January 2024 Update

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



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