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Helpful Organizations

This list has been compiled by the BrightFocus Foundation*. It is not organized in a chronological or topical order. It is alphabetically arranged to make it easier for quick reference.

You will find the following sections:

(*) Macular Degeneration Research and National Glaucoma Research programs of the BrightFocus Foundation. Funds research and educates the public about age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma. Also, BrightFocus offers an extensive selection of publications.

The following organizations are not affiliated with BrightFocus. BrightFocus is not responsible for the content of these websites and does not endorse or recommend any particular program offered by these organizations.

Clinical Trials

CenterWatch Clinical Trials Listing Service. Information on clinical research, including listings of active industry and government-sponsored clinical trials, research on new drug therapies, and drugs recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

National Institutes of Health, National Eye Institute, National Institute on Aging. ClinicalTrials.gov provides information on government-sponsored and industry-sponsored human trials and recruitment, with locations, purpose, eligibility requirements, and phone contacts. NEI and NIA highlight clinical trials sponsored by those institutes.


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Eye Care Professional Organizations

American Academy of Ophthalmology. A national membership association of eye doctors. Search for ophthalmologists and eye specialists by state and locality. The AAO GetEyeSmart.com website includes information on eye health and other eye-related topics.

American Optometric Association. An organization of eye care professionals, serving patients in nearly 6,500 communities across the country.

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Federal Government Programs and Services

Administration on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A starting point for information on aging for elders and families.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Latest information and resources on Medicare and Medicaid.

Disability.gov. Online database of disability resources, including benefits, civil rights, education, employment, housing, health, technology, and transportation.

Eldercare Locator. Directory of state and local area agencies on aging and community-based organizations that serve many elder care needs. Spanish-speaking information specialists and language interpretation service for 150 languages are available during business hours.

GovBenefits.gov. Official benefits site of federal government with information on more than 1,000 benefit and assistance programs.

Healthfinder.gov. Healthcare information and access to other online sources.

National Eye Institute. Supports eye disease and vision research. Develops public and professional education programs to help prevent blindness, reduce visual impairment, and increase awareness of low vision services and devices. Part of the National Institutes of Health.

National Institute on Aging.Conducts and supports biomedical, social and behavioral research and provides public education to promote healthy aging. Part of the National Institutes of Health.
TTY 1-800-222-4225

National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. The Library of Congress provides free Braille and recorded materials and lends playback equipment to eligible borrowers through a network of cooperating libraries. Books and magazines in recorded form (talking books) or in Braille are delivered and returned by postage-free mail.

Social Security Administration. Financial assistance to those who are legally blind or who have vision problems that prevent them from employment.

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Find a Doctor

American Optometric Association

American Academy of Ophthalmology

American Medical Association


Find a Doc

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General Information, Resources and Referrals

All About Vision. Information on eye diseases including cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration.

Alliance for Aging Research. Advocates for research and provides information on age-related medical discoveries and health topics.

American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). Nonprofit membership organization serving people 50 and older.

American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR). Information on healthy lifestyles, age-related conditions, and diseases and biology of aging.

Meals on Wheels Association of America.
Provides information on local meal delivery and group meal locations for seniors.

MedicAlert. Medical ID with paid 24-hour emergency response service to relay vital medical information to first responders. Caregivers are called in an emergency.

National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers. Aging specialists offering professional services and advice on caring for older adults.

National Council on Aging. Information on healthy aging, maintaining independence, and government and private benefits programs; includes news updates of interest to seniors.

Senior Citizens Bureau. Information for seniors on government programs, counseling, housing, etc. Includes an online state-by-state directory for many services.

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Legal Assistance

American Bar Association. Provides information to help find legal assistance and locate lawyers. Includes specifics on the legal issues of aging.

ElderLawAnswers.com. Find an attorney, resources, and information on financial and legal issues of aging.

National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Online database to find elder law attorneys.

National Center on Elder Abuse. National resource center dedicated to the prevention of elder mistreatment.

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Low Vision Aid Resources

AbleData. Information on assistive technology and rehabilitation equipment from domestic and international sources.

Ai Squared. Develops computer access software for the visually impaired.

Beyond Sight. Offers a wide variety of items for the visually impaired, including computers, talking clocks, kitchen items, magnifying glasses, and closed-circuit TVs.

Enhanced Vision Systems. Offers a full line of vision tools and magnifiers.

Freedom Scientific. Provides assistive and adaptive low vision technology, including portable and desktop video magnifiers, as well as magnification and screen-reading software.

G. W. Micro. Offers software and hardware solutions for the blind and visually impaired.

HumanWare. Designs and manufactures technology solutions, including the SmartView™ video magnifier for the visually impaired.

