For media inquiries about MABVI’s programs or events or subjects related to disabilities and the field of human services, including developmental disabilities, brain injury, vocational services, visual impairment, and blindness, please contact:
Dangerous Vision explores what it would be like to be blind in a sighted world. Host Randy Cohen, a blind Harvard Business School professor and board member of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired, learns how other blind people “do blind”, navigating their way over and around obstacles with white canes, guide dogs, and technology that will blow your mind.
New episodes are released every Monday and can be found online and where you find all podcasts.
Recent press coverage and news releases of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
Cindy Wentz of Watertown is a world explorer, having visited destinations such as Kolkata, India, Italy, and Bhutan, and most recently embarking on a trip to Vietnam. For Wentz, an independent living consultant, being blind doesn’t limit her experience of discovery. READ MORE
NEW BEDFORD — Stella Lopes became legally blind 17 years ago after being diagnosed with glaucoma. “I never go anywhere without my cane,” she said, adding she avoids crossing busy streets during her morning walks. Even so, Lopes said she has continued to maintain her independence with the support she receives from the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired’s New Bedford Peer Support Group. “When I first became legally blind, I wanted to be in a support group,” she said. READ MORE…
Demonstration of Envision Glasses – Amy Ruell of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired demonstrates glasses designed to help the blind navigate their world.
The Massachusetts Association (MABVI) for the Blind and Visually Impaired was recently awarded a $45,000 grant from The Liberty Mutual Foundation, which is MABVI’s largest ever grant from the Foundation. This funding will support MABVI’s services for older adults with visual disabilities throughout Greater Boston.
For the past seven years, the Liberty Mutual Foundation has invested more than $180,000 in MABVI. The Foundation’s most recent grant will help MABVI expand comprehensive vision rehabilitation services to ensure that older adults living with blindness or low vision remain healthy and independent. MABVI’s services include in-home volunteer support, access technology training, and mental health services. READ MORE…
Brookline, MA – (August 2022) Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI) announced it has received a $5,000 grant from the Catholic Health Foundation of Greater Boston to support services for older adults living with visual disabilities. More than 700 older adults with visual disabilities from throughout the Archdiocese of Boston will receive medical and support services that help them to live safe, healthy, and engaged lives in their community thanks to the support of this grant. Read More
Brookline Patch – July 26, 2022
MAB Community Services has been awarded a $75,000 Open Door Grant from The Boston Foundation. It is one of just 22 awards of its kind in this funding round for exemplary applicants or grantees who align with one of the field of interest funds. READ MORE…
“We laid a good foundation,” said Maggie Gundersen, Social Services Coordinator at Franklin Senior Center, who has been a coordinator for The Stella Jeon Assistive Technology Center, or “Low Vision Center,” for about five years, teaching seniors with vision loss about assistive technology there to help them. READ MORE..
Jerry Feliz, Director of the Access Technology Program, is interviewed by Valley Eye Radio, an online station that provides accessible local news to blind and visually impaired residents of Hampden County, the Springfield area, and Northampton and Greenfield. Listen Here
Brookline, MA (July 14, 2022) – MAB Community Services (MAB)has announced the election of Brookline resident Paul Saner to its Board of Directors. Saner recently has significant nonprofit, community, and business experience as Commissioner of the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB).
Saner was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) at the unusually young age of four and declared legally blind at thirty-six. Now totally blind, his lived experience, extensive leadership, and successful advocacy make him a uniquely qualified ambassador for Commonwealth residents with blindness and visual disabilities. READ MORE…
Brookline, MA – (June 1, 2022) The Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI) has received $7,500 from the Community Foundation of North Central MA and the Nashoba Valley Healthcare fund. The purpose of the Nashoba Valley Healthcare Fund and Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts is to advance the community health of residents in thirteen communities, including Ashby, Ayer, Bolton, Dunstable, Groton, Harvard, Lancaster, Littleton, Lunenburg, Pepperell, Shirley, Townsend, and Westford.
