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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Blind & Visually Impaired Centers, Disabilities, Eye Diseases, Blindness & Vision Impairments, Health, Human Services, Job Training, Vocational Rehabilitation

Mission: VISIONS, incorporated in 1926, was founded by a group of women who believed in offering opportunities for independence, employment, socialization, vocational rehabilitation and family services for people who are blind or visually impaired. VISIONS continues its original mission of promoting the independence of people of all ages who are blind or visually impaired.

Programs: Rehabilitation and community outreach: the number of registered consumers served in direct vision rehabilitation and employment services was 1,220. The community outreach department was successful in training over 8,000 staff at other agencies to make referrals. A total of 1,207 referrals were received: 592 from the nys commission for the blind and 615 from all other referral sources. Outreach and services are provided in multiple languages using part time interpreters and bi-lingual staff. Sixty seven blind youth successfully completed a summer internship. Twenty four blind youth completed an enhanced after school program, with nutrition counseling and food, homework help and internships, as well as more programs for the early intervention age population (up to age 3 years) and their families. Including all information and referral services, a total of 4,809 persons were positively impacted by visions.

visions vcb overnight: overnight participants decreased slightly year round to 600 with 56 day-only participants. Blind children and their families and youth programs held at vcb continue to be growth areas. Sessions held at vcb prepare blind youth and adults for the world of work and leads to successful job readiness. Rehabilitation programs througout the year on selected weeks and weekends held at vcb continue to show growth for all ages. A new focus on health, wellness, physical activity and social connections increased the impact of vcb services. A new partnership with the deaf blind collaborative added to the success of the weekend season by attracting 11 new families in june 2014 for a total of 29 new clients.

visions at selis manor: the number of volunteers increased to 192. There has been an increase in the type of classes offered to adults and seniors including new support groups. Collaborations with numerous organizations through free training, workshops, etc. Has increased. Over 793 blind participants are registered for services with an additional number of indiviudals attending meetings, seminars, drop-in services, library and bowling clubs. Visions expanded the library and radio station programs.

Community Stories

33 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've always wanted to give back to my community by volunteering at a center for people with disabilities. When I found out about Visions, I did not hesitate to apply. It definitely has made a positive impact in the lives of blind seniors, as well as my own. Visions teaches you to be responsible, caring and appreciative. Furthermore, I've become more aware of afflictions and sufferings of others which has increased my own inner strength.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I wanted to work with the blind ever since my mother had read for The Lighthouse many years ago. I was introduced to Visions in 2008 and started working in the office to organize the files. Then an opportunity arose to help in the yoga class for the blind. I did this for five years and loved it. It was a chance to make a real difference for the people in the class. Simultaneously I began reading for one of the tenants of Selis Manor. This relationship lasted for about four years, running simultaneously, with the yoga class. I would say the bond I developed with John mean more to me than just about any other relationship. It ended when he had to leave Selis Manor for he could no longer live independently.

Jennifer272

Volunteer

Rating: 5

VISIONS provides an incredible service he the blind & visually impaired community in New York especially those who are low income and have multiple disabilities. They run an assortment of classes and social activities for their clients. As a volunteer I have seen the incredible impact this has had on people. By reading them their mail, helping them pay bills, helping them shop and get to appointments we are able to help them live independent full lives. As someone who has been involved in many different volunteering opportunities I can see first hand the AMAZING things they do and it is by far the greatest volunteering experience I have had. The staff and volunteers some of are nicest and most helpful people I have ever met.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering at Visions was an experience I will never forget. The people I met and the bonds I forged will last a lifetime. It was such an honor to work with such giving people.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have been volunteering at VISIONS for over two years and truthfully, this has been one of the best decisions I've made. Not only was I able to help others, but also benefit myself in many ways. At Visions I have learned the importance of service, compassion and kindness. I have had the opportunity to meet two exceptional seniors during my homevisits-Tom and Gary. I have grown so close and I care for them deeply. They are very different yet they hold similar characteristics-generous, humorous, and loving- and that's what I love about them. Maria, my partner, and I have taken Tom to MET museum, something that he wanted to do for a long time. Also, I have cooked friedrice for him because he always seemed to eat the same food and I had purposely bought the ingredients beforehand and his reaction meant alot to me. He said I have never tasted this kind of food and its very good. I had mixed feelings about it, i was happy that he got to eat something he liked but I felt sad because i wished he could eat something like this everyday. Tom and I have similar interests such as we usually like to converse about politics, current events and philosophy.
Gary, who I also equally care for, is very interesting. Aside from his poor vision, he has hearing difficulties and when I first met him, I thought we wouldn't get along. I am very shy and tend to speak lowly. Although I have to raise my voice, I have learned to be patient and realized that his problems are not his fault, and together we can help each other become better human beings. Gary has taken Maria and me to a Japanese and Indian restaurant and I am grateful of his generosity. Overall, Visions has affected me in all positive ways. I will forever be grateful to Jessica, Liz, Carrie and Teresa for seeing potential in me and the other volunteers.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It has been a pleasure volunteering at Visions because of the great people that manage this program. Visions has helped me develop new skills that I will use not only now but in the future. The energy in Visions is great because the seniors are very appreciative of our help. I was able to converse with many seniors who would always offer any type of advice when needed. I love working with not only the seniors but along with the faculty members. I have been volunteering for over two years now and I continue to enjoy the wonderful people in this program.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering in visions has been a great experience. This has been my third time being able to help assist those who are blind and visually impaired. I have enjoyed volunteering in this program and being able to help those who are in need. This is a great program which allows one to build relationships with others and learn from their experiences.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For anyone who wants to meet a group of wonderful, diverse and fascinating people, come to Visions. I have been a volunteer reader and escort here for two years and have formed friendships of trust and caring. There are clients who say they would not be able to accomplish the day-to-day business of reading mail, filling out forms, etc. were it not for the help of the volunteer program. The staff is exceptionally kind - open and available - and the atmosphere is lively and warm. Here is a community of
independent, strong-minded people who get to know one another, help one another and share mutual interests. I have seen how much a program like Visions, with its classes and activities and all that it offers, means to a blind or visually impaired person and I have learned how much I take for granted. It is a great enjoyment to come here and spend time with people I would not otherwise have the opportunity to meet and to share in their friendship, conversation and expertise.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with Visions has opened a whole new world of opportunities for me. It let me connect with some of the most kind visually impaired seniors and look at things their way. Before working with Visions I had always thought the visually impaired did not have any preferences when it came to things such as shopping for clothes or even groceries. As I went on home visits and went out with the seniors I learned how wrong my thoughts on them were. I began to see and understand the fact that they too have their own choices. Over all Visions has opened up a whole new perspective on the visually impaired for me and helped me understand how they live.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with VISIONS/Services for the Blind & Visually Impaired was a great experience for me to do this summer because I learn a lot for this program. I learn how to attend and solve for a person that is blind or visually impaired in the best way possible for them. I would work with vision again because the connection with the staff is very strong and the support is here as well.