Greater Detroit Agency for the Blind and Visually Impaired

16625 Grand River Avenue
Detroit, MI 48227


Dear Victor,

I became blind 2 1/2 years ago very suddenly. I only learned about your organization this Spring through a friend.

Sue Buhr was sent to my home to help me with some basic skills for living more independently. She has given me many very simple yet helpful hints and tricks that have helped me immensely. She has also encouraged me to know that I am far more capable than I believed. Sue has given me the strength and courage to cope with my situation and go on living more fully.

Enclosed please find a check in appreciation for all your help.


Earning a college degree is a significant accomplishment for anyone with the opportunity and wherewithal to study hard. For someone who is blind, getting a college education is filled with many additional challenges. Yet despite the odds, Denise Kennedy – a blind resident of southeast Michigan – successfully earned a college degree and built a career leading educational programs for blind and visually impaired people.

Ms. Kennedy is a client of the Greater Detroit Agency for the Blind and Visually Impaired. We met her when she contacted our agency for assistance with activities of daily living to maintain her independent lifestyle. Vision Rehabilitation Therapist Eric Porter visited Mrs. Kennedy in her home to review her living needs and develop a vision rehab plan that would allow her to safely and securely manage her home and remain active outside her home.

Like many seniors today, Mrs. Kennedy grew up in an era were Braille books and technology were not readily available. She had to have family members read printed books aloud to learn different subjects in school because of inadequate resources. Eventually, she learned Braille and earned admission to the University of Detroit (now named University of Detroit Mercy) where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree. Mrs. Kennedy’s strong communication skills enabled her to maintain steady employment, including teaching GED classes to adults.

With much hardship over the years, some problems still exist in Mrs. Kennedy’s life. For instance, she feels accessible and reliable transportation is an extremely difficult problem for the blind and visually impaired. She feels, nevertheless, that GDABVI vision rehab helped her safely manage her everyday activities as an older adult. Also, having a positive attitude has made her able to get over the difficulty of having no vision; and she believes learning Braille is the key to becoming independent because Braille allows you to continue learning and to develop social skills.

– Interviewed by Eric Porter, GDABVI Vision Rehab Teacher

“I would like to take this time to thank [Susan] for all that [she has] done for me. When I was in need, you were there. Thank you for coming into my home, teaching me to function after a stroke in my right eye left me vision impaired. I was frighten and unsure of myself and my judgment. You assured me and taught me several things that made my life much easier such as recognizing food in my cabinets and refrigerator, giving me a white tip cane (teaching me how to use it), a timer with large print, a magnifying glass, lg. black markers, & a lg. print calender, just to name a few. All of which has made my life a little easier.

What I am thankful for most is that you taught me how to recognized my insulin and other prescription & medicines so that I would not take the wrong amount or wrong one. This skill really did help save my life.

I also appreciated how you assisted me in downloading forms and filling them out to get the medicines that I needed.

Thank you again and to the Greater Detroit Agency for the Blind and Visually Impaired. You are a great and caring Therapist.

Harriett Murff

“Greater Detroit Agency for the Blind & Visually Impaired was there for me at perhaps the most difficult time of my life. When I was 53 years old I suddenly lost most of my vision. It was devastating. I had been working full time in the medical field and living on my own. GDABVI was there from the beginning of my new journey and helped me to get back to the business of life. What I thought I could never do again – including basic daily living skills – I am doing effortlessly. No doubt it has not been easy but with learning new adaptive techniques, how to use a long cane for mobility and blindness adjustment skills, I am getting my independence back! I hope to one day help others who lose their vision – the way I was helped! Thank you,”

Thank you,
Sharon Thomas