The grant for MABVI will support rehabilitation services for older adults with visual disabilities. Programs include MABVI’s In-home vision rehabilitation occupational therapy services, Peer Empowerment Support Groups, Volunteer Services, Mental Health disability adjustment counseling, and Access Technology training delivered directly in the region. These services support older adults as they adjust to the onset of visual disabilities and eye diseases or degenerative eye conditions. These programs assist and adapt their environment for low vision, enable people to live safely in their homes, and manage their health and wellness on their terms. READ MORE…
By Meghan Smith GBH News |June 24, 2022
The federal government this week announced a new initiative to deliver free at-home COVID tests for people who are blind or low-vision. People can now request the set of two tests through the USPS website. Since the beginning of the pandemic, advocates, including the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, have been calling on the government and test manufacturers to create more accessible at-home tests, a lifeline for people who are immunocompromised or especially vulnerable to COVID-19. READ MORE
WORCESTER – On Wednesday, spectrum presented a $10,000 check at the Worcester Senior Center. It will be used to help train and support older adults in modern technology.
The grant from Spectrum was given to the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Some of the technology that the grant will help with will be specialized, such as refreshable Braille displays, magnifiers, and e-readers. It’s also meant to help to bring people together. READ MORE…
WGBH News February 2, 2022 – “We are knocking on every policy and activism door we, as a disability activism community, can get to, in order to advocate for accessibility of COVID resources and policies,” said Sassy Outwater-Wright, executive director of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, which was founded in 1903 as the first U.S. social service agency dedicated to serving blind and low-vision people. Helen Keller was on its first advisory board.
Accessible at-home tests should be a top priority during this phase of the pandemic, she said. “Not all of us have a family member who can help, especially if we’re isolating with COVID.” …READ MORE
WBZ NewsRadio ,November 5, 2021 — Massachusetts residents were asked to “be the eyes” for the blind one day a week. The Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI) said they need more volunteers to match their waiting list of 150 people, who need one-on-one aid with their daily tasks. Alexandra Maggio, the Association’s Director of Volunteer Engagement said to WBZ that volunteers spend one day a week lending their sight to the blind or visually impaired….MORE
MAB Community Services Receives Funds To Support Broadband Technology Programs and Training in Communities throughout Charter’s Service Area
PR/Newswire, September 2, 2021 – Charter Communications, Inc. today announced the recipients of its 2021 Spectrum Digital Education grants, awarding a total of $1 million to 49 nonprofits in 16 states and Washington, D.C. as part of the company’s five-year, $7 million commitment to support digital literacy in communities across its 41-state footprint. Recipients will use the funds for broadband technology programs and training, particularly in financially underserved rural and urban communities within Charter’s service area. READ MORE
WCVB TV Aug 19, 2021 Mona Minkara spent years thinking of blindness as something she needed to overcome. Eventually, she realized it helped her to think about problems differently and she turned her vision into action. She felt the transportation system was so accessible, she did not have a need for a cane. She is co-producing season two with the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. They will visit seven different destinations. Watch the clip here.
NEWSY, Apr 01, 2021 — With a walking cane in one hand, Kyle Robidoux does his best to navigate the sidewalk in front of a vaccination clinic in Revere, Massachusetts, the 45-year-old first started losing his vision when he was a teenager.
For Robidoux, who is legally blind, arriving at any new location always offers its set of challenges. The first time an Uber dropped him off, he was a few blocks down the street. It took nearly 30 minutes to finally get back to where he needed to be.
“The lack of familiarity definitely increases anxiety,” explained Robidoux, who serves as the director of volunteer service and community planning for the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
In an effort to make sure vaccination sites are accessible to others who are visually impaired, he has been working with public health officials to eliminate any obstacles that may exist for those who can’t see. MORE…
Beacon Hill Times, The City of Boston recently partnered with the Massachusetts Association for the Blind, Visually Impaired (MABVI) to arrange for older adults with vision loss to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Roxbury. Fourteen individuals were vaccinated this afternoon through the coordinated effort by MABVI, the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), City of Boston’s Age Strong Commission and the Commission for Persons with Disabilities.
Boston is working with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to vaccinate residents against COVID-19. Following the State’s lead, the City is working to create equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine across all populations and neighborhoods in the city.
