Office of Children and Family Services

New York State Commission for the Blind

NYSCB Small Grants through Gifts and Bequests Fund

The New York State Commission for the Blind (NYSCB) provides a limited number of small competitive grants through NYSCB’s Gifts and Bequests Fund. [1]

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 [2] individuals that reside in New York State.

Funding is available to individuals or not-for-profit organizations for a one-time project or purchase (funded entirely or in part). Proposals must demonstrate that they benefit the legally blind community in general. Funding is not intended to supplement a family or individual need.

Below are some examples from prior grants:

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

Generally, NYSCB seeks proposals that do not exceed $5,000, but may consider worthy requests to exceed that amount. Awards are subject to funding availability. NYSCB values proposals that include stated sustainability and have a far-reaching impact on the blind community. The NYSCB expects that the receiving agency or individual will collaborate with NYSCB to promote the purpose.

To apply, submit the application and required supporting documentation to

In the subject line of the email, please enter: NYSCB Gifts and Bequests-Attn: Winston Martin.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Applicants will receive a response within 90 days of submission of completed application.

Please note: Since the grant application is a generic application, not all items may be relevant to your proposal.


  1. New York State Commission for the Blind (NYSCB) is authorized to receive money by gifts and bequests and expend the same for any of the objects and purposes of the Commission under New York State Unconsolidated Law Section 8712. NYSCB received spending authorization per the annual New York State Budget.
  2. Legally blind individuals are defined as - diagnosed 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.