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Association for Vision Rehabilitation and Employment, Inc. - AFB Directory Profile

General Information

Association for Vision Rehabilitation and Employment, Inc.
174 Court Street
Binghamton, NY 13901
(607) 724-2428 (Local)
(607) 771-8045 (Fax)
avreinfo@avreus.org
http://www.avreus.org

Brief Description

The Association for Vision Rehabilitation and Employment, Inc. (A.V.R.E.) is a private, non-profit organization that serves people with vision disabilities. People of all ages, from infants to elders, can and do benefit from A.V.R.E. services. A.V.R.E. offers a range of learning, living, and working options for people who have a vision disability.

A.V.R.E. lives its mission by engaging and employing individuals with sustained vision loss at all levels of the organization and acts as a model for the community.

A.V.R.E.’s Senior Vision Services program is designed for people 55 and older who have developed severe vision loss. Specialists who understand the special issues of older people with vision impairment staff the program. A person does not have to be legally blind to receive the services, but the vision loss needs to be severe. The services offered through this program include travel training for orientation and mobility, rehabilitation therapy for independence and communications, a low vision center, a retail store, and employment assistance. An additional component is peer groups; through these groups seniors can meet other people in similar situations. Older people with vision loss now know they are not alone and can share problems and solutions. These groups can include discussions, speakers, training and many other things depending on what the people in the group would like.

Hours of operation: Mon.-Fri. 8:00 AM-5:00 PM.
Clients served on average per year: 2,000
Number of staff: 65 employees
Staff description: Certified O & M; certified LVT;Certified VRT, manufacturing and service occupations; Chief, Clinical Low Vision
Geographic area served: Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Otsego, Tioga, Tompkins, Schuyler Counties in New York and Bradford, Susquehanna, and Tioga Counties in Pennsylvania.
Publications: InSight quarterly newsletter

Staff

Teri Chamberlin, Director, Health and Rehabilitation Services, (607) 724-2428
John Elzey, Assistive Technology Instructor
Ken Fernald, President and CEO, kfernald@avreus.org
Erin Kavanagh, O&M Specialist
George Williams, O&M Specialist

Services Offered

Services for Adults

  • Assessment
    • Provides skill assessment, orientation and mobility assessment.
  • Assistive Products
    • Sells assistive devices and appliances.
  • Braille and Reading Instruction
    • Offers braille instruction.
  • Computer Training/Assistive Technology
    • Provides guidance in choosing appropriate devices and provides training in their use.
  • Counseling
    • Offers individual, family/parent counseling, information and referral to community services, and training on accessing the community.
  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training
    • Provides training in personal management skills. Offers training in the use of adaptive equipment. Provides training in skills for independence in the home and community.
  • Employment/Job Training
    • Provides job assessment, counseling, training and placement both within the organization and in the community.
  • In-Home Services
    • Provides family/caregiver services.
  • Information and Referral
    • Refers to other programs for seniors.
  • Low Vision Services
    • Offers low vision services.
  • Recreation Services
    • Offers special recreational programs and support groups for adolescent/youths to seniors.
  • Services for Seniors
    • A.V.R.E.’s Senior Vision Services program is designed for people 55 and older who have developed severe vision loss. Specialists who understand the special issues of older people with vision impairment staff the program. A person does not have to be legally blind to receive the services, but the vision loss needs to be severe. The services offered through this program include travel training for orientation and mobility, rehabilitation therapy for independence and communications, a low vision center, a retail store, and employment assistance. An additional component is peer groups; through these groups seniors can meet other people in similar situations. Older people with vision loss now know they are not alone and can share problems and solutions. These groups can include discussions, speakers, training and many other things depending on what the people in the group would like.
  • Support Groups
    • Has a support group for seniors.
  • Travel/Orientation and Mobility
    • Provides orientation and mobility training.

Services for Children

  • Assessment
    • Staff works with infants and toddlers and their parents to provide a wide variety of early skill training. These include tactile and sensory learning experiences, such as buttoning and zipping clothing, opening bags of food, and peeling bananas or eggs. Children ages 0-2 are provided with vision stimulation. Preschoolers are provided with orientation & mobility (travel-training) instruction, and pre-braille skills to prepare for schooling. Forums and information sharing for parents are also provided. Staff coordinate closely with early intervention and preschool agencies and the New York state Commission for the Blind. Staff work with school-age children, their parents and teachers in all grades up to the age of 14. Services include O&M instruction at schools and around the community, independent living skills training both at home and at school, teaching braille and adaptive computer technology, and connecting to peers.
  • Early Intervention/Infant Services
    • Works with infants and toddlers, and their parents to provide a wide variety of early skill training. These include tactile and sensory learning experiences, such as buttoning and zipping clothing, opening bags of food, and peeling bananas or eggs. Children ages 0-2 are provided with vision stimulation. Preschoolers are provided with O&M instruction, and pre-braille skills to prepare for schooling. Forums and information sharing for parents are also provided. Staff coordinate closely with early intervention and preschool agencies and the New York State Commission for the Blind.
  • Employment/Job Training
    • Works with young people with a vision disability in obtaining summer work or jobs that are part of a school-to-work transition program to provide the broadest experience possible to prepare for an independent and successful working life. Also works with young people through pre-vocational skill development to research careers of interest and to develop "soft skills" that are critical to success in the employment world.
  • Information and Referral
    • Provides information to parents of children with visual impairments.
  • Low Vision Services
    • The Norman Richterman Low Vision Center, located right at 174 Court Street in Binghamton, provides a close, convenient location where consumers can come to have a comprehensive low vision eye examination, and to try out and receive the prescribed devices.
  • Preschool Programs
    • Provides O&M instruction, and pre-braille skills to preschoolers to prepare for schooling. Staff coordinate closely with preschool agencies and the New York state Commission for the Blind.
  • Recreation Services
    • Through a contract from the New York State Commission for the Blind, A.V.R.E. provides recreational outings for children and teens who are legally blind. Involvement in recreation and social activities during the formative years of life has a significant, positive impact on many of the basic aspects of growing and reaching adulthood. A.V.R.E.'s goal is to increase the social skills, independence, confidence and self-esteem of children with a vision disability by using a recreational setting.
  • Support for Parents
    • Holds forums and opportunities for information sharing for parents.
  • Travel/Orientation and Mobility
    • Specially trained instructors teach orientation and mobility. The training may include how to move about in a specific environment such as a home, school or work place. It usually involves teaching proper techniques for safe and effective travel with a long (white) cane. It also includes training on how to be aware of clues from the environment and knowing one's location. This service is provided to people in all age categories.
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