Visual Impairments

Our Church Opens Minds through awareness about the variety of disabilities that affect people every day.  There is no us and them when it comes to disabilities.   All people are differently-abled and all people will experience some disability, at least once in life.  A parish Opens Minds whenever it takes concrete steps to exercise God's compassion for people who are differently-abled physically, mentally or emotionally.  


Visual impairment occurs when there is an impairment in the functioning of the eye. The impairment may be in the eye itself, where images are processed in a portion of the brain or in the nerves that send messages to the brain. Impairments range from a slight loss to blindness.  One impairment may be problems with light or depth perception resulting in tunnel vision or poor peripheral (all around) vision. With low vision, correction is made with glasses and there is some ability to read. Some people with visual impairments may require large print which signifies print in:

18 point or larger. 

Please consider the tools and resources provided here for those with a visual impairment and refer to links for other specific disabilities on the left sidebar.

Patrick Hughes, who was born blind, shares his gift of music.

American Foundation for the Blind - is a national nonprofit that expands possibilities for the more than 25 million people with vision loss in the U.S. AFB's priorities include broadening access to technology; elevating the quality of information and tools for the professionals who serve people with vision loss; and promoting independent and healthy living for people with vision loss by providing them and their families with relevant and timely resources. AFB's work in these areas is supported by its strong presence in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Washington, <st1:state w:st="on">DC, ensuring the rights and interests of Americans with vision loss are represented in our nation's public policies.

Help with Directions - a great website with useful directions on how to use common medications, appliances, prepare food items, and many other directions commonly taken for granted the seeing community.

The Association of Blind Citizens has created the Assistive Technology Fund (ATF) - a program that provides access to technology for those who are blind and visually impaired, thereby improving employment opportunities, increasing independence and enhancing their overall quality of life. The ATF will cover 50% of the retail price of adaptive devices or software. The products covered by this program must retail between $200 and $6,000. Thre are a bunch of eligibility requirements that you can read about on their website. Applications are accepted year round, with deadlines of June 30th and December 31st for each grant period.



<st1:place w:st="on"><st1:state w:st="on">New York Commission on the Blind - enhances employability, maximizes independence and assists in the development of the capacities and strengths of people who are legally blind.

National Federation of the Blind of New York State   

Olmsted Center for Sight (Blind Association of WNY) - offers Statler Center Job Training Programs, technology training, low vision clinic, rehabilitation services, assistive technology, housing services and early education programs.

Support Groups

The Buffalo Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind - meets on the third Thursday of the month at  Plaka Restaurant at 2904 Delaware Ave.,  Kenmore, NY.  An ala carte meal is served at 6pm followed by a meeting at 7pm.  For more information call 716-877-1688.

Catholic Ministry

The Xavier Society for the Blind - provides spiritual and religious materials to individuals throughout the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">United States</st1:country-region> at no charge. They are the National Catholic Lending Library for the Blind, and have a variety of events and new programs which will expand their ability to help clients.  The web site is designed to be accessible to screen reading programs, and those who have registered with the XSB have a special section where they can make address changes, order books from the library and download or sign up to receive periodicals. For more information on how to register, or how to get online, contact

Catholic Charities Guild for the Blind - provides spiritual and social opportunities/events for approximately 130 persons who are totally or legally blind. There are approximately 50 volunteers active in supplying transportation and other services. Call 218-1400 for more information.


Free Downloads

Visual Loss 

Visual Processing Disorder

Resources, Tools and Technology for School Success 

For more assistance from the Diocesan Disability Inclusion Team, contact Dennis Mahaney or call 716-847-8393.

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