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Last year, despite challenges from the pandemic we still served over 700 children. We need your help to continue our critical work to make a difference in the lives of children with vision loss!

We need our VIPS supporters help more than ever during this uniquely challenging time with the gift of a new donation or pledge, or continuing your existing your support. If you are not a monthly donor--now would be a great time to initiate a monthly gift. The families we serve depend on our teachers and we depend on you to help us in our critical mission to provide early intervention to every child with blindness or low vision.

Learn more about how VIPS is moving forward with our services in spite of COVID-19.

Bret Dahmke Scholarship


About the Scholarship Fund

The Bret Dahmke Scholarship Fund was started in March 2015 when the family of Bret Dahmke, who was visually impaired himself, wanted to turn the tragic situation of Bret’s death at a young age into a beacon of hope for the future by supporting other families who have a child with blindness/low vision.  This $500 scholarship will assist a Kentucky family of a child with a visual impairment to attend a local or national conference that is related to blindness/low vision.  The goal is to better equip the family with resources, insight, and tools needed to support their child. The scholarship funds may be used for transportation, lodging, or conference fees. This scholarship is offered every other year.


Due to the pandemic; Bret's family has decided to postpone the acceptance of scholarship applications until Feb. 1, 2022, with a scholarship recipient to be announced in March 2022. Thank you for your patience.

Bret Dahmke Scholarship Applications

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a child with a visual impairment within the age range of birth to high school.
  • Be a resident of Kentucky.

In order to be considered, applicants must submit the following:

  • Please write a narrative explaining the learning opportunity.
  • List the conference you would like or have registered to attend.
  • Explain how this scholarship could help with expenses.
  • Be sure to include your name, the name of your child who is visually impaired, your child’s age, the school your child attends or agency from which your child is receiving vision-specific services (i.e., public/private school, VIPS, etc.), mailing address and phone number.


Karin Geraci (2019 Recipient)

Karin Geraci picture (800x533)

I feel very blessed to have been given the opportunity to attend the conference and gain so much knowledge.

My name is Karin Geraci and I am the mother of Josie Geraci. She is 4 ½ years old and attends our local Catholic school with her brother. I am a certified teacher and currently, I am enrolled in the University of Kentucky's TVI program. With the completion of my masters I hope to aid Josie's teachers in adapting materials for her visual impairment and teach her braille. I also hope to work with other visually impaired students in Northern Kentucky once I graduate.

With the scholarship from the Bret Dahmke Scholarship Fund and his family, I was able to attend the 2019 KAER Conference. The scholarship covered my housing, food and transportation costs. Through attending the KAER conference I obtained a wealth of information not only for me as a TVI, but also as a mother of a visually impaired child. I loved learning about the latest technology for the visually impaired, how to create a safe environment for visually impaired students and the necessary life skills that are all very important for a visually impaired child. I feel very blessed to have been given the opportunity to attend the conference and gain so much knowledge. Thank you for the scholarship and the opportunity to serve visually impaired children locally with my newly learned skills.

Previous Winners

Ashley May (2017 Recipient)

Scholarship Winner

Thank you to the Dahmke Family for awarding me the Bret Dahmke scholarship to help make this trip possible.

Ashley May is the mother of Pyper, a little girl who is visually impaired. Ashley attended the AER (Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired) Conference in Jacksonville, Florida as a result of the scholarship.

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