The Eye Link Foundation is an all volunteer, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We provide grants for technology and software to assist those who are blind or visually impaired. Many of our grant recipients receive text-to-speech software, mobile scanning devices, CCTV's, Braille note-taking devices, and talking GPS. By providing funds to acquire much needed assistive technology , Eye-Link grant recipients are better equipped to gain independence. Receiving a Braille note-taker can help a student continue their education. A mobile scanner can help a blind small business owner. A CCTV helps an elderly low-vision Grandmother read cards, letters, newspapers, and recipes.
Our financial support comes entirely from individual donors and a limited number of corporate/foundation grants. Funding resources for these specific technologies are limited. A blind person can apply to Minnesota State Services for the Blind, they can seek help from family, friends, a local Lions Club, or â€” if they had the personal monetary resources â€” they can purchase their own technology. The net effect is many blind people being left behind, needing costly technology critical in helping them acquire new skills and preparing for potential employment. The Eye-Link Foundation was created exclusively to fill these needs. We are one of the few resources for assistive technology funding. In a case where State Services for the Blind has denied a blind personâ€™s request, an application can be made to The Eye-Link Foundation for help in acquiring needed technology.
What new functionality we are looking for
There are three major areas we'd like to focus on in regards to overhauling our website. One would be having a site that is easily processed both visually and through talking software, such as JAWS. Many websites are visually oriented - you need a mouse to navigate and click. For visually impaired or blind people, they experience the site through text to speech software and navigate using only the keyboard. We'd like to have a site that is in compliance with the Bobby Approved guidelines set forth by www.accessible.org.
We have a grant application online that needs improvement. We've heard from applicants that the application itself is hard to navigate with text-to-speech software and is confusing to fill-out. A more streamlined application process online will make it easier for those in need to request help.
Eye-Link relies solely on the generosity of private citizens and a few corporate grants. It would help our grant efforts to have a professional looking website. Specifically, we need a new logo and consistency throughout our site. The graphics are outdated and a bit cartoonish. While the site needs to be accessible to those with text-to-speech software, it also needs to be easy and pleasant to look at.
How the new functionality will help
Eye-Link started out as a small private fund. We were thrilled to grow and achieve our 501(c)3 status. However, the site still looks like a Mom and Pop project. A sleeker and more professional website will greatly help in our grant seeking and marketing projects. The more money we bring it, the more we are able to provide blind and visually impaired Minnesotans with life-changing technology and training.
We've been hesitant to promote the website on social-networking sites because it's such a clunker. A new site will help us gain more presence on the web and hopefully reach more private donors as well.
How our organization will use the technology
Who will use the technology
4 Messages from Supporters
The Eye-Link Foundation is a volunteer based organization that provides technology, software and related training to assist Minnesotans who are blind or visually impaired.
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