“We need to break down barriers that may prevent some individuals from getting vaccinated. I’m grateful for the partnership with MABVI to make today’s appointments happen as we work to ensure that all Bostonians have access to the vaccine when they’re eligible,” said Chief of Health and Human Services, Marty Martinez. MORE…
City of Boston, Massachusetts Association For The Blind And Visually Impaired Hold COVID-19 Vaccination Appointments Designated For Seniors With Vision Loss
BOSTON – Saturday, February 20, 2021 – Today the City of Boston partnered with the Massachusetts Association for the Blind, Visually Impaired (MABVI) to arrange for older adults with vision loss to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Roxbury. Fourteen individuals were vaccinated this afternoon through the coordinated effort by MABVI, the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), City of Boston’s Age Strong Commission and the Commission for Persons with Disabilities.
Boston is working with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to vaccinate residents against COVID-19. Following the State’s lead, the City is working to create equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine across all populations and neighborhoods in the city.
“We need to break down barriers that may prevent some individuals from getting vaccinated. I’m grateful for the partnership with MABVI to make today’s appointments happen as we work to ensure that all Bostonians have access to the vaccine when they’re eligible,” said Chief of Health and Human Services, Marty Martinez.
After targeted outreach to schedule appointments, individuals were greeted at the door of the Reggie Lewis Center and guided by a trained volunteer who provided language and accessibility support through the entire vaccination process. In advance of today’s vaccination session, MABVI provided training for clinic staff to create a safe, welcoming space for everyone.
“We are very grateful to the City for their commitment to ensuring access to the site. Breaking down the transportation barrier for our participants who have faced challenges finding rides and guides to assist them is critical, especially during this time of social isolation and distancing,” said Kyle Robidoux, Director of Volunteer Services & Community Planning for MABVI.
“Mayor Walsh’s priority is to ensure that all eligible residents with disabilities have access to the vaccine,” said Boston Disability Commissioner Kristen McCosh. “Partnering with trusted disability agencies such as MABVI is crucial to this effort.”
Under state guidance, vaccines are now available to adults 65+ and individuals with two or more certain medical conditions. For more information on when and where you will be eligible to receive the vaccine, visit Mass.gov/COVIDvaccine. To find a vaccination site in the City of Boston, visit boston.gov/COVID19vaccine. Individuals aged 65 and older who do not have internet access, or who are having trouble navigating the site, are encouraged to call 3-1-1 to get connected to the City’s Age Strong Commission. They can help answer questions and navigate the options available. Residents outside of Boston can call 2-1-1, the Mass Vaccine Scheduling Resource line. Translators are available to assist.
Bus stop on Park Drive. Boston University student Sarah Hillesheim won the Innovate@BU Community Transit Design Challenge for her proposal to improve accessibility at bus and above-ground T stops.
Innovate@BU recently co-hosted a venture competition with Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Titled “Community Transit Design Challenge,” the competition invited students and alumni to design a trusted transportation system to tackle city traveling problems inhibiting rider accessibility. MORE…
Brookline, MA, (January 25, 2021) – In October 2019, The Massachusetts Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired (MABVI) and Boston University Innovate@BU announced a partnership to develop a $10,000 challenge open to BU students and alumni to solve community transit problems that will benefit society at large–and particularly for seniors and the blind and low vision community. For the last year, students and alumni have been creating meaningful solutions with impact, learning to think like an entrepreneur, win funding, connect with experts, and mentors.
On Thursday, January 28, from 4:00-5:00 pm, the winning team will be announced in an event via Zoom. The event will be emceed by Bryan Gould, Director of Accessible Learning and Assessment Technologies for WGBH. The guest speaker will be Dr. Mona Minkara, an advocate for accessibility and representation for people with visual impairments in science. Dr. Minkara is a winner of the prestigious Holman Prize for her documentary series Planes, Trains, and Canes, about navigating and access to public transportation systems from around the world. More information on the event can be found at https://bit.ly/MABVIChallenge.
Gibney Family Foundation Thank You Video
We would like to send our heartfelt thanks to the Gibney Family Foundation (TGFF) for their ongoing support of MABVI. Check out the ways their support has made a difference for the individuals we serve at MABVI. By partnering with organizations such as MABVI, the Gibney Family Foundation creates an environment that fosters collaboration, creativity, and high impact.
Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired Honor Local Volunteers
BROOKLINE, MA – (October 1, 2020) The Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI) honored its many volunteers at its annual Volunteer Appreciation Celebration on Thursday, October 1, 2020, Friday, with a virtual celebration via Zoom. In addition to honoring its volunteer force of nearly 400 individuals, MABVI presented several special awards to recognize exceptional volunteers and community partners in three categories.
