St. Louis, Missouri—February 20, 2019 – VisionServe Alliance has launched a pilot program of its new web-based patient referral system known as “VisionRefer!” The web-based referral system will help make referrals of low vision patients by their doctors to vision rehabilitation centers nationwide easy, fast, and HIPAA compliant. The goal is to make VisionRefer! available to every ophthalmologist in the country by year end and to increase referrals to VisionServe members.

Developed with seed money from the Gibney Family Foundation and in partnership with the tech team at Lighthouse Works (a subsidiary of Lighthouse Central Florida in Orlando, Florida) the VisionRefer! pilot programs have begun in three states: Florida, New Hampshire, and Oklahoma. Florida began its pilot in October, 2018, and Oklahoma and New Hampshire pilots will launch in March at NewView Oklahoma and Future In Sight in New Hampshire to test the efficacy and impact of state-wide single provider systems. It is projected that a nationwide roll out will begin in late summer.

The supervising agency of the twelve-month pilot program of VisionRefer! in Florida is the Florida Agencies Serving the Blind (Florida ASB), where they have begun introducing VisionRefer! to ophthalmologists statewide. Referrals are already successfully being received, beginning with an initial referral made by an ophthalmologist and sent to the Manasota Lighthouse on January 11, 2019.

“VisionRefer! is a 21st-century solution that will allow physicians to easily and quickly refer patients of all ages for vision rehabilitation services,” notes Roxann Mayros, the President of VisionServe Alliance who came up with the idea of VisionRefer!  “I am excited to see the pilot project already generating referrals, just like we knew it would.”

Florida ASB and 17 other Florida VisionServe member agencies received additional funding support for the pilot project from Florida Division of Blind Services to create marketing materials such as a tear- off flyer, a door hanger and print ads. Additional marketing support is being provided by the Florida Society of Ophthalmologists and their partner, Eschenbach Optik, who will begin traveling statewide introducing VisionRefer! to ophthalmologists.

“We hope that this pilot project will share the benefits of vision rehabilitation services to patients and their practices and dispel myths about our professions and fears that patients will be diverted from their care,” says Dr. Elly du Pre, Executive Director of Florida ASB. “Our goal is to make adoption of VisionRefer! easy by helping them put VisionRefer! on their desktops and provide handouts to give to their patients.”

Originally founded in 1987 as the National Council of Private Agencies for the Blind and Visually Impaired (NCPABVI) and renamed in 2008, VisionServe Alliance is a consortium of 118 nonprofits located throughout the United States and Canada that provide unique and specialized services to people who are blind or with severe vision loss. Members include organizations focusing on national advocacy and/or service issues, employment and manufacturing, adult vision rehabilitation, K-12 residential and on-line schools, early intervention and pre-school, dog guides, low vision clinics, and braille production. Members engage regional and national leaders in building a better world through services to people with vision loss by promoting leadership development, ethical management, quality services, and professional growth.

###

St. Louis, Missouri—November 13, 2018 – VisionServe Alliance’s Board of Directors has announced the appointment of Lee Nasehi as its new President and CEO.  VisionServe Alliance, headquartered in St. Louis, MO, is a national coalition of nonprofit organizations providing the full diversity of rehabilitative services to people of all ages who are blind or visually impaired.

Lee Nasehi headshotLee has been with Lighthouse Central Florida, Inc. in Orlando, FL since 1998; serving as its chief executive since 2000 and founding its subsidiary social enterprise organization, Lighthouse Works! Inc. in 2010. During her tenure at Lighthouse she created and expanded innovative service delivery models and employment opportunities for people with vision loss and expanded effective business operations. Her appointment as VisionServe Alliance President/CEO will be effective March 1, 2019.

“I am honored to have been selected as the second President and CEO of VisionServe Alliance by the Board of Directors, many of whom have been my mentors and colleagues,” noted Lee.  “I have had the privilege of working with and learning from many VisionServe Alliance members over the last two decades as the chief executive of a member organization, a community-based rehabilitation and employment program.  I look forward to listening, considering the possibilities and then rolling up my sleeves in alliance with this exceptional field to pursue the kind of change that will afford the very best opportunities for living, learning and earning by people with blindness and low vision.”

The search committee received more than 200 resumes from highly qualified vision related and association executives, speaking with more than 100 of the applicants, holding three rounds of interviews, and narrowing the applicant pool to five finalists.

“The members of the search committee were fortunate to have such a large pool of highly qualified candidates,” said Chairman Mark Ackermann.  “While it made our process much more difficult, we were confident that we had some of the best and brightest talent in the vision and association spaces vying for this position.  The quality of the individuals who applied was extraordinary.  In the end, the Search Committee was certain that Lee Nasehi was absolutely the best person to replace VisionServe Alliance’s long-time CEO, Roxann Mayros.  Her knowledge of the field, and her multiple successes as President/CEO of Lighthouse Central Florida and Lighthouse Works convinced the Committee that she was the ideal individual to bring the Alliance to new heights.”

