Make an immediate difference in the life of a child with visual impairment.

VIPS Louisville

About VIPS Louisville

Before 1985, children who were blind/visually impaired in Kentucky & Southern Indiana had no access to early intervention services for their vision-specific needs. That all changed when a group of concerned citizens, lead by Sharon Bensinger, formed the idea to start VIPS. Mrs. Bensinger had no personal connection to anyone who was blind, other than being employed by American Printing House for the Blind Research Department. However, it was in that job that she took countless numbers of phone calls from desperate parents looking for services for their blind child.

With $20,000 in startup grants from WHAS Crusade for Children and Metro United Way, VIPS was born! Mrs. Bensinger was the first employee and began with a caseload of 14 families. Since that time, VIPS has grown into an impactful agency, serving approximately 500 families a year across two states, with office locations in Louisville, Lexington, and Indianapolis. VIPS Louisville operates Kentucky’s only full-time preschool for children with visual impairments, a nationally accredited program and Jefferson County, KY’s first five-star rated child care facility.

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Featured Grantor for VIPS Louisville

Karston A. & Ethelyn O. Osmondson Charitable Fund

Farris and Helen Dixon are the stewards of the Karston A. & Ethelyn O. Osmondson Charitable Fund.  Mr. Dixon is the Osmondson's nephew (Ethelyn & Farris' mother were sisters).  The Osmondsons, immigrants born in 1904, lived in Portland (West L'ville) and started a business together at 4th & Winkler.  Carson walked to work every day, about 10 miles.  The Osmondsons had no children, treating Farris as if he were their own.  Ethelyn passed away in 1993 at age 89; Karson passed away in 1999 at 94.  They were self-made millionaires who left a tremendous legacy.  Janice Dixon Braun, the Dixon's daughter, who passed away in 2010 was the impetus to her parents and the Osmondson Fund's relationship with VIPS.

Since 2005, the Osmondson Fund has donated $506,648 to VIPS to support various Louisville and Lexington programs.


Wish List

  • Paper towels
  • Card stock in all colors
  • Vinyl or Non-Latex disposable gloves
  • Baby wipes
  • Batteries (all sizes)
  • Velcro
  • Dixie cups
  • Washable finger paint (especially white)
  • Easel paper (12x18)
WHAS Crusade for Children

Why is early intervention so critically important?

Jude playing with a friend at VIPS Louisville


90% of what a child learns
is through their vision.

85% of the foundation of learning happens the first 5 years of their life.

Your donation directly impacts the life of children who are blind or visually impaired in Kentucky and Indiana.

Recently Posted Articles

Help for Santa’s Helpers: The Gift of Christmas Routines

December 13, 2017

Paige Maynard Teacher of the Visually Impaired and Developmental Interventionist | VIPS Louisville All young children thrive in the context of routines. Routines are essential for enabling the child to fully participate in activities. However, during the holiday season, the craziness of celebrations can really disrupt those essential routines that help your child to function…

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Glasses 101 for Children with Low Vision/Blindness

July 7, 2017

When a child is blind or has very low vision, sometimes the first thing a parent or a friend or relative says is; “He needs glasses.” But whether or not glasses will improve a child’s ability to see is dependent upon the reason for the child’s low vision or blindness. For some eye conditions/diagnoses, there IS something that will help improve vision; a surgery, a medication, a visual intervention, or prescription eye glasses. But, for many serious eye conditions, there is NOT an intervention that will improve visual acuity. And in these cases, putting glasses on a child simply will not help.

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Hand-Under-Hand or Hand-Over-Hand?

June 27, 2017

You may never have thought about these instructional strategies, let alone which one is preferable for your child with visual impairments but amazingly, there are some considerations you may wish to address.

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