The Jamaica Society for the Blind (JSB) was incorporated on May 17, 1954. It was established with the support of the Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind (now Sightsavers) in response to a petition made to the Queen of England with respect to the conditions affecting persons who were blind in Jamaica.
The JSB is also a member of the Caribbean Council for the Blind.
To provide registered persons who are blind or visually impaired with reading and audio material for their educational and entertainment purposes.
To ensure that persons who are blind or visually impaired are fully functional with Braille or computer skills through training.
To facilitate access to information through the provision of technological solutions for persons who are blind or visually impaired.
To promote eye health education, prevent avoidable blindness and vision impairment, whilst advancing the well-being of persons who are blind and visually impaired, through the provision of training and empowerment programs as well as advocacy services
The Jamaica Society for the Blind envisions a country where no one is blind from preventable causes and, where blind and visually impaired persons are guaranteed opportunities and access to services through collaborations
The incorporation of the Jamaica Society for the Blind resulted from a desire to change the way services were provided to persons who were blind or visually impaired.
Reports indicate that a group comprising of Alexander Barclay, William Smith, Jim Levy, Ronald Ayres and others, held consultations with government officials, including representatives from the Ministry of Labour.
The organization was formally established on May 17, 1954. During its early years, the Society’s primary function was to organize and maintain a record of persons who were blind or visually impaired. However, in the late 1970s, the focus shifted and persons with blindness and visual impairment started to occupy positions of leadership within the Society and gradually influenced its current mode of operations.
From its initial programmes, the Society has over the years embarked on a range of activities which included – vision screening, training in adjustment to blindness techniques, counseling, introduction of library services, and training in information..
1954 – Incorporation of Jamaica Society for the Blind
1965 – Formation of the Adult Blind Club
1979 – Appointment of the first Chairman who was blind (Derrick Palmer)
1980– Acquisition of current premises
1981 – Appointment of first Executive Director who was blind (Arvel Grant)
1982 – Introduction of Weekly Radio Broadcast “AWARENESS” on the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC)
1984 – Introduction of Library Services
1984 – Inauguration of JSB’s Eye Clinic
1985 – Introduction of Adjustment to Blindness Services; first JSB Fundraising and Public Education "Media-thon"
1995 – Availability of School Textbooks in Braille and Large Print through the Ministry of Education
1999 – Appointment of former client : Senator and Junior Minister of Government (Senator Dr. Floyd Morris)
2000 – Introduction of Information Technology training for students who are blind
2004 – Observance of JSB’s 50th Anniversary of Incorporation
2004 - Dedication and handing over of showroom and an expansion of craft making facility by the Rotary Club of St. Andrew North.
2005 - Joint effort alongside Child Development Agency (CDA) to lobby government to provide assistance to persons with disabilities.
2008 - Empowerment Grant and the Assistive Aids Grant established.
2014 - Establishment of JSB Scholarship Fund
2017 - Launch of JSB Vision Centre
Jamaica Society For The Blind
111 1/2 Old Hope Road, Kingston 6 Jamaica
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