Vermont Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired

General Information

Vermont Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired
60 Kimball Avenue
South Burlington Vermont 1 05403
(802) 863 1358
araftery@vabvi.org
http://www.vabvi.org

Brief Description

The Vermont Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (VABVI) provides services, training and support to Vermonter of all ages, (from birth through old age) experiencing vision loss. VABVI employs teachers of the visually impaired, certified orientation and mobility specialists, vision rehabilitation therapists, and low vision rehabilitation therapists.

Staff

Stephanie Bissonette, Supervisor of Children's Services, sbissonette@vabvi.org, 800 639 5861 ext.225

Erika Farmer, Director of Development, efarmer@vabvi.org, 800 639 5861 ext.224

Lori Newsome, Office Manager, lnewsome@vabvi.org, 800 639 5861 ext.231

Daniel Norris, Supervisor of Adult Services, dnorris@vabvi.org, 800 350 8838 ext.101

Steven Pouliot, Executive Director, spouliot@vabvi.org, 800 639 5861 ext.233

Katy Quinlan, Director of Operations/Controller, kquinlan@vabvi.org, 800 639 5861 ext.234

Services Offered

  • Assessment
    • We will work closely with you to determine where your vision loss is impacting areas of your life and come up with collaborative solutions to help you keep doing what you love to do. We can assess you for your low vision needs, travel at home or in the community, assistive technology needs or needs related to sudden vision loss.

  • Assistive Products
    • We work with you at your comfort level. There are high and low tech solutions. These may be as simple as a signature guide to help you sign documents or as high tech as hand held electronic magnification. We’ll work with you where you’re at. We can demonstrate products and help you to order and have them delivered to your home.

  • Braille and Reading Instruction
    • Our staff can work with you to help you learn to read again through Braille. Given your individual circumstances and tactual sensitivity, we can help you determine if Braille is right for you.

  • Community Outreach Programs
    • We have several community outreach services. All our staff, many of whom are visually impaired, go into schools, nursing homes, senior centers and other places to share information on visual impairments and adaptations for vision loss. We have specially trained clients who travel to share their individual experiences having vision loss. We also host 10 support groups covering all four regions of the state called Peer Assisted Learning and Support (PALS). These groups allow our clients to help support one another and continue their education regarding sight impairments. We also have volunteers who can assist clients with reading, transportation and other needs.

  • Computer Training/Assistive Technology
    • While we cannot help purchase computers or the software to run on computers, we can help you learn to use the built in accessibility features of your computer and help you learn how to use adaptive software that you purchase. We can also help you identify the best electronic magnification device for your situation.

  • Consultation/Technical Program Assistance
    • Outreach services are available to any institution or organization interested in learning more information about visual impairments, adaptations or services available within the state of Vermont. We often present to schools, nursing homes, hospitals, senior centers, agencies on aging and community service groups.

  • Counseling
    • We do not have professional counselors on staff, but our employees can help you better understand the grieving process involved with vision loss. We also have peer support groups across the state that can help.

  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training
    • We offer skill training in all areas of adult daily living, including personal management, communications, recreation and leisure, home maintenance, and more.

  • Information and Referral
    • We work closely with other state and local agencies. We can help connect you with the right agencies for your needs.

  • Low Vision Devices
    • Prescribes and supplies low vision devices.

  • Low Vision Services
    • We provide low vision evaluation and follow-up. We can demonstrate and recommend low vision devices. We can connect you with clinical low vision exams with low vision optometrists.

  • Services for Seniors
    • Offers adaptive skills training in all areas of adult daily living.

  • Transportation Services
    • We have a state-wide volunteer transportation service. Our volunteers can help our clients travel to and from weekly grocery or laundry runs, vision support groups, medical appointments and a number of personal trips within the state of Vermont each year.

  • Travel/Orientation and Mobility
    • We can help you learn to travel with vision loss at home, work or in the community. Depending on your specific situation, we can help you to maximize the use of your remaining vision when traveling, learn to use a long white cane, utilize accessible GPS while traveling and/or learn to utilize volunteer and public transportation.

  • Volunteer Services
    • Each year hundreds of volunteers help VABVI to provide our clients with reader services, shopping assistance, transportation and more. All our volunteers undergo a background check prior to beginning their service with our clients.