“Our volunteers’ commitment to our community demonstrates an exceptional amount of love, hard work, and ingenuity,” said Sassy Outwater-Wright, Executive Director of MABVI. “As the world changes rapidly, blind and visually impaired residents of Massachusetts face unprecedented challenges to access the things we need. The volunteer’s availability to help support us as we negotiate these challenges is critical and profoundly powerful. I want to extend my sincere gratitude to all they have done to support MABVI and the people we serve.” MORE…
“It’s narrating for four or five hours before, during, and after the race,” said Wardian, an ultra-marathon runner. “You’re telling him, ‘Okay, we’re in the first corral. Now we’re 50 feet away from the start. There are 70 people around you and there’s a hill coming up.’”
All while trying to keep a 2-hour, 30-minute pace.
All while trying to keep a 2-hour, 30-minute pace. MORE…
BU News Service, BOSTON (September 5, 2020) — Passing co-workers offered condolences as Haley Leishman walked through the Ivy Street School on March 13. As she strode through the facility devoted to helping young people with learning and behavioral health challenges, Leishman was confused. “I hadn’t even checked the news at that point,” she said. A surreal feeling settled over the charity and sighted guide runner as the reality sunk in – the 2020 Boston Marathon was postponed.
“It felt really strange,” Leishman said. “I was like, ‘Wait, why is it postponed? Nothing’s really happening yet.’”
When case numbers rose and social distancing took hold of the state of Massachusetts, Leishman began to understand. The announcement of a virtual marathon soon seemed inevitable, but Leishman wasn’t ready to give up. MORE…
BROOKLINE, MA (September 5, 2020) – The Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI) has announced that Marla Runyan will receive the 2020 Kara MacDonald Aspire Award. The presentation will be presented at MABVI’s annual pre-marathon dinner for Team With A Vision, MABVI’s international team of blind, visually impaired, and sighted runners. The event is being held virtually this year on Sunday, September 6, at 6:00 PM. via Livestream…MORE
Brookline Tab, August 5, 2020 –…“But Annette has found alternative ways to gain fulfillment during the epidemic,” said Sussman. “She is an active participant in weekly Bible discussions, and continues to walk and exercise, take online dance classes, practice yoga, and do Zumba.”
Along with a team of poetry lovers that include her husband, volunteer Tricia Thomson, and Rachel Castle from the Massachusetts Association for the Blind, Zrihen produces the monthly poetry/song discussion group, which is accessible to both visually impaired and sighted individuals.
“The enthusiasts’ shared appreciation of literature has provided a fun antidote to the isolation of social distancing,” she said. “We have a blast examining the works of famed songwriters and poets.” MORE…
BROOKLINE, MA – August 5, 2020 – The Town of Brookline, Massachusetts has just released a new instructional video showing individuals how to guide a person with vision loss in a variety of everyday situations.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, maintaining social distance when guiding a visually impaired person can be challenging. Modifications to the standard guiding techniques are recommended as we work together to mitigate the transmission of the virus. When guiding a visually impaired person, both the individual and the guide should be wearing masks and be facing in the same direction, so their breath is not directed towards one another. Using a glove can protect from skin-to-skin contact…The video was produced by the Brookline Commission on Disability, along with Brookline Age-Friendly Cities TV and Brookline Interactive Group. Appearing in the demonstration video are Paul Saner, Brookline Town Meeting member, Co-Chair of Brookline’s Economic Development Advisory Board, and former Commissioner of the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, and Michael Allen, LCSW, Social Worker at the Brookline Senior Center. The video is narrated by Sassy Outwater-Wright, Executive Director, Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
Watertown Tab, July 10, 2020 – Watertown’s Marshall Home Fund recently awarded $65,000 to a variety of local organizations that serve older adults. Grant recipients were selected for their ability to connect with vulnerable, isolated older adults and finding creative ways to deliver their programs and services while following the state’s distancing guidelines.
