Georgia Non-Profit Blindness Agencies
Early Childhood Agencies
Babies Can't Wait
Georgia Department of Public Health
Babies Can't Wait (BCW) is Georgia's statewide interagency service delivery system for infants and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities and their families. BCW is established by Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) which guarantees all eligible children, regardless of their disability, access to services that will enhance their development.
Contact: Debra Buster
Center for the Visually Impaired BEGIN Program
Children & Youth Programs
Center for the Visually Impaired STARS Program
The STARS (Social, Therapeutic, Academic, Recreational Services) program provides school-aged youth with the skills and self-confidence to live with vision loss. Comprehensive programming takes place year round in four components: after school, mentoring, summer camp, weekend recreational events.
Contact: Stephanie Pizza Director of Children and Youth Services
Main Phone: 404-875-9011
Georgia Academy for the Blind
The Georgia Academy for the Blind was founded in 1852 to serve the needs of Georgia's students with visual impairments, including those with additional disabilities. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), they are committed to providing the highest quality educational services to our students and families across the state. They offer day and residential programs on their campus, as well as outreach services and professional learning opportunities.
Contact: Dr. Cindy Gibson, Superintendent of GAB
P: 478-751-6083 ext. 1270
Georgia Department of Education
Visit the GaDOE for information related to the rules and regulations on vision eligibility. The visual impairment and blindness division of GaDOE provides consortia meetings twice a year to Georgia educators in the field of visual impairments.
Contact: Zelma Murray
P: 478.751.6083 ext. 3634
Georgia Sensory Assistance Project (GSAP)
Georgia Sensory Assistance Project provides consultation, training, and resources for educators and families of children and youth with combined vision and hearing loss from birth through 21 years of age. GSAP provides additional support during transition from early intervention to school services and transition from school to the community. GSAP facilitates the annual deaf-blind student count for students with combined vision and hearing loss. Which helps to provide federal grant money to state projects.
Contact: Martha Veto
Prevent Blindness Georgia
Prevent Blindness Georgia checks the eyes of thousands of children and adults each year. They provide information on visual impairments and train and certify adult and children's vision screeners and screening instructors through the only national program of its kind, providing vision screening personnel with the skills they need to help people in their communities.
Contact: Jessica Lucia
Smokey Powell Center
The Smokey Powell Center offers Low Vision Clinics, Technology Evaluations, Equipment Loans and Outreach Services at no charge to school age students through a generous endowment from Mr. James Emory "Smokey" Powell.
Contact: Heather Francis
P: 478.751.6083 ext. 3624
Atlanta VA Medical Center
Atlanta VA Medical Center (VAMC), a Joint Commission and Magnet®-designated medical facility in Decatur, Georgia. With 466 inpatient beds, including a 120-bed Community Living Center, a 40-bed domiciliary, and a 21-bed Residential Treatment Program, the Atlanta VAMC is uniquely positioned to serve the healthcare needs of more than 130,000 enrolled Veterans living in 50 counties across northeast Georgia. The Medical Center, also a teaching hospital, provides hands-on and state-of-the-art technology, education and research to residents in collaboration with Emory University School of Medicine and Morehouse School of Medicine.
Business Enterprise Program (BEP)
The BEP has priority for operating businesses on federal property and may also operate sites on other properties. Sites include snack bars, cafes, cafeterias, coffee bars, food courts, gift and sundry shops, military dining facilities, vending routes, interstate rest areas and welcome centers.
Contact: Zach Snow, Georgia Committee of Blind Venders Chairman
Center for the Visually Impaired
In addition to the BEGIN and STARS Programs, CVI offers the following programs and resources:
The Florence Maxwell Low Vision Clinic shows you how to make the best use of whatever vision you have. Clinics are located in Midtown Atlanta, Cumberland, Suwanee (once a month), Fayetteville and Griffin – and serve people age 5 and older.
Community Based Services provides instruction in mobility training, personal care, food preparation and nutrition and communication skills in a community setting (home, senior center, hospital) to many adults who would have no alternative but to relocate to a family residence or nursing home without this intervention.
The New View adult rehabilitation services program provides training on how to navigate every aspect of your life with visual impairment. From using new technology to adjusting to new routines to sharing experiences with others, New View gives you the knowledge you need to live more independently.
