Visually Impaired Preschool Services (VIPS) empowers families by providing educational excellence to young children with visual impairments in order to build a strong foundation for reaching their highest potential.
You've learned that your child has a serious vision problem. It is not uncommon to experience a number of emotions, such as grief, fear, sadness, and even anger. You may feel a sense of loss because you believe that the dreams or expectations you had for your child are no longer possible.
In one form or another, you may be asking yourself two questions: “What am I going to do now?” and “Where do I go from here?” Your situation may be different, but it is not unique. Many families have asked those same questions when faced with the same situation. Children with visual impairments are children first. They need the same types of experiences as other children. They need to have friends, to play in sandboxes, to swing on swings, to go to new places. They need to be part of family routines and activities.
Visually Impaired Preschool Services is an agency (VIPS) that has been designed to help you and your child through these very important early years when children are so ripe for learning. Without sight, your child will need to gather information about the world in different ways. VIPS will show you how to help your child use remaining vision and other senses to learn about the world. We want to help you feel good about your child and to help your child build the self-esteem that will be so necessary for the progress he or she will make.
VIPS provides a variety of programs and services. VIPS serves blind or visually impaired infants, toddlers, and preschoolers who live within a 50-mile radius of Louisville, including several counties in Southern Indiana, through the VIPS-Louisville Office. Children, who live in central Kentucky, within a 50-mile radius of Lexington, are served by the VIPS-Central KY Office. Children (birth to 3), who live within a 60-mile radius of Bloomington, IN are served by the VIPS-Indiana Office, including Bloomington, Bedford, Columbus, and Indianapolis.VIPS also has an Outreach Program to serve children and families who reside in other areas throughout Kentucky and Indiana.
VIPS staff includes certified teachers who specialize in early childhood education, visual impairment, O&M, and special education. Several staff members are also parents of visually impaired children. VIPS is led by a dedicated volunteer Board of Directors, who are professionals in the field of visual impairment, medical professionals, community and business leaders, representatives of consumer groups of the blind, and VIPS parents.