Independent Living Aids, LLC.Offers a catalog of low vision products.

Innoventions, Inc. Maker of the Magni-CamTM electronic magnifier.  

JBliss Imaging Systems. Software and electronic equipment for portable and at-home magnification of texts and pictures via cameras, scanners, and more.

LS&S. Catalog of products for people with low vision and/or impaired hearing.

Maxi Aids. Offers a catalog of low vision devices.

MONS International, Inc. Offers products for the visually impaired, including Braille watches, talking calculators, 4-track recorders, kitchen aids, writing guides, computer software and accessories, greeting cards, and talking scales.

Ocutech, Inc. Offers various types of magnifier attachments to enhance the vision of the partially sighted. Produces the VES AutoFocus telescope.

Vision Cue. Braille, low vision, and speech products from a variety of manufacturers.

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Low Vision Organizations

Low Vision Rehabilitation Centers. Evaluate and train those with low vision and offer devices and services. Ophthalmologists or local hospitals can help locate low vision rehabilitation centers.

American Council of the Blind. Provides a wide variety of services to visually impaired persons, with an emphasis on employment opportunities.

Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired. Engaged in the education, guidance, vocational rehabilitation, or occupational placement of the blind and partially sighted. Conducts certification programs, maintains job exchange services, and advocates for legislation affecting services to the blind and visually impaired.

The Braille Institute of America. Free classes, training, and a wide variety of other services and activities for those with blindness and severe sight loss. Serves Central and Southern California.

Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind. Offers programs that enable the blind or visually impaired to remain independent, including early intervention services, training and consultation in assistive technology, career placement services, comprehensive low vision care, and rehabilitation services.

HomeMods.org. Information on modifying homes to make them safer for people at risk for falls and other injuries, with specifics for individuals, families, service providers, and researchers.

Helen Keller Foundation. Strives to blindness and deafness by advancing research and education efforts.

Lighthouse International. Provides education and vision rehabilitation services, and supports research and advocacy.

Macular Degeneration Support. Provides information for those with macular degeneration and other retinal diseases, as well as assistance in forming and running support groups.

National Federation of the Blind. Provides advocacy, education, research, technology, and programs encouraging independence and self-confidence for the blind.

The Seeing Eye. Matches specially bred and trained guide dogs with blind people in the U.S. and Canada.

VisionAware. Resources for living independently with vision loss.

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Print and Audio Materials for the Visually Impaired

American Printing House for the Blind. Special media, tools, and materials for the blind and visually impaired.

Associated Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Braille, tape, and large-print materials for the blind and visually impaired.
(215) 627-0600

Books on Tape. Produces, rents, and sells unabridged audio books on CDs and as audio downloads.

International Association of Audio Information Services. A directory of radio reading services in the U.S., Canada, and several other countries.

Learning Ally formerly Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic. Provides free recorded educational books for those with blindness, visual impairment, dyslexia, or other learning disabilities. The master library contains more than 75,000 titles.

NFB-NEWSLINE®. Free nationwide telephone newspaper service for the blind and visually impaired, offered by the National Federation of the Blind.

National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Provides free Braille and recorded materials and lends playback devices to eligible borrowers through a network of cooperating libraries. Books and magazines in recorded form (talking books) or in Braille are delivered and returned by postage-free mail.

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Senior Housing

A Place for Mom. Includes information about issues that affect caregivers and provides a search engine to find eldercare advisors.

Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. Offers advice on finding an accredited rehabilitation facility.

Helpguide.org. Information on long-term care and housing options at “Senior Housing and Care” section of website.

HousingForSeniors.com. Connects interested seniors and their families with senior living options.

RetirementHomes.com. Directory of senior housing options.

seniorDECISION.com. List of home healthcare and senior housing options by state and area, with consumer ratings and reviews.

SNAPforSeniors™. Guide of senior housing options.

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State and Local Resources

Healthcare Professionals. Healthcare providers (physicians, nurses, etc.) are the first source of information for those facing health issues.

State and Area Agencies on Aging. Each state and territory in the U.S. has an Agency on Aging office located in its capital city, as well as local offices. Check the phone book or online by state and area. They provide information on nutrition and support services, elder rights programs, long term care, ombudsman programs, legal services, outreach and elder abuse prevention.

State Departments of Health and Social Services. Each state in the U.S. has these departments, as well as local offices. They can provide information on support and respite services, facilities, financial assistance, and regulations and licensing. Check the phone book or online by state and locality.

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Disclaimer: With the exception of Macular Degeneration Research, the above organizations are not affiliated with the BrightFocus Foundation. In addition, BrightFocus is not responsible for the content of these websites, and does not endorse any particular programs offered by these organizations.

Last Review: 10/07/14

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