School for the Blind Welcomes National Parent Association
The National Association of Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI) is extending their outreach in the tri-state area and has taken up residence at Concordia Learning Center at St. Joseph’s School for the Blind’s campus, 761 Summit Avenue, Jersey City. Working in collaboration with Concordia, NAPVI will coordinate parent support groups and educational workshops on topics meeting the diverse needs of parents of children who are blind and visually impaired including those with additional disabilities from counties throughout New Jersey. The collaboration was made possible by a grant through the Lavelle Fund for the Blind, Inc.
Since its founding in 1979, NAPVI has grown nationally and today is an affiliate of Lighthouse Guild, the largest non-profit organization helping people with vision loss, multiple disabilities and chronic medical conditions. NAPVI has also worked with the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), to create FamilyConnect, an online, multimedia community that gives parents of children who are visually impaired a place to support each other, share stories and concerns, and link to local resources.
NAPVI provides leadership, support, and training to assist parents in helping their children reach their full potential. According to Susan LaVenture, NAPVI Executive Director and Project Leader of the new initiative, “NAPVI’s experience has demonstrated that parents and caregivers of children who have visual impairments often don’t know about the myriad of specialized services available or what their child’s educational and rehabilitation services should comprise. Through NAPVI education workshops, conferences and an organizational support network, parents are introduced to the full complement of services currently available to their children and are given the opportunity to interact with people facing similar challenges.”
Concordia’s Executive Director David Feinhals said, “The outreach of NAPVI into New Jersey will be instrumental in providing our families the opportunity to become part of a national advocacy group that fosters communication and coordination of services among federal, state, and local agencies and organizations. We are privileged to assist them in their mission.”