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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Vision Forward Association - AFB Directory Profile

General Information

Vision Forward Association
912 North Hawley Road
Milwaukee, WI 53213
(414) 615-0100 (Local)
(414) 256-8748 (Fax)
(855) 878-6056 (Toll-Free)
info@vision-forward.org
http://vision-forward.org

Brief Description

On January 1, 2010, the Badger Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired and the Center for Blind and Visually Impaired Children merged to become Vision Forward Association.

Combining over 130 years of expertise, Vision Forward is Southeastern Wisconsin’s premier resource for people of all ages who are blind or visually impaired.

Clients served on average per year: 6500
Number of staff: 44
Staff description: Our occupational, speech, and physical therapists, along with special education teachers and teachers of the visually impaired work with the children from birth to 7. Our adult rehabilitation team consists of optometrist and occupational therapists specializing in low vision, a certified orientation and mobility instructor, a certified vision rehabilitation therapist, social worker and an adpative computer instructor. The Vision Forward Store is staffed by two adpative product specialists. We also have support and administration employees on staff.
Geographic area served: Primarily southeastern Wisconsin.
Publications: InSight(quarterly piece with timely classes and events), InFocus (3 times a year to donors, members, past consumers, friends).

Staff

Madalyn Barnes, School Age Manager, (414) 615-0179, mbarnes@vision-forward.org
Jacci Borchardt, Program Director, (414) 615-0121, jborchardt@vision-forward.org
Terri Davis, Executive Director, (414) 615-0102, tdavis@vision-forward.org
Susan Eggold, Retail & Outreach Manager, (414) 615-0126, seggold@vision-forward.org
Dena Fellows, Marketing Director, (414) 615-0134, dfellows@vision-forward.org
Leona Knobloch-Nelson, Director of Philanthropy and Sustainability, (414) 615-0114
Matt Lemke, Finance Director, (414) 615-0106 0106, mlemke@vision-forward.org
Tracey Stanislawski, Early Education Manager, (414) 615-0160, tstanislawski@vision-forward.org
Erica Weise, Social Worker, (414) 615-0163, eweise@vision-forward.org

Services Offered

Services for Adults

  • Assistive Products
    • The Vision Forward Store, southeastern Wisconsin’s only adaptive devices retail store, offers people of all ages who have low vision or are blind a selection of solutions for home, school, work or recreation. Products are designed to help those living with macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and general vision loss. In addition to our hands-on retail setting, products are available in our online Store.
  • Community Outreach Programs
    • Vision Forward is actively engaged in our community, providing information, education and support to people of all ages in schools, business settings, senior centers and throughout the community.
  • Computer Training/Assistive Technology
    • Staff in our TEC (Technology Education Center) offer training in the broad scope of the latest adaptive technology from smart phones to screen magnification software. Classes are offered in keyboarding, word processing, navigating the Internet, Excel, and more. Demonstrations are provided on new wearable technology including Orcam and eSight.
  • Counseling
    • Vision Forward offers support groups and individual support for adults, family members and parents. Group sessions provide the opportunity to explore what it means to live with vision loss, how to accomplish life tasks without normal vision and how to connect with other valuable resources. Group members are enabled to fully claim their change in vision, assertively communicate with others about their needs and abilities and maintain their sense of worth and dignity.
  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training
    • Specially trained staff members teach techniques that help adults and young adults who are blind or visually impaired function independently. Rehabilitation teachers and occupational therapists develop an individualized plan of service based on each person’s unique needs and goals. Training is provided in food preparation, personal management, personal hygiene and grooming, nutrition, household maintenance, money management, use of time-keeping devices, and methods of organizing and labeling. Training helps adults relearn tasks by making the most of their remaining vision and developing new non-visual skills.
  • In-Home Services
    • Low Vision Therapists, an Occupational Therapist and a Certified Orientation & Mobility Instructor are able to provide low vision, daily living skills training, and orientation and mobility follow-up services in the home environment.
  • Information and Referral
    • Information about community resources are provided to our clients by our Social Worker and other staff.
  • Low Vision Services
    • Our Low Vision Services program is staffed by an optometrist and occupational therapists with special training and experience working with clients living with macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and other eye conditions. Low Vision Services help our clients make the most of their remaining vision with the help of proper magnification devices, specialized lighting and contrast enhancement. Appointments are covered by Medicare and most other insurances. Please call us to schedule an appointment or to learn more about how we can help at 414-615-0158.
  • Recreation Services
    • Our Education and Enrichment offerings teach people who are blind or visually impaired adaptive techniques so that they can continue hobbies and leisure activities or learn new ones, allowing them to be as independent as possible. We also offer classes and events throughout the year on an ongoing basis.
  • Services for Seniors
    • Offers comprehensive low vision evaluations, vision rehabilitation, recreational oportunities and adaptive devices for seniors.
  • Support Groups
    • One-on-one support and support groups, offered in a safe and supportive envioronment, help individuals and family members deal with the emotional issues that often accompany vision loss. Learn strategies and techniques for successfully living with changing vision. We will explore effective self advocacy, work on building a positive self image, and identify community resources to meet your changing vision needs. These educational series are typically held at Vision Forward. For information, contact us at 414-615-0163 or info@vision-forward.org.
  • Travel/Orientation and Mobility
    • Particpants master techniques of safe travel, learn to use their other senses, gather information, plan a route, cross the street, problem solve, and learn how to use public transportation.

Services for Children

  • Assessment
    • Our children's services department offers functional vision evaluations, orientation and mobility assessments, and complete developmental assessments.
  • Braille and Reading Instruction
    • Teaches modified techniques for reading and writing including handwriting, tape recording, telephone dialing techniques, touch typing, braille I & II.
  • Early Intervention/Infant Services
    • Children from birth to age three are served through the Center’s early intervention and preschool programs and in the children’s “natural environment” where they live, learn and play.
  • Health
    • Vision Forward provides medically based outpatient therapy services for children of all ages in physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.
  • Preschool Programs
    • Vision Forward offers a Preschool Program. Services offered include special education services, vision and sensory training and orientation and mobility training. Therapies provided include speech/language, occupational and physical therapy. Family support and education continues to be a vital component. Children who are blind or visually impaired may continue in this program up to the age of six.
  • Summer/Day Camps and After-school Programs
    • Programming is provided for school-age youth including a summer sports camp for students third grade and up and a monthly group called Y.E.S. (Youth - Empower - Success) for youth ages 13 - 18. Vision Forward also participates in national initiatives including Braille Challenge and Cane Quest.
  • Support for Parents
    • Family meetings and events, parent workshops, a mentor program and informational seminars provide valuable ongoing support.

Services for Professionals

  • Consultation/Technical Program Assistance
    • Provides social work services to individuals, families, community organizations and service agencies in the following areas: adjustment stages, resources, consultation services.
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