Ensure potentially isolated older adults are integrated into the community: Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired technology training for seniors with sight loss; Perkins School for the Blind’s Thriving with Vision Loss Program; and Project Literacy’s English language instruction for ages 55-plus. MORE…
BOSTON 25 News (May 29, 2020) — The cancellation of the Boston Marathon has charities bracing for a financial hit. But many runners have pledged to still raise money for their charities despite the race going virtual.
“It’s just an unfortunate but necessary decision I believe the BAA, the city and the state of Massachusetts had to make,” Chaz Davis said.
Chaz Davis is a para-athlete running the Boston Marathon as part of the charity team called “Team with a Vision.” They’re running for the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. He and his teammates have worked for months training and raising money for the charity and are devastated by Thursday’s announcement. MORE…
The Harvard Gazette May 22, 2020 – “…On April 20, the Boston marathon’s original date, Scott was nearly 800 miles from Massachusetts when she and Robidoux connected via cellphone. The two did a “virtual” run of 26.2 miles, with Robidoux circling a familiar track in Boston without a sighted guide, and Scott simultaneously running a track in Ann Arbor, Mich., where she soon will begin her emergency medicine residency at the University of Michigan Hospitals.
“We finished within five minutes of each other, celebrating by connecting in a FaceTime call,” said Scott.
To commemorate their achievement, Scott established an online fundraising page for Team With A Vision, which had brought Scott and Robidoux together in the first place. The group supports the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, a statewide network of services for low-vision individuals…” MORE…
Fifty Plus Advocate, April 30, 2020 – Amy Ruell was born in western Massachusetts about three months ahead of her due date. Ruell’s survival was a near-miracle, but the oxygen that saved her life destroyed the optic nerve.“My parents treated me as they would have treated any other child of theirs,” she recalled.As a result, “being blind was not a big deal.”Ruell’s brain learned how to navigate the physical world she could not see.“I walked to the school bus stop,” she reminisced.
Using her fingers she learned to read words written in raised dots (“Braille”). Using her intelligence and indomitable spirit, she graduated from high school and went on to earn degrees at Smith College and Simmons School of Social Work. She married, had two children and pursued a career as a social worker and advocate for blind people. MORE…
Vital Coronavirus Information Is Failing the Blind and Visually Impaired When it comes to communicating crucial updates around the pandemic, blind readers are an afterthought.
VICE.com, April 9, 2020 – Several times a day, I search for coronavirus updates online, an increasingly grim and unconscious habit I’ve adopted over the last few weeks from the confines of my New York City apartment. I’m met with a barrage of charts, infographics, and transcripts of news conferences. I’m able to grasp the harrowing reality we’re in with just a few clicks. But for the blind and visually impaired communities, information from the government and news sources remains largely inaccessible, and in the midst of a global pandemic, this isn’t merely an inconvenience, it’s a fatal negligence. “The moment that I heard everything was going drive-thru I kind of had a cringe moment because, other than in the hospital, there’s really no other way to access that testing, and for many in our community, including myself, who are immunocompromised, that puts us at a much higher risk,” Sassy Outwater-Wright, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, said. “We don’t get the benefit of staying in our car, we don’t get the benefit of trying to continue to social distance. We have to go in.”
Daily Mail, Tyler Littlefield, a software developer based in Boston, has created a database of COVID-19 statistics meant to be accessible to the visually impaired…
…Another challenge, according to Sassy Outwater-Wright, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, is that many healthcare facilities don’t post clear or accessible information about their policies.
For instance, some drive-through testing sites only allow private vehicles, not taxis or other commercial vehicles, which would be important for a visually impaired person who can’t drive themselves to know before planning a visit.
‘The moment that I heard everything was going drive-thru I kind of had a cringe moment because, other than in the hospital, there’s really no other way to access that testing, and for many in our community, including myself, who are immunocompromised, that puts us at a much higher risk,’ Outwater-Wright said. READ MORE
And now, at age 37, she’s fighting a fourth cancer — this time in her brain.
As a result, Outwater-Wright is no stranger to navigating the byzantine corridors of the healthcare system, and sheguides others who’ve lost their sight in her role as executive director of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
As someone who relies on touch to navigate the world, the potential threats to her existence have multiplied now that the novel coronavirus might be waiting on the next door knob or window sill. MORE…
An MIT team discusses the pitfalls of “parachute research” and the importance of “sociotechnical” factors.
