Visually Impaired Preschool Services, Inc.

aka VIPS   |   Louisville, KY   |

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Visually Impaired Preschool Services (VIPS) empowers families by providing educational excellence to young children with visual impairments in order to build a strong foundation for reaching their highest potential.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Ms. Diane Nelson

Main address

1906 Goldsmith Lane

Louisville, KY 40218 USA

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NTEE code info

Specialized Education Institutions/Schools for Visually or Hearing Impaired, Learning Disabled (B28)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Programs and results

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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?

Home Visits - All Locations

At VIPS, we believe the home is a child’s first learning environment and the parent is a child’s best teacher. Without vision, your child will need to gather information about the world in different ways. VIPS will teach your child how to utilize the remaining sight he or she has and will empower your child to function maximally in the sighted world by using other senses. We are here to help your child reach his or her highest potential. The core value of our agency is to provide “best practice” vision-specific early intervention to enable children with blindness/low vision to maximize their skills for development, academics and, most importantly, life. The only way to do that is to equip you, the parents and caregivers, with knowledge and resources by highly trained teachers and interventionists so you can continue to teach your child in your own home long after a VIPS home visit is over.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
People with disabilities

Kids Town Preschool at VIPS is a nationally recognized and AdvancED accredited preschool that supports and encourages the mission of preparing children with visual impairments to function as closely as possible to their same-age peers in a typical preschool environment. At Kids Town Preschool, your child will be prepared for successful academic and social integration. Our students are exposed to a variety of medium formats (print, auditory, braille) to help each them be successful in a developmentally appropriate learning environment. The children attending Kids Town Preschool find themselves in specialized settings where the development of specific vision-related skills is embedded into their daily preschool activities.

The lead classroom teachers in Kids Town Preschool are certified teachers. They hold IECE certifications as Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Educators; the teachers of the 3 to 4-year-old classrooms are dually certified as Teachers of the Visually Impaired. Each classroom is also supported by two assistant teachers. Students in Kids Town Preschool are also supported by a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist, a Music Therapist, and a consulting Occupational Therapist. Our Kids Town Preschool staff members understand that play is a child’s work. Through play, your child will learn about themselves, other people, and his/her environment. Your child will develop cognitive, problem-solving, and social skills as well as gain confidence and independence.

As educators, Kids Town Preschool staff members are always working toward the goal of enabling each individual child to reach his/her maximum potential by recognizing the importance of providing experiences in each of the developmental domains: social/emotional development, motor development, cognitive development, language development, and adaptive/self-help skill development.

Kids Town Preschool opens its doors to other children in the community. Sighted peers give the students with visual impairments experience in an inclusive instructional program from the beginning of their educational career. They are the “eyes” for our students with visual impairments during classroom activities and guides for our teachers striving for a developmentally appropriate experience for all students. Our sighted peers support our students’ development of self-advocacy skills. Research continues to support this model for optimal learning for young children with and without special needs.

The teachers at Kids Town Preschool at VIPS center their curriculum on the Kentucky Early Childhood Standards developed by the Kentucky Department of Education. The standards address all areas of development and include appropriate goals for infants, toddlers and preschoolers to ensure the child’s readiness for kindergarten at age five.

The preschool curriculum at Kids Town Preschool is supported by the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC). The ECC is an expanded list of skills, which need to be addressed when educating a student who is blind or visually impaired. These additional skills will lead our students to greater levels of independence, self-advocacy, personal care, and recreation and leisure activities, to name but a few areas addressed.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
People with vision impairments

Our Parent Empowerment Program (PEP) will give you a regular opportunity to meet and socialize with other families who have children with vision loss. You can share your triumphs and your struggles that may accompany raising a child with very specialized needs. In addition, you'll have access to our highly trained teachers and interventionists who specialize in working with children who have visual impairments. They are available to answer any lingering questions you may have about your child's program and/or development. We always have a training portion of the event so that you can leave the PEP with in-depth knowledge about a subject that could impact your child’s life. You are also invited to make a craft called a "Make-and-Take" which is specifically designed for your child with vision loss. We want you to leave the PEP recharged and energized from the knowledge you gain at a PEP.

We created the Parent Empowerment Program to improve the quality of life for both VIPS children and their families. We often hear that a PEP was the first time a VIPS family could attend a playgroup and not feel as though their child was different from the others. The opportunity to share and to learn from other families facing similar challenges is priceless as raising a child with blindness/low vision, and quite often, additional disabilities can be lonely and isolating. With VIPS, you are part of a community of individuals who get it.

