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SVP International

Blind Beginnings

Blind Beginnings works to empower children and youth who are blind to live independent, self-sufficient, and fulfilling lives by providing experiential learning, counselling and peer support through every stage of a child’s life. Each year, approximately 50 babies are born with a visual impairment in BC. Children who are blind or partially sighted often have unnecessary limits placed on them by their teachers, families and society. As a result, these children grow to underestimate their own abilities, which can substantially impact their adult life—the national average unemployment rate for adults who are blind is 70 percent.

Blind Beginnings, doesn’t see limitations—they see limitless potential. Their goal is to change people’s perceptions of what it means to be blind and to empower children and youth who are blind to live independent and self-sufficient lives. They do so by providing diverse programming, hands-on instruction and experiences, counselling and peer support through every stage of a child’s life. No other program in BC offers experiential learning activities for the whole family. Blind Beginnings is also the only organization in BC that incorporates a full suite of life skills instruction (cooking, taking transit, shopping, socializing, etc.) into every program.

OBJECTIVES WITH SVP

Today there are approximately 800 blind or partially sighted children and youth in BC. Blind Beginnings is currently connected to approximately 300 of these young people and their families. With SVP’s support, Blind Beginnings plans to build their marketing and communications strategy to expand their reach and deliver programs and services, in person or remotely, throughout BC.

Specifically, this involves:

  1. Guidance on turning our Draft Business Plan into a Three-year Strategic Plan.
  2. Develop a fundraising strategy to support the Three-year Strategic Plan.
  3. Develop and implement a marketing and communications strategy.
  4. Mentorship in developing a robust evaluation plan to track our reach and engagement, the outcomes and impacts of programs.

SVP Commitment: $63,500 in Year One

Blind Beginnings Founder and Executive Director: Shawn Marsolais
Lead Partner: Barb Berg