Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired (CCVI) Receives $75,000 Grant from the Sarli Family Foundation

Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired (CCVI) recently received a grant for $75,000 from the Sarli Family Foundation to sustain core services in 2022. This support will help CCVI meet the ever-present needs of children with visual impairments while recruiting and retaining the highly specialized staff required to deliver services. General support allows CCVI to focus our resources on key services to achieve the best possible outcomes for the children we serve, especially during this difficult time.

CCVI teachers, therapists, and specialists will provide services for 275 infants and children in 2022 through the following core program areas:

  • The Early Intervention Program (EIP) offers an individualized educational/therapy program for infants and toddlers, birth through age three, who have significant visual impairments that impact learning. It provides home-based instruction, therapies, and center-based evaluations of developmental progress.
  • The Preschool/Kindergarten Program’s six classrooms combine curriculum with specialized therapies and activities to enhance basic skills while preparing children for inclusion in public or private elementary schools.
  • Outreach Services are provided for school-age children attending public, private, charter, parochial, and state schools that do not have certified teachers of the visually impaired and/or orientation and mobility instructors. Services include assessment and monitoring of functional visual development and training on specialized classroom equipment.
  • Parent/Family Support Programs offer educational and training opportunities for all families, including orientation and mobility training, health care navigation, and other workshops and social gatherings.

According to the 2020 American Printing House for the Blind annual report, 56,137 U.S. students are legally blind, with 1,318 school-age individuals with blindness in Missouri. The American Optometric Association reports that 80% of a typically developing child’s learning occurs before age five and incidentally through vision. Visual impairment impacts every area of development, including cognition, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, speech and language, nonverbal communication, and socialization. It is critical to capitalize on the important window of brain development that occurs between the ages of birth to eight years and provide a child with the skills and tools that will offer the best chance of navigating among peers in the sighted world. Each child needs a course of intervention that is unique to his or her functional and developmental needs.

The mission of the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired (CCVI) is to prepare children with visual impairments, including those with multiple disabilities, to reach their highest potential in the sighted world. CCVI’s primary goal is to help the children we serve move toward independence and self-reliance. CCVI is the only center in the Kansas City area and one of seven in the nation delivering specialized instruction and therapy services for children within this distinct population. For 70 years, CCVI has made a profound impact on the lives of thousands of children and families.

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