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Over 100 years of service to the blind, low vision, and deafblind communities in the Twin Cities. From modest beginnings to a world-class Rehabilitation program, Vision Loss Resources has been a leader in providing individuals with the skills they need to advance their own careers and wellness.

What We Do

Vision Loss Resources creates a community of service, skills, and support for people with vision loss.

DeafBlind Services Minnesota advances the independence of children and adults with combined hearing and vision loss.

2023 Impact Report

 

Recent News

July 4th, VLR and DBSM closed for Independence Day! Happy 4th of July!

July 9th, 1:00 – 2:30 pm. Virtual Support Group. Held online.

July 10th, 1:00- 2:30 pm. Readers Choice Book Club. Held virtually.

July 16th, 1:00 – 2:30 pm. at VLR. In-Person Technology Group. At our office.

July 20th, 11:00-1:30 pm Deafblind Club at St. Peder’s Church.

July 23rd, 12:30 to 2:30 pm. Music Jam! Bring your instrument or your voice! Held in-person at our office.

July 24th, 12:00 – 1:30 pm. at VLR In-Person Support Group. At our office.

July 30th, 6:00 – 7:30 pm. Virtual Support Group. Held online.

June 4th, 1:00- 2:00 pm Virtual Support Group. Exploring the benefits of belonging to a low vision support group.

June 11th, 1:00 – 2:30 pm. at VLR In-Person Mobile Technology Group. At our office.

June 12th, 1:00- 2:30 pm. Readers Choice Book Club. Held virtually.

June 18th, 12:30 – 2:30 pm. at VLR. Special Event – Plant your own barrel garden.

June 25th, 6:00-7:30 pm Virtual Support Group. Special event featuring an update from Guide Dogs for the Blind.

June 28th, 11:00 to 1:00 pm. Movie day at VLR featuring the “Peanut Butter Falcon.” Held in-person at our office.

Each month the Minnesota Access Alliance publishes a calendar with upcoming accessible arts and culture events. These events ensure that everyone can enjoy them. Mark your calendars for these fantastic shows:

Calendar of Accessible Arts Events by VSA Minnesota (mnaccess.org)

Good day members of the Vision Loss Resources community

 

I hope this update finds you well as we launch into 2024.

A new year brings new challenges. As you may have heard, Blind, Inc., the Twin Cities other large provider of services to blind and low vision clients, paused their operations and are no longer operating. That leaves VLR as the Twin Cities only comprehensive provider of services. Our student enrollment has grown and I’m pleased to report that we are ready and willing to take on this new challenge.

We’ve already started to modify our workspace to ensure that we have the right mix and type of classrooms for our students and instructors. We’ve even changed our parking lot configuration to make it easier for the additional Metro Mobility buses as they drop off and pick up students and staff!

I’m excited to report these changes as it shows the confidence that the state has in VLR as a training provider. I’ll report in as the year progresses on our training workload and our staff, but for now know that we are taking on this challenge and I know that we will rise to the occasion.

And of course, we couldn’t do any of this without your support. While State Services for the Blind compensates us for the training we provide, we only get paid when a student is here. So, if a student calls in sick, or is otherwise unavailable for training that day, we don’t get paid even though our instructors obviously still need to be compensated, the lights need to stay on, etc. This creates a situation, as it has for years, that means we must independently raise the funds to cover the difference between what we receive from SSB and what it costs to operate our business. While we are financially leaner (both in employees and our overall costs) we still need your generosity to keep providing the great training we provide, day in and day out.

Please take a moment to consider a donation. You can donate online via credit card or send us a check in the mail. Know that every donation, and every amount, is critically important for us and we appreciate your support.

I look forward to updating you on what I know will be a challenging but rewarding year. We make a difference in the lives of our students and I know that our instructors will succeed, as they do daily, in setting up our students for the independence that we all strive for in our lives.

With sincere thanks and wishing you a great January!

 

Matt Kramer

President

Visit this link to check out our 2023 Annual Report!

Exciting news! Today marks the beginning of the early giving period for Give to the Max Day. It’s an opportunity for you to get a head start on making a difference in the lives of those facing vision loss. Your generosity can have an immediate impact on our mission to help individuals adapt, connect, and thrive. By giving today, you’re providing essential support for children, youth, and adults with vision impairment. Donors like you are the driving force behind the work we do, and your early contribution can help us achieve our goals even faster. Join us in this early giving period and be a part of the positive change we’re making in the community. Every donation counts, and we’re deeply appreciative of your support.

Learn More

The latest Employment Opportunities Study has been released by the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD). This research offers insights into the perceptions and experiences of Minnesota employers when it comes to hiring individuals with disabilities. Key takeaways from a random survey of 201 employers in Minnesota are as follows:

🔹 The majority of Minnesota employers with 5 or more employees hire individuals with disabilities.

🔹 Employers express similar satisfaction levels with both employees with disabilities and those without disabilities.

🔹 A little more than half of the employers have found it necessary to make accommodations for their employees with disabilities.

🔹 Businesses that employ individuals with disabilities tend to be larger and more commonly involved in retail trade or manufacturing.

🔹 Over 50% of businesses employing individuals with disabilities received assistance from the Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) provided by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

 

Learn More

Vision Loss Resources is recruiting board members to join our board of directors. VLR is innovative nonprofit, serving low vision, blind, and deafblind Minnesotans while at the same time operating a fully for-profit competitive packing company (Contract Production Services). We seek board members with experience in human resources, manufacturing, and sales to help guide our growth and who have a passion for serving fellow Minnesotans.

If interested, contact Matt Kramer at MattK@vlrw.org for more information.

It’s that time of year! Last week, some of our students and instructors had a blast carving pumpkins!!! 🎃👻

Student carving a pumpkin Students and instructors surrounding the pumpkin carving table Student carving a pumpkin Student smiling separating the pumpkin seeds from the gunk Jose feeling the pumpkin with this hands. John getting help from Instructor Kelly carving the pumpkin Jose getting help from Instructor Lauren carving the pumpkin

And our instructor, Becca, took four students on a nature walk for their Living with Blindness class.

The students smiling in the middle of the trail with their white canes

Learn More

Meet Our Team

Get to know the dedicated professionals and instructors at Vision Loss Resources who are committed to empowering individuals with vision loss. With a rich history of service in the Twin Cities, our team has been at the forefront of providing essential skills and support.

Upcoming Events

Jul 20, 2024 11:00 am–1:30 pm

Deafblind Club

Come for games, socializing, and community announcements. Bring $5 dollars if you want to eat the pizza provided or bring your own lunch. Adults and teens experiencing combined vision and hearing loss are welcome to attend, as well as American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreting students, volunteers, and anyone with a…

Jul 23, 2024 12:30 pm–2:30 pm

Music Jam! Special Event

Bring yourself and your instrument (even your voice!). Let’s share the love of music together. No experience necessary. Please contact Nora at 612-871-2222 or email Renee at rwaclaw@vlrw.org if you plan on attending.

Jul 24, 2024 12:00 pm–1:30 pm

In-Person Support Group

Exploring the benefits of belonging to a low vision support group.

Your Support Extends Our Reach

Your donation empowers people with vision loss to stay active and independent.