Here in the U.S., the Braille language is all around us—in our schools, churches, public libraries, office buildings and restaurants. But how much do we notice it? And how much do we, the sighted, stop to think about those with visual impairment? Take the following brief quiz and see how much you know (all statistics courtesy of the World Health Organization):
How many people in the world live with a disabling visual impairment?
- 27 million
- 100 million
- 161 million
Of those who live with a visual impairment, how many of those are blind?
- 1 million
- 20 million
- 37 million
Although the statistics are daunting (answers to the above are c and c), there is reason to hope for widespread improvement in the everyday lives of the blind and visually impaired. Innovations in digital and print technology–as well as access to specialized health care—have increased social, economic, and intellectual opportunities for those with visual disabilities. Here is a sampling of the organizations in the U.S., some national and others local/state-based, that are leading the way:
The New Jersey State Talking Braille and Book Center (TBBC) (blog photos taken at this location)
Lighthouse Guild (New York)
Associated Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired (Philadelphia)