Diabetes Action Network

Blind diabetics and those losing vision can continue to be independent. The blind can and do accurately draw up insulin, monitor blood glucose levels, etc. 'Limitations' are usually self-imposed, and often all that is needed to overcome negative thinking is simply to know where to go for information.  Some equipment (i.e. audio output devices) has been adapted for the blind. By using alternative techniques and products, the blind can control their diabetes as efficiently as do their sighted peers.

The Diabetes Action Network, a division of the National Federation of the Blind, is a support and information network for all diabetics, especially those who are blind or losing vision. Many of our members have experienced ramifications of diabetes such as blindness, amputation, nerve damage, heart problems, kidney disease, etc. Others have experienced no chronic complications, but want to utilize our services, learn more about diabetes, and be part of a caring support group. In addition to reaching out to fellow diabetics who may be finding it difficult to cope with problems that accompany diabetes, we provide support and information to interested persons. Please join our list serv. We have discussions covering all aspects of living with diabetes. 

Bridging the Gap - Living with Blindness and Diabetes focuses on nonvisual methods of managing diabetes. This volume has been prepared to answer common questions from blind diabetics. It includes a collection of some of the best articles from the Voice of the Diabetic and a useful resource section. Contact the NFB Independence Market for a copy in print or audio.

Additional literature focusing on diabetes as well as blindness related products, which enable the user to perform everyday tasks more independently, can be ordered from the NFB Independence Market. The list, Helpful Tools for Blind Diabetics, describes items which may be of particular interest.

Back issues of Voice of the Diabetic are available online. Each issue contains personal, candid stories written by diabetics, friends, health care professionals, and others who share experiences and expertise on diabetes and its complications. Emphasizing the importance of good diabetes control, proper diet, and independence, this upbeat outreach publication shows diabetics that they have options regardless of the side effects of diabetes. Features include a medical Q and A column, a 'Recipe Corner,' and a resource column of aids and appliances.

Blind and low-vision diabetics can access Diabetes Forecast and Diabetic Living magazines through NFB- NEWSLINE®, the world's largest digital talking newspaper service for the blind, available free of charge to anyone who is legally blind. Thousands of low-vision readers already use NFB-NEWSLINE®, which makes the texts of hundreds of local and national newspapers, as well as television broadcast schedules, localized weather alerts, and job listings available on demand to blind readers in an easily accessible format by telephone, online, or via an iPhone/iPad app.

Members of the Diabetes Action Network enjoy priority services and unique benefits such as: access to publications, automatic access to committees covering all aspects of diabetes, free counseling concerning all facets of blindness and diabetes as well as access to diabetics who have experienced complications. Members of the Diabetes Action Network also automatically become members-at-large of the National Federation of the Blind. 

NFB DAN Mission

The NFB Diabetes Action Network educates, empowers, and inspires people living with diabetes and its complications. We share the Federation's 'can-do' philosophy, through our various publications, volunteer peer support, and advocacy for accessible diabetes technology. Together, we challenge one another to live our best and fullest lives.

About the NFB Diabetes Action Network

Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness among working-age adults. That's why the National Federation of the Blind, the largest and most influential membership organization of blind people in the United States, established the NFB Diabetes Action Network (NFB DAN) 22 years ago. The NFB DAN improves lives through advocacy, education, research, technology development, and programs encouraging independence and self-confidence.

Originally, the goal of NFB DAN was simple: to educate, empower and inspire blind and visually impaired people with diabetes to manage their condition independently and confidently and to advocate for accessible diabetes products. Thousands of NFB DAN members manage multiple complications, not just vision loss, so our mission has also expanded to include people with all kinds of diabetic complications. NFB DAN volunteers share their experiences and encouragement with those facing similar complications, such as kidney failure, amputation, and neuropathy. 

For more information please contact:

Bernadette M. Jacobs, President
1501 Langford Road
Gwynn Oak, Maryland 21207
Cell: 410-215-8587
Email: [email protected]

Please join the Diabetes Action Network listserv.  We have discussions covering all aspects of living with diabetes.

NFB DAN is a proud partner of the State of Diabetes Complications in America.  State of Diabetes Complications in America press release (Word doc).

State of Diabetes Complications in America