by David Ekin, President, St. Louis Society for the Blind and Visually Impaired
- Is the only organization focused on CEOs/Executive Directors to create learning, networking, and leadership opportunities.
- Represents the entire range of services in the field of blindness/low vision – babies/parents, pre-school age, school age, transition age, working adults, older adults, through rehabilitation centers, low vision clinics, residential schools, manufacturing/service centers, guide dog schools, braille producers, and national advocacy/support organizations.
- Promotes a stronger more unfied voice nationally by initiating legislation, coordinating responses to legislation, developing position statements, and promoting advocacy on a variety of issues important in the field.
- Provides stronger and more regular communication across the blindness/low vision sector, and beyond our immediate sector, to the medical, educational, and research communities
- Facilitates several professional development opportunities in leadership, management, fundraising, and advocacy
- Reduces the cost of membership by off-setting dues in cost-savings provided by corporate group purchasing opportunities
- Coordinates collaborative opportunities between members to share program models, vendor information, policies, resources, and more
I am continually asked to participate and be active in other national organizations, in coalitions, position statements, etc. As a busy executive, I don’t have time to belong to a number of organizations, nor do we have the money to pay multiple membership dues. I invest in my membership in VisionServe Alliance, and will continue to do so, because this organization not only focuses on making me a better leader through professional development and networking opportunities, but it focuses on the field of blindness and low vision which is integral to meeting my agency’s mission.