MIT News Office, I’m starting a collaboration with Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. They have a large group of senior citizens who are experiencing blindness later in life, and have to learn to interact with technology in different ways. Understanding how people interact with technology ethnographically will be necessary for understanding accessibility — in technology, in the built environment, and in digital infrastructure. That’s a big part of my research moving forward…” MORE…
Chaz Davis finished first at the United States Association for Blind Athletes Championship at the California International Marathon.
Grafton Patch, December 19, 2019— A Grafton runner represented the Bay State at the finish line of a California marathon earlier this month. Chaz Davis finished first in the United States Association for Blind Athletes Championship at the California International Marathon in Sacramento, CA. Davis had a time of 2:43:11…In 2018, Davis ran the 122nd Boston Marathon where he finished 5th among 15 notable 2018 Boston Marathon finishers with a time of 2:56:22. Chaz ran as a member of Team With A Vision. The group raises funds and awareness for the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI) to promote greater involvement of visually impaired runners in the Boston Marathon.
Davis works for MABVI as an adjustment to vision loss counselor as well as the coordinator for Team With A Vision and United in Stride, a website that matches runners who are blind or visually impaired with sighted guides across North America. READ MORE
December 20, 2019 – BROOKLINE, MA: MABVI is grateful to Brookline Community Foundation for its continued support of MABVI’s healthy aging work for Brookline seniors with vision loss.These grants will support high-quality programs and organizations serving the diverse needs of Brookline residents and are strongly aligned with BCF’s strategic focus on reducing and eliminating the impacts of poverty, improving access to out-of-school time programs, and meeting the health and wellness needs of youth and other vulnerable community members,” said Gioia Perugini, BCF Vice President and Chair of the Program and Grants Committee…READ MORE
Sacramento, CA – (December 08, 2019) Chaz Davis, from Grafton, Massachusetts finished first at the United States Association for Blind Athletes (USABA) at the California International Marathon (CIM) with a finish time of 2:43:11. Chaz participated as part of the U.S. Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) Championships.
The USABA Marathon National Championships are held at the California International Marathon. Since the CIM adopted the Visually Impaired Division in 2007, participation of visually impaired and blind runners has grown from 2 to nearly 70 participants. This year, the group of 70 blind runners and 40 guides included military veterans, local runners, international runners, and Paralympic athletes. …READ MORE
Brookline, MA, (October 1, 2019) – The Massachusetts Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired (MABVI) and Boston University Innovate@BU have announced a partnership to develop a challenge open to BU students and alumni to solve community transit problems that will benefit society at large–and particularly for seniors and the blind and low vision community.
The goal of the Community Transit Design Challenge is for Boston University students and alumni to develop and design new human-centered tools to improve transportation accessibility solutions for the aging and visually impaired communities, which will ultimately improve transportation for everyone while competing for a $10,000 grand prize. Ultimately, the challenge hopes to find solutions to help older adults who are losing their vision better connect to their communities.
“We each have a role in creating a more inclusive space for everyone to live and work and thrive, said Sassy Outwater-Wright, Executive Director of MABVI. “We have the duty to ask tomorrow’s designers, engineers, and social scientists to start thinking about that today and to start building smarter solutions. MABVI is proud to partner with BU to solve some of the most common problems facing older adults who are blind or have low vision. Accessibility in design today creates a more inclusive future.”
“Our students and alumni are no strangers to Boston’s public transportation challenges. We are thrilled that this collaboration will give our community the opportunity to view transportation challenges from another perspective and to use their expertise to build better, more accessible solutions for all,” said Gerry Fine, Executive Director of Innovate@BU. More info
KGW TV August 21, 2019 — There will be a first at the Hood to Coast relay this year: A full team of blind or visually impaired runners will take to the course. They will find their way with the help of running guides. The team is named “United in Stride Blind Runners” because the runners and guides come together through an online database on the United in Stride website.
Woman’s Running, August 20, 2019 – On Friday, Hau—with Hunter—is leading the first team of visually impaired runners and guides at the Hood to Coast Relay, an overnight event in Oregon that starts at the base of Mt. Hood and finishes at Seaside. Twenty blind and sighted athletes will cram into two 15-passenger vans, taking turns running three to four legs each of the 199-mile course. Along the way, they’ll raise funds and awareness for United in Stride, the website Hunter developed that matches sighted runners and those in need of guides nationwide.
