INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust has granted Visually Impaired Preschool Services (VIPS Indiana) an award of $75,000 to support Central Indiana’s youngest children who are blind or visually impaired with vision-specific early intervention.
VIPS Indiana is a nonprofit agency that provides critical early intervention services to young Hoosiers, birth to three, with blindness/low vision and comprehensive support to their families. Typically these services are provided to families in their home, but due to stay at home and social distancing orders, VIPS quickly transitioned to a virtual home visit service delivery model. “We had already been exploring the idea of supplementing our in-home visits with virtual home visits as it would allow us to serve more Hoosier infants and toddlers in need,” said Meredith Howell, regional director of VIPS Indiana. “However, the novel coronavirus forced our teachers of blind/low vision and early interventionists in visual impairment to take action quickly since we know this critical time of brain development and neuroplasticity, will impact the future of that child.”
“We are impressed with VIPS’ practice of providing personalized early intervention services within the homes of visually impaired children, helping them maximize the use of all their senses so they can better navigate their world,” said Gene D’Adamo, president and CEO, Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust.
Howell says she isn’t sure how COVID-19 will affect the financial future of VIPS but thanks to the funds from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, VIPS will be able to continue to provide services and support to Central Indiana’s youngest children with visual impairments.
“This pandemic is hard but I can tell you — it’s especially hard for families who have kids with disabilities,” said Howell, whose own nine-year-old daughter is legally blind and is a former VIPS child. “Anything we can do at VIPS to help ease fears, alleviate stress and provide hope to these Central Indiana families, we will do it.”
About Visually Impaired Preschool Services (VIPS Indiana).
VIPS Indiana is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency that provides specialized and ongoing, in-home early intervention to infants and toddlers, ages birth to three, who are blind or visually impaired. In August 2011, VIPS Indiana began serving children with visual impairments in Indiana. VIPS was founded in Louisville, Kentucky in 1985. The mission of VIPS is to empower families by providing educational excellence to young children with visual impairments in order to build a strong foundation for reaching their highest potential.
For more information, visit www.vips.org
About the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust.
The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust was established upon the death of Nina Mason Pulliam in 1997 to support the causes she loved in her home states of Arizona and Indiana for 50 years. The Trust seeks to help people in need, protect animals and nature, and enrich community life in metropolitan Indianapolis and Phoenix. Since its inception, the Trust has distributed more than $331 million.
For more information, visit www.ninapulliamtrust.org