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Consumer Organizations

American Council of the Blind Minnesota (ACBM)

Who We Are

We are a diverse group of people with wide varieties of visual disability including total blindness and legal blindness. We also welcome members who are fully sighted and share concerns about blindness issues. We range in experience of blindness from people who have never seen to those adapting to blindness developing later in life.

We honor the rights of members to choose their preferred means of travel, from use of guide dogs or the white cane to sighted guides. We enjoy having fun when socializing at quarterly meetings, monthly coffee outings and picnics in the summer!

ACBM is affiliated with the American Council of the Blind, an advocacy organization, headquartered in Washington, D. C. consisting of blind and visually impaired individuals from the United States and abroad. The mission of ACB: "The American Council of the Blind (ACB) is a national organization of blind, visually impaired and sighted individuals whose purpose is to work toward independence, security, equality of opportunity, and improved quality of life for all blind and visually impaired people."

What We've Done

  • Persisted in making Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS) available.
  • Worked with others in the disability community to get audio description in movie and live performance theaters.
  • Developed and implemented the Metro Mobility same day premium service, allowing use of taxis when needed on short notice.
  • Worked with ophthalmologists to educate them about available blindness resources.
  • Worked to educate all members of the public about issues important to people who are blind or visually-impaired and to encourage advocacy for the needs of the blind in public discourse.
  • ACBM is an organization that looks to the future while recognizing the lessons of the past.

Want More Information?

You can contact ACBM in several ways:

  • Call the ACBM Info Express hotline at 612-486-5180
  • Visit the ACBM web site
  • Send us mail at PO Box 7341, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55407

Minnesota DeafBlind Association (MDBA)

As the only organization serving DeafBlind people in Minnesota that is governed by DeafBlind people, MDBA is a focal point of the Minnesota DeafBlind community. Established in 1979, MDBA is committed to providing information, education, advocacy and other services to persons who are DeafBlind, family members, parents of deafblind children, allies and professionals.

By providing programs and services geared toward increasing self-reliance, MDBA has been key in assisting people who are DeafBlind and their families regaining and maintaining personal independence and healthy interdependence. MDBA is also an invaluable source of information to the public about DeafBlindness and related issues.

The Minnesota DeafBlind Association has worked since 1979 to…

  • Alleviate the social isolation and close the information gap associated with DeafBlindness. We hold at least one event per year in Minnesota areas where there are fewer DeafBlind people.
  • Provide a supportive place to share information and receive training about personal safety, financial literacy, assistive technology, peer mentorship, current events, and more.
  • Help DeafBlind individuals maintain an important sense of community and make lasting friendships with other DeafBlind people, both statewide and nationally. MDBA is an affiliate of the American Association of the DeafBlind.
  • Support the continued empowerment of DeafBlind individuals, helping them to preserve and increase their self-esteem and self-reliance in an atmosphere of unconditional acceptance and reduced communication barriers.

Contact Us

Minnesota DeafBlind Association
1821 University Avenue West
Suite S-117
St. Paul, MN 55104
General Email: 651-647-6564

National Federation of the Blind

Live the life you want
Contact us:
Twitter: NFBMN
Facebook: Search for "National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota"

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want; blindness is not what holds you back.

Founded in 1920, the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota (NFBM) is a vital part of the National Federation of the Blind, the nation's oldest, largest, and most influential membership organization of blind persons. With more than fifty thousand members, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) has affiliates in all fifty states plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, and over seven hundred local chapters. The members of NFBM come from all over the state and include students, parents, children, seniors, and other blind people with a wide range of occupations--as well as family members and friends of blind people. Our local chapters meet monthly, and we have semiannual statewide conventions.

  • We present talks, films, and seminars to local and statewide organizations. We serve as an information center for blind persons of all ages, their families, people losing their sight, and the public at large.
  • We publish and distribute free newsletters containing information on current issues facing the blind, as well as resource guides for parents, educators, employers, and blind senior citizens, and other material aimed at dispelling misunderstanding and stereotypes about blindness.
  • We make available NFB-NEWSLINE® for the Blind, the world's first free newspaper service, offering the blind the complete text of over 300 national and local newspapers over the telephone or in other alternative formats.
  • We act to be sure blind people have access to vital services such as public transportation, the voting booth, banking, airline travel, online information, etc.
  • We are a continuing forum for discussion of the day-to-day problems often faced by blind people and a source of practical solutions to those problems.
  • We support opportunities for blind persons to develop confidence in the use of the alternative techniques of blindness (for example use of white cane and Braille.)
  • We provide role models to help other blind people know that they, too, can live the lives they want.
  • We present seminars for blind students and for parents of blind children.
  • We help blind college students to continue their education through a state scholarship and the NFB national scholarship program.

United Blind of Minnesota, Inc.

918 26th Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414

The United Blind of Minnesota, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) service organization that has served blind and visually impaired Minnesotans since 1939. United Blind's legal, educational, recreational, cultural and legislative programs enable blind and visually impaired Minnesotans to achieve personal goals not otherwise attainable.

The United Blind holds quarterly luncheon meetings on either the first or second Saturday of January, March, May and October. Other functions include an annual picnic in July and a holiday party in December which is free to regular and associate members. The quarterly meetings and other activities are held at various metro locations. Annual membership dues are $5.

The Legal Advocate for the Blind is sponsored by the United Blind of Minnesota and supported by other private contributions. The advocate program provides free legal services to blind Minnesotans for problems relating to blindness. The advocate program helps blind Minnesotans obtain and keep jobs, assists with social security problems, secures educational benefits and answers legal questions by phone.

The United Blind maintains a 24-hour, 7-days-a-week voice messaging system. When you dial 952-236-4788, you have the option of selecting the United Blind Newsline, the Social Line, or the Miscellaneous Line. The United Blind Newsline informs callers about current activities, pertinent legislation and other important matters; the Social Line provides more personal information regarding members and other items of interest and the Miscellaneous Line is available for comments or suggestions.

If you wish to be contacted by a United Blind person, you may leave a message on the United Blind's voice messaging system - 952-236-4788. New members keep our organization growing and vibrant. We look forward to hearing from you.

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