Office of Children and Family Services

New York State Commission for the Blind

NYCBS Small Grant Program

The New York State Commission for the Blind (NYSCB) provides a limited number of small competitive grants through its Gifts and Bequests Fund, supported solely by contributions from grateful consumers and their families. This funding provides for promising projects that offer unique and innovative ways to improve the lives of legally blind residents of New York State, and is available to individuals or not-for-profit organizations for a one-time project or purchase, entirely or in part.

Examples from prior grants:

  • A demonstration project that taught blind individuals how to safely navigate and in a kitchen.
  • The purchase of a Braille embosser for the New York Public Library’s Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Books Library
  • A summer program to provide kids with intense Braille instruction through fun and hands-on learning activities.

Generally, NYSCB seeks proposals not to exceed $5,000 but may consider worthy requests to exceed this threshold. Awards are subject to funding availability. NYSCB values proposal that include stated sustainability and have a far-reaching impact on NYCM consumers. With these funds, NYSCB will expect that the receiving agency or individual will collaborate with NYSCB to promote the funding and its purpose.

To apply, submit the application and required supporting documentation to Winston.Martin@ocfs.ny.gov or call (518) 408-3594.

Please put “NYSCB Gifts and Bequests” in the subject line. This application is a generic application and not all fields may be relevant. If you have questions about the application, please contact Winston Martin. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Applicants will receive a response within 90 days of submission of the completed application.

NYSCB is authorized to receive money by gifts and bequests and expend the same for any of the objects and purposes of NYSCB under New York State Unconsolidated Law Section 8712. NYSCB received spending authorization per the annual New York State Budget. In New York State, legally blind means having been diagnosed with central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the best possible correction, and/or a visual field of 20 degrees or less.