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for the Blind

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Greater Detroit Agency for the Blind and Visually Impaired - AFB Directory Profile

General Information

Greater Detroit Agency for the Blind and Visually Impaired
16625 Grand River Avenue
Detroit, MI 48227
(313) 272-3900 (Local)
(313) 272-6893 (Fax)
information@gdabvi.org
http://www.gdabvi.org

Brief Description

GDABVI provides rehabilitation services to people with visual impairments designed to increase independence and dignity. Programming for children and youth emphasizes activity and knowing how to do for oneself. Outreach efforts help familiarize the community with the unique needs of people who experience life in other ways than visually. GDABVI offers in-home rehabilitation services to adults and seniors, community education programs on eye health and safety, summer programming for children and youth, and Accessible Computer Training at regional libraries for the blind.

GDABVI was formerly Upshaw Institute for the Blind and is a United Way Agency, previously accredited by National Accreditation Council of Agencies Serving the Visually Handicapped (NAC).

Hours of operation: Mon.-Fri. 8:30 AM-4:30 PM.
Clients served on average per year: 200
Number of staff: 8
Staff description: Certified rehabilitation teacher, certified O&M instructor, case manager, and I&R, rehabilitation teacher, rehabilitation assistants, community outreach coordinator, agency program administrator, office administrator.
Geographic area served: Southeastern Michigan counties of Wayne, Macomb, Oakland, Livingston, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Monroe.
Publications: Information about eye diseases, eye safety.

Staff

Victor Arbulu, Managing Director, (313) 272-3900, arbulu@gdabvi.org
Susan Buhr, Vision Rehabilitation Teacher, (313) 272-3900, buhr@gdabvi.org
Mary Beth Kullen, Community Outreach Coordinator, (313) 272-3900, kullen@gdabvi.org
Eric Porter, Vision Rehabilitation Teacher, (313) 292-3900, porter@gdabvi.org

Services Offered

Services for Adults

  • Assessment
    • Offers individualized rehabilitation assessment to determine instructional needs.
  • Braille and Reading Instruction
    • Offers braille instruction.
  • Community Outreach Programs
    • Links to youth activities such as goal ball, judo, ceramics, and bowling. Links to support groups, bowling, and other organizations in the community for adults.
  • Counseling
    • Offers psychosocial assessment, individual and group counseling, referral to community resources. Serves family members as well as clients.
  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training
    • Provides individual and group rehabilitation teaching in client's home, doctor's office or the community. Offers personal adjustment training, communications systems and media, home management, follow-up training for low vision clinical therapies, orientation and mobility training, low vision rehab training. Refers for other vision resources.
  • Employment/Job Training
    • Provides consultation, specialized information services related to blind/visually impaired employment.
  • Information and Referral
    • Collects and disseminates information of interest to people who are blind or visually impaired or who provide services to people with visual impairments. Provides consultation to other agencies where blindness is a secondary disability.
  • Recreation Services
    • Recreational and Educational groups for adults and seniors.

Services for Children

  • Community Outreach Programs
    • GDABVI provides summer day camps for elementary students ages 6-10 and youth ages 11-15. Each camp meets from 9:00 AM-3:00 PM, Monday through Friday, for two weeks.

      Our focus is on the skills of everyday living and community exploration. Staff includes certified teachers of the visually impaired, an orientation and mobility specialist, a school social worker, and a rehabilitation teacher.

      The day camp takes place at the Greater Detroit Agency for the Blind, 16625 Grand River Avenue in northwest Detroit. We cook, shop, learn about money management, housekeeping, personal care, and appropriate conversation and manners. Students often engage in activities of healthy living such as judo, walking, and basketball or other popular sports. Field trips are taken several times a week to experience nature, visit a museum, or learn about a community resource like the police or bank.

      Parents attend the last day of camp for a family day and meet with a teacher who provides feedback on the child's progress in camp.

      Registration takes place between April and the end of May. Camps run in late July and early August.

      Additional programs include a goal ball training camp and other sports and independent living learning opportunities.
  • Counseling
    • Offers specialized services for children including parent counseling and school consultation.
  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training
    • Please see the Community Outreach section for more information about summer camps and other opportunities for daily living skills training at GDABVI. We focus on shopping, meal preparation, eating together, housekeeping, personal care, care of clothing, money identification and handling, leisure activities, and social skills.

      Other programs like goalball include a food preparation component, and lunch to provide young people with the opportunity to develop social skills.
  • Education Services
    • Programs are designed to address needs identified through the Expanded Core Curriculum. Most programming is offered during the summer.
  • Employment/Job Training
    • Children's programming often includes an opportunity to discuss career interests and to meet an adult person with a visual impairment who can describe his or her employment experiences. Field trips in the community include questions about jobs and how to prepare for them.
  • Information and Referral
    • Parents and others are encouraged to call GDABVI for information about community resources that can help their child with a visual impairment. Children are taught skills of self-advocacy so that they can explain their special needs when they are active in the community with people who are not familiar with the effects of a visual impairment.
  • Summer/Day Camps and After-school Programs
    • GDABVI provides summer day camps for elementary students ages 6-10 and youth ages 11-15. Each camp meets from 9:00 AM-3:00 PM, Monday through Friday for two weeks. Our focus is on the skills of everyday living and community exploration. Staff includes certified teachers of the visually impaired, an orientation and mobility specialist, a school social worker, and a rehabilitation teacher.

      The day camp takes place at the Greater Detroit Agency for the Blind, 16625 Grand River Avenue in northwest Detroit.
      We cook, shop, learn about money management, housekeeping, personal care, and appropriate conversation and manners. Students often engage in activities of healthy living such as judo, walking, and basketball or other popular sports. Field trips are taken several times a week to experience nature, visit a museum, or learn about a community resource like the police or bank.
      Parents attend the last day of camp for a family day and meet with a teacher who provides feedback on the child's progress in camp.
      Registration takes place between April and the end of May. Camps run in late July and early August.

      Additional programs include a goal ball training camp and other sports and independent living learning opportunities.
  • Support for Parents
    • Parents are encouraged to call GDABVI for information about community resources that will help their child with a visual impairment.

      Parent programming is offered on an as needed basis. A Parent or Family Day is included for each Summer Enrichment Camp.
  • Travel/Orientation and Mobility
    • Orientation and mobility training is offered to students who attend summer enrichment day camps. Consultation with the child's teacher is an important part of registration.

Services for Professionals

  • Consultation/Technical Program Assistance
    • Provides consultation concerning blindness/visual impairment to other agencies.
  • Professional Training
    • Offers internships/fieldwork placements for rehabilitation teaching and social work and in-service workshops and training opportunities.

Ongoing Events/Programs

GDABVI Children and Youth Programs
Summer Enrichment Camp for Children with Visual Impairments

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