Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired

General Information

Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired
456 Cherry Street, SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 458 1187

Brief Description

The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (formerly Vision Enrichment Services) was founded in 1913 as the Association for the Blind and for Sight Conservation. The agency was incorporated in 1921.
Its mission is to advance the independence of people who are blind or visually impaired and help prevent vision loss through services and education.
The purposes of the agency are:
To assist visually impaired persons in developing skills to become more independent through rehabilitative services
To educate the general public, organizations, professions, visually impaired people, and their families about the nature of visual impairments and the capabilities of visually impaired people
To promote the prevention of blindness


Richard Stevens, Executive Director,, 616 458 1187

Charis Austin, Client Advocate,

Cheri Fox, Social Worker,

Karolina Smiley, Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist,

Christina Hedlich, MS, OTR/L, SCLV, Occupational Therapist,

Lori Janssen, Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist,

Sarah Snyder, Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist,

Jessica Hart, Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist,

Lori Smolinski, O.D., Low Vision Doctor

Laura Kenyon, O.D., F.A.A.O., Low Vision Doctor

Cynthia Geneva, O.D., F.A.A.O., Low Vision Doctor

Rachel DeCamp, Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist,

Services Offered

  • Counseling
    • Offers social evaluation, individual, group, family/parent, couple counseling. Provides referral to community services. Refers for other counseling/social work services.

  • Professional Training
    • Offers regular in-service training programs and workshops.

  • Recreation Services
    • Offers arts and crafts activities. Provides consultation to other agencies on other recreational services.

  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training
    • Provides all rehabilitation services in client's home and community (except low vision clinic): personal management, braille, handwriting, listening skills, typing, home management, and remedial education.

  • Assessment
    • Provides low vision examinations and assesses individual's level of functioning in daily living skills.

  • Information and Referral
    • Refers for other health services.

  • Low Vision Services
    • Provides low vision evaluation and follow-up. Prescribes and supplies low vision devices.

  • Community Outreach Programs
    • Does outreach to at-risk populations and provides consultations to schools and residential retirement communities.

  • Assistive Products
    • Sells low vision aids and devices. Products are available for sale on site.

  • Travel/Orientation and Mobility
    • Provides orientation and mobility training.

  • Braille/Electronic/Audio/Large Print Production
    • Menus, church hymns, birthday cards, etc.

  • In-Home Services
    • In-home rehabilitation teaching and orientation and mobility instruction.

  • Support Groups
    • Provides support groups for seniors.

  • Braille and Reading Instruction
    • Offers braille instruction.