COVID-19 Plan of Action
It has now been 18 months since we began our unprecedented journey through this pandemic with quick and decisive actions. VIPS remains deeply concerned about COVID-19 and its continuing spread across our communities. We continue to focus on the protection of the children and families we serve, as well as our own team members who have been traveling across two entire states to fulfill our mission. Accordingly, we follow the recommendations of the CDC, Leadership in Kentucky and Indiana, and the Public Health Departments and employ the tools of masking, staying as socially distanced as possible, monitoring the health of clients and team members, and promoting vaccines amongst our team members. VIPS is extremely proud to be able to say that over 90% of our team is currently vaccinated.
We have remained mission-focused and continue to support direct intervention families through a blend of either socially distanced in-person visits or virtually through the use of technology to ensure their children continue their educational path. Because of great success these past 18 months, this model of blended delivery is now actually embraced in both states as a tool for future service. Our teachers have made sure every family needing our services receives industry-standard best practice education delivered with compassion and flexibility to meet family needs.
We remain hopeful that we will continue to lessen the financial impact to VIPS through this period of uncertainty through good fiscal policies. We are looking forward to making up some of those shortages through Friday’s, September 17th Give for Good Louisville’s one-day online campaign where we have a pool of $16,500 we need to match in a 24-hour period. Additionally, our Lynn Family 5K for VIPS is now a virtual event. Our fundraisers have sustained VIPS for many years and so we find ourselves hoping that will continue.
As we strive for critical sustainability throughout this continued pandemic, we need our VIPS supporters even more. Please help us during this challenging time by continuing your existing pledges or donations. 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 VIPS and the impact we are making in the community!
Diane Nelson, Executive Director of VIPS, was featured on the Spotlight Session of accessiBe. Listen to Diane go in-depth about VIPS, the critical services we provide, and what accessibility means to her.
Current VIPS Program Updates
VIPS early intervention services will continue as directed by our respective state First Steps programs, including tele-intervention and limited face-to-face visits. VIPS Kids Town Preschool in Louisville will begin the 2020-21 school year using NTI (Non-Traditional Instruction/remote learning).
Please check out our VIPS Facebook page (“Visually Impaired Preschool Services”) for up-to-date information and for the date of our next “Connecting During COVID” session.
Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse
The Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse has put together a packet of selected tip sheets with ideas and information about how infants and toddlers can learn during play and daily routines. We hope these resources help you think about everyday learning moments in the kitchen, or when doing the laundry, even playing on the couch and turn them into opportunities for Everyday Early Intervention with your family.
Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse Resource page
Kentucky- Jefferson County
Greater Louisville’s corporate community is coming together in an unprecedented way to create a fund aimed at providing much-needed assistance to those in need in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. One Louisville: COVID-19 Response Fund will provide support for nonprofits and families impacted by COVID-19. The link below contains an updated overview of the Fund including who is eligible for support and how to request it.
Military Family Relief Fund
The Military Family Relief Fund is an emergency fund available to all Veterans experiencing a financial hardship that served on active duty during a national conflict or war time period for at least 12-months and received an honorable or under honorable conditions discharge. The Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs has extended this emergency fund during the COVID-19 outbreak to include all Veterans and their families who have been affected by this national emergency. If you or your parent qualifies for this emergency assistance he/she could be awarded a maximum lifetime grant of $2,500.00 for financial assistance to cover up to 2 months of household needs such as food, utilities, and medical expenses: including extra caregiving services during this time, for grocery delivering, check-ins, socialization visiting, and other assistance.