Imagination Fund

Create a Future Full of Opportunity

What is the Imagination Fund?

The Imagination Fund was established with the goal of providing support for the work of the Jernigan Institute and local Federation chapters and affiliates throughout the United States. This year the Imagination campaign will elicit the help of hundreds of volunteers from around the country to share our progress and ask for your help. Your contribution to the Imagination Fund will ensure that the initiatives of the Institute are advanced and that NFB state affiliates have the support needed to reach out to the blind in local communities. With your help all will benefit from the research, technology, education, and inspiration of the Jernigan Institute.

About the National Federation of the Blind

Shark dissectionThe National Federation of the Blind (NFB) is the largest organization of the blind in this country. Founded in 1940, the Federation's purpose is to serve as a vehicle for collective action by the blind and as a mechanism to help blind people achieve self-confidence, self-respect, and self-determination. Our goal is the complete integration of the blind into society on a basis of equality.

With more than fifty thousand members from seven hundred local and state affiliates covering all fifty states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, the Federation is truly the voice of the nation's blind.

The establishment of the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute, the first of its kind developed and operated by an organization of blind people, marks an historic milestone for the National Federation of the Blind and blind people throughout the world. The programs, services, research, and technology of the Institute will reflect the consumer perspective and be responsive to the pragmatic needs of the blind in a way unique to an organization of blind persons.

For more information please contact us at:

National Federation of the Blind
200 East Wells Street
     at Jernigan Place
Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 659-9314, ext. 2406
[email protected]


  • Blind children working with clayConducted Technology for Technology Trainers two-day training workshop for professionals working with the blind.
  • Hosted an annual "Possibilities Fair," a resource program for blind and low-vision seniors.
  • Delivered over 165 daily newspapers, including two in Spanish, to over 50,000 blind individuals by telephone 24-7 on NFB-NEWSLINE'.
  • Conducted first ever Science Academy for blind youth, a summer program in partnership with NASA.

"Science Academy has given me confidence in myself because I was able to see a lot of blind people who have been successful in science"
                 --Andrew Wai, Student at the 2004 Science Academy

"' now I know I can be a scientist, so I will take those advanced science and math courses'"
-Hoby Wedler, Student Attending the 2004 Science Academy

  • Maintained the International Braille and Technology Center for the Blind (IBTC), an evaluation, demonstration, and training facility containing over $2 million worth of speech and Braille technology for the blind.
  • Established the Jacobus tenBroek Library, a research and resource library on blindness. 
  • Partnered with the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University challenging students to develop a portable, low-cost Braille-writing machine.
  •  Expanded to four the online courses now available to familiarize teaching professionals and parents of blind children with blindness issues.
  • Called the first GAMA (Goals for Achieving Math Accessibility) Summit, which brought educators and math technologists together to collaborate on innovations for the improvement of math access for the blind.

Kids placing rocket on launcherProgress Continues

  • Building the first handheld portable reading machine for the blind.
  • Creating a National Center for Mentoring Excellence, which will link blind and visually impaired youth with successful blind mentors.
  • Developing a high-tech educational curriculum about adjustment to vision loss in collaboration with Lions International and the Lions Vision Research and Rehabilitation Center at Johns Hopkins University.
  • Promoting voting machines accessible for the blind.
  • Launching a grassroots volunteer recruitment and training program to strengthen local NFB chapters, funded by the UPS Foundation.

How Your Gift Can Help the Imagination Fund!

Students working with Braille computersA gift of:


  • Makes it possible for talented blind youth to attend our summer Science Academy sessions and launch a rocket with NASA's rocket scientists.
  • Makes it possible for hundreds of blind kids to participate in "Braille Readers Are Leaders"-- a literacy program for independent readers grades K-12.


  • Supports resource fairs that encourage independence for seniors who are losing vision.
  • Provides materials to teachers that will make it possible to teach blind students more effectively.


  • Sends copies of NFB's Kernel Books and inspirational videos to parents and the newly blind.
  • Brings blind adults to educational seminars that provide information and resources necessary to enhance independence.


  • Distributes Braille Is Beautiful, a blindness and Braille awareness curriculum for sighted youth.


  • Provides materials for parents and professional staff attending the NFB Jernigan Institute Early Childhood Conference.


  • Provides three blind children the opportunity to be a part of the "My First Cane" program.

Blind man using NewslineYour Gift Will Support the Work of the Jernigan Institute and Help NFB Affiliates to:

  • Make science and math a real possibility for blind children
  • Provide hope for seniors losing their vision
  • Help state affiliates and local chapters promote programs and provide information that will educate the blind
  • Advance technology helpful to the blind
  • Create a state-of-the-art library on blindness
  • Train and inspire professionals working with the blind
  • Provide parents with critical information helpful to their blind children
  • Mentor blind people trying to find jobs
  • Guarantee that you are part of the NFB dream!

 "We invite you to help us by sharing your ideas, talents, and treasure." 
             -Marc Maurer, President, National Federation of the Blind