Greater Detroit Agency for the Blind and Visually Impaired - AFB Directory Profile

General Information

Greater Detroit Agency for the Blind and Visually Impaired
16625 Grand River Avenue
Detroit, MI 48227
(313) 272-3900 (Local)
(313) 272-6893 (Fax)

Brief Description

GDABVI provides rehabilitation services to people with visual impairments designed to increase independence and dignity. Programming for children and youth emphasizes activity and knowing how to do for oneself. Outreach efforts help familiarize the community with the unique needs of people who experience life in other ways than visually. GDABVI offers in-home rehabilitation services to adults and seniors, community education programs on eye health and safety, summer programming for children and youth, and Accessible Computer Training at regional libraries for the blind.

GDABVI was formerly Upshaw Institute for the Blind and is a United Way Agency, previously accredited by National Accreditation Council of Agencies Serving the Visually Handicapped (NAC).

Hours of operation: Mon.-Fri. 8:30 AM-4:30 PM.
Clients served on average per year: 200
Number of staff: 8
Staff description: Certified rehabilitation teacher, certified O&M instructor, case manager, and I&R, rehabilitation teacher, rehabilitation assistants, community outreach coordinator, agency program administrator, office administrator.
Geographic area served: Southeastern Michigan counties of Wayne, Macomb, Oakland, Livingston, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Monroe.
Publications: Information about eye diseases, eye safety.


Victor Arbulu, Managing Director, (313) 272-3900,
Susan Buhr, Vision Rehabilitation Teacher, (313) 272-3900,
Mary Beth Kullen, Community Outreach Coordinator, (313) 272-3900,
Eric Porter, Vision Rehabilitation Teacher, (313) 292-3900,

Services Offered

Services for Adults

  • Assessment
    • Offers individualized rehabilitation assessment to determine instructional needs.
  • Braille and Reading Instruction
    • Offers braille instruction.
  • Community Outreach Programs
    • Links to youth activities such as goal ball, judo, ceramics, and bowling. Links to support groups, bowling, and other organizations in the community for adults.
  • Counseling
    • Offers psychosocial assessment, individual and group counseling, referral to community resources. Serves family members as well as clients.
  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training
    • Provides individual and group rehabilitation teaching in client's home, doctor's office or the community. Offers personal adjustment training, communications systems and media, home management, follow-up training for low vision clinical therapies, orientation and mobility training, low vision rehab training. Refers for other vision resources.
  • Employment/Job Training
    • Provides consultation, specialized information services related to blind/visually impaired employment.
  • Information and Referral
    • Collects and disseminates information of interest to people who are blind or visually impaired or who provide services to people with visual impairments. Provides consultation to other agencies where blindness is a secondary disability.
  • Recreation Services
    • Recreational and Educational groups for adults and seniors.
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