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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.

Simone is learning independence one step at a time!

“Simone is joy and light, and the center of our family,” said Nicole, mother to VIPS child Simone. She is a busy little girl, always moving and thriving on attention. She spends her days playing, dancing, and exploring the outdoors; specifically, the trees and flowers. She especially loves doing so with her family. 

Simone is the youngest of five children, born in August of 2018. When Simone was just 7 weeks old she began receiving physical therapy for a condition called torticollis in which the neck muscles contract, causing the head to twist to one side. At around a year old, her parents took her to her first eye doctor appointment. Because Simone is very nearsighted and would not wear her glasses, vision services were recommended. Nicole wasn’t sure what to expect from the services VIPS provides, however she says the services have been very useful. Melisa, Simone’s VIPS interventionist, provides resources, knowledge, and suggestions that help Simone thrive. Nicole explained, “My favorite tip is to use color to mark boundaries.” Melisa taught the family to mark where they would want Simone to put a cup or want her to step on the stairs. This critical piece of advice now prompts the family to look for boundaries that are naturally in their environment. For example, when walking around their neighborhood, Simone can use rumble strips and painted curbs to know where to stop, ultimately, preventing her from running out into the street. Melisa provides the family with suggestions in the home that can be applied to all areas of their life.

Simone’s family is grateful for the impact Melisa and VIPS have had on their life from the virtual and in-home visits, to the family events like the Drive-Thru Santa event held in December 2020. Investing in the education of babies and toddlers has such a profound impact on their future success. Simone will be aging out of the VIPS program as she will be turning three on August 1. Her family plans to celebrate with a Sesame Street themed party with her favorite foods–pizza and sundaes! Happy early Birthday, Simone!

Simone sitting in her high chair with her oldest brother pointing happily at her standing behind her.

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