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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)

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).


Jacci Borchardt, Program Director, (414) 615-0121,
Terri Davis, Executive Director, (414) 615-0102,
Susan Eggold, Retail & Outreach Manager, (414) 615-0126,
Dena Fellows, Marketing Director, (414) 615-0134,
Tonya Jones, Hawley Ridge Property Manager, (414) 615-0109,
Matt Lemke, Finance Director, (414) 615-0106 0106,

Services Offered

Services for Adults

  • Assistive Products
    • Operates the Vision Forward Store, Southeastern Wisconsin’s only adaptive devices retail store that offers people who have low vision or are blind a selection of solutions for easier daily activities at home, work or recreation. Products are designed to help those living with macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and general vision loss.
  • Community Outreach Programs
    • Vision Forward provides speakers for referring organizations, paraprofessionals, schools and civic groups. We also have a Mobile Store that is able to take information and products available for sale out into the community.
  • Computer Training/Assistive Technology
    • Offers training in the use of the latest in adaptive technology from scanners to screen magnification software. Offers classes in keyboarding, word processing, navigating the Internet, Excel, and more.
  • Counseling
    • Offers support groups, individual counseling for adults, family members and parents.
  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training
    • Teaches techniques that enable students who are blind or visually impaired to regain their ability to function independently. Professionally trained rehabilitation teachers develop an individualized plan of service based on each student’s unique needs and goals. Provides training in the basic content areas of food preparation, personal management, personal hygiene and grooming, nutrition, household maintenance, money management, sewing, use of time-keeping devices, and methods of organizing. Senior Skills program helps adults relearn simple tasks by making the most of their remaining vision and developing new non-visual skills.
  • In-Home Services
    • Vision Forward Children Service's therapists and vision teachers often provide itinerant services in the home for children 0-3 years of age. Also our Low Vision therapists and our Certified Orientation & Mobility Instructor are able to provide Low Vision and O&M follow up services in the home environment.
  • Information and Referral
    • Information provided as needed for other community services.
  • 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 can help you to make the most of your 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 that are directed by volunteers 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 counseling 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 414-615-0123 or
  • Travel/Orientation and Mobility
    • Particpants master techniques of safe travel, learn to use their other senses, gather information, plan a route, problem solve, and learn how to use public transportation.

Services for Children

  • Assessment
    • Offers functional vision evaluations as well as complete developmental assessments.
  • Braille and Reading Instruction
    • Instruction in pre-braille skills provided.
    • 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 seven are served through the Center’s early intervention and preschool programs and in the children’s “natural environment” where they live, learn and play.
  • Preschool Programs
    • 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.
  • Support for Parents
    • Works closely with family members to offer practical tips that can be used in day-to-day living. Family meetings, a mentor program and informational seminars also 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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