Blindness-Related Resources
on the Web and Beyond

(last updated January 29, 2010)

Table of Contents


An Explanatory Note

When I first mounted this page on my web site, Camera Obscura, I included the following disclaimer:

This is not, nor is intended to be, an encyclopedic index of blindness-related resources on the 'net... It is merely a collection of links that I have either come to rely upon personally or which I have stumbled across in the course of my own personal webcrawling. They are offered here merely as jumping-off points for the exploration of blindness-related resources, for following any one of the links listed on this page will open a Pandora's box of information. And that, my friends, is the true beauty of hypertext...

I'm not sure whether or not that disclaimer is still necessary -- thanks to the innumerable individuals who have either sent me missing URLs or asked me if I could locate a resource for them on a specific subject -- but I do know that, after all the progress that's been made over the past twelve years, thanks (in no small part) to the grass-roots rebellion of ordinary users that access to the internet has fostered , webcrawling still the most accurate metaphor for describing navigating the 'net with speech...

That being said, if you are attempting to find encyclopedic indicies related to blindness, low vision, and/or vision loss , please take the time not only to peruse this page, but any one -- or, better yet, all -- of the following:

General Resources

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Blind BBSes Online

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Deaf-Blind Resources

Information About Deaf-Blindness

Deaf-Blind Organizations & Associations
(organized alphabetically)

NOTE: an excellent, albeit non-deafblind specific, site containing a plethora of resources pertaining to deafness is Deaf Watch

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Vision Loss & Low Vision
Information & Resources

Vision Loss/Low Vision Sub-Index
1. General Vision Loss & Low Vision Information & Resources
2. Cataracts
3. Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS)
4. Glaucoma
5. Keratoconus
6. Macular Degeneration
7. Nystagmus
8. Optic Nerve Diseases
9. Presbyopia
10. Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE)
11. Retinitis Pigmentosa
12. Septo-Optic Dysplasia/Optic Nerve Hypoplasia
13. Usher Syndrome
14. Uveitis
15. Xeroderma Pigmentosum
16. Prevention of Vision Loss
17. Research-Related Resources
18. Large Print Resources
19. return to the topical index of Blindness-Related Resources

General Information About Vision Loss & Low Vision Resources

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Cataracts

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Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS)

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Glaucoma

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Keratoconus

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Leber's Disease/LHON

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Macular Degeneration

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Nystagmus

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Optic Nerve Diseases

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Presbyopia

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PXE (Pseudoxanthoma elasticum)

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Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP)

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Septo-Optic Dysplasia (SLO) & Optic Nerve Hypoplasia (ONH)

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Stevens Johnson Syndrome (Erythema multiforme)

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Usher Syndrome

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Uveitis

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Xeroderma Pigmentosum

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Prevention

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Research

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Blindness-Related Organizations
(listed alphabetically)

Sub-Index
1. American Organizations and Foundations
2. Asian Organizations and Foundations
3. Australian, New Zealand, and Oceanian Organizations
4. Canadian Organizations and Foundations
5. Central and South American Organizations and Foundations
6. European Organizations and Foundations
7. International Organizations and Foundations
8. Organizations & Foundations of & for the Deafblind

American Organizations and Foundations

U.S. Organizations, Services & Foundations Quick Links (skip)
National | AL | AK | AZ | AR | CA | CO | CT | DE | DC | FL | GA | HI | ID | IL | IN | IA | KS | KY | KS | LA | ME | MD | MA | MI | MN | MS | MO | MT | NE | NV | NH | NJ | NM | NY | NC | ND | OH | OK | OR | PA | PR | RI | SC | SD | TN | TX | UT | VT | VA | VI | WV | WA | WI | WY

National American Organizations & Foundations for the Blind/VI

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Alabama - Organizations, Services, & Foundations for the Blind/VI

