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ABVI Celebrates 50 Years of Providing Low Vision Services During 2019 Visionary Gala: Hearts of Gold presented by Smola Consulting

Feb 26, 2019

The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI), a mission program of Goodwill of the Finger Lakes, is celebrating 50 years of providing Low Vision Services to the Finger Lakes region at its 2019 Visionary Gala: Hearts of Gold presented by Smola Consulting, taking place on Saturday, March 9, 2019 from 6:00-9:00 pm at the Hyatt Regency Rochester.

Fifty years ago, in 1969, low vision, which is defined as having visual acuity of 20/70 or worse in the stronger eye that cannot be corrected or improved with regular eyeglasses, was not something many eye doctors specialized in. Ophthalmologist Dr. Ellis Gruber recognized this lapse in care and made a dramatic change to how people with low vision were served.

Gruber partnered with ABVI to provide Low Vision Services. The idea was not that the doctors at ABVI would take over an individual’s care. Rather, the doctors at ABVI would work together in partnership to help the person’s remaining vision. That tradition is carried on today by ABVI’s Medical Director, Dr. Gwen Sterns, and the team of volunteer doctors who continue to provide Low Vision Services to people who are visually impaired.

This cornerstone of care has directed the work at ABVI and fueled the growth of its role to help maximize functional vision for the individuals it serves. ABVI’s team also provides orientation and mobility training, and adaptive technology training, so that individuals who are served can be self-sufficient in their home, at their job, and out in the community.

“This idea, that the quality of life could be restored for people with low vision, is as foundational to us today at ABVI as it was to Dr. Gruber,” says Gidget Hopf, Goodwill of the Finger Lakes president and CEO.

Join ABVI in celebrating 50 years of providing Low Vision services at the 2019 Visionary Gala: Hearts of Gold Presented by Smola Consulting. Tickets are still available for the event and can be purchased online here -

For more information about the event, please visit -