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Our Mission:
“To serve as a resource for families, professionals, schools and organizations in meeting the needs of children who are blind or visually impaired.”

Volunteers / Staff

One of the most important parts of your children’s program is your staff. These individuals will have direct contact with the children at events. The attitudes and behaviors of volunteers can be one of the biggest influences on whether or not the children have a positive experience.

Your staff can be comprised of volunteers, paid staff members, or a combination of both. Following are some suggestions for recruiting volunteers:
  • Put a call for volunteers in your blind association newsletter
  • Contact your local newspaper
  • Send a letter describing your program along with volunteer applications to high school guidance counselors
  • Contact a local agency for the blind—they may have employees who want to help and can also recommend your program to their existing volunteers

You should have a volunteer application for prospective volunteers to fill out. This gives you a chance to collect background information and references for volunteers. A child abuse history and criminal record check should also be conducted for all prospective volunteers. Include a permission to release information form with your application packet for prospective volunteers to sign. Some volunteers may already have clearances. If this is the case, you can simply request copies of these.

Your volunteer staff will likely be made up of a variety of people from high school students to vision professionals. You should ensure that new volunteers are properly prepared to work with the children. This can be done by conducting periodic volunteer training sessions for new volunteers. Another approach is to plan to meet new volunteers before their first event to go over some basic practices (such as human guide technique, the use of descriptive language, etc.). Finally, it is a good idea to work closely with new volunteers during their first event to provide direct support and feedback. You can also pair new volunteers with your more experienced staff members.

Two volunteers and three children sit together on a bench. A volunteer holds a pumpkin while a teenage boy scoops out the pulp. Volunteers stand on either side of a boy as he sits at a table with glue and paper in front of him.