Alaska - Organizations, Services, & Foundations for the Blind/VI

Arizona - Organizations, Services, & Foundations for the Blind/VI

Arkansas - Organizations, Services, & Foundations for the Blind/VI

California - Organizations, Services, & Foundations for the Blind/VI

Colorado - Organizations, Services, & Foundations for the Blind/VI

Connecticut - Organizations, Services, & Foundations for the Blind/VI

Delaware - Organizations, Services, & Foundations for the Blind/VI

Foundations for the Blind/VI in the District of Columbia (Washington, DC)

Florida - Organizations, Services, & Foundations for the Blind/VI

Georgia - Organizations, Services, & Foundations for the Blind/VI

Hawaii - Organizations, Services, & Foundations for the Blind/VI

Idaho - Organizations, Services, & Foundations for the Blind/VI

Illinois - Organizations, Services, & Foundations for the Blind/VI

Indiana - Organizations, Services, & Foundations for the Blind/VI

Iowa - Organizations, Services, & Foundations for the Blind/VI

Kentucky - Organizations, Services, & Foundations for the Blind/VI

Maryland - Organizations, Services, & Foundations for the Blind/VI

Massachusetts - Organizations, Services, & Foundations for the Blind/VI

Michigan - Organizations, Services, & Foundations for the Blind/VI

Minnesota - Organizations, Services, & Foundations for the Blind/VI

Missouri - Organizations, Services, & Foundations for the Blind/VI

Nebraska - Organizations, Services, & Foundations for the Blind/VI

Nevada - Organizations, Services, & Foundations for the Blind/VI

New Jersey - Organizations, Services, & Foundations for the Blind/VI

New York - Organizations, Services, & Foundations for the Blind/VI

North Carolina - Organizations, Services, & Foundations for the Blind/VI

Ohio - Organizations, Services, & Foundations for the Blind/VI

Oregon - Organizations, Services, & Foundations for the Blind/VI

Pennsylvania - Organizations, Services, & Foundations for the Blind/VI

Texas - Organizations, Services, & Foundations for the Blind/VI

Vermont - Organizations, Services, & Foundations for the Blind/VI

Virginia - Organizations, Services, & Foundations for the Blind/VI

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Asian Organizations and Foundations
(alphabetically arranged by country)

Organizations & Foundations for the Blind in Honk Kong

Organizations & Foundations for the Blind in India

Organizations & Foundations for the Blind in Malaysia

Organizations & Foundations for the Blind in Pakistan

Organizations & Foundations for the Blind in Singapore

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Australian, New Zealand, Micronesean, and Oceanian Organizations

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Canadian Organizations and Foundations

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Central and South American Organizations and Foundations
(alphabetically arranged by country)

Brazilian Organizations & Foundations for the Blind/VI

Colombian Organizations & Foundations for the Blind/VI

Peruvian Organizations & Foundations for the Blind/VI

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European Organizations and Foundations
(alphabetically arranged by country)

Austrian Organizations & Foundations for the Blind/VI


Croatian Organizations & Foundations for the Blind/VI


Czech Organizations & Foundations for the Blind/VI


Danish Organizations & Foundations for the Blind/VI


French Organizations & Foundations for the Blind/VI


German Organizations & Foundations for the Blind/VI


Greek Organizations & Foundations for the Blind/VI


Ireland: Organizations & Foundations for the Blind/VI


Italian Organizations & Foundations for the Blind/VI


Luxemburg: Organizations & Foundations for the Blind/VI


Maltese Organizations & Foundations for the Blind/VI


Norwegian Organizations & Foundations for the Blind/VI


Portuguese Organizations & Foundations for the Blind/VI


Spanish Organizations & Foundations for the Blind/VI


Russian Organizations & Foundations for the Blind/VI


Slovakia: Organizations & Foundations for the Blind/VI


Slovenia: Organizations & Foundations for the Blind/VI


Sweedish Organizations & Foundations for the Blind/VI


Swiss Organizations & Foundations for the Blind/VI


United Kingdom: Organizations & Foundations for the Blind/VI

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International Organizations

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Assistive Technology:
Research, Development, & Co-Operative Education