A complete schedule and description of support groups is provided for those who may benefit from sharing the experience of vision loss with others.
InfoLink is an information resource created by CVI to promote services, seminars, events, products and organizations that may be of interest to the visually impaired community and their families.
CVI also offers links, downloads and other resources for those seeking more information on living with blindness or visual impairment.
Charlie Norgood VA Medical Center
Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center is a two-division, three Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) medical center providing tertiary care in medicine, surgery, neurology, psychiatry, rehabilitation medicine, and spinal cord injury.
Georgia Council of the Blind
The Georgia Council of the Blind is a non-profit consumer advocacy organization. It strives to elevate the social, economic, and cultural levels of people who are blind and visually impaired. They offer peer support, an older adult fund, and hold conferences and conventions along with other programs.
Contact: Alice Ritchhart, President
Georgia Libraries for Accessible Statewide Services GLASS
Georgia Libraries for Accessible Statewide Services (GLASS) supports accessible library services in Georgia by promoting the use of assistive technology and by providing accessible reading materials to those who, due to a disability, are unable to read standard print.
Contact: Asha Haygood-Outsource Person
Georgia Radio Reading Service (GaRRS)
The Georgia Radio Reading Service (GaRRS) is Georgia’s premier provider of information for individuals who are visually-impaired or otherwise print-impaired. Every month, we broadcast and stream hundreds of programs including local and national newspapers, books, magazines, events, employment opportunities, and shopping ads.
Contact: Rebecca Arayan-Executive Director
Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency
GVRA's goal is to prepare the next generation of Georgians to join the workforce.
Contact: Shirley Robinson, Assistant Director of Blind Services
Contact: Kathryn Edger-Career Pathway Specialist
Contact: Tanya Wise, Social Media Technologist
Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults
Georgia Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
ICanConnect provides equipment and training to people with significant combined hearing and vision loss so they can stay conneted to friends and family. iCanConnect puts technology into the hands of individuals to enhance their independence.
Contact: Alexis Kennedy
I Can Connect: For individuals with dual sensory loss
National Federation of the Blind
Through their network of blind members, they coordinate many programs, services, and resources to defend the rights of blind Americans, provide information and support to blind children and adults, and build a community that creates a future full of opportunities.
Contact: Dorothy Griffin, President
Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency
Project Independence provides direct services to adults ages 55 and older with a significant visual impairment. It is administered by the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency. The goal is to help persons meeting the criteria to remain independent and keep on doing what you like to do. Services may include: skills training in the home community by certified rehabilitation specialists so you can keep on doing the daily tasks you like and stay active; mobility training by certified instructors so you can travel safely; support groups that offer opportunities so you can learn from and interact with peers who also have visual loss; comprehensive low vision evaluations by qualified professionals to assess practical and useful ways to access information with magnification; and provision of assistive aids/devices such as talking watches and clocks, lighting, big button phones, various household and kitchen aids.
Contact: Kay McGill, Director Project Independence
Tools for Life
Tools for Life, Georgia's Assistive Technology Act Program, is dedicated to increasing access to and acquisition of assistive technology (AT) devices and services for Georgians of all ages and disabilities so they can live, learn, work and play independently and with greater freedom in communities of their choice.
Tools for Life and the TFL Network work collaboratively together to accomplish our mission through:
Contact: Danny Housley - Assistive Technology Acquisition Manager
US Department of Veterans Affairs
Atlanta VA Medical Center (VAMC ) is a level 1A tertiary care facility providing patient-centered healthcare via an array of comprehensive medical, surgical, geriatric specialty services, as well as state-of–the-art diagnostic testing, provides the healthcare needs of more than 130,000 enrolled Veterans living in 50 counties across northeast Georgia. The Medical Center, also a teaching hospital, provides hands-on and state-of-the-art technology, education and research to residents in collaboration with Emory University School of Medicine and Morehouse School of Medicine.
Contact: Karissa Bedi, Vision Rehabilitation Manager
P: 404-321-6111 ext. 2051100
Vision Rehabilitation Services of Georgia VRS
Vision Rehabilitation Services of Georgia (VRS) is dedicated to assisting individuals who are blind or visually impaired so they may function independently in all of their environments.VRS provides practical tools and proven techniques to help our clients carry out their daily activities.
Contact: Nancy Parkin-Bashizi, Lead Teacher