League for the Blind and Disabled, Inc.

Empowering all people with all disabilities to achieve their potential

aka The League   |   Fort Wayne, IN   |  www.the-league.org


The League's mission is to provide and promote opportunities that empower people with disabilities to achieve their potential.

Ruling year info



Mr. John J. Guingrich

Main address

5821 S. Anthony Blvd.

Fort Wayne, IN 46816 USA

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NTEE code info

Services to Promote the Independence of Specific Populations (P80)

Disabled Persons' Rights (R23)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

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

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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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?

DeafLink Division

This Division was created at The League when the organization acquired DeafLink in 2006. DeafLink is the first and only Community Agency for the Deaf (CAD) in northeast Indiana to offer a wide variety of services to meet the needs of the Deaf and hard-of-hearing, late-deafened adults and children. It has grown to serve more than fifteen (15) counties between northern Indiana and northwestern Ohio. Listed below are a portion of our division services:

On-Site Sign Language Interpreting
Video Remote Interpreting (VRI)
Case Coordination
Community Education/In-Service Training
Sign Language Classes
Information & Referral
Public Videophone (VP)
Professional Development Training for Interpreters

Population(s) Served

Residential home care and home healthcare services that provide consumers with the supports they need to maintain and/or increase their independence in their homes, and avoid institutionalization.

Population(s) Served

The League’s Youth Services Program serves children and youth with disabilities ages 3 to 24. The Youth Service places emphasis on youth to adult transition starting as early as elementary school, but with a key focus starting at age 14 to empower youth with disabilities to be self-sufficient, self-advocating, independent adults. The purpose of the program is to provide children with disabilities opportunities that enable them to develop the skills required to become self-reliant, contributing members of their family and community. There is a strong emphasis placed on integrated activities to develop the social & communication skills and attributes they need as they mature. Coordinators with with the youth, their families and schools to maximize each youth's unique potential to achieve their individualized goals.

Population(s) Served

This division at The League is a mission critical division that ensures the needs of consumers with disabilities are met where they are. The League became the first Center for Independent Living in Indiana in 1981, and is currently one of ten in operation, serving the territory of Northeast Indiana. Five core CIL services are provided in this division including:Individual & Systemic Advocacy, Information & Referral, Community Living Skills Training, Peer Support, and Transition. Also part of this division are 7 other services that help to enhance the quality of life and further empower persons with disabilities towards independence to thrive in their homes, schools, workplaces and communities.

Population(s) Served

This program assists individuals age 55 and older in Northeast (Allen, Adams, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wells, and Whitley) and North Central (Elkhart, Kosciusko, LaPorte, Marshall and St. Joseph) Indiana who are blind/visually impaired with increasing their independence, self-sufficiency, and ability to remain in the community. Individuals who participate in this program will receive services in three major service categories that are designed to enhance their independence, integration and self-sufficiency. Services include: Adaptive Equipment, Orientation & Mobility, Training services, case coordination, Peer Support Groups, and general independent living skills and training to equip and empower consumers towards independence.

Population(s) Served

The League produces materials in Braille using a computerized Braille printing system. Braille materials, as well as large print, are produced on a fee-for-service basis for government and private sector organizations. Braille business cards and other documents such as utility bills, medical bills, legal documents, financial documents and brochures/manuals are also produced in this department with on-going partner contracts as well as one-time production pieces as needed. Services are available for production for any agency, government department, private sector business, hospital, or other located in the United States.

Population(s) Served

Serving on average of 2700+ people per year, this program is one of the five core services offered at the League as a Center for Independent Living. This program improves access to disability related Information and Referral (I&R) assistance for people with disabilities and the community at large. This program serves people with disabilities of all ages, family members, and those needing disability information regardless of where they live.

The program conducts a number of activities in support of the program purpose. These include the following: Social Media, Website, Email, and by Phone. Information & Referral is personalized with a dedicated I&R Coordinator who works to maintain up-to-date data and information resource base.

In addition, the I&R Coordinator can provide information to the general public and area organizations and businesses with disability rights, accessibility requirements, and other important information to ensure that legal requirements and quality of life improvements are maximized.

Population(s) Served

This program maintains an inventory of independent living aids and adaptive technology for consumers with all disabilities. The adaptive equipment coordinator provides equipment demonstrations and manages loaner services for consumers with equipment in for repair and the community at large. Adaptive equipment enables people with disabilities to perform personal, work, recreational and social activities that otherwise would be not possible or minimally, without great difficulty. Items can be acquired at little to no cost, prorated costs or at League's costs -- all dependent on the consumers ability to pay. Items include: magnifiers, flashing doorbells, support and white canes, Braille/tactile identifiers, CCTVs, amplified telephones, talking clocks and watches, one-touch can openers and more. Services are available to people living within the League's Northeast Indiana eleven county service area.

Population(s) Served

Through this program consumers who are blind gain the travel skills that they need to move about safely in their home, work and community. The Orientation & Mobility Program impacts the lives of individuals and here is how:

The program benefits the individual in terms of increasing their ability to remain independent in their own home while reducing dependency on others. Many people who receive services through the program acquire the mobility skills that they need in order to function safely in their own home. Often these individuals are older citizens who would either need someone to come into their home to provide assistance or would be forced into a nursing home.
The program also helps those who are of working age obtain and/or maintain employment and productivity. The League works with organizations, such as Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Services, to provide mobility training to working age adults who are preparing to enter or remain in the workforce.
The program provides mobility training to school age children who are blind/visually impaired that allows them to access public educational services so they can continue their education and prepare for transitioning into adult life as a contributing member of the community.

Population(s) Served

Advocacy is our second language at The League! It is one of the agency's five core CIL programs. Through this Program, we assist and teach people the skills needed to navigate the complex disability programs and laws and to assist with obtaining community based services and support. Specific program activities are implemented in order to achieve the outcomes identified for this program. A full time Advocacy Coordinator manages all program activities that include:

Individual - The Advocacy Program helps people with disabilities deal with difficult issues, such as family medical leave, social security benefits, vocational rehabilitation, Medicaid and Medicare, in-home services, and other areas where advocacy assistance is needed.
Self-Advocacy Skills Training - The program teaches people with disabilities the skills needed to obtain community support, services or benefits to live independently.
Community/Systems Advocacy - The League advocates for changes at local, state and national levels that promote personal independence and full inclusion in community life by people with severe disabilities.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


League for the Blind and Disabled, Inc.

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League for the Blind and Disabled, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 01/03/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Lana Keesling, MBA

City of Fort Wayne

Term: 2019 - 2020

Board co-chair

Robert Lee, Ph.D.

University of Saint Frances

Term: 2019 - 2020

Alan R. Grinsfelder

Shannon Johnson, M.L.S.

Lisa Poole

Kimberly Bell

Ronald J. Duchovic, Ph.D.

Fred Eckart, MS, PCC

James Ezell

Chris Hatten

Verleaish Jones

Kamontee R. Grayson

Lana R. Keesling, MBA

Jenny Kissel, PHR

Robert W. Lee, Ph.D.

Lon B. Leech, P.E., LEED AP

Nikki Quintana

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/3/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Gender identity
Disability status
Person with a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/03/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.