Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

VISIONS/ Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired

2,724 pageviews

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Volunteering Oportunities

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.

Results: #1 in New York State in job placements of people who are legally blind Majority of participants at VISIONS at Selis Manor and VISIONS Center on Aging senior center and VISIONS Center on Blindness have increased their physical activity, report increased positive feelings about themselves and less depression and better adjustment to blindness, improved social connections and increased social networks and improved skills including technology, fitness and access to information

Target demographics: people of all ages with blindness and severe loss and their families

Direct beneficiaries per year: 2016 we impacted the lives of nearly 7000 people

Geographic areas served: the Metropolitan New York City area

Programs: vision rehabilitation in-home, community and the workplace; pre-employment and job placement services; children, youth, adult and senior services at two sites in Manhattan,NY and a short-term residential vocational rehabilitation center in Rockland County, NY. Family and unpaid caregiver support services are provided in all neighborhoods and all service sites. VISIONS at Selis Manor: the number of volunteers increased to over 200. There has been an increase in the type of classes offered to adults and seniors including new support groups and assistive technology training. Collaborations with numerous organizations through free training, workshops, etc. has increased. Over 800 blind participants are registered for services with an additional number of indiviudals attending meetings, seminars, drop-in services, library and bowling clubs.

Community Stories

50 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering in 2012 at Visions teaching Zumba Gold. I had never taught the blind/vision impaired and have learned along the way what works well in terms of describing the movements to the class who are seated in chairs. I am always amazed at how few times I have had to physically help someone to get a movement correct. This volunteering led to a part-time teaching position - teaching Zumba Gold once a week. I am so glad that Director Ann DeShazo contacted me from my Zumba website and asked me to teach Zumba at Visions which led to such a great opportunity to teach with a very appreciative group of students. In addition to the weekly class, I also have participated in several Senior Fitness Days teaching Zumba Gold. I also volunteer once a month at Visions with Cherub Improv, leading an improv comedy workshop, and have helped to book the choir Happy Hour Harmonies to perform at the Coffee House event. I always look to recommend other volunteers to Visions and try to think of other programs that might work well at Visions. Thanks to the entire staff who has made me feel welcome and is always helpful: Chris Thompson, Liz Lee, Natasha DeLeon, Carrie Lewey, Teresa Rivero, Tony Wu- what a great crew!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Visions is a true gift to all who enter its doors. They offer numerous programs and services all year long. Senior Director of Selis Manor Ann Deshazo expertly runs VISIONS in a professional manner while still making you feel like part of a family. As an instructor, I always hear feedback about how much the students enjoy VISIONS and everything it has to offer. Everyone is warm and friendly and newcomers are always made to feel at home. Teaching at VISIONS is very rewarding and helps me to be a better instructor. I am very proud to say I work at VISIONS.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

VISIONS is a life-changing program for both the seniors who benefit from it and the volunteers who gain life skills. Volunteers explore new worlds outside of their comfort zone by working with seniors and bringing to them the joys of reading, shopping and company.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

VISIONS is an amazing nonprofit that really strives to help the visually impaired with everyday activities. As a volunteer of VISIONS, I feel so good about myself after helping an elderly read mail, go shopping, serve meals, and provide friendly visits. VISIONS is like a little haven for the elderly to communicate with eachother and have fun!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Visions for several years. Meeting clients and working here has been not only a learning experience but an enriching one. Natasha de Leon, our Volunteer Coordinator is involved, attentive and helpful which makes volunteering a pleasure. I have found the staff in general to be sensitivie to those they are serving; there is a friendly, open and communal atmosphere.

Clients -some of whom have become friends - tell me about the many and varied activities and classes offered, from yoga and fitness to book clubs, current events, jewelry making, tech programs, etc. The Senior food program is very popular and serves a real need. I am honored to be part of the program at Visions - helping when there is a need - and being part of this community of incredible people who inspire me.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer for Visions I helped with the walking program. This program inspired residents to get outside and take a walk to encourage better health. We had lots of fun stretching before hand to music then walking and recording our steps. There was such enthusiasm and socializing that participants didn't notice they were exercising. Lots of fun and a meaningful outcome!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Within the short period that I have been working with Visions, I personally witnessed how the organization brought together New Yorkers to create a family away from home. Despite coming from diverse communities, clients, volunteers, and workers form a close knit community characterized by understanding and genuine concern for each other.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I am a volunteer at Selis Manor through Visions. I have been a volunteer for over 20 years. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to work with many of the residents and other visually impaired people at Selis Manor. Typically, I read materials to residents (mail, magazines, the Bible, operating manuals, etc.). I have also provided escort service for people needing an escort. Also, I have worked on special events in the facility (helping to serve in the cafeteria, etc.)

