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

Friends and Family 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • Perkins School for the Blind

    Offers a number of online resources for educators, including webinars, webcasts and a research library of more than 40,000 resource materials on blindness and deaf blindness. The Accessible Science section provides science activities that have been adapted for students who are blind or partially sighted. It also offers links to its training centre and some additional resources for professionals. The Perkins Training Center offers workshops and seminars and professionals can earn professional development and continuing education credits by watching Perkins webcasts. Perkins also writes and produces publications that serve as training guides for teachers, family members and caregivers. Its early literacy program helps parents teach early literacy skills to young children while the Assistive Device Centre gives important information on games and educational materials for children.​​

    Keywords: Online learning Pre-school Elementary school High school Disability specific training Classroom training Video Webinar Webcast United States Games Adult education

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI)

    Organization enables parents to find information and resources for their children who are blind or partially sighted, including those with additional disabilities. It offers outreach programs, networking, emotional support, and information through workshops and publications. It also provides a referral service and is a strong advocate. It also runs FamilyConnect, an online multimedia community for parents.

    Keywords: United States, online learning, mentors, grants, parents, support

  • 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

  • CareerConnect Canada


    A free resource for students and any job seeker looking to explore jobs and network, for employers looking to diversify their workplace and for friends or family members who want to help someone in their career exploration. CareerConnect Canada offers a mentorship program whereby people connect online with individuals who are blind or partially sighted working in their fields. Using their knowledge and first-hand experience, they provide advice, encouragement and networking opportunities and can also help employers learn about accommodations and other ways in which they can diversify their workplace. 

    Keywords: Canada, labour market information, mentor, job/self match, employer concerning, workplace accommodation, training

  • ASO - Accredited Schools Online

    Helping Students with Visual Impairments

    ​Addressing each need of students with visual impairments and improving overall accessibility are vital to their academic success. This guide explains how colleges are creating more welcoming and inclusive learning environments, with a sharp focus on assistive technology, campus resources that provide assistive services and tools, information about scholarships for students with visual impairments, and online resources they can access to facilitate academic and career success.

    Keywords: Online learning Disability specific training Classroom training United States Adult education Online Resources

  • Thematic Study on Work and Employment of Persons with Disabilities

    United Nation’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

    Prepared by the United Nation’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, this thematic study provides detailed information related to persons with disabilities and the right to work. It outlines workplace policies on prohibiting discrimination, enabling effective access to guidance and training, promoting employment opportunities, ensuring reasonable accommodation, protecting the rights of persons with disabilities, and more.

    Keywords: international, advocacy, research, workplace accommodations, human rights, disabilities