With more than 50,000 members, the National Federation of the Blind is the largest and most influential membership organization of blind people in the United States. The NFB improves blind people’s lives through advocacy, education, research, technology, and programs encouraging independence and self-confidence. It is the leading force in the blindness field today and the voice of the nation's blind. In January 2004 the NFB opened the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute, the first research and training center in the United States for the blind led by the blind.
Opened in 1990, this is the world's largest and most complete evaluation and demonstration center of adaptive technology used by the blind. The center contains nearly two million dollars' worth of technology from around the world, including all of the speech and Braille assistive devices for use with computers and other related technologies. Blind persons, parents, teachers, employers, manufacturers of assistive technology, and other interested persons may visit the center by appointment. In addition, the IBTC publishes reviews of the many speech and Braille programs and devices.
The Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards honor individuals and organizations that are a positive force in the lives of blind people. Winners receive a cash award and have included entrepreneurs, volunteers, filmmakers, authors, mathematicians, technology developers, artists, teachers, nonprofit organizations, programs, partnerships, and more.
This unique research and resource center on the non-medical aspects of blindness is one of the primary initiatives of the NFB Jernigan Institute. The Library provides researchers with materials about blindness from the perspective of the blind. Dedicated to the memory of our founding president, Dr. Jacobus tenBroek, the Jacobus tenBroek Library is revolutionizing attitudes about blindness and promoting independence.
The world's first digital talking newspaper for the blind, this service is free to anyone who is legally blind. NFB-NEWSLINE® uses computer speech technology to reproduce the texts of various national newspapers and transmit them over the telephone. Current newspaper offerings include USA Today, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Dozens of local papers and a few magazines are also available each day to subscribers. In addition to carrying the news, local sites can use one or more special channels to distribute announcements of specific interest to the blind. Sign Up.
The goal of NFB’s extensive legal program is to create more equitable workplaces, classrooms, and communities for blind Americans. We focus our efforts on protecting the rights of blind people, and addressing systemic discrimination in areas such as access to information, education, high-stakes testing, parental rights, and employment.
The Blind Driver Challenge is one of the most innovative and far-reaching research initiatives of the NFB. It is our initiative to develop nonvisual interface technology that conveys real-time information about the driving environment so that it will be possible for a blind person to safely and independently drive a car. As part of this, the NFB is participating in the development of other nonvisual access technologies that will ensure blind people can live the lives they want.
This four-day STEM academy engages and inspires the next generation of blind youth to consider careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. Youth are mentored by blind role models during fun, challenging, and inspiring activities meant to stretch the imagination, build confidence, and increase science literacy. Learn more.
The National Federation of the Blind's annual scholarship program is the largest in the nation. Every year, we award more than $120,000 to blind scholars across the United States and Puerto Rico in recognition of their achievements and professional aspirations.
This innovative program teaches sighted students how to read and write the Braille alphabet code, and increases students' sensitivity and understanding of blind persons. The Braille Is Beautiful program targets grades four through six; however, it can also be used effectively with younger or older children and in community youth projects.
Various educational programs designed to provide children and their families support and guidance to master the skills needed to achieve independence for a lifetime. Each program provides families with valuable resources for promoting success for their young blind children. This includes Braille Reading Pals and more.
The NFB Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning (BELL) Academy prepares blind and low vision children, ages four through twelve, to grow into confident and independent blind people who will live the lives they want. The program provides Braille and non-visual skills instruction through fun, hands-on learning in a day program or residential setting. Learn more or apply.
The NFB has affiliates in all fifty states plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, and over seven hundred local chapters.