From cane travel and cooking to reading and writing Braille, life skills programs cover essential daily living skills.

MISSION

The mission of World Services for the Blind is to empower people who are blind or visually impaired to achieve sustainable independence. From essential life skills that ensure an individual’s ability to live independently to technology based career-path programs designed to provide students with the knowledge and hands-on experience that will allow them to compete in today’s high-tech job market, our programs are tailored to each individual’s needs.

For Arkansans age 55 and older who are losing their sight, the Older Blind Program creates a strong foundation for healthy, independent living. The program provides in-home training designed to achieve a healthy, well-rounded personal adjustment to visual disability based on each person’s individual needs.

WSB continues to expand its services to include young people who are blind or visually impaired. College Prep offers an introduction to college life and includes a three-credit class at UA Little Rock, while the Essential Workplace Skills Series is intended for transitional-age youth and young adults who are about to enter the workforce, or for adults with little to no real work history. In-school and after-school programs like STYLE are designed to address the individual needs of students with multiple disabilities and various skill levels.

Revenue and donors support most daily working capital needs, except during times of low cash flow due to decreased referrals. Capital expenses, like facilities and mechanical needs, are often underfunded due to pressing daily needs. As a nonprofit, we focus on mission while running margins that don’t leave much room for rainy day funds!

Career training programs like Desktop Support Technician offer hands-on instruction to prepare students to compete in a tech-based workforce.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Volunteer opportunities include assisting with recreational and social activities, providing transportation and reading mail. Special campus projects, such as gardening and landscaping or adopting a dorm room to make over, are available for church and civic groups, fraternities, sororities and other organizations. WSB can work with you to customize a volunteer experience to help you use your talents to serve our community.

Instruction is customized to each student’s needs, such as using assistive technology like Apple’s built-in VoiceOver application.

FUNDRAISERS AND EVENTS

The WSB Foundation will honor David Bazzel with the 18th annual Vision Award. The Vision Award was designed to honor an individual who has demonstrated far-reaching vision to successfully orchestrate events through business enterprise and community involvement to help better our society for all citizens, both with and without sight.

This year’s Vision Award luncheon will be held at the Robinson Center Ballroom on Wednesday, Oct. 10, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Visit WSBlind.org/VisionAward for tickets and sponsorship opportunities.

GIVING OPPORTUNITIES

• Support to expand programs for children with visual impairments and multiple disabilities to provide opportunities comparable to their sighted peers.

• Provide educational and college preparation support for students who are blind or visually impaired.

• Increase availability of technology, aides and supports that help Older Blind Program clients age in place.

OUR IMPACT

Summer program kids like Koral take part in social activities such as picking blueberries at Wye Mountain.

47%
Of all referrals come from the state of Arkansas.

500
Older Blind Program clients served annually; 80% of whom are supported via in-kind donations.

85%+
Of the adults and children we serve live below the poverty line and suffer from food insecurity.

17%+
Of Arkansas’ working age adults have a disability, a number higher than the national average.

25%+
Of the adults WSB serves have less than a high school diploma.

80%+
Of WSB clients suffer from financial fragility due to high unemployment rates and lack of resources (i.e. medical insurance).

FUNDING SOURCES


Tuition 85%
Donations 15%


Established: 1947

Employees: 25-40

Service Area: Arkansas; Nationwide


PRESIDENT & CEO
Sharon Giovinazzo


BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Bruce Davis, Chairman
Jim Coleman, Vice Chairman
Noel Strauss, Treasurer
Ken Reed, Secretary



Bill Biggs
Jeff Boone
Mark Clifton
Elizabeth Crook
Bob DeVinney
Don Draper
Dr. Tom Duke
Dick Farrell
Lee Giurlanda
Bill Heaston
Peter Kumpe
John Landrum
Katy Morris, Ex Officio
Casi Runnels
Matt Webber
Bob Williams


2811 Fair Park Blvd.
Little Rock, AR 72204
501.664.7100
WSBlind.org

       


Return to The Arkansas Giving Guide Presents A Guide for Investing in Our Community