Resources For Living

A woman sits on a sailboat listening to a book on BARD Mobile
In this section you'll find lots of resources related to day-to-day living with for those with visual or other impairments, including technology, advocacy and all kinds of services. They are divided up into the following categories:

Resource Suggestion Form - complete the form, so that we can review it and see if it meets our guidelines

Assistive Technology Guidance

ABLEDATA - provides objective information about assistive technology products and rehabilitation equipment.

AppleVIS - community-powered website for blind and low-vision users of Apple's range of Mac computers, the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV and Apple Watch. AppleVis also offers resources and mechanisms for raising awareness of the accessibility of Apple products and related applications, and for promoting further advancement in accessibility.

CapTel NC - a service that allows anyone who uses hearing aids or who has difficulty hearing independently to use the telephone. Offers a telephone and a captioning service.

How to Select Assistive Technology -  Some helpful guidelines and definitions for choosing assistive technology.

North Carolina Assistive Technology Program (NCATP) - NCATP serves people of all ages and abilities, children, adults, and older adults with disabilities and their families. Anyone experiencing difficulty with daily activities.Professionals in disability related fields such as health care, social services, education, rehabilitation, or other human services. Employers and employees in private and public settings. NCATP provides services at AT Centers and satellite sites.

RLCB (formerly Raleigh Lion’s Clinic for the Blind) - offer a wide range of 1 on 1 training services to people who are blind or have visual impairment, including computer training, iphone training and developing independent living skills. Also have a support group for technology users.

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Assistive Technology Software/Apps

AMIS DAISY Player - a free DAISY audio player for your computer. Works with Bookshare and other DAISYcompatible books. Will NOT play NLS or Learning Ally materials.

AroundMe - iOS - Android - Find out about different businesses near your location 

BigMagnify - iOS - Use the entire screen to magnify small content up to 8x bigger than the original size for your iPhone or iPad.

BrowseAloud - a free talking browser program from the UK. When running you move the mouse over some text on a web page, click on the icon that appears and the text is read out to you.

ColoredEye - iOS - identifies the colors from your camera in real-time or you have identify colors within a saved photo.

DeskTopZoom - is an easy-to-use free screen magnifier utility that offers a magnification tool on the desktop. It includes a bunch of useful options for all types of users, regardless of their skill level. For Windows.

Digit-EyesLite - iOS - a unique iOS app that enables people who are visually-impaired or who have problems reading to identify items using their iPhone, iPod or iPad

EyeNote - iOS - a free mobile device application to identify denominations of Federal Reserve Notes (U.S. paper currency) as an aid for the blind or visually impaired.

Magnificent Magnifier HD - Android - offers up to 8x zoom and macro-mode shooting for Android devices with sufficient hardware capabilities. The free app enables you to capture vivid images of various items, as well as fine details that you wanted to view at a desired magnification level.
Magnifixer - is a free screen magnifier utility. Place your mouse anywhere on your screen, make it any size you want and select a zoom level, and even invert colors.
NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access) - a free screen reader which enables blind and vision impaired people to use computers. It reads the text on the screen in a computerised voice. You can control what is read to you by moving the cursor to the relevant area of text with a mouse or the arrows on your keyboard. NVDA can also convert the text into braille if the computer user owns a device called a “braille display”. Works with Microsoft Windows.
PowerTalk - a free program that automatically speaks any presentation or slide show running in Microsoft PowerPoint for Windows.
WebbIE Web Browser - WebbIE is a free Windows-based web browser that lets you browse web pages, search the web, fill in forms, do ecommerce, and use online email, all in a highly-usable text-only display that works with any screenreader.

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ABLEDATA - provides objective information about assistive technology products and rehabilitation equipment.

American Printing House for the Blind - Free catalog. Accepts credit card orders. Catalog of accessible books available in print and on computer disk. Catalog of instructional aids available in print, on computer disk and on cassette tape. Catalog of instructional aids includes auditory products, braille/writing supplies, computer products, educational games, math aids, low vision materials and measurement aids.

Carolyn’s Catalog - Free catalog. Accepts credit card orders. Reading aids, magnifiers, lamps, C.C.T.V.’s, computer products, writing supplies, canes, household items, games and talking items.

Independent Living Aids - Free catalog. Accepts credit cards. Catalog available in print, on cassette tape and on disk. Lighting supplies, games, magnifiers, tactile household items, kitchen supplies, canes and hearing accessories.

Innovative Rehabilitation Technology, Inc. (IRTI) - Free catalog. Credit card orders accepted. Catalog available in print. Sells adapted 4-track tape players, talking watches, talking appliances, computer hardware and software for the visually impaired and mobility aids.

L.S. & S. Group - Free catalog. Accepts credit card orders. Catalog available in print and on cassette tape. Braillers, C.C.T.V.’s, computer accessories, hardware, software, magnifiers, lighting supplies, canes, kitchen/household items and games.

Maxi-Aids, Inc. - Free catalog. Accepts credit card orders. Catalog available in print, on cassette tape and on CD-ROM. Computer software/hardware, calculators, kitchen supplies, household items, canes, writing supplies, games, instructional aids, magnifiers and lighting supplies. - Free catalog. Accepts credit card orders. Household supplies, braille/writing supplies, teaching aids, computer products, C.C.T.V.’s, magnifiers, sunglasses and games.

National Center for the Blind - Free catalog. Accepts credit card orders. Sells personal items, household items, recreational products, magnifiers, medical supplies, mobility and related items.

