About NFBI

The National Federation of the Blind of Illinois (NFBI), an affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind, is an organization that believes in the full capacity of blind people, and has the power, influence, diversity and determination to help transform our dreams into reality. Members work together for a brighter tomorrow by raising expectations so that blind persons can live the life they want.

Who We Are

The National Federation of the Blind of Illinois is a 501c(3) nonprofit volunteer membership organization comprised of blind and interested sighted persons of all ages, their families and friends. Our committed local chapters, divisions, committees, programs, projects and well-trained leaders help newly blind people adjust to vision loss, and promote the full participation and integration of blind people in our communities. We bring our collective experiences together to effect change at the state and national level.

What We Do

  • Assist blind persons to acquire the skills of independence
  • Help blind persons to develop confidence in themselves through our many service activities
  • Teach blind persons the skills of leadership through active participation in conventions, chapter meetings, and civic activities
  • Encourage blind seniors to continue their active and meaningful lifestyles
  • Prepare blind students for productive tax-paying careers through academic and training scholarships
  • Inform diabetics about their options for coping with vision loss
  • Support parents and friends of blind children with information about the capabilities of the blind
  • Protect and promote the civil rights of blind persons through public education and legislative action
  • Advocate for policies that eliminate discrimination and guarantee equal access to educational programs and high quality rehabilitation
  • Educate the public through seminars, community activities and our publications

Our VISION is to create a world where people who are blind share opportunities to lead satisfying and independent lives, equal to those who are not blind. We commit ourselves to improving the lives of blind people in Illinois by living the VALUES of: SECURITY, EQUALITY and OPPORTUNITY assuring comparable choices to pursue our dreams.

Our MISSION as a grass roots “people’s movement” is to work together to advocate for ourselves and to encourage each other to achieve self-determined independence.

The National Federation of the Blind of Illinois demonstrates its commitment through statewide activities, advocating for children and adults of all ages. This includes developing and nurturing strong and informed relationships with both public and private schools and agencies responsible for providing services to the blind; seeking legislative solutions through cooperative ventures with our state representatives; and seeking private funding to support scholarships, work-study grants and internships for promising students. The NFBI Board of Directors also sponsors many low- income members in attending seminars, conventions and legislative events in order to provide mentoring and for them to learn more about possibilities for their futures. In many instances, attendance at such an event is the first time a newly blinded person has met other blind people with rich and interesting stories of success to share.

The National Federation of the Blind of Illinois carries out its work through collaboration and resource sharing with its strong National organization, through meetings and activities of its local chapters and through the education and mentorship activities of its more than 300 members scattered throughout the state. While the organization affirms its grass roots emphasis by reserving its leadership for people who are blind, all people who support our values and aspire to our vision are welcome to join our movement.

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