Welcome to New Vision

What we do   |   2014 Honor Roll of Donors   |   Volunteers Needed!
Going Blind screening   |   Join Us for the Eye Bowl   |   Latest newsletter available now
Dining in the Dark raises $9,000   |   New Vision Blog   |   Cookbooks on sale
Testimonial: Mr. Church   |   Testimonial: Mrs. Deblasio   |   New Vision store

collage of words related to New Vision and vision rehabilitation

What we do

New Vision for Independence provides training to help individuals with low vision or blindness adapt to vision loss. Imagine doing your daily activities -- pouring a cup of coffee, cooking breakfast, getting to work, dialing the phone, checking email -- with no vision. It would be difficult. New Vision's free training strives to make life easier post-vision loss. We serve Lake and Sumter Counties and The Villages. More>

For the most up-to-date news from New Vision, please visit our Facebook page and Like us! http://www.facebook.com/newvisionfl

Honor Rolls of Donors 2014

2014 Honor Roll of Donors

The support of these individuals, businesses, and organizations empower New Vision to provide rehabilitation, community education, and support services to people of all ages with low vision or blindness and their families in Lake and Sumter counties: 

Independence Investors ($10,000+):

  •  State of Florida, Dept. of Education, Division of Blind Service
  • Lake-Sumter State College (in-kind)
  • United Way of Lake & Sumter Counties
  • Lake County Tax Collector's Office employees

New Vision Partners ($1,000-$9,999):

  • Orange Blossom Gardens Lions Club
  • Colleen A. Kollmann
  • Walt Disney World Resorts (in-kind)

Self-Confidence Sponsors ($500-999):

  • Mount Dora Lions Club
  • Eustis Moose Lodge

Services Supporters:

  • Family ($100-499):
    • Ruth Bayer
    • Sydney Gerrey
    • Amy Giraldo
    • Mark Johnson
    • Joanie Perciballi
    • Anthony Tabone & Dorothy Duncan
    • In memory of Gerald White
  •  Friends (<$100)
    • Richard Lane
    • Col. John F. Miniclier
    • Grace Quirk Trust
    • In honor of John Back

Join our Honor Roll of Donors: 
Donate Now 

woman standing next to a table with information about New Vision arranged upon it
Volunteers like Valerie are needed to help with behind-the-scenes work!

Volunteers Needed!

In-office volunteers needed at New Vision!.

Volunteers are needed in the Leesburg office to help with data entry, phone calls, and other projects in support of the vision rehabilitation team. A weekly commitment of 3-6 hours is desired.

For more information, contact Terry Tabone at 352-435-5040 or info@newvisionfl.org. Perspective volunteers should complete a volunteer application available on New Vision's website, newvisionfl.org. Volunteers may be required to complete a level 2 background check to assist with some projects.

Going Blind - coming out of the dark about vision loss

Going Blind screening

July 10, 2014 -- New Vision will host a screening of the feature film, Going Blind. This free screening is open to the public.

Who: For anyone wanting to learn more about vision loss.

What: Screening of the movie Going Blind, run time 1 hour 21 minutes

When: August 4 at 10 a.m. Doors open at 9:30.

Where: Magnolia Room, Lake-Sumter zState College, 9501 US Hwy 441, Leesburg

Why: To promote understanding about vision loss among the community

Seating available on a first-come basis. Please contact New Vision for Independence with any questions: 352-435-5040. A trailer of the movie is available at www.goingblindmovie.com.

Going Blind is a unique documentary film that increases public awareness of sight loss and low vision issues profoundly affecting the lives of more and more people and those who love them.

Inaugural Eye Bowl

Join Us for the Eye Bowl

New Vision for Independence and Mid Florida Eye Center announce the inaugural Eye Bowl fundraiser and outreach event on August 12, 2014, 6 to 9 p.m. at Break Point Bowling Alley in Tavares.

This event is open to doctors' offices only to help raise awareness about New Vision's local services offered at no charge to those with low vision or blindness. Teams will get to experience some "blind bowling," enjoy friendly competition with colleagues, and learn about how to refer patients for these vital services. Patients are encouraged to ask their trusted doctors to participate in this unique event.

Registration cost is $100 per team of four, accepted until August 1. To register, enter you information below and click "Pay Now."

Volunteers will be needed for the event.

For more information about the event, contact Mandy Richardson at Mid Florida Eye Center, mrichardson@midfleye.com. For more information about the cause or volunteering opportunities, contact Chantel Buck at New Vision for Independence, cbuck@newvisionfl.org.

To register:

Eye Bowl Registration
Type of Office
Office Name

photo of volunteers from Kohl's with the Lake County SWAT team
Thank you to all our supporters, including volunteers from the Tavares Kohl's store and the Lake County Sheriff's Office SWAT team (above).

Latest newsletter available now

May 28, 2014 -- View the lastest New Vision News!

Stories in this issue include:

  • Low Vision Tech Open House
  • Donor News
  • Teen Summer Camp
  • Dining in the Dark
  • Considering Where to Live
  • Upcoming Events
  • And more!
To subscribe to our mailing list, access audio versions, or read past newsletters, visit our newsletter page. Please contact us to request a large print or cassette version of this newsletter.

Dine for a night without sight

Dining in the Dark raises $9,000

SWAT operators pose with event guests.On May 2, 2014, the Lake County Sheriff's Office SWAT team, wearing night vision goggles, served nearly 160 people in the complete darkness at the fourth annual Dining in the Dark event from New Vision for Independence.

The dinner helped raise community awareness of the difficulties faced by residents with vision loss and the need for blind services in our community, as well as raised much-needed funds for services for people with low vision or blindness in Lake and Sumter counties and The Villages.

One attendee commented, "Thank you for the experience of seeing what it would be like to be blind. Scary but something that can be teachable."

