History

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A brief history of ABVI:

1911–A group of four graduates of the New York State School for the Blind in Batavia, NY made the decision to form an agency to serve the local population of people who were blind.

Their dream: All people who are blind or visually impaired can lead full, productive lives.

1913–The Association for the Blind is incorporated.

1913-1986–The Association for the Blind built a reputation as a charitable organization focused on its mission to help people who are blind or visually impaired become self-sufficient, contributing members of their families and their community. 

1986-1994–The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI) positions itself as a marketplace leader, building on its manufacturing expertise to provide fulfilling employment for people who are blind or visually impaired. A prime example of this is the relationship with 3M to develop a line of self-stick notepads under the AbilityOne program.

1994-2006–ABVI affiliated with Goodwill Industries International in 1994. The affiliation allowed the agency to enhance its ability to offer employment opportunities for people with vision loss.

Throughout the years, ABVI-Goodwill became an integral part of the fabric of the local communities where it provided services and programming to people who were blind or visually impaired. Goodwill Stores and Donation Stations started popping up in locations throughout Monroe County, with the revenues generated from the sales of donated and new items being reinvested in services and programs for people who are blind or visually impaired.

2006-2010–ABVI’s evolution into one of the most dynamic not-for-profit organizations continued as a result of the agency’s focus on not just being in the communities where it offered services, but being a part of those communities.

As a result of these efforts to engage the community, ABVI’s service area extended into nine counties: Monroe, Wayne, Ontario, Livingston, Steuben, Yates, Seneca, Schulyer, and Chemung.
2011–ABVI celebrates its first century of service, looking with excitement and anticipation toward the next 100 years of empowering individuals who are blind or visually impaired to  see hope, kindness, and beauty beyond all measure by focusing on its core mission.