Braille Institute of America, Inc.

General Information

Braille Institute of America, Inc.
741 North Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90029
(323) 663 1111

Brief Description

Braille Institute is committed to eliminating blindness as a barrier to fulfilling life. We offer programs to families of infants, and young children, as well as a youth program and on adult educational programs.


Peter Mindnich, President,

Gary Jimenez, Vice President, Development,

Lisa Jimenez, Executive Director, Rancho Mirage,, 760 321 1111

Gloria Coulston, Executive Director, Anaheim,, 714 821 5000

Jay Hatfield, Executive Director, San Diego Center,, 858 452 1111

Debbie Plaia,

Services Offered

  • Counseling
    • Provides short term counseling as it relates to issues of adjusting to vision loss and referrals to mental health professional for long term counseling. We also offer family and peer support groups.

  • Professional Training
    • Offers internship and fieldwork for college students, in-service training programs and seminars for professionals in allied fields.

  • Recreation Services
    • Offers summer experiences for youth and teens (swimming, sports, arts and crafts, physical education, and music activities).

  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training
    • Provides training in independent living skills on site an in outreach settings. Core skills such as kitchen confidence, home management, personal management, sensory awareness, independent living skills, orientation and mobility are offered every day of the week in English and Spanish.

  • Library Services
    • Operates the NLS regional library for Southern California to provide braille, audio books and digital books and downloads to blind and physically handicapped persons. Offers volunteer reading and tape recording services.

  • Community Outreach Programs
    • Conducts community outreach programs in English and in Spanish (El Poder Sin Ver or Ability without Sight)in more than 200 locations throughout southern California.

  • Computer Training/Assistive Technology
    • Offers mainstream and assistive technology training, demonstrations and seminars. Visit Connection Pointe and see all the newest in technology and how to use it.

  • Low Vision Services
    • People who are visually impaired or blind, but have light perception, are provided demonstrations of magnifiers, lighting and non-optical devices that could assist them with the use of their remaining vision in completing daily tasks. We also provide internal and external referrals for related services.

  • Assistive Products
    • Sells adaptive devices, talking watches, cooking utensils, large-print items. Products for sale on site at the Vistas store in Los Angeles and through catalog.

  • Travel/Orientation and Mobility
    • Provides orientation and mobility training in and around your residence, in your neighborhood and around town. Learn how to use local public transportation as well.

  • Braille/Electronic/Audio/Large Print Production
    • Produces free braille books and reading kits for Special Collections, braille literature for ages 0-18.

  • Information and Referral
    • If you are a participant of our services, we refer you to other agencies for a myriad of services. Also, you can call our toll free number 1-800-BRAILLE (272-4553) to receive local and national referrals.

  • In-Home Services
    • Our Orientation and Mobility staff come to your home to provide training on how to get around your residence, neighborhood and town. Our Independent Living Skills and Technology Instructors come to your home to provide training for living independently and using assistive technology. In Home Counseling is also provided by our staff.

  • Reading Services
    • Our volunteer program in Los Angeles provides reader services. People who cannot read their mail or other items can make an appointment and a volunteer will read these items to them. We also have the Telephone reader program through the Library in which newspapers and other items are read daily and library patrons can call in and listen to the latest information.

  • Support Groups
    • Some of our five regional centers offer peer and family support groups. We also have parent groups that meet quarterly for the child development program.