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Home >> Specialized Senior Resources >> Braille Institute

The Braille Institute

When you are ready...
Braille Institute is there to help.

The Sight Center is located at:
741 North Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90029
Tel: (323) 663-1111 
or call 1(800) BRAILLE (272-4553)

The Braille Institute has been helping people with vision loss for more than 75 years.
All programs are free of charge.

How to Apply for Services

Sight loss affects every facet of your life and little things can become big obstacles. Braille Institute can help break down those barriers and help you regain independence. With the support of Braille Institute, seniors can continue to live a full and independent life.

There are many ways you can begin your relationship with Braille Institute:

bulletBy becoming a patron of the Library of
       recorded and braille books
bulletBy coming in for Visual Aids consultation
bulletBy enrolling in Classes that teach you how to maintain an independent life style.

Each of the centers also has a Student Shop filled with unique consumer products that make everyday tasks easier to perform, such as talking clocks, large-print calendars and sensors that buzz when liquid reached the top of its container.

Braille Institute also offers Community Outreach Programs in more than 60 locations throughout Southern California. Call for locations.

Books on Tape & Other Library Services

You may wish to consider becoming a
Library patron through Braille Institute.

Library Services has nearly one million books, magazines and periodicals on cassette or disc or in braille, either in its own collection or available through the National Library Service (NLS). 

Braille's reader advisors will help you select took titles over the phone, by mail or in person. Braille even supplies the cassette players; there is no cost to you. 

Catalogs ot titles on cassette are available, and you will receive a quarterly newsletter.

You do not have to be legally blind to become a Library patron. For more information call:
Toll Free: 1(800) 808-2555
Within 323: 660-3880

Visual Aids Consultations

You do not have to be legally blind to take advantage of Braille Institute's Visual Aids service.

Consultants will review your visual acuity, then meet with you one-on-one to demonstrate and recommend lighting alternatives or adaptive products such as hand-held magnifiers and closed-circuit televisions.

Call for more information.

Classes to Help you Stay Independent

Braille's Institute classes are open to
all adults who are legally blind.

Simply call for an appointment. A counselor will meet with you to discuss your specific needs, then make recommendations on which classes would be most beneficial to you and your family.

Living Skills Classes

Living skills classes cover three basic skills:
orientation & mobility, independent living,
sensory awareness.

Orientation & Mobility Training, which involves individualized instruction in the use of a white cane. You will learn techniques that will enable you to establish your location in any environment and move about in a safe and efficient manner.

Independent Living courses teach you the skills you will need for doing everyday things, such as maintaining a household, preparing meals, identifying money, using handwriting aids, telephoning and telling time.

Sensory Awareness classes show you how to best employ your other senses, plus how to maximize the use of your remaining vision.

In addition to these living skills classes, the Institute offers individual counseling and 
group workshops to help you and your family adjust to the emotional impact of sight loss.

Social and Recreational Classes

You may need help with some things,
such as transportation, but that doesn't
mean you can't learn to do other daily 
tasks in new ways.

Once you have learned the basics, you are eligible to take social and recreational courses. They are designed to help you reinforce your living skills while developing new interests or rekindling old ones.

Communication courses cover everything from how to use a keyboard for typing or computer use to learning to read and write braille.

Social and Adjustment Skills courses cover different forms of art, from ceramics to mixed media, a well as other subjects such as music and current events.

Volunteers needed

For every paid employee, 14 volunteers donate their time to provide the services of the Braille Institute. Volunteers are needed and welcome!


Inside This Page

How to apply
  for services
Books on Tape &
  Library services
Visual aids
Classes to help you
  stay independent
Living skills classes
Social & recreational
Volunteers needed

Useful Links

Braille Institute
  Web site

Related Stories

Staying independent
A Senior's road to

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This site was first published in April, 2001.

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