June 20, 2019 Tufts Health Plan Foundation today announced new community investments reflecting a commitment to a community approach for making our cities and towns great places to grow up and grow old. The nearly $1.9 million supports 15 nonprofit organizations working in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. MAB Community Services was awarded a three-year grant for $130,000 to integrate vision rehabilitation and care into healthy aging models through four pilot communities: Boston, Framingham, Lawrence and Springfield.
Boston, MA – At their annual Volunteer Appreciation Celebration, held at Community Boating in Brighton on June 14, the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI) recognized the Lions of Massachusetts as a Volunteer Community Partner for the Lions’ work in developing the Low Vision Rehabilitation Network (LOVRNET) in Massachusetts.
WCVB TV, June 20, 2019 —A desire to help others resulted in a special relationship between a Belmont woman and a Newton family. It started nearly nine years ago, when Allie Dagg, who was in seventh grade at the time, found an opportunity to volunteer with the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, or MABVI.
Watertown Tab –Jun 25, 2019 – Watertown’s Marshall Home Fund held its annual grant award ceremony on May 22, providing $75,000 to 16 local organizations that serve older adults. Through its grant making, MHF helps Watertown be an age-friendly community. The 2019 grantees of the Marshall Home Fund will provide programs and services that address many of these goals. Provide direct health, mental health, and social services for vulnerable individuals: Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired’s Technology Training for Seniors with Sight Loss…
The Boston Globe – May 1, 2019
Blind since childhood, Sassy Outwater-Wright commutes every day on the MBTA, navigating a maze of turns, street crossings, tunnels, and train cars between her home in Salem and office in Brookline…“I need all of that information, and I need it in a few seconds. . . . This technology is able to help someone see with me,” said Outwater-Wright, director of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired…
The Hearst Foundations have announced that 76 grants valued at $15,975,000 have been awarded to deserving nonprofit organizations. The Foundations serve as a national philanthropic resource for cultural, educational, health and social service organizations and dedicate millions of dollars in grants quarterly…MAB Community Services, Brookline, MA: To support integrated care and interventions benefiting over 1,400 seniors…
Brookline, MA, (April 22, 2019) – The Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI) is pleased to announce it has received a $119,000 grant from The Gibney Family Foundation (TGFF). TGFF partners with organizations to develop sustainable resources that foster independence, primarily for those who are blind. The funds will support MABVI’s statewide volunteer program.
The grant, which will be distributed over the next three years, will enhance MABVI’s statewide volunteer program through which individuals who are blind or visually impaired are matched 1:1 with community volunteers who provide in-home support. Trained volunteers help older adults accomplish daily activities of their own choosing including wellness activities, technology support, reading print information, shopping for groceries, or serving as sighted guides at the gym―all of which foster autonomy and enable older adults to remain active in their communities.
BU News Service-Apr 15, 2019
BOSTON — …Last year, Hasting’s was contacted by the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI) to run with Team With a Vision in the Boston Marathon. Team With a Vision is a program within MABVI that connects blind and sighted runners to support individuals throughout Massachusetts living with vision loss…
BROOKLINE, MA – The Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI) has announced that Joe Walsh, MS, MEd of Adaptive Sports New England will receive the 2019 Kara Macdonald Aspire Award. The award was created to celebrate the life and work of the late Kara MacDonald, and her dedication to athletes with disabilities.
BROOKLINE, MA – Every runner who takes on the legendary Boston Marathon course faces a challenge, but few more than the members of Team With A Vision (TWAV), a group of blind and visually impaired runners (and their sighted guides) with a common cause: to raise funds and awareness for the visually impaired. The team, fielded by the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI), draws runners from around the world, the nation, and the region to show that with the right support, people who are visually impaired can do anything they set their minds to. This year’s team includes a number of notable competitors.
From magnification devices to smartphone apps, technology can play an enormous role in enhancing accessibility for someone who is blind or visually impaired. MABVI’s Assistive Technology Centers can help.
The best support and advice is offered by people who really know what you’re going through – people who’ve had parallel experiences. Peers with shared experiences may even be able to anticipate your questions. While adjusting to vision loss, and even after you’ve grown accustomed to the change, a peer support group is a big help