Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired

General Information

Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired
456 Cherry Street, SE
Grand Rapids Michigan 1 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


Charis Austin, Client Advocate,

Cheri Fox, Social Worker,

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

Jessica Hart, Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist,

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

Lori Janssen, Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist,

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

Karolina Smiley, Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist,

Lori Smolinski, O.D., Low Vision Doctor

Sarah Snyder, Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist,

Richard Stevens, Executive Director,, 616 458 1187

Services Offered

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

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

  • Braille and Reading Instruction
    • Offers braille instruction.

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

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

  • Computer Training/Assistive Technology

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

  • Health Services
    • Provides complete low vision services. Refers for other health services.

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

  • Information and Referral
    • Refers for other health services.

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

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

  • 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.

  • Services for Seniors
    • Offers services for seniors.

  • Support Groups
    • Provides support groups for seniors.

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