Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired - AFB Directory Profile

General Information

Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired
456 Cherry Street, SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 458-1187 (Local)
(616) 458-7113 (Fax)
(800) 466-8084 (Toll-Free)

Brief Description

The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (formerly Vision Enrichment Services) was founded in 1913 as the Association for the Blind and for Sight Conservation. The agency was incorporated in 1921.

Its mission is to advance the independence of people who are blind or visually impaired and help prevent vision loss through services and education.

The purposes of the agency are:

  • To assist visually impaired persons in developing skills to become more independent through rehabilitative services
  • To educate the general public, organizations, professions, visually impaired people, and their families about the nature of visual impairments and the capabilities of visually impaired people
  • To promote the prevention of
  • blindness

Hours of operation: Mon.-Fri. 8:30 AM-4:30 PM. Examinations by appointment only.
Staff description: 11 full-time, 2 part-time. Uses volunteers. Ophthalmologist, optometrist, social worker, orientation and mobility instructor, certified rehabilitation therapist.
Geographic area served: 13 counties in West Michigan, surrounding the Grand Rapids area.
Publications: Tips for Living with Low Vision, From My Heart to Your Heart, Health Care Workers Guide, To My Server.


Charis Austin, Client Advocate,
Rachel DeCamp, Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist,
Cheri Fox, Social Worker,
Cynthia Geneva, O.D., F.A.A.O., Low Vision Doctor
Jessica Hart, Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist,
Christina Hedlich, MS, OTR/L, SCLV, Occupational Therapist,
Lori Janssen, Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist,
Laura Kenyon, O.D., F.A.A.O., Low Vision Doctor
John McElheron, Social Worker,
Karolina Smiley, Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist,
Lori Smolinski, O.D., Low Vision Doctor
Sarah Snyder, Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist,
Richard Stevens, Executive Director, (616) 458-1187,

Services Offered

Services for Adults

  • Assessment
    • Provides low vision examinations and assesses individual's level of functioning in daily living skills.
  • Assistive Products
    • Sells low vision aids and devices. Products are available for sale on site.
  • Braille and Reading Instruction
    • Offers braille instruction.
  • Braille/Electronic/Audio/Large Print Production
    • Menus, church hymns, birthday cards, etc.
  • Community Outreach Programs
    • Does outreach to at-risk populations and provides consultations to schools and residential retirement communities.
  • Counseling
    • Offers social evaluation, individual, group, family/parent, couple counseling. Provides referral to community services. Refers for other counseling/social work services.
  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training
    • Provides all rehabilitation services in client's home and community (except low vision clinic): personal management, braille, handwriting, listening skills, typing, home management, and remedial education.
  • In-Home Services
    • In-home rehabilitation teaching and orientation and mobility instruction.
  • Information and Referral
    • Refers for other health services.
  • Low Vision Services
    • Provides low vision evaluation and follow-up. Prescribes and supplies low vision devices.
  • Recreation Services
    • Offers arts and crafts activities. Provides consultation to other agencies on other recreational services.
  • Support Groups
    • Provides support groups for seniors.
  • Travel/Orientation and Mobility
    • Provides orientation and mobility training.
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