My services are coordinated by the Volunteer Office at Selis Manor. Weekly emails are sent out detailing volunteer needs and those of us who are available can volunteer by responding to the email. I do not have regular clients but fill in where needed.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Always a very rewarding experience to help those in need. The clients themselves are generally very interesting people, often with fascinating life stories. The volunteer coordinator, Ms. Natasha DeLeon, is also a most enjoyable person to work with.

I highly advise those who get personal satisfaction from giving back to call Visions and discuss their programs. You will not regret it.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

VISIONS truly cares about the people it helps, and makes certain that every person gets the personal attention that they need through the diligent organization of Ms. Rivero, Ms. Liz, and Ms. Lewy. They are never too tired to schedule a home visit for somebody, and make certain everyone is always looked after.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My five years as a volunteer 'reader' with Visions has given me insight and compassion into the joys and struggles of my blind clients. I have made many good friends here over the years whom I value greatly.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Visions is a great program that provides services to the blind and visually impaired. It helps connect the world of sight with those who cannot see, and to people of all ages. Not only to volunteers get to understand what being visually impaired is like, but they also gain experience and possibly friends they would normally not make. The clients are also extremely kind and are willing to share their stories with ours. I enjoy working with Visions, and hopefully will return to help those in need.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer at Visions Center in summer of 2016. I volunteered in the summer and I learned so much from being in this program. Being with clients and having conversations with them made me realize the small things I have that I usually don't tend to appreciate. That's what Visions taught me. I learned having eyesight is a blessing even though it may not be the best. I've grown bonds with several of my clients. One clinent of mine name Ida was truly blessed to have signed up for Visions. She honestly loved how much Visions cared for her and were so thoughtful. Ida would always tell me how words and actions wouldn't describe how thankful she was of Visions. Unfortunately, Ida passed away and I was deeply sadden by this. May she Rest In Peace. I will not forget Ida and how much Visions impacted her life. There are other clients that feel the same way. I am volunteering again over this summer and I would love to see this love and passion towards vision in other clients as well.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at VISIONS for two years. I remember being shy and rather quiet at the start. However, over the course of these two years, I have talked with many seniors which has helped me become a more talkative and kind person. I also learned how to be more patient which is an important thing to know how to do when working with anyone. All of the seniors are so kind and have a sense of humor. I enjoy getting to know them and feel happy to be able to help with their everyday tasks just to make their everyday lives a little bit easier. I think it is very helpful that meals are provided for people over 65 and who are visually impaired/ blind because it really means a lot to them, and many people come in for these meals. The home visits that volunteers go on really mean a lot to the seniors; it provides them with a sense of comfort and allows them to do new things, such as going on a walk in the park or talking about their life experiences, especially if they don't get out much or have people to help/ converse with them a majority of the time. The seniors really appreciate it and it makes me happy to see them cheerful.
VISIONS is a place for people of all colors and religions alike. It makes me happy to see that I am a part of such a tight-knit community filled with young and old people together. It has helped me become a more patient, better, and outgoing person. I am very grateful for VISIONS and hope to resume being a volunteer!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began volunteering for VISIONS clients several years ago. I immediately observed the continuing devotion of the staff and employees of Visions Services, exhibiting an admirable dedication to the Blind and Visually Impaired with kindness, caring and a wonderful warmth and fuzziness. The considerations to the clients in almost every way is extraordinary. Braille, exercise, computer classes and much, much proving over and over that Visions continually thinks of a future for their clients.

I had volunteered with the wrong impression that people who are blind or visually blind are totally dependent. Instead, I learned they are proficient in handling their affairs, organized and seemingly unhampered. They are always polite and can be easy going with a sense of humor. I enjoy my time with them and always look forward to the next time.

Thank you to Visions Selis Manor for my continuing experience.
Keiko Omori

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of hosting a weekly music class at Visions for the last year and it has been more rewarding than I could have imagined. I'm not only able to teach my students about the various era's of recorded songs, but THEY are able to teach me much more. We both are able to learn something new each week and have laughs while doing it. The staff at Visions has been nothing but professional and pleasurable to work with. They make my time being there a bit sweeter.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

At visions i learned many values that i need in my future career and for the rest of my life. Helping people that needs make me feel so good and i encouraged people to volunteer at visions.

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.