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

2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

VISIONS/ Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired

3,361 pageviews

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

78 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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 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.

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

VISIONS is the most exceptional organization I have ever had the pleasure of volunteering with. In my experience, all of the seniors were given the same care and attention one might give a loved one or significant other. I have met some of the kindest and most generous individuals I have ever known at VISIONS, and my experiences as a volunteer there have broadened my intellectual horizons and erased my preconceived notions regarding the blind and the visually impaired. In my capacity as a volunteer there, I visited blind people off-site in all 5 boroughs, I was involved in several recreational classes (ranging from mental and physical health to broadway music), and I assisted in meal service, providing specially prepared meals for and socializing with blind and visually impaired people on-site in VISIONS' dining area. I would wholeheartedly recommend visions to any senior with vision problems, or anyone wishing to volunteer their time and enjoy a unique and life-changing experience unavailable elsewhere.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working at Visions has shown me just how much we miss out on when the everyday person ignores someone who is visually impaired. When I'd see someone walking with a cane and dark sunglasses, I'd avoid them because I didn't know how to interact with them. Visions has taught me that these people are really just like the rest of us and that treating them the way you'd want to be treated is the best thing we can do for them. All the seniors I've visited and talked to at Visions have their own story to tell and are by far the most interesting people I have ever met. Most of these people I would've ignored had I passed by them in the street. So next time when I see a person walking with a cane and wearing dark sunglasses, or even just an elderly person, walking up to them and asking if they'd like help won't be as daunting as it used to be. I know what to do now, and Visions has given me the courage and knowledge to do it. Thank you Visions for showing me this, and for caring and providing for the visually impaired as no others but their own family have.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I've been volunteering with Visions for a few months and the staff has been really supportive of helping me adapt my class for the students. The students I work with at Visions all come to class with a great attitude, this class has become the highlight of my week!

Grace24

Volunteer

Rating: 5

During one home visit in Selis Manor (there are blind and visually impaired people living in the building, above the facilities on the first floor), my elderly client said, "I'm not rich, but I have a lot more money now since they started serving meals downstairs." Her casual comment really struck a chord with me. I'd thought of the food served in the auditorium as school cafeteria or airplane food. But it means a lot to the people who come in for it. Visually impaired and blind people can't cook. Visions provides them with a hot meal and friends who are like family. Most people don't realize how boring and lonely it is, being blind or visually impaired and in many instances, living alone. I didn't. One of my clients told me, "I don't really have anything for you to do today, so let's just talk. I rarely have company over. Most days, I just sit here and watch TV. It gets kind of lonely sometimes." The best part of this organization is knowing how important it is to people and what a difference it makes in their lives. It's been my honor to participate in this live-changing nonprofit.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at Visions for 13 years. This is a great organization. The participates in my class changed my life in a more positive way. We became a family. Visions offers great activities and classes for the blind and visually impaired. They have fitness class, arts and crafts classes and they even have special events throughout the year. My experience was great and I loved the time I spent volunteering at Visions.
I will never forget the time I spent there and my commitment volunteering was worth it. I learned never to take eye sight for granted. I learned that you can still be a positive person even without having eye sight and I have learned that you can change a person's life by giving some of your time volunteering. Thank you Visions for all you do for the blind and visually impaired.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I've been volunteering with Visions at Selis Manor in Chelsea for several years now. I've worked primarily with an arts-and-crafts class, though have occasionally participated in other programs. I am amazed by the variety of classes and social programs that Visions offers. For many of the clients I've met, this place is really the hub of their learning and socializing activities.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This program has taught me a lot about visually impaired people, things I never knew. Visions open up my eyes to a new way of seeing things. Volunteering here was great thing, I learned a lot and I would definitely recommend others to volunteer because they will surely enjoy it.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Overall, this place is very exquisite. I would recommend to others that they should work here as volunteers because if you do so, you will enjoy it. Their services are very helpful and they make you a better person by helping others.