The American Council of the Blind of Indiana (ACBI) is a 501c3, not-for-profit consumer organization, composed primarily of people who are blind and visually impaired. It was founded in 1971 and incorporated in the state of Indiana. It is an affiliate of the American Council of the Blind (ACB), a national consumer organization founded in 1961.
ACBI’s purpose is to improve the well-being of Indiana’s blind residents by:
- Serving as a representative state organization.
- Elevating social, economic and cultural levels.
- Improving educational and rehabilitation facilities and opportunities.
- Cooperating with public and private institutions and organizations concerned with services for the blind.
- Encouraging and assisting blind people to develop their abilities.
- And to promote greater understanding of blindness and visual impairment.
There are over 200 members of the ACBI. Many of its members belong to one of the state’s three local or regional chapters. There are also members-at-large. Membership is not limited to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. We have sighted members. Legal blindness is a requirement to serve on the ACBI Board of Directors (with the exception of the Secretary and Treasurer positions).
ACBI has three Indiana city and regional affiliates. These groups meet periodically and participate in ACBI annual conventions. The ACBI officers and board meet quarterly and more frequently, if required.
ACBI publishes the FOCUS four times per year; a free newsletter with a statewide readership, produced in large print, audio cassette, or email. It contains articles on employment, legislation, sports and leisure activities, new products and services, human interest and other information of value to people who are blind or visually impaired.
Many people who are blind, visually impaired or sighted benefit from the following ACBI services:
- Information and referral on all aspects of blindness and visual impairments
- Scholarship assistance to blind or visually impaired post-secondary students
- Public education and awareness training
- Support to consumer advocates
- Legal assistance on matters relating to blindness
- Leadership and legislative training
- Consulting with industry regarding employment of blind and visually impaired individuals
- Governmental monitoring, consultation and advocacy
- Annual state convention