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Access to Technology for the Blind:
White Papers and Projects

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Speech-Friendly Applications and Utilities

Read, convert, and print Wordperfect, Word, Word for Windows, Ami Pro, Wordstar, Write, Windows clip-board, Notepad, HTML, XYWRITE, MS Publisher, UNIX, Rich Text Format (RTF), ASCII and ANSI files from the DOS prompt with Malcolm Drury's View 17.0 (released 21 October 2000). Features of this customizable utility include: full text search and print functions; ability to convert and/or print files directly, including save to UNIX and ASCII format; and a special mode for screen-reader users. Ideal for DOS, Windows, and Win95 shells.
Other Shareware from Malcom Drury

Adobe Acrobat Access Project
1. Adobe Access FAQ
2. Convert a PDF document to HTML (simple form)
3. Convert a PDF Document to HTML (advanced form)

acrodos.zip, a 2 MB zipfile containing a PDF to DOS converter which works with screen magnification, but not with speech
acrodos.zip is also available from a German mirror site

Blynx32: A Blind-Tailored Distribution of Lynx for Windows 95 & NT
README file for Blynx32

T.V. Raman's Emacspeak: A Speech Output Subsystem For Emacs is a complete audio desktop, which now supports software speech sysnthesis via the IBM's ViaVoice Outloud speech engine
1) Emacspeak FAQ
2) Emacspeak 15.0 (SmartDog) Release Notes (November 21, 2001)
3) download Emacspeak 15.0 (emacspeak-15.0.tar.gz)
4) download the Emacspeak User's Manual (man.tgz)
5) alternative synthesizer drivers for Emacspeak, courtesy of Jim Van Zandt
6) Linux Emacspeak HOWTO
7) W3: a full-fledged web browser which, when used with Emacspeak, audiblizes hyperlinks using different voices
8) other applications which can be auralized using Emacspeak

The University of Delaware's Information Access Laboratory (IAL) is dedicated encouraging students with disabilities in the sciences by eliminating barriers that hinder their educational pursuits through development of toolkits that are intended to make scientific information available to disabled students. A listing of the IAL projects aimed at making visually presented material accessible to the blind and visually impaired students follows:
Haptic Visualization
Speech-to-Braille Computer Interpreter
Tactile Visualization
Virtual Scientific Instruments

Listen2 Speech Technology is a software-based speech solution that works on any 16-bit sound card. The international version can read and speak up to 5 languages. Listen2 Speech comes bundled with the ProVoice software-synthesizer, and requires 16 MB of RAM.
1) History
2) Suggested Uses
3) Voice Samples
4) FAQ
5) Order/Purchase

SCREEN and its Braille Interface to UNIX

Site Manager: an easy-to-use, speech-friendly database program for keeping track of internet addresses. Automatically sorts entries alphabetically. Runs under DOS, Windows 3.x, and Windows 95.

Speech Systems for the Blind is a company dedicated to providing high quality text-to-speech software for under one hundred dollars. Speech Systems for the Blind currently manufactures Winkline, a screen reader for Windows 3.x, Windows 95, and Windows NT, as well as Seekline, a screen reader for DOS that can run on a sound card. To obtain a demonstration copy of Winkline or Seekline, email <speechfb@aasp.net>

Vision Screen Driver for Windows95: magnifies screen by a factor of 2 in standard VGA resolution
download the Vision Screen Enhancement Driver, Vision.zip (28k)

vOIce: A VRML Viewer for the Blind

WAB: WWW Access for the Blind & Visually Impaired

ZoomPower: Screen Magnification for Windows: a small and easy-to-use screen magnification program available as shareware for only $25

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Bobcat: Lynx for DOS
A Text- and Lynx-Based DOS Web Browser
That Works on Pre-286 PCs

BOBCAT is a text-based web browser, developed by Wayne Buttles and John Lewis, that runs in a DOS environment. Bobcat, by definition, is a small Lynx. To quote Wayne:

