Human Services

San Diego Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired

San Diego, CA


The mission of the San Diego Center for the Blind is to increase the abilities of any adult with blindness or vision impairment to reach their own highest level of independence.

Ruling Year



Kim Z. Gibbens

Co Principal Officer


Main Address

5922 El Cajon Blvd

San Diego, CA 92115 USA


San Diego Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired. Low Vision, Aids and Appliances for the blind and vision impaired





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Blind/Visually Impaired Centers, Services (P86)

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Programs + Results

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Our programs

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Vision Rehabilitation

Low Vision Clinic

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What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

To provide the necessary services, including independent living skills, adjustment to vision loss counseling, assessment and training with the appropriate assistive technology (including accessible computer software, and low vision magnification systems), so that the individual with no vision to those with changing vision are able to live an independent lifestyle. This would include but no be limited to returning to work, school or being able to continue living at home. Build the capacity to serve more patients in the Low Vision Clinic.

The San Diego Center for the Blind has been providing vision rehabilitation services in San Diego County for over 40 years and has developed a comprehensive program and service delivery that safely and efficiently returns the individual with no vision to those with changing vision to an independent lifestyle. The following strategies have been developed to achieve our mission:

Low Vision Clinic and Assistive Technology Center & Store: Low vision screening and assessment is provided by a Low Vision Optometrist and a Low Vision Occupational Therapist. Patients are assessed and prescribed low vision aids are trained on the use of low vision equipment such as handheld, portable and desktop magnifiers. In addition, clients are assessed and evaluated for lighting, sunshades and more. This is the only facility of its kind in San Diego County. We provide a wide range of products for individuals with no vision to those with changing vision. Products include: Magnifiers, lighting, kitchen aids, accessible computer hardware and software, time pieces and more. Individuals are able to be assessed for their needs and requirements and try out various types of equipment that will best help them to achieve their goals.
Counseling: Making the transition from being a fully sighted member of the community to one of being non- or partially sighted can be an overwhelming, if not a traumatic, event. Our instruction and counseling focuses on making this transition as smooth and successful as possible, particularly for individuals who are in an emotionally fragile state following sight loss. Once the goals of the individual have been reached, the blind or vision impaired adult is better able to return to an independent lifestyle. Professional staff include Clinical Psychologists, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Rehabilitation Counselors.
Independent Living Skills: We offer an extensive schedule of all the courses necessary to train individuals in essential life skills including safety skills, daily living skills, sensory awareness, kitchen skills and more -- all designed to ensure successful independence.
Orientation and Mobility: Training on how to travel safely and efficiently is critical for the individual with vision loss to continue living as independently as possible. This includes the proper use of white canes, utilizing public transportation and traveling safely at home, in the neighborhood, city, state and abroad. This is a highly specialized course taught by master degreed certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists.
Communication Skills: Training is provided to those with vision on how to navigate a keyboard which is necessary in order to access computers using various hardware and software specifically designed for someone with no vision to those with changing vision. In addition, instruction on reading and writing Braille are provided as well.

The San Diego Center for the Blind (SDCB) is the only private, non-profit community based organization
of its kind in all of San Diego County. SDCB provides a wide range of vision rehabilitation services and operates a comprehensive assistive technology center and store.

SDCB provides the highest quality of professional services striving to continue to meet the expectations of the clients we serve and their family. In addition SDCB adheres to the ethical and professional standards from a number of organizations that are represented by our staff. SDCB is a model vision rehabilitation agency that provides an accessible facility by utilizing specific way-finding design techniques. SDCB is currently approved by the State and Federal governments as a private not for profit 501 (c) 3 organization.

SDCB management has over 70 years of combined experience in non-profit management and specifically managing independent livings skills vision rehabilitation program for OIB. This includes client financial and facility management. SDCB utilizes a HIPPA compliant database system to track client progress which includes both process and outcome. An onsite controller utilizes currently accepted bookkeeping procedures and utilizes an outside CPA to conduct annual audits and prepare necessary IRS required documents. A fleet manager oversees the drivers and maintenance and record keeping of the Centers eight wheelchair accessible buses.

SDCB provides the following services: Low vision assessment and training, Adaptive Equipment/Assistive Technology training, Orientation and Mobility, Communication skills (Braille, keyboard skills, recording devices and writing skills), Independent Living Skills, Adjustment to Vision Loss Counseling,

Our staff of professional for the the rehabilitation program are trained in this very specialized field and half of the staff are blind and vision impaired. Specifically, vision rehabilitation staff include both Certified Low Vision Specialists and Orientation and Mobility Specialists from the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP), and Licensed Clinical Psychologists. SDCB is also an approved training site for graduate students in clinical psychology, social work and rehabilitation counseling.

Progress indicators have been developed for both client and program.

Client based indicators are quantitative and qualitative in nature.
Quantitatively, our goal is to build our capacity to serve as many vision impaired adults as is possible in San Diego. This will be measured by steadily increasing the number of vision impaired adults that receive vision rehabilitation, counseling and low vision services. This will be done an an annual basis.

Qualitatively, our goal is to provide the most professional, efficient services as is possible. SDCB utilizes a HIPPA compliant client database system. This is system monitors client progress on identified individual goals and objectives and provides the basis for outcome evaluation for client short and long-term success. In addition, SDCB is developing outcome measures to monitor the impact of services on an individual goals established by our clients.

SDCB's program service delivery system has become a recognized model for providing timely and efficient vision rehabilitation services to adults with no vision to those with changing vision.

The Low Vision Clinic that would provide low vision screening by a low vision optometrist and then provide the necessary technology and training by a low vision occupational therapists. Has been developed and will start providing services in the summer of 2017.

Increase the numbers of individuals who receive either vision rehabilitation services, Low Vision Clinic Services or both.

External Reviews


San Diego Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired

Fiscal year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

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Board Leadership Practices

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


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?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?