Community Compassion: How You Can Give Back to the Visually Impaired Community in Western New York 

At VIA: Visually Impaired Advancement, our programs are designed to cater to our clients’ unique and diverse needs. We offer specialized eye exams, expert vision rehabilitation services, and workforce development programs to ensure our clients receive the care and support they need. With a 110-year history in the community, our commitment to helping individuals with visual impairments is deeply rooted. When you donate to VIA, volunteer or participate in one of our many events and activities, you contribute to empowering blind and visually impaired individuals in Western New York. Your support helps them to achieve their highest level of independence through our comprehensive programs and services. Your generosity helps us build a stronger, more inclusive community.

You Can Make a Difference & Empower the Visually Impaired

Your support ensures individuals who are blind or visually impaired receive the specialized care, resources, and opportunities they need from the low vision experts in Buffalo, NY. You may inspire compassion among others in the community to step forward to lend a hand as well. Every gesture, big or small, has a meaningful impact in creating a community where blind and visually impaired individuals can access the resources and support they need to successfully navigate vision loss.

Reasons to Give Back to the Visually Impaired Community

By giving back, you extend a helping hand to the visually impaired community. Your support enhances the quality of life for individuals with visual impairments, allowing them to navigate the world with confidence and independence. You will contribute to VIA’’s mission of providing specialized eye exams, vision rehabilitation, and tailored programs to address the unique needs of every individual they serve.

The Importance of Advocacy & Awareness for the Visually Impaired

By advocating for the visually impaired community, you become a voice for change, promoting accessibility and equal opportunities. Raising awareness about visual impairments and VIA’’s mission helps dispel misconceptions and encourage a more compassionate society. Knowledge is power. The more you learn, the more you’ll want to give back to the visually impaired community in Western New York.

Simple Ways to Give Back to the Visually Impaired

Make an impact on the visually impaired community through various avenues. Initiate Fundraisers to generate funds for VIA’s programs, such as charity runs or online auctions, providing vital resources and services. Volunteer at VIA or similar local organizations, offering direct support to individuals with visual impairments and making a profound difference in their journey to independence. Educate yourself and others about visual impairments, adaptive technologies, and the challenges faced by the visually impaired, fostering empathy and advocating for inclusivity. Be an ally by offering assistance, even through small gestures like guiding someone or reading materials, significantly improving the lives of those with vision loss.

Initiate Fundraisers

Organizing fundraisers for VIA can rally support and generate funds for the visually impaired community. From virtual events to local gatherings, your creativity is welcomed. Host a charity run, a bake sale, or an online auction. Inviting your friends, family, and colleagues to participate. Each dollar raised paves the way for vital services and programs that foster independence and hope.

Volunteer at a Local Organization like VIA

Your time and skills are always appreciated for the impact they can have on the lives of visually impaired individuals. Consider volunteering at VIA or other local organizations that support the visually impaired community. Your time commitment is up to you and can range from volunteering to help with events to mentoring those undergoing rehabilitation. We depend on our network of volunteers.

Educate Yourself & Others

Knowledge is a catalyst for change. Take the initiative to learn about visual impairments, adaptive technologies, and the challenges faced by the visually impaired community. By educating yourself, you become better equipped to be an advocate and ally. Share your knowledge with others, dispelling misconceptions and promoting understanding.

Be an Ally & Offer Assistance

Sometimes, a small gesture can have a huge impact. Be an ally to the visually impaired community by offering assistance when needed. Whether it’s reading or being a supportive friend, your kindness can brighten someone’s day and make their journey easier. If you’re not sure how you can help with low vision rehabilitation in Buffalo, NY, reach out to VIA to chat. 

4 Ways You Can Get Involved & Give Back with VIA of WNY

Donations are the lifeblood of every non-profit organization, including VIA. Your contribution supports our mission to provide low vision resources in Buffalo, NY and create opportunities for the visually impaired community. We make it easy to offer support with diverse giving options. You can make a direct donation to VIA, explore corporate sponsorships or gifts, designate your United Way contributions to benefit VIA, or even create a Facebook fundraiser to celebrate your birthday while supporting our cause. Every form of support brings us closer to our goal of empowering and making a lasting impact on the visually impaired community.

1. Donate Directly to VIA  

When you donate to VIA, you provide much-needed support to individuals facing vision loss. Your contribution helps fund specialized eye exams, vision rehabilitation services, and tailored programs that empower the visually impaired community to lead fulfilling lives. Whether you choose a one-time donation or a recurring contribution, every dollar makes a meaningful difference.

2. Sponsorships & Corporate Giving 

Corporate partnerships hold the potential to drive positive change and empower those affected by visual impairments. Through sponsorships and corporate giving, your company can make a lasting impact on the lives of visually impaired individuals. Show your commitment to social impact and inclusivity by supporting VIA’s programs and initiatives.