Held at Lake Receptions on Friday, May 2, the evening began with a "blind" silent auction and photos with members of the Lake County SWAT team. The dining experience began with graduates of New Vision's services sharing testimonials. Donors were offered potted plants decorated by children in the Blind Babies program. The lights went out and the salad and entrée were served in the dark, with volunteers from the Lake County SWAT team serving as part of a training exercise. Dessert was served with the lights on.

Photos of the event will be posted on New Vision's Facebook page.

Photo of Tammy, husband Johnny, son David, and daughter Alexis
Tammy Wilkins-Ferrell with husband Johnny, son David, and daughter Alexis

New Vision Blog

Nov. 26, 2013 - Introducing New Vision's new blog! Our first posts are by Tammy Wilkins-Ferrell, a visually impaired mom to a visually impaired son and a fully sighted toddler. Let us know what you think!

Re-Gaining Independence (post #6)

My name is Tammy. I have been legally blind my entire life. This is my story of growing up with a visual disability and how I found independence with my white cane.

When I was growing up, I always felt like it was not ok to have a disability of any kind. Someone was judged for what they couldn't do, rather than the person's ability to perform tasks if done differently with the same outcome. People of all ages back then were not given an empowering positive message of succeeding and overcoming obstacles. They were discouraged and made to feel incompetent as if they had nothing to contribute or could not overcome the adversity of their situation.

I was introduced to a cane and mobility training in high school. I learned the basics to using a cane and a high-powered monocular to do basic street travel back then. However, I never developed a healthy attitude towards my cane; when I used it I became identified as a blind person, not a teenager. As a teenager you are so into yourself. My entire life I had been forced to hear messages from the public school system and our society that it was not ok to have a vision disability. So I didn't fully embrace my training or my cane.

Read full post >>

Access this and more posts at newvisionfl.wordpress.com.

Delicious Morsels cookbook
Cookbook to benefit New Vision

Cookbooks on sale

October 29, 2013 - Lake Eye Associates created a beautiful cookbook, "Delicious Morsels," the sales of which benefit New Vision. The cookbooks are only $10 and you can buy yours at Lake Eye's Tavares, Leesburg or Villages office, and we have some available at New Vision as well. Please consider purchasing one and spread the word about this cool fundraiser.

Man holding a shiny orange golf ball
Mr. Church is legally blind and got a hole in one at a golf course in The Villages.

Testimonial: Mr. Church

April 1, 2013 -- "Mr. Church is a very active resident in the Villages. One of his favorite games is golf. In getting to know Mr. Church we discovered he was open to trying different golf balls to see if he was able to visually locate them any easier. He was the first client to try the "low vision" golf ball which has a mirrored quality to it. I gave him one to try and told him I would check back in a few weeks.

"When I saw him next he had quite a story to tell. He said he was on the Churchill course in the Villages with his wife and he hit a hole-in-one on the third hole. When you complete a game and have gotten a hole-in-one you are asked to fill out a form as proof with witnesses signatures. When his wife began filling in the information the attendant told her she couldn't do it, that he had to if he made the hole-in-one. She said 'he can't, he's blind.' The attendant said '...but he hit a hole-in-one...' The other couple they golfed with vouched for him and the shack attendant was amazed.

"Mr. Church had to retire his golf ball (a tradition for the ball that made the hole-in-one), but plans to get more like it."

~As reported by Jenna Pruett, Vision Rehabilitation Program Coordinator

braille sign
Mrs. Deblasio's braille and mobility instruction helped her identify an error in a braille sign at her local library.

Testimonial: Mrs. Deblasio

December 11, 2013 -- "Have you ever noticed braille in your community during your everyday life? Maybe you see braille on public restroom signs, a building room number, or even on the lid of your fast food drink. Have you ever tried to read it and wondered what it says? You might be surprised by what you read!

"Judith Deblasio is an active wife and mother. She loves spending time with her friends and going on cruises with her family. This year she decided she wanted to increase her independence so she started learning braille and receiving orientation and mobility training from New Vision for independence. Mrs. Deblasio quickly mastered the use of her long cane and eagerly participated in community-based lessons. She loved using her newly acquired abilities to take walks in her neighborhood, shop independently, and select books for her daughter from her local library.

"On her final mobility lesson she was in the process of mastering elevator use when she said "Hmmm... this is strange. I know this building only has two floors but this braille sign states that we are at the 3rd floor". We joked about this secret "Twilight Zone" floor where we might have arrived. She read the signs again and realized that the floor was mismarked. This was particularly exciting because Mrs. Deblasio had just completed her lessons in uncontracted braille the week before and this was her first time actually reading braille signs in public. With her instructor's urging Mrs. Deblasio dutifully and politely reported the error to the information desk. The employee was astonished that no one - not even compliance inspectors - had ever noticed the incorrectly labeled sign that must have been there several years. She sincerely thanked Mrs. Deblasio and promised to get the sign corrected.

"Mrs. Deblasio is an excellent student who quickly applied all that she has learned. We didn't actually arrive at the Twilight Zone that day, but when she stepped off that elevator Mrs. Deblasio knew she had the skills and confidence to go wherever she wants to go!"

- Reported by Bebe Chudeusz, COMS, CVRT, CTVI

Long sleeve white shirt with black sleeves with the Braille alphabet, the New Vision logo, and a line saying \\\\\\\\
Braille alphabet baseball jersey for $20.99

New Vision store

Check out the new New Vision store at CafePress.com. There are several shirts, a mouse pad, some bags, and more, all with New Vision's logo and other fun surprises. New Vision makes a portion of the sales of each item which will go to fund services for adults and babies with low vision or blindness.

Do you have an idea for a new item to sell? Contact us!

Thanks to Our Partners

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