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for the Blind

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National Association for Visually Handicapped - AFB Directory Profile

General Information

National Association for Visually Handicapped
22 West 21st Street
New York, NY 10010
(212) 889-3141 (Local)
(212) 727-2931 (Fax)

Brief Description

NAVH is the only national health agency solely devoted to serving the "hard of seeing." The western regional office in San Francisco serves the 13 western states, and the New York National office serves the rest of the world.

Hours of operation: Mon.-Fri. 9:00 AM-5:00 PM.
Clients served on average per year: 6,000
Number of staff: 13
Staff description: 10 at National Headquarters in New York and 3 in regional San Francisco office. New York staff offers bilingual assistance in English, Spanish and Italian. San Francisco staff offers assistance in English and Russian.
Geographic area served: Some services are only available in the New York City Metropolitan and the San Francisco Bay areas. Other services are available nationwide and a few are available worldwide.
Publications: NAVH Update (quarterly newsletter); large print educational series about vision, common eye diseases and vision (some in Spanish, Russian and Chinese); Seeing It Their Way (booklet and poster depicting normal vision and vision with common eye diseases); visual aids and Large Print Loan Library catalogs; information for professionals serving those with low vision.


507 Polk Street, Suite 420
San Francisco, CA 94102


Cesar Gomez, Executive Director, (212) 889-3141
Janet Handy, MA, Development Director, (212) 889-3141
Lorraine Marchi, L.H.D., Founder/CEO, (212) 889-3141

Services Offered

Services for Adults

  • Assistive Products
    • Offers visual aids, talking watches, electronic devices, proper lighting. Products available on site, via mail order, or online.
  • Community Outreach Programs
    • NAVH staff provide visual aids workshops and educational seminars on vision and eye disease to senior centers, retirement homes and other places seniors gather and live throughout the New York City Metropolitan area.
  • Computer Training/Assistive Technology
    • Free training is supplied at the New York Office.
  • Information and Referral
    • Provides information and literature to partially seeing individuals and their families. Refers to ophthalmologists and low vision specialists. Provides informational materials on vision and aging, visual aids counseling and distribution. Distributes information on how nutrition affects vision.
  • Library Services
    • Maintains a large-print loan library of over 9,000 titles that can be mailed, postage-free, to anyone in the nation who needs or prefers large print.
  • Low Vision Services
    • Supplies low vision devices and provides training in their use.
  • Recreation Services
    • Our San Francisco office offers social and recreational programs for partially seeing seniors.
  • Services for Seniors
    • Provides several services specifically for seniors including a senior support group, visual aids workshops, and educational presentations on vision and eye disease.
  • Support Groups
    • Offers support groups for seniors and working age adults.

Services for Professionals

  • Professional Training
    • Holds seminars and discussion groups to educate professionals and paraprofessionals working with the partially seeing about nature of partial vision and special needs of the partially seeing. Offers outreach programs for professionals in the field of low vision.
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