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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Variety Club Blind Babies Foundation, dba Blind Babies Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

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

Mission: When an infant or preschooler is identified as blind or visually impaired, Blind Babies Foundation provides family-centered services to support the child''s optimal development and access to the world.

Programs: Blind Babies Foundation provides the following services to families free of charge: crisis intervention at the time of visual diagnosis, a developmental plan for the child and family, regularly scheduled home visits, liaison for families with medical and educational providers, language interpretation, resources, family events, and transition services for children entering preschool programs.

Community Stories

33 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Julie236

Client Served

Rating: 5

At 6 months old, my son was diagnosed with Leber's Congenital Amorosis (LCA), total blindness on both eyes. I'll never forget that dr's visit and the initial shock I felt at the time. The Doctor gave me a piece of paper that read: Blind Babies Organization with a contact name and phone number. The next day I called and spoke to the contact I was given. At the time I never would've thought that this phone call would be the link that changed our lives, our son's life, from total despair, to the wonderful journey we've had of raising our son. With the guidance and support of BBF we started early intervention. The rest is history. Our son is now in 1st grade. He can read and type Braille, swims, rides a bike, jumps on his trampoline, uses a cane and so much more... The events and activities through BBF are always special because they are like an extended family that truly cares and has been there every step of the way in our journey. If I could give anything back to them it would be award, after award, after award. They deserve to be acknowledged for making the impossible, very possible. Thank you BBF. We will always appreciate your organization. Much Love. Julie, Mike and Tanner Long

mavenno1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son was born with low vision and multiple disabilities. Even though I had worked in the blindness field for over ten years I was dumbfounded. BBF came into our lives with care, compassion support and some neat toys for Jacob. The very best thing Dottie did for me was to accompany me to the eye doctor with Jacob. She took notes for me as I usually went into a fog while the doctor spoke. She would call me the next day and tell me what he had said. BBF is over 60 years old and have helped many family and children.

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son was born with a visual disability called cortical visual impairment (CVI). Despite having worked in the area of education for students with visual impairments for more than 10 years, I was absolutely stunned. Blind Babies Foundation was wonderful. Our Home Counselor visited regularly, was available by phone 24/7 and lent us appropriate toys to help stimulate Jacob's limited use of his vision. Most importantly, she accompanied me to his eye appointments, took notes and called me the next day to report what the doctor had said. This was necessary because I was a total basket case in the eye doctor's office and generally couldn't remember anything he said. All this happened almost 30 years ago and Jacob is now grown up, has his MSW and is working for an Independent Living Resource Center in Santa Barbara, CA. BBF was a major player in Jacob's "village". Don't know how we would have managed without Blind Babies Foundation. I am now a volunteer for BBF and am trying to pay back some of what I received.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Outstanding organization that places the family first in their service delivery model. I have the utmost respect for the dedication and professionalism of Blind Babies Foundation staff and their Board of Directors. CLASS ACT!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at the Beeper Egg Hunt this year and it was a lot of fun! It was amazing to see firsthand the awesome work that BBF does with all of their families. The seeing-eye-dogs were a nice added bonus :)

Client Served

Rating: 5

In 2012 my baby girl was diagnosed with Joubert syndrome that affected her vision and her muscle tone. At this time i was really emotional and needed alot of support.In the most difficult situation We were put in the hands of Pam Champin who guided us every step off the way without her we could have been lost , always has wonderful suggestions that might help and improve my daughter eyesight she is available by phone, lent us appropriate toys to help stimulate Arlyns vision most importantly she accompanied me to her eye appointments take notes and ask questions after the appointment she takes time to discuss .I'm forever grateful to Pam champin and Blind Babies foundation and will always appreciate her compassion , expertise and sensitivity to my daughters Arlyn needs .

Sheila39

Client Served

Rating: 5

My step daughter became blind at age 6 months from a probable SIDS episode. The Blind Babies Foundation served her and her family with home visits, counseling to the family, and assistance with interactions with medical and educational staff! This little one would not have been able to grow into a happy young adult with the early intervention provided by Dottie Bridge and her colleagues. We are forever grateful to Blind Babies!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

There is simply nothing like BBF anywhere. Imagine getting a frightening diagnosis, then having someone who fully understands your child's medical conditions, their developmental challenges and the emotional roller-coaster the family has just jumped aboard arrive on your doorstep.

The support, advise and expertise is second to none. BBF wrote the book on services for blind and low vision infants and preschoolers.

Client Served

Rating: 5

When my daughter Sharon was born in 1984 we soon realized that she was legally blind. We were referred to Blind Babies Foundation, and were put in the hands of Dottie, who guided us every step of the way. Without her we would have been lost. I am forever grateful to Dottie and Blind Babies Foundation and will always appreciate her compassion, expertise and sensitivity to my daughter's Sharon needs.

Bonnie65

Client Served

Rating: 5

In July of 2007 my beautiful son Logan was born. I could not be happier with my new bundle of joy. Everything about Logan is perfect and we had a hard time being apart from each other. Very few people would watch Logan and give my husband and I time together because he would cry the whole time. Even I felt like crying when we were apart. I knew something was different with Logan and was assured that he was fine, "go home, his eyes are still growing, he'll start to focus on things soon." I wanted to believe that Doctor so badly. After a few months and over a dozen Doctors we finally found Logan's current Doctor that we see bi-annually. The moment we stepped into his office he gave us a diagnosis for Logan and asked us if we would like for him to call Blind Babies Foundation on our behalf and give us a referral. I vaguely remember much after this moment. I think it was just the word blind that put me in a trance of just non-belief that this was my life and that there was anything wrong with my son. Blind Babies called me the next day and they came out to the house the day after. Blind Babies gave me the initial support I needed to get through the shock of having a diagnosis of a baby with no vision. Blind Babies Foundation helped me wade through the muck of services provided for Logan, our first IFSP, how to get help with our first IEP, and most important what I can do to help Logan now! The only regret I have is not having Blind Babies Foundation available to Logan earlier. The earlier the intervention in a child's life with special needs the better chance that child has at an independent future. Logan just had his first day of 2nd grade yesterday! He is a part of running club, he does dance and is happy to be back with all the friends he made last year. Logan walks with a cane and because of Blind Babies early intervention and parent support we all gave Logan the confidence to be independent, just like everyone else. Thank you Blind Babies Foundation!

