Human Services

Lowell Association for the Blind

From Darkness into Light

Mission

To support educate and nurture the blind and visually impaired of the Greater Merrimack Valley by assisting them in the enrichment of their lives and helping them to gain maximum independence. To stimulate the interest and education of the general public to the problems and issues facing the blind and visually impaired as productive members of society seeking fulfillment of their human potential.

Ruling year info

1953

Executive Director

Ms. Elizabeth M Cannon

Main address

169 Merrimack St.

Lowell, MA 01852 USA

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EIN

04-2199874

Cause area (NTEE code) info

Blind/Visually Impaired Centers, Services (P86)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

LAB services people with a range of eye conditions and vision impairments. Legally blind is defined as vision of 20/200 or worse in the better eye with correction, as well as those who have a visual field of less than 20 degrees. For perspective, the average person has vision of 20/20 and a visual field of 180 degrees. Visual impairment or low vision describes persons who have serious difficulty seeing even when wearing corrective aids. Today, there are roughly 50 million blind people and 300 million visually impaired persons in the world. As of 2010, in the United States, there were 1,288,275 blind persons and approximately 21,000,000 visually impaired persons. According to 2011 statistics in Massachusetts, there were 28,621 legally blind registered residents, 2,367 live in the Merrimack Valley. The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) is the state agency that maintains a register of blind residents in Massachusetts. The top three diagnoses in Massachusetts were macular degene

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Adult Program

Social, recreational and educational program for blind/visually impaired adults.

Population(s) Served
People with vision impairments
Adults
Budget
$15,000

Program provides daily reading of local newspapers and community information by volunteers. LAB is an affiliate of the Massachestts Radio Reading Network located in Marshfield, MA. LAB broadcasts on a sub band of the University of Massachusetts Lowell radio station. Clients received specialized receivers to listen to our broadcasts.

Population(s) Served
People with vision impairments
Budget
$45,000

Provides blind/visually impaired youth social, recreational and educational opportunities.

Population(s) Served
People with vision impairments
K-12 (5-19 years)
Budget
$35,000

Provides blind/visually impaired teens social, educational and recreational opportunities.

Population(s) Served
People with vision impairments
Adolescents (13-19 years)
Budget
$10,000

Visually Impaired Partners (VIP) is a site based mentoring program with blind adults mentoring blind youth.

Population(s) Served
People with vision impairments
People with disabilities
Budget
$20,000

Prepare blind/visually impaired teens for employment

Population(s) Served
Adolescents (13-19 years)
People with vision impairments
Budget
$40,000

Where we work

Awards

Excellence In Communications 2013

Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

Service Learning Community Partner Award 2014

University of Massachusetts Lowell

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of children served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

K-12 (5-19 years),People with vision impairments

Related Program

Youth Program

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Charting impact

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

The Lowell Association for the Blind (LAB) is a community based nonprofit organization serving the needs of the blind/visually impaired of the Merrimack Valley. The mission of LAB is to provide services to ensure people living with blind and low vision have the opportunities to live, work and socialize in our community as well as to educate and inform the public of the needs of the blind/visually impaired.

To make our mission a reality LAB leads by offering services that will fit the needs of the blind/visually impaired. In addition LAB's mission is to educate the public to the needs of the blind. LAB does this through outreach events and our new monthly newsletter that features article of interest focusing on the blind community. The newsletter won an Excellence in Communications Award from the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network in 2013 and LAB won the Community Partner Award from UMass Lowell for working with students.

The Lowell Association for the Blind has been providing service for the blind/visually impaired since 1923. The Lowell Association for the Blind office is centrally located in downtown Lowell with easy access to public transportation. The facility is handicapped accessible with space for group meeting and training space as well as a state of the art radio studio. LAB has a strong financial support with funding for program and services with state and local government, corporations, foundations and individuals. LAB also has an active Board of Directors and a large group of dedicated volunteers.

LAB continuously measures and monitors the progress of all of our programs and services. We know we are making our mission a reality with feedback: From a Mother of two boys in LAB's Youth Program: ""They benefit from the interaction they receive from other children whom are blind. It gives the boys an opportunity to teach others and learn from peers who are experiencing the same difficulties they may be facing."" From an Adult Program participant: ""As I lose more vision, doing paperwork becomes more of a challenge. It's very comforting to know that LAB will provide such a wonderful service to its legally blind clients.""

LAB is a leader in the nonprofit community in the Greater Lowell area. LAB is looked to locally as a resource for businesses and organizations on accessibility issues. In recent years, LAB has developed and implemented unique programming to meet the needs of the blind/visually impaired such as the Visually Impaired Partners (VIP) a sight based mentoring program where blind adults mentor blind children. The greatest challenges for meeting the needs of the blind and visually impaired are: Rates of blindness are expected to double by 2020. Every seven minutes, someone in the United States loses his/her sight. Around the world, an adult goes blind every 5 seconds and a child goes blind every minute.Public transportation is limited and often difficult to maneuver for the blind/visually impaired. LAB works closely with clients to help them navigate learn to navigate these systems. In our society, we rely on computers, phones and a variety of devices to remain independent and communicate with friends, family and for business. These devices are not always accessible for the blind/visually impaired. Our greatest challenge in assisting the blind and visually impaired is to be able to keep up with the fast changing and high priced accessible technology and training to use that technology that can vary with each person's eye condition.

Financials

Lowell Association for the Blind
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Lowell Association for the Blind

Board of directors
as of 11/25/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Carolyn Greogire

Melanie St. Croix

Lowell Five Savings Bank

Deborah Finch

University of Massachusetts Lowell

Bethanne Welch

City of Lowell

Carolyn Gregoire

Personal Trainer

MaryRose Loring

Lowell Five

Salmaan Kapadia

Synergy Resources, LLC

Mary Barrett

University of Lowell

Bruce Macaulay

Winchester Hospital

Marc Gillette

Fred C Church Insurance

Deme Gyes

University of Massachusetts Lowell

David Hall

Lowell General Hospital

Michael Lally

Lowell Cemetery

Leslie Morin

retired

Robert Murphy

attorney

Ed Perry

client

Allyson Nicholson

City of Lawrence, MA

Monica Kanellas

retired

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Keywords

blind, visually impaired, low vision. disabilities