Skip to Main Content

ABVI Announces 2014 Milton J. Samuelson Nominee

Dec 10, 2014

ROCHESTER – The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI) announced that Lindsay Tersmette is its 2014 Milton J. Samuelson Career Achievement Award nominee.

The National Industries for the Blind (NIB)'s Board of Directors created the Milton J. Samuelson Career Achievement Award in 1996. The award goes to an individual who demonstrates career advancement at an NIB associated agency. The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI) is such an agency.

“I think the NIB Board was envisioning our nominee when they created the award,” said Gidget Hopf, president and CEO of ABVI.

“I am so encouraged and grateful to receive this award,” said Tersmette.

Tersmette accepted the award and recognized the support she has gotten throughout her career.

“The people who have supported and encouraged me, especially at ABVI, made this award possible. Receiving this award is truly receiving on behalf of each person who has taken the time to invest in me. It is as much their award as it is mine, for I wouldn’t be who I am today without each of them,” said Tersmette.

Tersmette is a licensed social worker on ABVI’s Vision Rehabilitation team. She was a telecounselor for 2-1-1/LIFE LINE, a program of Goodwill of the Finger Lakes, before that.

“Lindsay’s career began well before she entered the work force,” said Hopf. “When she was in high school, she attended and participated in the Adirondack Experience. It is a nonprofit adventure-based program in northern New York. It served visually impaired and other at-risk youth.”

Hopf continued, “There, Lindsay challenged herself in the wilderness setting building her confidence. She interacted with other kids with vision loss and also with staff members. She took many things from the experience, but it was her decision to become a social worker that affected her path forward the most.”

As a telecounselor at 2-1-1/LIFE LINE, Tersmette handled everything. She took basic needs information and referral calls. She also handled crisis intervention and suicide prevention calls.

In 2012 she moved to the Vision Rehabilitation Department as a social worker.

“Lindsay is a consistent force. She provides the important initial intake for the 400 people each year who get services from the Low Vision Center,” said Hopf.

Tersmette’s natural confidence and welcoming smile makes these individuals feel comfortable. She provides support and information to parents who have a child who is blind or visually impaired. Tersmette's telecounselor experience helps her navigate concerns raised in calls about ABVI's services.

“She has grown so much. She is now a great mentor for student interns from local Bachelors and Masters social work program. She is a natural at it,” said Hopf.