VISIONS NYC Youth and Vision Loss Coalition

Black and white photo of a group of confident young adults with canes, walking toward the camera.

The Youth and Vision Loss Coalition was founded on November 1, 2013 with the generous support of The New York Community Trust and JP Morgan Chase-de Coizart Charitable Trust. VISIONS/Services for the Blind hosts quarterly meetings of affiliate agencies committed to accessibility for youth with vision loss.

The purpose of the Coalition is to:

  • provide information and resources to young people who are blind or experiencing vision loss and parents, guardians and caregivers
  • improve the quality and extent of services, to children with vision loss from birth to twenty-one years
  • advocate for better systems in all realms (education, social, etc.) to better meet the complex needs of the increasing numbers of children with vision loss including those with multiple disabilities
  • advocate for specialized vision services for all children who need them in the most appropriate setting for full implementation of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and its amendments.

There is no cost to be a Coalition affiliate.

The Coalition involves organizations that offer all young people with vision loss the services that will allow them to get the full range of opportunities they need and want.

The Coalition has developed and distributed five handbooks respective to the transition needs of blind youth based on their age range

  • General
  • Early Intervention
  • Preschool
  • School Age (Kindergarten to 12th grade)
  • Transition to Adulthood

On This Webpage, Visitors Will Find:

The New York Vision Loss Coalition Presents:

Eye On The Future

Resources for Parents of Visually Impaired Youth

Please join us the 4th Tuesday of every month for an evening of resources shared in a safe space. There will be a guest speaker every month on a topic related to the needs of visually impaired youth.

Tuesday, August 23rd, 7:00 PM: Understand the IEP by IncludeNYC, Facilitated by Maggie Downham

As a person with multiple disabilities, Maggie brings both professional and personal experience to her work at INCLUDEnyc as a Family Educator. She knows the struggles and joys that living with a disability brings. Watching her mother advocate for her growing up, Maggie learned to be her own advocate. While her personal experiences have inspired her to do this work, she also feels strongly that she has a professional responsibility to empower families with the knowledge and skills they need to advocate for their children. When she entered the field of family advocacy full-time, she brought with her seven years of experience as an educator of students with disabilities in grades five through eight whom she taught in various subjects and classroom settings.

NYCYVLC Handbooks


  • In this book, you will find everything you need from history to resources. This book goes in-depth about all you must know about services for yourself/your child.
  • Updated: September, 2019

Early Intervention

  • Do you know what the early intervention process, especially when providing services to your child? This handbook reviews all of this plus more!
  • Updated: February 2017


  • The preschool handbook introduces you the start of your child’s learning career.
  • Updated: December 2018

School Age

  • Elementary and Middle School are usually the hardest milestones to tackle. However, this handbook will detail whatever you need to know for your child’s advancement.
  • October 2018


  • The question of ‘what comes next?’ and the how to’s for a successful transition to adulthood can be found in our Transition handbook.
  • Updated December 2018


For more information or if you would like to join the New York City Youth and Vision Loss Coalition, please contact VISIONS/Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired:

Melissa Phipps

Senior Director of Youth Services
Call: (646) 486-4444 Ext. 212