Federal Assistance Programs
American Printing House for the Blind
Established in 1879 and administered by the Department of Education, the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) supplies accessible educational materials for legally blind students who are enrolled in primary and secondary education programs. APH provides textbooks in large type and Braille, special education tools such as Braille printers and computer software and interfaces, teaching aids, and other special supplies. APH is funded by an annual federal appropriation, and credits for APH materials and services are allocated to state education programs in proportion to the number of legally blind individuals in each state. In fiscal year 2012, $24.505 million was appropriated by Congress for use by APH. Because this program is utilized primarily by school-aged children, we allocate all of its cost to children aged 0 to 17 (Table 8.1).
Table 8.1. Budgetary Cost of American Printing House for the Blind
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) is a federal service administered by the Library of Congress that supplies adapted reading materials to individuals who are blind or physically handicapped. Materials delivered by mail to clients free of charge include books and magazines available in both Braille and audio formats, with more than 26 million titles circulated each year. In fiscal year 2010, Congress appropriated more than $70.1 million in support of NLS services. Although a small portion of these funds was used to support services for physically handicapped individuals who are not legally blind, the majority of NLS services are provided for the blind and visually impaired. Assuming that non-blindness-related expenditures by NLS are negligible and that services are used equally across age groups, we allocate the federal budgetary cost of the program based on the proportion of blind persons in each age group. (Table 8.2).