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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

VISIONS/ Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired

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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. Our vision is for everyone to see what is possible!

Results: #1 in New York State in job placements of people who are legally blind for three years in a row 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 daily living, mobility, technology, fitness and access to information Over 750 unpaid caregivers have received support and services

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

Direct beneficiaries per year: 2018 we impacted the lives of over 7000 people

Geographic areas served: the Metropolitan New York City area, NYC, Long Island, Westshester, Rockland Counties

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 1000 blind participants are registered for services with an additional number of indiviudals attending meetings, seminars, drop-in services, library and bowling clubs.

Community Stories

75 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Visions is a great way to connect the older and younger generations. I was able to not only help senior citizens with their daily lives, but learn about them and see the world through their perspective. It was an amazing experience and I'm extremely grateful I was able to participate again in this program.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I first started volunteering at VISIONS over the summer, I honestly didn't know what to expect. Everyone was so nice and understanding even though I was inexperienced and made me feel welcome. I was able to meet other great volunteers and work with amazing people who were all really sweet to me. If I can, I hope to volunteer again next summer.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

For me as a volunteer, VISIONS was a very helpful and eye opening experience. It allowed me to get to know people different from me better. It showed me how little we can have in common and yet be able to connect. I would definitely recommend for others to volunteer here.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Recently I was one of a group of volunteers aiding participants from VISIONS to a trip to NYC's Governor's Island to the Teaching Gardens. It was a fantastic experience to ride the ferry, walk to the Gardens and experience the various plants and herbs with VISIONS. I learned a great deal and the staff at VISIONS made it all run smoothly. The participants ended the day with huge smiles on their faces and so did we. A marvelous day, a wonderful nonprofit. Thanks to everyone involved.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with VISIONS for almost two years. I am always amazed at the range of services they provide. Many of the seniors I've worked with have better social lives than me! I love working with them because they're a) extremely patient and b) genuinely fun to hang out with. I love that everyone feels comfortable in the building, sharing jokes and teasing each other. It's been an absolute pleasure working with them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This was a great volunteering experience. I had a lot of training which was extremely useful and the overall experience gave me insight on how the disabled have to face everyday life with impaired vision. It made me realize how important and useful my eyesight is and it has made me very grateful for what I already have!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a high school student who volunteers at VISIONS once a week during the school year, and multiple times a week during the summer. This was where I had my first volunteering experience, and once I walked into the facility I absolutely fell in love. The staff is amazing, and I have met so many wonderful people along the way: fellow volunteers, clients, pets, and more. I have never really encountered anyone who was visually impaired before this program, and the things I have learned are absolutely humbling. Working at VISIONS has changed my perspective on life. I am so happy to volunteer here, and I am proud to say I won't be stopping any time soon. I am grateful for the opportunity to help people, and provide help or company to those who need it.
-ITP

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great organization and friendly staff. pleasure to work with

Volunteer

Rating: 5

volunteering at VISIONS was a great experience. I learned many things about the blind individuals and how to properly work well with them. This is a great experience for me as I want to be in the medical field in the future.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working in Visions taught me how to communicate with with elders and taught how to work with blind and impaired people. It was an wonderful experience because i became experience with so many things. It taught me the true value of helping others and making others happy.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

i notice vision people are very helpful and kindly. When i did mistake they forgiver me

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hello everyone, I am Sakina S. Mandviwala. I am a volunteer with the visions from 2016.
It is a pleasure and a privilege; and I consider myself fortunate to be associated with such, humble, sincere and dedicated people.
The staff is amazingingly cooperative and helpful. They endeavor with determination and perseverance to help the visvually impaired and make sure that all their needs are met.
I take great pride in quoting Ms. Natasha and Ms. Rocky, who take that extra step further beyond to help ans serve.
I hope and pray GOD rewards all the sincere and dedicated staff abundantly, for their selfless service and all their goals are accomplished.

Jennifer272

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They do the most amazing work. I was honored to volunteer there. I had the most incredible and meaningful volunteer experiences through VISIONS. They train their volunteers really well. They offer incredible programs for a really underserved population. Many way to collunteer!

Previous Stories

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

The best introduction to volunteer work I could have hoped for. It entails enjoyable, rewarding work I anticipated, and work that involves and teaches skills relevant in a business setting, with the added benefit of good camaraderie and devoted supervisors.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Working at Visions is a highlight of my week. The programs are efficiently scheduled and the facility is wonderful to work at. Staff is always available to help and listen to any questions, comments or ideas. Teaching classes at Visions has made me a better instructor and I look forward to continuing with this amazing and important organization.

Previous Stories

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

Being a volunteer for VISIONS has definitely introduced me to a whole new lifestyle that I did not know existed. I realized how little I took for granted over the little things like using a computer, reading books, or even eating during a meal. VISIONS has showed me the various methods and ways that individuals who are blind or visually impaired can use to adapt to their surroundings. Compared to other volunteer work I have done, VISIONS seems to genuinely care about the wellbeing of each and every individual that walks in through the doors.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer who takes phone calls/answer phone calls and referrals/ refer people to the proper channels. I also answer questions if people call with them and offer information about the program. I am also a participate in the program, not only do they help me work but they also provide me with their services as I am visually impaired. They provide services such as a senior center, escort services that help visually impaired people do they shopping and run errands, they also have programs such as fitness, recreational services, computer classes, craft classes, knitting and crocheting, etc.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Since being introduced to this wonderful place for those who are blind and visually impaired, of which I am one, I have enjoyed the experience. The staff and the services that are available help to keep one engaged, gainfully employed, and helps to keep an individual an active part of society. The staff is well trained to deal with different personalities and attitudes. I would have never know an agency existed if I weren't for my counselor. More people need to know about visions and what they do and offer as an organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered for VISIONS when I was a junior in high school up until the summer before my first year of college. When I was given the opportunity and the privilege to help others who are blind or visually impaired I was astounded at the profound effect I had on each and every one of them. I gained a lot of insight and this experience helped shape my perspective on not only blind people but people with all disabilities. I believe that VISIONS is an amazing program and I am grateful to have been once a part of it.

Previous Stories

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.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Having worked with VISIONS for a number of years to provide creative writing and arts programming to visually impaired and legally blind seniors, I can say that VISIONS is an amazing organization. They provide caring and thoughtful attention to the people they serve, and offer much needed services to NYC.