The name was picked to imply that it is a less mature sibling to the Lynx browser. Bobcat started life as Lynx2-4-2. The reason 2-4-2 was chosen is because starting at 2-5, many files in the Lynx distribution became too big to compile out of the package targeted towards a plain DOS version. There have been many changes since 2-4-2, however, it does support many things that DOSLYNX didn't. I have also made many modifications to Bobcat's original behavior to make it more functional.
... After that I made personal decisions on what to support. Although it may disappoint some people, news support is not in Bobcat. It never worked correctly in DOSLYNX and I didn't feel it was a priority. Gopher and Ftp should hopefully work to some degree, but they are not the top priority either. The important thing, as far as I am concerned, is good web support. This is the reason for cutting corners on the other features. There is a new feature added to Bobcat that will allow people to define external programs for certain URLs. This product uses the SPAWNO routines by Ralf Brown to minimize memory use while shelling to DOS and running other programs. Hopefully this will help compensate for Bobcat's shortcomings.
This new Lynx for DOS is a big switch from DOSLYNX. It is Curses based, so it looks like the real Lynx. It does not have pull down menus or a multiple document interface. I prefer the real Lynx interface which is partially why I made the switch in development. Other good reasons for starting with a new code base are support for forms, numeric links, view source, history list and other features which were not available in DOSLYNX. ...
The first versions of Bobcat have severe memory constraints because of the way the original Lynx was designed. In Un*x, programs assume they have unlimited memory and the programs are coded as such. Bobcat has yet to have memory checking added to it, so when you run out of the tiny amount of conventional memory available it will very unceremoniously drop you to the DOS prompt.

It is important to note that Bobcat is NOT a true Lynx port. It is a work based on Lynx--specifically, Lynx 2.4.2 This means that it can not keep up with the current Lynx development code, nor can Lynx patches be added to Bobcat. While the 386 and Win32 ports of Lynx have this ability, Bobcat can run on older PCs--even those with a 8086 processor. This also means, however, that Bobcat has some serious limitations, including a tendency to crash when it encounters pages larger than 100 kilobytes large. Yet, if you are using a pre-386 computer to access the internet, Bobcat is an extremely speech-friendly web-access solution.

Bobcat is currently in its fifth release, and is available as a self-extracting archive, BCAT-E05.EXE, which was released on September 17, 1997. It now supports many, if not most, CGA adapters. The 0.5 package also has new TCP drivers, dialers, and support documentation, including an interactive tutorial. Consult the Bobcat change.log for complete information on new features and bugfixes--a brief listing of which follows:

Changes to Bobcat Executable Package, 17 September 1997 (E-05)

  1. Changes to lynx.exe
  2. Changes to external programs and documents

The latest version of Bobcat can always be found at:

<http://www.fdisk.com/doslynx/bobcats/>
More Information About BOBCAT from Wayne Buttles
1. About Bobcat
2. Get Bobcat
3. Bobcat licence

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COMMO

A popular, powerful, and extremely speech-friendly terminal emulation program. The latest version of COMMO, as well as a plethora of support files, can always be found in the /COMMO directory of <ftp://ftp.ordata.com>

Although COMMO is incredibly easy to use, Jeff Bishop's excellent JB Software Macros, jbs-704.zip, are highly recommended support files which make COMMO even easier to learn. JBS contains a customizable installation macro as well as an excellent interactive tutorial, JB Learn. JBL is a very powerful automated learning engine for COMMO with self-learning features, which means that the program actually learns more about learning as you use it. With JBL you can automate any task, create full mail-run scripts and ready-to-run macros in minutes. The archive that contains the JB Software Macros, jbs-XXX.zip (where "XXX" is the version number), is available from the /COMMO directory of <ftp://ftp.ordata.com>

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DOSLynx

Wayne Buttles not only maintains the The FDISK DosLynx Archive, formerly known as The Unofficial DOSLynx Archive, but has been hacking DOSLynx in order to make if more stable than the last official (University of Kansas) release, DLX0_8A.EXE. A quick way to find out what Wayne has done to improve DOSLynx is to take a listen to the changelog. Wayne has released four revisions, the lastest of which is EXE_16A.ZIP.

