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Welcome to New Vision

Blindness shouldn't be a barrier to independence

New Vision is your local 501(c)(3), nationally accredited community organization, providing  rehabilitation community education , and  support services   for people with low vision or blindness, and their families,  in Lake and Sumter Counties and The Villages. We need your support. Make a donation today . Volunteer . Get involved. Help us remove blindness as a barrier to independence.

Did You Know...?

  • 490,120 Floridians are visually impaired or blind  (Source: Florida Association of Agencies Serving the Blind, 2013)
  • Florida is 2nd in the U.S. for visual impairment, macular degeneration, glaucoma, & cataracts; 3rd in the U.S. for diabetic retinopathy  (Source: Prevent Blindness, 2012)
  • More than 13,000 Lake & Sumter residents are visually impaired or blind  (Source: Florida Association of Agencies Serving the Blind, 2013)
  • Americans believe that severe vision loss would negatively impact their lives more than HIV/AIDS, cancer, stroke, heart attack/disease, diabetes, and deafness  (Source: American Foundation for the Blind, 2007)
  • Fewer than 3% of Americans say blindness/severe vision loss is the most important health concern for seniors. When asked to name the health conditions most important to seniors, Americans perceived heart attacks/heart disease (34%), cancer (15%), stroke (15%) and diabetes (12%) as the most important. (Source: American Foundation for the Blind, 2007)
  • Maintaining robust instrumental activities of daily living reduces mortality risk in those with uncorrectable vision loss. (Source: JAMA Network Journals, 2014)

New Vision Resources:

Boy in a wheel chair feels a Braille book, man wearing a backpack holding a white cane, teenage girl stirring food in a potKoltin, Scott, and Melinda

How You Can Help

Help a visually impaired child learn to read
    $25  purchases two Braille storybooks
    $50  sponsors group story time
  $100  provides a week of instruction to the  child and family

Help a legally blind man learn to take the bus to college
    $10  covers bus fare during training
    $25  purchases a white cane
  $100  sponsors one lesson of mobility  training to start learning bus travel

Help a teenager with low vision learn to make dinner
    $25  purchases food & other supplies
  $100  provides instruction in kitchen safety
  $250  sponsors an overnight training activity

Help a great-grandfather with macular degeneration re-learn to pour a cup of coffee
      $5  purchases a tray to minimize spills
    $20  purchases a liquid level indicator, a small device designed to replace putting your finger in a hot cup of coffee to know how full the cup is
  $100  provides instruction in pouring and kitchen safety

Getting Started

New Vision's services are available to individuals who meet the following guidelines:

  1. The individual has a severe bilateral visual impairment (affecting both eyes).
  2. The impairment affects the individual's daily living, educational, and/or vocational goals.
  3. The individual can benefit from services.

To get started, visit our Services page for an application.

What's New at New Vision

Dec 7, 2016 at 3:31 PM | By Staff Report

TAVARES - Imagine trying to shop for groceries while blind. Imagine being blind and trying to shop for an outfit, not knowing where to find items or whether they match. Imagine trying to navigate rows of exercise equipment at a gym or trying to follow the action of a movie at a local theater.

These are real challenges for the visually impaired in Lake and Sumter counties, whose independence can be compromised by their inability to tackle simple, daily tasks that those with sight take for granted.

And these are the challenges that New Vision for Independence, a local agency that serves the visually impaired, sought to address with an effort to recognize blind-friendly businesses through the Axy Awards.

This week, New Vision honored businesses that had been nominated by their clients for being helpful and responsive to the needs of visually impaired people.

"We encourage people with visual impairments to reintegrate into their community, and it's difficult to do that if businesses are afraid of people with these visual impairments," said Chantel Buck, president and CEO of New Vision for Independence.