In this setting while playing with our children, we moms talked, knowing that we completely understood one another and our lives, and I felt a level of comfort that I don’t find in many places outside my home.

– Rachael, Mother of Jude

Fun for the Entire Family
While much of the PEP is for you, as parents, we also want your VIPS child as well as his/her siblings and extended family members to have an opportunity to meet other kids who have blindness/low vision. Your children will be in a multi-sensory learning environment with plenty of volunteers on hand so you can sit back and just enjoy yourself. We'll have a wide array of toys, activities, and state of the art adaptive technology that is designed to enrich their lives through the use of various senses. We do hope you'll join us at our next PEP!

Population(s) Served

The center-based Little Learners Enrichment Program strives to help two and three-year-old children with vision loss achieve developmental milestones as well as assisting them in the transition from home to the classroom. Children in the Little Learners Enrichment Program work on a variety of independent skills with a highly trained VIPS teacher and assistant. We want your child to have an opportunity to explore and play, all while learning in a fun yet structured preschool environment. The teacher in the Little Learners Enrichment Program uses vision specific academic activities in a developmentally appropriate setting. No matter where your child is on the learning spectrum, VIPS will meet his/her needs. The VIPS teacher will modify the classroom activities to allow for the emergence of, or the strengthening of, each skill. The teacher will also place a strong emphasis on literacy for your child, whether he/she will be large print readers or braille readers. This is a wonderful opportunity to lay the foundation for future learning for your child who is blind or visually impaired. We do allow a limited number of Community Peers in the Little Learners Enrichment Program.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
People with vision impairments

VIPS developed the Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Program because young children with blindness/low vision in Kentucky and Indiana need instructional assistance on how to move through their environment safely and at a young age. VIPS employs Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists (COMS) who are trained professionals helping VIPS children know where they are in space and how to safely get to where they want to go through the use of a pre-cane device (alternative mobility devices built from PVC pipe and connectors or hula hoops) or a long white cane.

Since O&M skills begin to develop during infancy with basic body awareness and movement, it is important for a child with blindness/low vision to understand how to safely navigate their home environment and other frequented locations such as the yard, daycare or playground. A COMS will help train the parent so they can teach their child basic O&M skills long after a VIPS home visit is over. VIPS is one of the only agencies in Kentucky and Indiana that provides this type of intervention during the toddler years setting these children on a path toward safe independent travel for years to come.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers

Sending a child with a profound sensory impairment, and in many cases, additional disabilities, can be quite scary as well as overwhelming for parents. VIPS wants you to feel confident that you are able to advocate for your child's educational needs as your child transitions out of VIPS programming and into the school system. We can offer you guidance on how to navigate the school system in order to ensure that your child will receive an appropriate education with modifications and tools to help your child thrive in an academic setting. We want you to feel confident with letting go as your child prepares to embark on the next phase of his/her academic journey. Therefore upon parent request, a VIPS staff member will assist in the educational planning for your child by attending public school ARC (Admissions and Release Committee) meetings or private school planning meetings to write your child's IEP (Individualized Education Program) or Accommodations for Learning Plan.

Services for Children Ages 3-5
VIPS offices in Kentucky provide services to preschool children who are both privately and through contracts with local public school systems. Services for this age group include:


VIPS Teachers of the Visually Impaired and Orientation and Mobility Specialists conduct learning media assessments, functional vision assessments, and Orientation & Mobility (O&M) assessments.
Direct Intervention & Preschool Consultation

VIPS provides direct intervention in public and private preschool programs where VIPS children are enrolled. Consultation with preschool and childcare staff members is also provided.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers

A program specifically designed for 2-year olds, your child will work on preschool readiness to help ease the transition to a daily school routine. Each day consists of some or all of the following:

Social skills
Classroom routines
Circle time
Story time
Center time
Music Therapy
Outdoor play
Turn taking

Two-Day 2’s does allow for a limited number of Community Peers. No VIPS child or family will be denied services based on income.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Percentage of children with vision loss who attain developmental and/or educational goals.

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

Children, Infants and toddlers, Ethnic and racial groups, Social and economic status, Health

Related Program

Home Visits - All Locations

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback


Visually Impaired Preschool Services, Inc.

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Visually Impaired Preschool Services, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 02/15/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Nathan Holladay

Old National Investments

Term: 2022 - 2024

Board co-chair

Mike Johnson

Data Management Solutions

Term: 2022 - 2024

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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? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • 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? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/14/2024

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:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data