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 New York State and New York City area residents 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 globally.
Announcing our Executive Director Transition
The Lavelle Fund for the Blind’s Board of Directors and Board President Daniel M. Callahan announced that Andrew S. Fisher, PhD, Executive Director, will retire as of March 2020. The Board is pleased to announce that Susan Olivo, now Executive Director of the Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation, will succeed Andy as the Fund’s Executive Director.
Case Study Highlights
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.
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.
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.