Blind Service Association

General Information

Blind Service Association
17 N. State Street
Suite 1050
Chicago, IL 60602-3510
(312) 236 0808

Brief Description

Founded in 1924, Blind Service Association provides reading and recording services free of charge to its clients, in addition to a number of other educational, recreational, and support programs for visually impaired people of all ages.

Publishes “Vision Connection,� a monthly newsletter that provides information on special events, coping strategies, and the latest updates on medical, legal, dietary and research developments related to visual impairment and is available in large print, on audiocassette or e-mail. Also offers Eccentric Viewing, a workshop on vision enhancement for those with macular degeneration or anyone who has lost the central part of their vision. Offers eye and body coordination exercises led by a developmental optometrist to teach those in the class to learn to use the portion of the eye that is still healthy, mainly the peripheral vision. Also has a peer counselor on staff for consultations and demonstrations to successfully use various optical devices. BSA staff members are available for off-site visits to retirement or assistive living complexes and rehabilitation or senior centers in the Chicago area to share information about services available for people with visual impairment. Call BSA to schedule a visit. Vision Connection sponsors social activities such as concerts, boat rides, and lunches at various dining spots in the Chicago area. Offers year-round educational seminars on topics such as eye diseases by well-known Chicago ophthalmologists or lectures on issues of transportation.


Debbie Grossman, Executive Director,

Services Offered

  • Employment/Job Training
    • Computer consortium helps members with support and job contacts.

  • Information and Referral
    • Provides information and referral service via call-in or by appointment.

  • Support Groups
    • Provides self-help and support groups for young adults, mid-lifers and seniors.

  • Reading Services
    • Offers reading by volunteers at main office at 17 North State and at suburban library satellites. Offers one-to-one reading where trained volunteers are available to read any type of material presented to clients.

  • Information and Referral
    • Provides information and assistance for seniors.

  • Braille and Reading Instruction
    • Offers braille instruction.

  • In-Home Services
    • Offers family/caregiver services.

  • Recreation Services
    • Once a month interested members, clients and volunteers gather at Blind Service Association's downtown office to hear a live reading of a short story and to join in a post-reading discussion.

      Several times a year at our downtown office, Blind Service Association hosts a one-day art workshop presented by various professional artists working in different media. Interested clients can learn such skills as Japanese origami or mask-making.