NoIR Medical Technologies - Free catalog specializing in sunglasses for ultraviolet, infrared, laser and industrial protection with enhanced contrast vision.

Perkins Products (formerly The Howe Press) - Free catalog. Accepts credit card orders. Catalog available in print and braille. Braillers, braille/writing supplies, measuring devices and brailler parts and tools.

Speak To Me - Free catalog of talking products.

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Consumer Organizations

North Carolina Council of the Blind

National Federation of the Blind of North Carolina

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Everyday Services

A-Z to Deafblindness - a site that offers help to Blind or deaf people, and especially deafblind people, and those who provide specialised services for those who are deafblind, to make people more aware about deafblindness. Has guide to the Deafblind Manual Alphabet and, the Two-Handed Manual Alphabet used by sighted Deaf people.

Blind Voter's Guide from NFB (overview) - this site promotes full participation of blind people in the election process. It explains The Help America Vote Act. 
Download a copy of The Guide to Voting (choose your format) - MSWord - braille - audio

FEMA Preparedness Guide for People with Disabilities

iBill Currency Reader - from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP). This is a project available to all citizens/legal residents of the United States who are unable to read regular print because of blindness or a visual impairment meeting eligibility requirements. - National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP). Their goal is to ensure that every person with combined hearing and vision loss has access to modern telecommunication tools and the training necessary to use them.

IRS (Internal Revenue Service) Online Accessible Tax Forms and Services - Download accessible forms, publications and other products from the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) accessibility page.

Joes - a website created to help the physically challenged, elderly and those less fortunate in finding information about services and activities at no cost via the Internet or an adaptive phone system.

Lighthouse Guild - provides a full spectrum of integrated vision + healthcare services helping people who are blind or visually impaired, including those with multiple disabilities or chronic medical conditions lead productive, dignified and fulfilling lives. - Mortgages for Disabilities - This guide has been created to help individuals living with disabilities, and their family members, in the process of buying a home of their own.

Resources for the Blind and Visually Impaired -  From help adapting to life with low or no vision, to financial assistance for the vision-impaired, these resources can provide assistance and helpful insights for easier daily living and a higher quality of life.

Service Animals for People with Disabilities - from the NC Department of Health and Human Services. Includes the Service Animal registration form and ADA defined definitions of what is a service animal, along with a helpful tip sheet for businesses for welcoming customers with service animals.

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Home Ownership and Rental

Guide to Homeownership Programs for People with Disabilities - a listing of programs at the federal, state, and local level that provide assistance with homeownership if you have a disability.

Home Modifications and Selling Your Home - things to consider with accessibility modifications of a home and the impact on resale value. - Mortgages for Disabilities - This guide has been created to help individuals living with disabilities, and their family members, in the process of buying a home of their own.

Moving for Seniors and People with Disabilities - a guide to help educate seniors, disabled adults, and/or their loved ones, and provide the helpful information necessary to plan and execute a safe, well-organized, and stress-free move.

Renters’ Rights for Tenants with Disabilities - Under federal law, disabled tenants and prospective tenants with a disability have the right to apply for and live in a rental unit regardless of their impairment. When a landlord rejects disabled tenants based on the use of a discriminatory housing practice, they have violated the law.

Special Needs' Safety Near Construction Sites - a comprehensive guide designed to provide safety best practices for seniors, disabled adults, and their caregivers, to help them safely navigate construction sites. Also, it outlines the ADA’s recommended construction zone safety standards.

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NFB Newsline for the Blind

NFB Newsline is an automated, dial-in newspaper service. Using Newsline, one can listen to more than 150 newspapers being read by a computerized voice. In North Carolina, the Charlotte Observer and the Raleigh News and Observer are provided. To sign up for Newsline, call the library toll free at 1-888-388-2460.

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Radio Reading Services

Radio Reading Services - these are radio stations which have volunteers read local newspaper selections, magazines, stories, recipes, etc. A special receiver is given to RRS patrons to receive the broadcasts. There is no cost for the service, but donations are accepted and appreciated. Here is the list of all North Carolina Radio Reading Services by NCARRS. Raleigh and the Triangle are served by North Carolina Reading Service.

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Support Services

Consumer Champion - an organization which works closely with consumers to ensure that fairness, transparency, and truth exist in the marketplace. Apart from our rigorous research, consumer advocacy and expert reviews, we also work with other organizations to feature the latest consumer related news and the latest products.

Disability Rights NC - help with cases involving discrimination or violations of the rights of people with disabilities. Provides advocacy and legal services at no charge to people with disabilities throughout North Carolina.

Division of Services for the Blind (DSB) - DSB helps people with vision problems learn how to adjust so that they can lead full, productive lives. The agency provides a wide variety of services that range from post-secondary education to assistive technology and social services.

Division of Services for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing - contact this division for information about services for the deaf. Sites containing linkages and information concerning a variety of fields and topics related to Deaf and Blindness.

Family Support Network of North Carolina - families benefit from the help and support that other families can provide and from information about their child's special needs and available resources. With this information, families can make informed decisions about services and support. The Family Support Network of North Carolina is a statewide network of affiliated local programs.

National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments - offers emotional support for parents of blind or visually impaired children. Provides information, training and assistance, and help in understanding and using available resources. Publishes Awareness, a quarterly newsletter.

NCDHHS People with Disabilities Services - Disability Services helps people who have disabilities find employment, find care providers and gain access to technology to help people continue to live independently.

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Resource Suggestion Form - submit for review

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