The winners in each category were:

GROCERY STORE: Publix. "Nominators of the grocery chain raved about the ease with which a visually impaired person could ask for help completing their grocery shopping," the nomination states. "An employee with accompany you aisle by aisle to help you gather your things." Runner-up: Wal-Mart

BANK: United Southern Bank. The nomination states that United Southern provides "excellent customer service to all, regardless of disability." Runner-up: Seacoast Bank

CLOTHING STORE: Bealls. The nomination points out that "employees ... helped visually impaired shoppers walk around the store, find what they needed and even advised as to whether or not an outfit matched." Runner-up: TJ Maxx.

FITNESS CENTER: Planet Fitness. The nomination lauds Planet Fitness for creating "an inviting and helpful atmosphere for visually impaired people seeking to be more active." Runner-up: Gold's Gym

TRANSPORTATION: Sumter County Public Transit. The nomination boasted that Sumter Transit's services were "accessible and affordable and their employees were very helpful." Runner-up: Lake County Public Transit

MOVIE THEATER: AMC at Via Port Florida mall. AMC offers "descriptive video, which "helps a visually impaired person follow along with a movie's plot during times of little dialogue. Runner-up: Barnstorm Theater at Brownwood.

UTILITY: Comcast Cable. Voted best because of its voice search feature on its cable remote control. Runner-up: SECO

BOOK SERVICES: Talking Book Library. The nomination states that Talking Book has "innovative services for visually impaired residents to access books." Runner-up: Lake County Public Libraries

BOWLING ALLEY: Break Point Bowling Alley. Nominated "because of the kindness their employees showed to individuals with low vision or blindness who seek accommodations while bowling." Runner-up: Spanish Springs Bowling.

RESTAURANT: IHOP. Nominated "because of the easy access to Braille/large print menus and the servers' willingness to read menu options upon request." Runner-up: Cracker Barrel

PHARMACY: Lake/Bay Pharmacy. This Eustis business packages prescriptions by the dose and offers delivery services for those with limited access to transportation. Runner-up: Walgreens

In addition, New Vision honored the Lake County Sheriff's Office as its Community Partner of the Year. The Sheriff's Office helped New Vision form in 2005 and has been an eager partner in all its endeavors over the years, including the annual Dining in the Dark fundraiser.

The agency's Volunteer of the Year was Lynn Crandall, who donated 345 hours to visually impaired clients of the agency.

Congrats to the finalists in the first-ever Axy Awards! New Vision's Axy Awards, short for "accessible," celebrate the "Most Blind-Friendly Businesses" of Lake and Sumter Counties!


Bierley Vision Club

Help Us Change Lives

Please make a tax-deductible donation today to help babies, children, teens, adults, and seniors learn to adapt to and overcome vision loss!

You can also help out by applying to volunteer with New Vision!

Connect With Us

9501 US Hwy 441,
Leesburg, FL 34788

Lake-Sumter State College,
Lake Hall, Room 140

(352) 435-5040
Fax: (352) 435-6303

Shop Your Support!

A dog wearing a shirt that has a collage of vision-themed phrases

Shop our selection of New Vision-themed shirts, hats, cups, and so much more. Click to visit our Cafe Press store!

(We are working on adding descriptions to each product - thank you for your patience. If you need assistance, please call our office at 352-435-5040.)

Thanks to Our Supporters

Division of Blind Services logo

Lake Sumter State College logo

Lake County Florida logo

Visionaries ($5,000)
  • Lake Eye Associates
Partners ($1,000)
  • Colleen Kollmann
  • Magnifying America
  • Don & Luanna Marx
  • MBI 
  • Mount Dora Community Trust
  • Sara Jane & Jonathon Olson
  • Rogers Foundation
  • Irma & Orville Parker Charitable Trust
  • Sons of AMVETS Squadron #1999
  • C. Warren Barry Charitable Trust
  • Henry W. Bull Foundation
  • Florida Endowment for Vocational Rehabilitation / The Able Trust

9501 US Highway 441, Leesburg, FL 34788
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