A new PPP distribution, specifically written for use with DosLynx, DLYNXPPP.ZIP, is also available at Wayne's site. Be sure to download and read the accompanying HOWTOUSE.TXT file before unarchiving DLYNXPP.ZIP

If you are interested in finding out more about or participating in DOSLynx development, you should consider subscribing to the DOSLynx-Dev emailing list. If you are interested in hacking DOSLynx yourself, SRC_16A.ZIP, which contains the source code for the latest release, is also available at Wayne's site.

Recently, Wayne has suspended work on DOSLynx and Bobcat in order to concentrate on Lynx32 and Lynx386, both of which are true ports of Unix Lynx. Lynx32 works as a DOS-console application under Windows95 and Windows98, while Lynx386 is a true DOS port of Lynx, operable on PCs with a 386 or higher speed processor. To learn more about Wayne's work in the realm of DOS-based internet access, take the time to explore his outstanding DOS-Internet Pages.

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LYNX KIT

One of Rene Ludwiig's DOS Internet Tools, LYNX_KIT, a 1.1MB executable file, contains:

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NetTamer

NetTamer is a DOS-based PPP dialup access program which is very popular with blind users who can't locate a server in their area that offers shell accounts, but who don't want to muck (yes, that was an 'm') around with Netscape or IE whilst simultaneously learning how to use a windows-based screen-reader. NetTamer does not require a TSR packet driver, and is very speech-friendly. You can use NetTamer to browse the web, to get and send email and usenet posts, to upload and download files, for FTP transfers and telnetting to a remote site. The latest release includes an offline mail reader and support for graphics and sound (.wav and .au only--no RealAudio).

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PC-PINE

Locating PC-Pine is curiously, not to mention maddeningly, difficult... One would think that the University of Washington would be pimping it all over the place, but, obviously, they are not... I located it not via a search-engine or archie, but found it simply by loading up the base URL for www.washington.edu and poking around until I found it... Since I have received numerous of requests for information about PC-Pine, I have compiled the following list of PC-Pine related URLs:

PC-Pine in for both DOS and Windows can be downloaded from:

ftp://ftp.cac.washington.edu/pine/pcpine

If you are simply searching for information about PC-Pine, the URL with which to initiate your investigation is:

<http://www.washington.edu/pine/pc-pine/index.html>

If you have trouble loading the above-listed page, try using the following alternate entrance to the PC-Pine information:

<http://www.washington.edu:1180/pine/pc-pine/index.html>

A collection of Pine Technical Notes, which cover both Pine and PC-Pine can be found at:

<http://www.washington.edu/pine/tech-notes/>

Some of the pages which are of particular utility to users of PC-Pine are:

  1. Porting and Modifying PC-PINE
  2. Configuring PINE
  3. Installing PC-Pine
  4. Support Files and Environment Variables: PC-Pine

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Repositories and Collections