3. Donor Designation with United Way 

The United Way of Buffalo & Erie County (UWBEC) offers a unique opportunity for you to allocate your contributions directly to VIA. By choosing the Donor Designation option during the United Way Annual Campaign and SEFA, you directly support VIA’s efforts in advancing services for the visually impaired community. When you select this option, a portion of your paycheck, deducted through your employment, is channeled directly to VIA.

4. Facebook Fundraisers  

Harness the power of social media to create a Facebook Birthday Fundraiser for VIA: Visually Impaired Advancement. Celebrate your special day while making a meaningful impact on the lives of visually impaired individuals. Invite your friends to join you in supporting this noble cause and together, create positive change.

VIA’s Annual Events to Give Back to the Visually Impaired Community

Throughout the year, you’ll find many ways to give back to the visually impaired of Buffalo. You’ll have the opportunity to have fun while doing good. Some of our most popular and successful events include Dining in the Dark, Cocktails in the Dark, and the VIA: Visually Impaired Advancement Annual Appeal. When you participate in these events, you make a tangible difference in the visually impaired community.

Dining in the Dark  

Experience the world from a different perspective through VIA’s Dining in the Dark event. Enjoy a sumptuous meal in complete darkness, gaining insight into the daily experiences of those with visual impairments. This unique event fosters empathy and raises awareness about the challenges faced by the visually impaired community.

Cocktails in the Dark  

Raise a toast to the visually impaired community at VIA’s Cocktails in the Dark event. Engage in blind simulations and activities that offer a glimpse into the lives of individuals with visual impairments. This immersive experience promotes inclusivity and celebrates the resilience of the human spirit.

Annual Appeal  

Participate in VIA’s Annual Appeal campaign, a time to come together and support the organization’s mission of empowering the visually impaired. Your contributions during this time provide vital resources and support for VIA’s comprehensive services.

Other Ways VIA Gives Back to the Visually Impaired in WNY

Beyond its comprehensive services, VIA: Visually Impaired Advancement extends its impact through other innovative initiatives. VIA: Visually Impaired Advancement goes beyond services with innovative initiatives. Engage in Blind Simulation Presentations (Lunch and Learns) for a deeper understanding of visual impairments. Explore VIA’s Wall of Reflection, where sharing fosters a supportive community. These initiatives serve as powerful reminders of the resilience and strength of the visually impaired community while offering opportunities for meaningful engagement and support.

Blind Simulation Presentations (Lunch and Learns)  

With more than 27 million people in the United States affected by vision loss, VIA is committed to enlightening and educating the public about the lives of visually impaired individuals and their ability to thrive independently. VIA’s blind simulation is a powerful tool to promote diversity awareness in the workplace. Through these interactive sessions, VIA offers participants a firsthand glimpse into the daily experiences of someone living without full use of their vision.

What is a blind simulation?

A blind simulation is an interactive experience designed to give individuals a glimpse into the world of those with visual impairments. As participants emerge from the simulation, they carry a new perspective, often translating into a more inclusive and supportive attitude toward the visually impaired community. Blind simulations are powerful tools for advocacy and awareness, promoting empathy and driving positive change in workplaces, schools, and communities. This experience allows individuals to understand and empathize with the challenges the visually impaired face.

How does a blind simulation work?

During a blind simulation, participants are guided through everyday tasks with intentionally obscured vision, experiencing challenges faced by the visually impaired. A minimum of 10 staff members are requested to participate in VIA’s Blind Simulation. VIA staff will guide blindfolded participants through various tasks. Activities include Blindfolded Water Pour, JAWS Demo, Cane Travel, Max TV Simulations, and more. Interactive B/VI trivia adds a fun and educational element to the simulation.

What is the impact of a blind simulation?

Blind simulations have a profound impact, raising awareness, promoting understanding, empathy and inclusivity in workplaces and communities. They include debrief discussions that encourage participants to share their thoughts and reflections on the experience. It’s not just a team-building activity; it’s a great opportunity to inspire advocacy, volunteerism, and giving back to our community.

Wall of Reflection  

The Wall of Reflection, created by VIA: Visually Impaired Advancement, is a powerful installation honoring the resilience of those with visual impairments. This gift campaign supports our mission of empowering the blind and visually impaired to live productive and independent lives. Your custom-designed metallic tile will be displayed in our Main Street location’s lobby, showcasing your support for VIA. Each 6×6-inch tile can be engraved with your message or name, making your gift a lasting feature of our Main Street location.

Get in Touch with VIA Today to Start Making a Difference

Your compassion and support can change lives. Contact VIA today to explore how you can be part of an organization that empowers the blind and visually impaired community in Western New York. Together, we create a world where every individual can achieve their highest level of independence and thrive, regardless of visual abilities.

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