows a person who is blind to travel independently. In 1931, Lions Clubs began promoting the use of white canes for people who are blind as a national identification program. All states and many other countries have White Cane laws, which allow pedestrians who are legally blind the right of way at street crossings. Massachusetts White Cane Law states that all motorists, upon seeing a pedestrian who uses a dog guide or white cane at a street crossing, must come to a complete stop.

    In recognition of International White Cane Day, here are a few guidelines regarding how to interact with someone who is blind or visually impaired:

    • When in doubt, ask if the person needs assistance.
    • Do not grab the person, cane or dog guide.
    • Do not pet a dog guide. Most dog guides are working & should not be petted since it can be distracting for the dog.
    • Identify yourself when you come in to a room and let the person know when you are leaving a room or location.
    • When you speak about someone with a disability, refer to the person and then to the disability. For example, refer to "a person who is blind" rather than to "a blind person."
    • Always yield to white cane and dog guide users at street crossings - it's the law!

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Worcester, MA 01606
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