BlindSoftware: "your source for premiere accessible software"
* download BlindSoftware
BLINUX Software and Documentation Repository
* contains software and documentation for blind users of Linux
(URL ftp://leb.net/pub/blinux)
* the BLINUX Softpointer File
Dave Poehlman's FTP directory
* a large collection of small speech-friendly utilities and programs
(URL ftp://ftp.clark.net/pub/poehlman)
Ron Gemma's Text-To-Speech Info Page
Paul Henrichsen's FTP directory
* not only features a large collection of screen-access demos and other useful applications, but can be accessed via an hypertext index
(URL ftp://ftp.thesocket.com/pub/henrich)
Steve Clark's Software Page contains a collection of speech-friendly utilities that he himself has written.
The Software Connection's /speech directory
* hypertext index
(URL ftp://softcon.com/speech)
Although it is an indispensible resource, Peter Verhoeven's Screen Magnifiers HomePage is framed, so if you are using a frames-incapable browser, or just hate frames, you can use the following links to directly access the contents of the site, bypassing the frames:
1) Screen Magnifiers News
2) Screen Magnifiers Test/Reviews Page
3) Screen Magnification Demo Download Page
4) Screen Reader Demo Download Page
5) Text-to-Speech Software
6) Search the Screen Magnifiers Pages
7) Peter's Accessibility Corner
"Wild Man" Steve's ftp archive
(URL ftp://negia.net/users/steve)
Matt White's FTP Archive
(URL ftp.ultranet.com/pub/mwhite)
Eurisco Information Systems
/pub/eurisco directory
(URL ftp://ftp.eurisco.com/pub/eurisco)
SpeWare: an hypertext archive containing special-education and adaptive software from St. John's University
* Text Only Area
Speech-Friendly HTML Authoring Utilities for DOS
Macintosh Disability Shareware and Freeware
Simtel.Net's MSDOS "handicap" directory
URL: <ftp://oak.oakland.edu/pub/simtelnet/msdos/handicap>
The University of Utah's Center for Disabled Students' Service's FTP software site
(URL ftp://ssv1.union.utah.edu/pub/CDSS)
Citilink's SLIP/PPP DOS FAQ

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Adaptive Products and Services
(Companies Listed Alphabetically)

Note: The following index contains links to the homepages of individual companies which produce and/or distribute assistive devices. Please note that the inclusion of a company in this index does not constitute an endorsement of that company's products and/or services. Likewise, the exclusion of a company does not constitute a condemnation of that company, but is merely a reflection of my own ignorance. Therefore, visitors are strongly requested to report any broken or missing links in Camera Obscura's Adaptive Products Index.

Alphabetic Index


Companies Whose Names Begin with A

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Companies Whose Names Begin with B

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Companies Whose Names Begin with C

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Companies Whose Names Begin with D

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Companies Whose Names Begin with E

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Companies Whose Names Begin with F

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Companies Whose Names Begin with G

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Companies Whose Names Begin with H

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Companies Whose Names Begin with I

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Companies Whose Names Begin with J

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Companies Whose Names Begin with K

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Companies Whose Names Begin with L

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Companies Whose Names Begin with M

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Companies Whose Names Begin with N

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Companies Whose Names Begin with O

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Companies Whose Names Begin with P

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Companies Whose Names Begin with Q

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Companies Whose Names Begin with R

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Companies Whose Names Begin with S

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Companies Whose Names Begin with T

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Companies Whose Names Begin with U

There are currently no companies whose names begin with the letter U listed. Please notify me of any companies whose names begin with U.

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Companies Whose Names Begin with V

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Companies Whose Names Begin with W

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Companies Whose Names Begin with X

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Companies Whose Names Begin with Y

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Companies Whose Names Begin with Z

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General Adaptive Technology Resources

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Home Pages of Blind and
Visually Handicapped Individuals

If you are blind and would like your homepage added to the following list, please use the mailto field embedded in this block of text to send me its URL, or email me with the pertinent information at <unagi69@concentric.net>

Multifarious thanks are due to the ever-vigilant Steve Pattison, who has been an invaluable contributor to this section.

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FOBs

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Employment-Related Resources

U.S. Employment-Related Resources

Canadian Employment-Related Resources

European Employment-Related Resources

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Educational Resources Pertaining to
Blindness and Vision Loss

Reading Codes for the Blind

for more information about Braille and Braille-producing products, please consult the Braille Pages at Read 'Em and Speak, a site devoted to books and reading from a blind perspective.

