Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired, Recipient

The mission of Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired (also known as the Council) is to promote—through advocacy, education and vision services—independence and empowerment of state residents who live with vision loss. Education includes attending many events to share the mission and breadth of services as well as displaying the array of adaptive equipment that’s available to help. Staff members were very grateful to receive a one by one grant to purchase table covers for events, including runners and throws. Booth table covered by a branded table cover. “We know there are a lot of people who still don’t know about us,” said Bob Jacobson, communications director. “So, we really appreciate that we didn’t have to use program funds to get these eye-catching and professional-looking table covers.” Mission has changed focus over its 70 years The Council was founded in 1952 by people who were blind and wanting to raise awareness about the challenges they were facing rather than having others advocate for them. Now it provides multiple services to help people with various levels of vision loss, including everything from advocacy on local, state and federal policies to providing white cane skills to help people learn how to navigate their home, workplace, etc. It also provides a free white cane every two years to anyone who needs it, and it operates a store that sells personal and household adaptive items. One of its most popular offerings: Access Technology Services. It helps people with vision impairment learn how to use computers, tablets and phones to reach their goals at work, school and home. This one-on-one training can be done virtually, aiding a wider number of individuals across Wisconsin. Table covers for events help educate all ages While the Council most often helps older adults, it also aims to educate the general public to destigmatize vision loss and provide tips on how to act around people with vision loss. “Vision loss is only one part of a person,” said Jacobson. “Don’t worry about saying something wrong. You can offer assistance without offending by not making assumptions about what they can do for themselves. If they are with someone else, talk directly to the person with vision loss and not the person with them on their behalf.”

For more information about Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired, please visit https://wcblind.org/ opens in new window