Skip to Content

About Us

New Vision for Independence, Inc. (New Vision) is a nationally accredited 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and was incorporated on July 18, 2005. New Vision provides unique training to persons experiencing severe bilateral vision loss that is affecting their daily functioning in daily living, vocational, or academic activities. New Vision serves people of all ages -- babies, children, teens, adults, and seniors -- who reside in Lake and Sumter counties and The Villages. New Vision is the only provider of these vital services for this population in this geographic area.

Mission Statement: New Vision for Independence is committed to excellence in providing rehabilitation, community education, advocacy, and support services for people with low vision or blindness, and their families to promote independence, acceptance, and self-confidence.

New Vision also has a DonorEdge portrait, reviewed by the Central Florida Foundation.

Chantel Buck


Because of the unique characteristics of New Vision's clients, and the related implications of various eye conditions, it is vital that staff has the skills, knowledge, and credentials necessary to provide quality instruction and services. New Vision consists of 6 full-time and 3 part-time employees, with a total of more than 100 years of experience with visual impairments.

  • Chantel Shafer Buck, MBA, President/CEO |
  • Jenna Pruett, CVRT, Program Director |
  • Shelly Gerig, Development Director |
  • Kaitlyn Fenbers, Operations Manager |

  • Bebe Chudeusz, COMS, CVRT, CTVI, Orientation and Mobility Coordinator
  • VACANT, Driver
  • Jayne Maravola, Client Services Coordinator
  • Annely Rose, Braille Instructor
  • Scott VanHoose, Assistive Technology & Job Readiness Coordinator

We're hiring


For information about employment with New Vision, visit our employment page

Board of Directors

New Vision's current Board of Directors is composed of community professionals, initial founders, and past participants of the program who are aware of the unique characteristics and concerns of our service area including transportation, demographics, and community support:

  • Colleen Kollmann, retired attorney and community volunteer - Chair
  • Eddy Duryea, Global-5 Communications - Vice Chair
  • Linda Little, community volunteer - Secretary
  • Sarah Payne, Ameriprise Financial - Treasurer
  • Lisa Johnson, E Z Nutrition
  • Mary Rhodes, The Mortgage Firm

Core Values

Client Centered. New Vision believes the client should fully participate in the planning of what services and training he/she chooses to receive based on the individual's unique goals and needs. Instructors work with the client in assessing current level of functioning and basing all plans for training on the client's goals and input. All training is provided in a manner that respects the client's personal choices, empowers the client's ability to advocate for him or herself, strives to improve self-esteem, and ultimately improves the client's ability to maintain independence in personal, vocational, and academic pursuits.

Commitment to the Community. New Vision will promote understanding and awareness of the vision-related issues through community education. New Vision will advocate for policies and legislation that promotes access, inclusion, social justice, equal opportunity and informed choice for people with visual impairments. New Vision is committed to removing barriers to those who are disabled: environmental, social, attitudinal, vocational, and physical.

Commitment to Excellent Rehabilitation Practices. New Vision is committed to providing the best possible qualified staff to provide services and training to its clients. We employ certified staff, meet or exceed all Florida Division of Blind Services contract standards, and received national accreditation in 2011.


Values Statement: We are guided in all we do by the following core values:

  1. Provide personalized, individualized services.
  2. Be passionate and determined.
  3. Do more with less.
  4. Pursue smart, community-guided growth and learning.
  5. Build a positive team and family spirit.
  6. Embrace and drive change.
  7. Be creative and open-minded.
  8. Be open, honest, and accountable in our relationships with everyone we work with and with each other.
  9. Strive for balanced and diverse representation in agency governance, staff, and volunteers.
  10. Respect individuals and their dignity with strict confidentiality.


Volunteer Opportunities

New Vision is always looking for volunteers! Check out our volunteer page.

Financial Information

All of New Vision's training and services are offered at no charge to those who are eligible. Mobility canes and many of the training aids and adaptive aids are also provided at no cost, pending the recommendation of the instructor. New Vision receives a majority of its funds from contracts with the Florida Division of Blind Services. Funding is also received from the United Way of Lake & Sumter Counties, grants, charitable groups such as the Lions Clubs, and churches, as well as private donations. The Department of Veteran's Affairs also contracts with New Vision to provide computer training to veterans.   

Important Financial Information:


"New Vision News" is assembled and published every other month. It is available via email, large print mail, mp3 via this website, and audio cassette. Please visit our Newsletter page to access past issues of the newsletter, as well as to sign up to receive the newsletter via email. If you wish to receive the newsletter in a different format, please contact us.

Thank you to Troy Singer from Fast Forward Voice Over Services for his recordings of our newsletter and other print materials!

Thumbnail of the 2016 Annual Report

Important Documents

Corporate documents:
If you have difficulty accessing any of these documents, please call or email New Vision: 352-435-5040 or

Support Us

Help babies, children, teens, adults, and seniors learn to overcome vision loss!

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

Connect With Us

Facebook logo
Instagram logo
LinkedIn logo
Twitter logo
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

9501 US Highway 441, Leesburg, FL 34788
© 2005-2013 New Vision for Independence
Privacy Policy