VISIONS Response to COVID-19

VISIONS Latest COVID-19 Update

A man wearing a white button down shirt hosts a video meeting on his laptop while in his home.

During these uncertain times, we remain committed to serving the needs of participants who are blind and visually impaired, living in all boroughs of NYC, Long Island, Westchester, Rockland County, and several counties in New Jersey.

While our physical offices remain closed, we are working hard to offer programs and services in a format that is both convenient, and accessible to our participants.

In the recent weeks following self-isolation orders:

  • VISIONS Social Work services are being offered remotely by our licensed social workers (either by phone, text, or video call). Social workers are assisting participants with tasks including coordinating home-delivered meals (if qualified); locating pick up food sites; locating testing sites; and understanding economic impact payment information, medical services, and other benefits related to COVID-19. Additionally, VISIONS is offering remote health and wellness classes including chair exercises, seated Zumba, and themed support groups, allowing participants to remain social, while socially distancing.
  • VISIONS Department of Workforce Development, and VISIONS Department of Youth Services have facilitated remote work readiness and pre-vocational skills workshops utilizing video conferencing, allowing participants to meet “face-to-face”, share files, and conduct enhanced discussions with guest speakers.
  • VISIONS Center on Aging has facilitated remote activities over Google Hangouts and by phone, allowing participants with varying levels of technical skill to enjoy these activities. Additionally, staff from VISIONS Center on Aging are communicating with participants and performing safety checks.
  • VISIONS Assistive Technology instructors have been providing remote, and in some cases, at-home technology assistance to both staff and students, while maintaining social distancing and safety guidelines.

Our success with remote programming is thanks, in large part to our team of dedicated staff, who have been flexible in the way they teach, and quickly adaptable to new technology. We are very happy to report that the agency has had no staff layoffs. Our ability to continue serving our diverse population, as well as our commitment to protecting our staff during these unprecedented times, is only made possible through your generous support. To learn more about VISIONS remote services, please follow us on social media:

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To view previous updates, click here

Free COVID-19 Resources

Below are some free tools, blogs, articles, and resources for people affected by COVID-19. If you would like to suggest any additional resources, e-mail info@visionsvcb.org.

Technology

Freedom Scientific will be offering use of their software "JAWS", "ZoomText" and "ZoomText Fusion" free of charge until June 30, 2020

NFB-NEWSLINE is a free audio news service for anyone who is blind, low-vision, deafblind, or otherwise print-disabled that offers access to more than 500 publications, emergency weather alerts, job listings, and more.

TechOwl's article about using Zoom on mobile devices introduces readers to the program and helps introduce basic concepts, ideal for users who rely on assistive technology.

Benefits

Learn more about what you need to know about filing for unemployment insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Links available in various languages if you scroll down.

The National Council of Aging (NCOA) and FamilyWize are partnering to make older adults and their caregivers aware of another option to save on their prescription medications. The FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card is free to everyone. Even if you have insurance, you can show the FamilyWize card to make sure you get the best price — FamilyWize or insurance.

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is currently offering relief to individuals, businesses, and nonprofits affected by COVID-19. The website below consolidates these resources for your convenience.

General Resources

FamilyConnect is a service offered by the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) to give parents and other family members of visually impaired children–and professionals who work with them–a supportive place for sharing and finding resources on raising their children from birth to adulthood.

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has created a blog full of inspirational stories, current events, and resources tailored to people with visual impairments.

Blindline® is a uniquely comprehensive information and referral service for people who are blind or visually impaired, their family members, caregivers, and professionals in the field of blindness. The service includes a toll-free telephone number as well as a fully accessible website, Blindline.org, both of which are linked to a New York State database with more than 2,500 accessible products and services, such as:

Mental Health Resources

Graphic of a red circle with a white outlined heart inside of it

Access to free mental health resources is more crucial than ever during these uncertain times. Below are some of the free mental health resources individuals can take advantage of right now:

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

NYC Well: 888-692-9355

National Disaster Distress Line: 1-800-985-5990

If you are feeling unwell physically or mentally, call 911 immediately!

For More Information

If you require assistance with learning more about or applying for additional relief benefits, please contact:

Elizabeth Lee
Director of Caregiver and Senior Services
646-486-4444, ext. 214
elee@visionsvcb.org

Diana Cruz
Senior Center Director
(646) 486-4444, ext. 215
dcruz@visionsvcb.org

Stay Safe. Stay Healthy. We Will Persevere!