Originally founded in 1987 as the National Council of Private Agencies for the Blind and Visually Impaired (NCPABVI) and renamed in 2008, VisionServe Alliance is a consortium of 115 nonprofits located throughout the United States and Canada that provide unique and specialized services to people who are blind or with severe vision loss.  Members include organizations focusing on national advocacy and/or service issues, employment and manufacturing, adult vision rehabilitation, K-12 residential and on-line schools, early intervention and pre-school, dog guides, low vision clinics, and braille production.  Members engage regional and national leaders in building a better world through services to people with vision loss by promoting leadership development, ethical management, quality services, and professional growth.

###

St. Louis, Missouri – June 19, 2018  –  In partnership with the National Industries for the Blind (NIB) and the National Association for the Employment of People Who Are Blind (NAEPB), VisionServe Alliance announces that the results of the 5th Biennial Compensation & Benefits Survey are now available to all participating members. This survey is the only comprehensive survey performed in the field for vision rehabilitation professionals, manufacturing positions, and executives.

The Compensation & Benefits Survey was created in response to numerous requests for comparative salary information specifically about organizations “of and for” the blind and visually impaired. Completed during even calendar years, this year’s survey collected data from a record 93 member agencies of NIB, NAEPB and VisionServe Alliance. Online responses were submitted and held in the survey database and reviewed only by the survey consultant.

Participation in the Compensation and Benefits Survey helps organizations to: set fair salaries and benefits to attract and retain the best employees; evaluate industry standards for compensation for a range of positions; analyze each agency’s own jobs and compensation; compare agency salaries and benefits with others in the blind and visual impairment industry; and document each agency organization’s rationale for setting executive salaries, as now required by the IRS form 990.

Results are currently being sent without cost to all participating agencies. These results are reported in the aggregate so that no survey information can be traced to any particular organization. Data published in each recipient’s copy of the final report will be customized to labor statistics in the recipient’s geographic location.

Members of VisionServe Alliance, NIB or NAEPB who did not answer the survey, may purchase a report specific to local labor statistics for $250 by contacting Lindsay Lutz at VisionServe Alliance, at (314) 961-8235 or by emailing llutz@visionservealliance.org. Nonmembers may purchase an individualized report for $500.

Originally founded in 1987 as the National Council of Private Agencies for the Blind and Visually Impaired (NCPABVI) and renamed in 2008, VisionServe Alliance is a consortium of 112 nonprofits located throughout the United States and Canada that provide unique and specialized services to people who are blind or with severe vision loss.  Members include organizations focusing on national advocacy and/or service issues, employment and manufacturing, adult vision rehabilitation, K-12 residential and on-line schools, early intervention and pre-school, dog guides, low vision clinics, and braille production.  Our members engage leaders in building a better world through services to people with vision loss by promoting leadership development, ethical management, quality services, and professional growth.

The Compensation and Benefits Survey is just one of many benefits of being a member of VisionServe Alliance.  To learn more about our member benefits and how to join VisionServe Alliance, visit www.visionservealliance.org/why-join-vsa/

###

St. Louis, Missouri – February 5, 2018 – Roxann Mayros, the first CEO and President of VisionServe Alliance, has announced that she will retire from her position effective December 31, 2018.

VisionServe Alliance’s Chairman of the Board, Mark Ackermann, remarked on Mayros’s strong leadership saying, “It is fair to say, without any hyperbole, that VisionServe Alliance would not be anywhere near the organization it is today, were it not for Roxann’s dedication, intellect, and professionalism.”

VisionServe Alliance was founded in 1987 as the National Council of Private Agencies for the Blind and Visually Impaired (NCPABVI) and is a consortium of Executive Directors/CEOs of 501(c)(3) nonprofits throughout the United States that provide unique and specialized services to people who are blind or with severe vision loss. Members include organizations focusing on national advocacy and/or service issues, employment and manufacturing, adult vision rehabilitation, K-12 residential and on-line schools, early intervention and pre-school, dog guides, low vision clinics, and braille production.

VisionServe Alliance was volunteer-driven until 2005, when Mayros was hired to become its first President and CEO. Prior to joining NCPABVI, Mayros was the Executive Director/CEO of three major vision rehabilitation agencies serving clients of all ages and served in leadership roles on several national boards of directors and advisory councils that focus on vision loss.

Mayros spearheaded important leadership in and advocacy for the field of vision impairment. Several highlights of her achievements at VisionServe Alliance include:
• In 2006, NCPABVI merged with the National Vision Rehabilitation Association and became the pre-eminent leader in promoting Medicare reimbursement for certified vision rehabilitation professionals, i.e., Low Vision Therapists, Orientation and Mobility Specialists, and Vision Rehabilitation Therapists.
• In 2007, NCPABVI engaged in a re-branding process which resulted in NCPABVI changing its name to VisionServe Alliance to better represent the commonality amongst its diverse membership – an alliance of organizations providing vision rehabilitation related services.
• In 2012, VisionServe Alliance celebrated its 25th Anniversary, received the “Chairman’s Award” from First Nonprofit Insurance Company for 25 years of accomplishments, and received its first matching grant in the amount of $100,000 from the Gibney Family Foundation of South Burlington, Vermont and First Nonprofit Foundation of Chicago, Illinois to expand the vision rehabilitation workforce.

The Board of Directors has formed a search committee, chaired by Mr. Ackermann, to find a suitable successor and plans to name the new CEO of VisionServe by the late fall. If interested, please send your inquiry and resume/CV to mackermann@lighthouseguild.org

###