Visually impaired people may find financial assistance through government programs, but private charities can add a personal touch that aids the legally blind on a case-by-case basis. The blind or legally blind sometimes have specific needs, and these private organizations can assist them swiftly with the correct remedies, which include visual assistance and living necessities.
The Lions Club Foundation aids people with many disabilities throughout the world, but it mainly focuses on visually impaired and blindness issues. The foundation was established through the Lions Club, a civic organization, and members often participate in fund drives to financially assist the legally blind in their communities. Members get involved in making eyeglasses or supplying the needy with recycled glasses. The foundation contributes financially for cataract operations, treatments for various forms of blindness, upgrades to eye centers and training ophthalmologists. The foundation has provided millions of dollars on projects throughout the world. These programs help offset costs for the blind and partner with business and medical entities to help reduce the risk of preventable blindness. The foundation was established in 1968, the year Helen Keller, a world-renowned campaigner for the deaf and blind, died. Keller addressed a Lions Club convention in 1925 to spark the club’s interest in preventable blindness.
Providing Funds for Vision Improvement
Helen Keller International works to reduce blindness by providing services and products throughout the world. Its programs help promote self-sufficiency by training the visually impaired, as well as the poor, in skills to maintain their eye and overall health. Prevent Blindness America provides children and adults with the funding needed for vision screening. The screenings help prevent the risk of vision loss in schoolchildren and such disorders as glaucoma and other serious vision problems for children and adults. Prevent Blindness trains vision screeners and screening instructors through a national program. The volunteer eye health and safety organization works with local communities for vision care programs and promotes vision research to help prevent eye disease.
Helping Hands for the Blind, a nonprofit organization based in Chatsworth, California, helps with financial requirements for the blind from rent and groceries to legal help and grants for blind students. Helping Hands also serves as a problem-solving guide for the blind, with special programs to enhance travel capabilities for the blind and talking computers to help blind children and adults. The organization operates on its motto of giving people a hand up instead of a handout. Helping Hands includes a staff of blind people who understand the needs of other blind people in need. It was founded in 1990 by Robert J. Acosta, who was born blind, but managed to succeed as a professional teacher, teaching sighted students in the Los Angeles school district.
Free Guide Partners
Some charities provide financial assistance to help the blind get around and live as normally as possible. The Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind provides free guide dogs to assist blind people with independent living. The foundation also helps educate the blind in utilizing their pet aids through small class or individual instruction. It employs high standards for trainers as well as humane treatment of the animals used for the service. The dogs are also used to help people with other physical challenges, including the hearing impaired.
Jerry Shaw writes for Spice Marketing and LinkBlaze Marketing. His articles have appeared in Gannett and American Media Inc. publications. He is the author of "The Complete Guide to Trust and Estate Management" from Atlantic Publishing.