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Voice: I.V. Blind Center always looking for clients, volunteers

June 20, 2002

We are the Imperial Valley Blind Center and have been providing our fully comprehensive program and services to 21 adults with a variety of physical disabilities such as mobility and orthopedic impairments, visual impairments and blindness at an annual cost to the center of about $1,000 per student/member. We provide our program from a therapeutic model in that the student/members are actively involved in the administration, instruction and assisting each other in the daily operations of the center.

The mission statement of the Imperial Valley Blind Center is to empower people with physical disabilities (i.e. visual impairments, blindness, orthopedic impairments and so forth) to take control of their own lives:

To create an accessible community.

To advocate and achieve equal social, economic and political opportunities and inclusion within the community.

To interrelate with their peers and in group activities and to develop their full potential.

Our program and services are offered to all residents of Imperial County who have a physical disability and are ambulatory. Currently our 21 student/members are transported in from Calexico, Heber, El Centro and Holtville. We offer academic courses from college instructors, weaving from a master weaver, peer and personal counseling, transportation to and from the center and disability related services. There is no cost to our student/members and the only requirement we ask of our student/members is they attend regularly and have a willingness to participate in program activities. Remember, we are a countywide project.


We have a projected budget in 2002-2003 of about $33,700. This is a sizable amount above our typical projected budget of $25,000, but we have some building maintenance to take care of and we must keep our building in tip-top shape for our student/members to have a conducive site to conduct our program and for our student/members to meet. Otherwise, they must remain home-bound where both physiological and psychological complications set in from their inactivity, and the expense of their care increases drastically. We feel through their active involvement and participation at the center all can realize and experience their full potential.

We are a not-for-profit organization and are totally dependent on our community for our financial support and volunteer efforts. In 2001 the community provided us volunteers who were in key roles of instruction, general assistance to our student/members and administration. The accumulated volunteer efforts logged in at the center were instruction (684 hours), lawn maintenance and janitorial (960 hours), general assistance (1,600 hours) and administration (1,040 hours) for a total of (4,284 hours). In comparison to our 22 volunteers, we had partially paid staff members that were myself as the executive director and I receive a stipend of ($250 per month or $3,000 annually), my administrative secretary receives a stipend of ($100 or $1,200 annually) and a maintenance person that receives ($14 per week or $728 annually) for an annual payroll of ($4,928).

We are open to our student/members from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. On Wednesdays we are a training site for the Association of Retarded Citizens adult development center for their lawn maintenance and janitorial students.

To reiterate: We are totally dependent on our community for our financial support of which all donations are tax-deductible. Also, we are dependent on our community for our volunteer efforts (part-time or up to 24 hours per week). We wholeheartedly accept referrals to our programs by mail to I.V. Blind Center, P.O. Box 718, El Centro, CA 92244-0718 or by phone at 352-5454 or 562-6175.


IVBC executive director

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