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Tactile Graphics

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Resources Related to the History of the Blind and the Blind in History

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Resources Pertaining to the Education of the Blind


Blind Art, Art Appreciation & Art Education for the Blind/VI

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Educational Facilities For the Blind

State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies compiled by Jamal Mazrui and Mark Senk

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Orientation and Mobility Resources

O&M Sub-Index
1. General Orientation & Mobility Resources
2. Guide Dog Schools and Resources
3. Talking Signs

General Orientation & Mobility Resources

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Guide Dog Schools and Resources

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Talking Signs

Talking Signs: What They Are & How They Work

Talking Signs: White Papers, Presentations, & Research

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Legal Resources

Legal Resources Sub-Index
1. Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) Information
1A. White Papers on ADA and Access
2. Other U.S. Disability Related and/or Equal Access Laws & Regulations
3. Australian Disability Law
4. Canadian Disability Law
5. European Disability Law
6. La loi française et les droits relatifs aux handicapés (Francophone Legal Resources)
7. International Disability Law
8. Social Security Information
8A. Social Security Handbooks

Americans With Disabilities Act

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White Papers on ADA and Equal Access of Every Type & Stripe

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Other U.S. Disability Related and/or Equal Access Laws & Regulations

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Australian Disability Law

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La loi française et les droits relatifs aux handicapés
(Francophone Legal Resources)

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Canadian Disability Laws

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European Disability Laws

Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (c. 50)
full text of the U.K.'s Disability Discrimination Act, better known as the DDA, passed in 1995
RNIB's DDA Info & Resource home page
an excellent resource on the DDA from the Royal National Institute for the Blind

Disability Rights Commission of Great Britain
Note: despite the DRC's claims that it has extensively tested its site with actual disabled users, it isn't the most accessible site, to put it politely, and to add insult to injury, there are only -- at last visit, on 3 February 2006 -- 3 links located on the DRC's Easy-to-Read Home Page, which links to quite limited information, as compared to the "mainstream" version of the site, albeit in the most accessible format used anywhere on the DRC's web site
DWP's DDA Information for Employers

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Indian Disability Laws

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International Disability Law

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Social Security Resources

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Social Security Handbooks in Accessible Media

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Libraries for the Blind
(listed alphabetically)

Note: For a more extensive listing of Libraries for the Blind, and the resources they contain, than that which follows, please visit Read 'Em and Speak, a website devoted to books and reading from a blind/VI perspective

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Large Print Sources & Resources

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Audio Description & DVS: Sources and Resources

DVS in the US

British (U.K.) DVS Resources

Canadian DVS Resources

Australian DVS Resources

More DVS & Audio Description Resources

DVS Resources on the Web & in Educational Settings

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Radio Reading Services

Note:

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Audio Streams, Archives, & Broadcasts

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Blind/VI Atheletics and Athletes

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General Disability Related Sites

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Things We Wish You Didn't Have to See

inspired not so much by the Disability Rag's similarly-named column, but by the oft-awe-inspiring inanity of the internet...

The Blind Leading the Blind
I'm not sure wether the most insulting thing about this site is the appalling and utter lack of ALT-text, or the embedded sound clip that greets you if you're surfing with a sound card and a GUI browser:
"You are welcome at the web site of the Blind Leading the Blind. Of course we have large print--just click on the red button!"
In an attempt to show BLB how to rectify the site's oxymoronic accessibility impasses, I contacted The Blind Leading the Blind Foundation in 1997. My offer of assistance wasn't acknowledged, but I was informed that -- since the purpose of the site, as well as the foundation, is to provide information about blindness and vision loss to the "sighted community" -- they weren't particularly worried whether or not anyone who was totally blind could access their site...

