Recently, ACBVI took on a new challenge by expanding its comprehensive rehabilitation program and vocational rehabilitation services to be accessible to people who are deafblind and/or have combined visual and hearing impairment. A specialized team of instructors who have the expertise and skills to work with these clients is now available. Through our agency`s strategic and long-term planning plan (using advice from Bailey Strategic Group and Lance Strategies), our goal is to provide access to all agency programs and services for this underserved and, in many cases, unserved population. The Agency now also offers a training programme for employment in assistive technologies. The program – which lasts twelve months – leads to career paths from entry into information technology in industry-related positions. Building on our experience working with a variety of disabilities, the organization now offers community disability awareness training to train employers, service providers, government agencies, service agencies and others interested in better understanding and educating members of their disability communities. We continue to strive to make changes in technology and community that help focus on skills rather than disabilities. The Arizona Center for the Blind and Visual Impaired has empowered people with vision loss since 1947. Our highly skilled and experienced multidisciplinary team of professionals provides one-on-one training using state-of-the-art technologies and proven rehabilitation practices. ACBVI helps clients cope with vision loss – with courage and dignity and a "can do" attitude. We pride ourselves on providing our clients with the resources they need to achieve independence and full participation in the areas of life they choose. We celebrate every blind and partially sighted person who develops the skills and tenacity to go to work, go to school and actively participate in society. In 1989, the popular Woody Allen passed away.
Over the next year, following a national search for his successor, Jim LaMay assumed his position as Executive Director. Mr. LaMay previously worked as a professor of guidance and mobility in Chicago and Minneapolis. In Minnesota, he became Director of Community Rehabilitation Services for the Minneapolis Society for the Blind and later Director of Low Vision Services for Vision Loss Resources. Mr. LaMay was tasked by our Board of Directors to transform the centre into a state-of-the-art rehabilitation program for blind and partially sighted adults. As a state settlement grant, the organization was able to begin providing a continuum of services for the professional and educational needs of blind and partially sighted people. The success of this settlement grant has led to ongoing contracts with the Arizona Rehabilitation Services Administration which has used this service delivery system model. The agency, which is also recognized as a leader in assistive technology and inter-disability training, was selected to provide on-site training to state rehabilitation counselors and one-stop workforce centers, and to maintain an assistive technology website for the state of Arizona. The agency also continued its national research on assistive technologies in collaboration with the National Eye Institute. Lord. Welker, who had previously been involved in a car accident that left him completely blind, had received services through the center that helped him return to work and later become president of his own insurance company.
His desire to "give something back to the Agency" led him to exercise his leadership as a member of the Board of Directors, Vice-President and finally Chairman of the Board of Directors. Recognizing the importance of public awareness, Steve has become a tireless speaker and moderator regarding the Arizona Center for the Blind and Visual Impaired. He led a dynamic strategic planning process and the need to rebuild and expand the Agency`s facilities. At Saavi Services for the Blind, we work to support our blind community in a variety of ways, through our programs, family events, community services and outreach activities. If you want to get more information, get involved or be active. Recognizing the importance of rehabilitation, Executive Director Frank Kells began working with the state to provide rehabilitation (adaptive life skills training) to the center`s participants, and also hired the center`s first orientation and mobility teacher in 1964. In addition, the centre launched a special assistance service that provided aids and equipment adapted to blind and partially sighted people. Although social and recreational programs remained a major focus of the centre`s activities, the clientele doubled over the next five years with the advent of rehabilitation services. After Frank Kells left the agency in 1969, Allen Woody, former director of services for the blind in Illinois, was hired as general manager in 1971. Please share this with your members, friends, family members, colleagues or anyone looking to learn more about blindness services. Also feel free to follow and share our Facebook event page, more updates will be released as the event approaches, but if you have any questions about this event, feel free to contact us! In 1947, a small group of blind and partially sighted people began to meet in each other`s homes to learn how to help each other achieve economic independence. Training courses in piano tuning as well as in the manufacture of mops and brooms were organized.
These are some of the few "trades" available to blind people during this period. Often, over coffee and dessert, people would discuss how to perform daily tasks and share techniques that had worked for them.