Who We Are

In the early 1920s six women formed an organization devoted to serving New Yorkers who are blind.  They saw needs of people that had been overlooked by other organizations including a place with specially designed accommodations and services. The organization, called Vacation Camp, started on March 5, 1923 with sixty-two charter members. The women rented a cottage in Rye, New York, where a few blind men could spend two-week stays. By the second summer, VCB hosted 150 blind and partially sighted guests over a ten-week season. VCB pioneered racially integrated programs.

1926

On June 21, 1926, Vacation Camp and Dormitory for the Blind was incorporated. An estate in Rye was purchased, and a residence for 13 blind working men was established on 120th Street in Manhattan.

1951

A thirty-five acre facility in the Village of New Hempstead, New York, was purchased, offering year-round services. Local Lions Clubs adopted VCB offering volunteer and financial support.

1964

VISIONS introduced the first group of seniors with vision loss to a senior center in their own neighborhood. Today, we provide outreach, information services, and counseling to help older individuals integrate into community life, and serve as a liaison with over 152 centers and sites throughout New York City.

1972

Today, consumers receive training at home, at VISIONS at Greenwich Street, VISIONS at Selis Manor and VISIONS Center on Blindness(VCB).

1993

VISIONS rehabilitation department received the Program of Distinction Award from the National Rehabilitation Association, New York Metropolitan Chapter.

1997

VISIONS Intergenerational Program won the Youth Serving Elders Award from NYSIGN, the New York State Intergenerational Network.

2001

VISIONS at Selis Manor inaugurated its new rehabilitation, vocational and social programs to serve tenants of Selis Manor and community users who are blind or visually impaired.

2004

VISIONS received a Best Practices Award from the Council of Senior Centers and Services of New York City for its senior center training and integration of seniors who are blind into center activities.  VISIONS was named Outstanding Employer by the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP), an inaugural national recognition award.

2005

VISIONS created Blindline® a vocational training program and call center to enable people to locate resources and services for people who are blind or visually impaired.

2006

VISIONS received the New York State Coalition on Aging Intergenerational Program Award.

2007

VISIONS created an Employment and Training Center at VISIONS at Selis Manor. VISIONS was chosen by CONTRIBUTE Magazine as the #2 charity in the Health and Medical category.

2008

VISIONS won a SNAPPLE award for Intergenerational Volunteer Services and first prize in the FEGS Haym Salomon Juried Arts Competition. VISIONS expanded the Employment Center at VISIONS at Selis Manor renaming it Workforce Development and Training.

2009

VISIONS changed the name of VCB from Vacation Camp for the Blind to VISIONS Center on Blindness to reflect the changed mission of the facility.

2010

VISIONS added a separate program for caregivers of blind seniors offering information support and respite services.  VISIONS was honored by the NYS Division of Human Rights for its programs and advocacy for the rights of people with vision loss.  VISIONS was chosen as one of the Great Disability Nonprofits.

2012

VISIONS opened the first city funded senior center in the country for blind and visually impaired older persons.

2013

VISIONS created a Youth and Vision Loss Coalition and held its first on campus pre-college program.

2014

VISIONS is chosen for PBS WNET American Graduate Day segment highlighting the success of blind high school graduates.

2015

VISIONS is chosen as a finalist for the Age Smart Employer of the year award from Columbia University and the NY Academy of Medicine.

2016
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2017

VISIONS is #1 in New York State in job placements of legally blind persons.

2017

VISIONS builds and opens the first residential vocational rehabilitation center in New York State for blind and visually impaired youth and adults.

2018

VISIONS achieved Platinum Status from Guidestar, A GreatNonprofit designation, and continues to meet the Better Business Bureau standards for charity accountability.

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