Hm... I suppose in the narrowest of sense, by hosting this web site, BLB may be fulfilling its stated mission -- "improving communication between the visually impaired and those with sight" -- but, after repeatedly visiting their web site, it sounds to me that they either need to change their name or their sound clip...
Foundation Fighting Blindness, Canada
When I first came across the Foundation Fighting Blindness, Canada web site, I observed:
They may call themselves the "Foundation Fighting Blindness" but a more apt name might be the "Foundation Fighting Reality", as the sole entry into their web site exclusively graphical -- without any alternative, let alone actual, text to be found. Hell, there's not even a "blind users enter around the rear" text-only backdoor.
After emailing a detailed emessage to the perpertrators, accompanied by corrected document source, and receiving no reply, I telephoned the organization, and -- after some initial dead-ends -- found myself speaking to the director of the FFB Canada and explained the problems -- and solutions -- to her. But, as the weeks turned into months, and no changes were made to the site, I authored the entry cited above. As of the autumn of 2004, however, I am "overjoyed" to report that the FFB Canada web site has finally addressed their site's front page's accessibility issues -- the FFB Canada entry screen now offers the blind/VI visitor the option of entering a "text-only" version of the site, alongside a (altogether now) "regular version", which is also available in "high-contrast" mode. Wouldn't it have been simpler to make the whole damn site accessible and aesthetically appealing? It is possible, or so I've been told...
Helen Keller International
There are no other words that describe the Helen Keller International web site more accurately (or succinctly) than "obscenely inaccessible". A harsh judgement? Indeed, but what else can one call a site, whose namesake, were she alive today, wouldn't be able to access, which for not only is the HKI site framed; none of the images have alternative text associated with them, making navigation virtually impossible

The Internet Braille Wizard
ah, now this is the type of cybersilliness which warms the cockles of my heart--the Internet Braille Wizard, which performs braille translation on the fly... A miracle of modern technology, eh? Only problem is, the output is graphical--not tactile...

When the page was first made public, the graphical representations of the braille cells lacked ALT tags, so it was impossible for me to verify if it translated the english equivalent of

dots 1,2,4 dots 1,3,6 dots 1,4 dots 1,3 space dots 1,3,4,5,6

correctly... They've since added ALT tags to most of the braille cell graphics, but how am i to know whether or not the IBW correctly translated my favorite phrase? I'd prefer ALT tags that contain the dot numbers of the cell-image, rather than have all or part of the letters I typed into the text-entry field echoed back to me--moreover, that would solve the problem of ALT-tagging those tricky contractions that have more than one meaning, depending upon how they are used and/or where they are placed..

And so, I still say, oy vey! What'll they think of next? .wav files to illustrate ASL?

Worst Web Pages of Congress
Proof of Mark Twain's adage that "the opposite of progress is Congress"... Speech-hostile and poorly designed pages from the folks who brought you higher taxes and themselves higher salaries...

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Terra Infirma:
Unorganized Links in an Ordered List

  1. Self Illuminating Bubbles
  2. Cooperative Electronic Library
  3. CPSR
  4. Project PURSUIT
  5. Rand Eye Institute
  6. Disability Net: Holiday/Travel Information
  7. Disability and Information Resource Centre
  8. Blind and Visually Impaired
  9. Internet Resources Database from Germany
  10. University of Toronto English Library
  11. Speech Toys Index (Text Only)
  12. Special Education Resources
  13. Access info 3/6/96
  14. Young Opportunities

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copyleft 1995-2008, oedipal enterprises, (very) ltd.

Permission is hereby freely granted to reproduce this page, its document source, and the descriptions contained herein in whatever manner you "see" fit. Attribution is optional, albeit appreciated. For more information, contact Gregory J. Rosmaita

Camera Obscura is a project of cyber-seeing-i

Please report any erroneous URLs or missing links

Terminal Index
1. Caveat Lector
2. Hystery, Mistory, Prophecy
3. Civitas: Link Locally, Act Globally
4. Mea Maxima Culpa
5. Read 'Em and Speak: Books & Reading from a Blind Perspective
6. Speech- & Text-Friendly Search Engine Forms
7. The Virtual Museum
8. return to Camera Obscura's front page
9. return to the topical index of Blindness-Related Resources

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Created as an HTML 2.0 document April 1995
Converted to HTML4 & CSS2 April 28/29, 1999
Contents of this page last updated January 29, 2010


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