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In 1987 concerned citizens of Charlotte County saw a need to assist the visually impaired community. Together they formed a 501c(3) non-profit corporation titled Visually Impaired Persons of Charlotte County, Florida, Inc. (VIP). The main goal was to establish a center for rehabilitation services for visually impaired residents of Charlotte County.
Within a year, the first VIP office was opened in Punta Gorda and rehabilitation classes were held at the new location. In 1991, the Peer Support Group was organized for the visually impaired and their caregivers. By 1992, services for the blind and visually impaired extended to the Englewood area of Charlotte County. VIP applied and received a State grant from the Florida Division of Blind Services. Teacher's aides were hired to assist with Independent Living classes.
In 1996, VIP added the name of Mary H. William's to the facility in memory of and to honor a founding member. As the years progressed more classes covering various aspects of independent living were added. Classes ranged from computer, cooking, sewing, mobility, home management, communication and personal skills.
In 2010, VIP moved its headquarters to its current location at 3459 Depew Avenue. Just recently, the Board of Directors has been revitalized and a new Executive Director has joined the organization. The Board and Staff are committed to provide the best service available to those in the community who are Coping with Impaired Vision.
Donations are necessary to continue these free programs. Thank you .
|Board of Directors Susan Bledsoe, R.N. Executive Director Jim Sproul, Edward Jones- Financial Advisor- Board Chair Dr. Denise Billings, Vision Designs- Low Vision Specialist- Member Gwen Aubrey, Retired from New England Telephone, Vision Impaired Member Barbara Carley, Consultant, Member- Cindy Cooley, LPN, CLNI Nurse Liaison, Port Charlotte Rehab Center- Member Nick J Kulka, Jr. Keller Williams, Realtor, Member- Scott Evans, Florida Community Bank- Assistant Vice President- Member Brad Marquardt, Magnifying Selections Inc.- Member|