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Envisioning the Low Vision Center

The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI) is a premiere provider of vision rehabilitation services to people who are blind or visually impaired.

We currently provide these vital community services in many locations. For more than 40 years though, we’ve been operating a Low Vision Center that has been the cornerstone of our Vision Rehabilitation Department.

The Low Vision Center is born

It was 1967 in Rochester, when ophthalmologist Dr. Ellis Gruber established the Low Vision Clinic at Strong Memorial Hospital. A year later, Dr. Gruber met with the director of the Association for the Blind of Rochester and Monroe County (as ABVI was known at the time) to begin a partnership that would allow more people in the community who needed Low Vision services to access them.

In 1972, when ABVI moved to its current home on South Clinton Avenue, Dr. Gruber was the driving force behind the creation of a permanent Low Vision clinic there. With an adequate facility, enough staffing and the appropriate equipment to do the job, Dr. Gruber was well on his way to meeting his and ABVI’s goal of providing Low Vision services to more of the people in the community who needed them.

Today, ABVI’s Low Vision Center is a model for other agencies that serve people with vision loss.