1 Kay_20

Client Served

Rating: 5

Ten years ago my granddaughter was born with HIE, Micricephaly, CP, and CVI ( cortical vision Impairment The people at Blind Babies were called and we were assigned Pam Chapin who worked tiredlessly with our grand daughter. What a lifesaver she was she had wonderful suggestions that might help and improve her eyesight. From constructing a PVC play gym to picking up gold fish, using a early communication board. So many things. She saw us through those first difficult years and helped us find ways to encourage my granddaughter to use what sight she might have.
We were so lucky to have Pam as our therapist and give thanks for all her help. It wouldn't have been possible without Blind Babies Foundation. Forever thankful.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Blind Babies Foundation serves families of children with various disabilities as well as blindness. The children usually have been identified somehow as babies with visual impairment. Blind Babies counselors, teachers of the visually impaired, connect with the child in the home, bringing hope and strategies for raising these children. As the parent of a child with visual impairment, the grandparent of a multiply disabled child with visual impairment, I know how isolated these families feel. The support and help provided by Blind Babies Foundation is a lifeline that these families really need and appreciate. I know many families who have been served by Blind Babies Foundation. The support offered is life-changing, for parents and children, enabled to live a "normal" and fulfilling life. One of the children I know, now grown, has gone on to earn a Master's degree and serves disabled people himself. Another is a professional chemist and professor of chemistry at a California University, who offers blind teenagers an opportunity to master chemistry despite their visual impairments. The start enabled by Blind Babies counselors has helped them and many others to go on to achieve their full potential, rather than being relegated to busy work in their classrooms, being left behind their sighted peers.

1 Dottie Bridge

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with BBF since 1979. First I was a home teacher for BBF, working in the Central Valley and several other areas BBF serves. It was an honor to join families on a journey that few can understand! The role vision plays in the development of a child is so crucial. Making the adaptations, understanding the implications extends to all areas of development.
Once retired from BBF, I began a different journey-that of a board member. Knowing the import of these critical services drew me to involvement which would help sustain Blind Babies Foundation. The services have remained free to families and their blind and/or visually impaired child for over 64 years. The services are awesome.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Blind Babies Foundation provides exemplary services to families whose children have a visual impairment. A child born with vision loss learns much differently than their sighted peers. BBF has been a leader in the field of early education, providing disability specific help to the families and their children. I am proud to be a part of this community!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Blind Babies Foundation is an incredible resource for so many families. I feel fortunate that my incredible cousin was able to reap the benefits of this organization. He excelled so much in his first few years of life thanks to the relentless support of his parents and Blind Babies Foundation. I was lucky to work at the California School of the Blind one summer, and many of these students had been part of Blind Babies Foundation family. It was evident that these children benefited so much from the resources, information and support provided by Blind Babies Foundation. They are a wonderful nonprofit!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

BBF was instrumental in providing valuable services when my beloved nephew/godson was born. My family is so grateful that Blind Babies Foundation was there for my sister and her family; it is hard enough with a newborn, but they eased the way with support, suggestions, therapy referrals and so many resources for my nephew. They supported my nephew's needs AND his parents' as well. They provided a conduit to so many opportunities for my nephew; we are so very grateful BBF exists.

Client Served

Rating: 5

BBF was a Godsend to our family when we were faced with the challenge of how to care for a child with multiple disabilities. They not only helped us understand how to better love and care for our child but, through a 1-day conference, we understood the problems that were facing us as a couple and became closer because of it.

Ann_71

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Blind Babies Foundation has provided annual inservices to staff and parents throughout Northern California. The classes have been crucial in developing a greater understanding of how blindness and other related disabilities affect babies and young children. I truly appreciate this group!

1 beckyfeola

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Blind Babies Foundation was a God send for a family I love very much. I met them a few years after they welcomed their precious child in to the world and watched as they worked with BBF to ensure he had every opportunity available to him. I can't help but wonder how things might have turned out without BBF's support and assistance. BBF is an organization that means everything to the families they reach. it's not just a resource,it's life-saving, life-enhancing, a life-line!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Blind Babies Foundation has provided infants and toddlers with visual impairment with high quality and absolutely necessary support for decades. Educators in the field of visual impairment continue to look to this valuable organization for guidance and excellence in serving our youngest children with visual impairment. We couldn't do it without them. BBF rocks!

Client Served

Rating: 5

BBF has been an exceptional agency that has aided my blind twins and family since their birth 9 years ago. They have made it possible for many milestones and early intervention needs we struggled with in the twins early life. We are so grateful and appreciative of the services BBF have provided for us. The twins very much enjoy the recreational activities BBF provide for them such as Halloween Harvest Fest, Christmas Party, and especially the Easter Beeper Egg Hunt. BBF Program Director for the central valley Kristi Spaite goes above and beyond with her job duties. Thank you BBF!

Stephanie119

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has c.p. He is visually impaired and has severe developmental delays. We face challenges everyday. Blind babies foundation has been a lifeline for my family. From the beginning of this journey they have helped us in so many ways, from going to doctors appointments, to helping us get equipment, therapy, information and support services, too much to list. I don't know how we would be without the help they have given. We are stronger as a family and my sons life is better!