About the Lavelle Fund for the Blind
The Lavelle Fund for the Blind is a charitable grant-making foundation dedicated primarily to supporting programs that help individuals who are blind or visually impaired live independent and productive lives. While priority is generally given to programs in the greater New York metropolitan area, the Fund also considers grant requests geared to preventing, treating and, where possible, reversing blindness and vision loss nationally and globally.
Case Study Highlights
Perkins School for the Blind
In 2016, the Fund approved a three-year grant of $330,062 to Perkins School for the Blind, the oldest school in the nation for children who are blind and multiply disabled, for two purposes: (1) building the capacity of Perkins’ Resource Center in Cordoba, Argentina, to strengthen the practice of K-12 teachers and schools that serve children who are blind and multiply disabled in targeted Spanish-speaking South American countries, and (2) helping to stabilize and strengthen the financial management of three model schools for such children in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Lima, Peru.
Filomen M. D’Agostino Greenberg Music School
In 2019, the Fund approved a nine-month grant of $26,000 to the Filomen M. D’Agostino Greenberg (FMDG) Music School, a community music school dedicated to providing adaptive music instruction and performance opportunities to NYC area residents with vision loss. The purpose of the grant was to support the School’s 2019 sustainability planning, fundraising, and associated activities to preserve the School’s existence during its transition.
In 2014, the Fund approved a three-year grant of $180,000 to City Access New York (CANY). The grant served to underwrite vocational education, career exploration, and orientation and mobility training for 12 NYC secondary school and college students who are blind and visually impaired through participation in at least 30 one-semester paid internships at any of 20-25 partner museums and cultural institutions in NYC.
In 2014, the Fund approved a grant of $303,560 to Learning Ally, the country’s largest provider of recorded textbooks for students who are otherwise print-disabled, to create a national program designed to help blind and visually impaired students succeed in college. The College Success Program was to consist of (1) a website presenting online resources and information, and (2) a mentorship program pairing students with mentors who have been successful visually impaired college graduates.
Task Force for Global Health
In 2014, the Fund approved a five-year grant of $610,304 to Task Force for Global Health (Task Force) to work with the Ethiopian NGO Grarbet Tehadis Mahber (GTM) towards eliminating blinding trachoma in four woredas (health districts) in Ethiopia’s Oromia Region, the world’s epicenter of the trachoma public-health crisis, containing close to one-third of the global burden.
LV Prasad Eye Institute
In 2015, the Fund approved a three-year grant (subsequently extended to 58 months) of $743,146 to L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), a world-class provider of comprehensive clinical ophthalmology services in India, to build the sustainable capacity of 30 L V Prasad vision centers in the Indian state of Telangana. The construction project was to consist of two main goals: (1) to screen the vision of 750,000 children ages 0-16 in the centers’ catchment areas and (2) to provide prescription eyeglasses, advanced eye care, and/or low-vision and rehabilitation services to those children as needed, regardless of their ability to pay.
Dr. Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital
In 2013, the Fund approved a grant of $473,679 to Dr. Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital (SCEH) in New Delhi, India to build sustainable capacity for training additional numbers of new vision technicians, ophthalmic nursing assistants, and patient counselors. The overall goal of the project was to produce a combined total of 150 such trainees within the grant’s three-year life. SCEH expected ultimately to hire most of the graduates of the training and to use these cost-efficient “physician-extenders” to drive a near-doubling of the hospital’s yearly volume of cataract surgeries.
Deafblind Citizens in Action
In 2016, the Fund approved a two-year grant of $76,000 to Deafblind Citizens in Action (DBCA), a small nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing access to education, technology, and employment for all Americans who are deaf-blind. The grant support would allow two successive six-person cadres of young adults who are deafblind to participate in DBCA’s program, Deafblind Young Adults in Action: Participating in the Policy-making Process (DBYAA)
VISIONS Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired
In 2013, the Fund approved a grant of $500,000 to support VISIONS, with its partner Helen Keller Services for the Blind, in launching an employer-centered and -guided job training and placement program for adults who are legally blind and live in New York City or Long Island. The program was to cultivate sustainable relationships with selected NYC and Long Island employers who hire entry-level workers.