The Blind Services Foundation was created by legislation passed (the Florida legislature in 2004. That legislation created what came to be known as “bikers Care” funding. A portion of the money spent on special motor cycle licenses was divided among several non-profit organizations and entities which serve people with disabilities.
Since the passage of that legislation, from fifty to seventy thousand dollars a year has been raised for the Blind Services Foundation. It is required that all of those dollars be spent on projects agreed upon by the Board of the Blind Services Foundation. That Board, half of whose membership consists of people who are blind, meets five to six times a year to oversee the projects funded by the Foundation and to determine an appropriate project for the next years funding. Elsewhere on this web site is a listing of the current members of the Board and copies of our most recent annual reports.
As of 2018, a change in the legislation continued funding for the Blind Services Foundation but changed the way that other organizations initially funded under Bikers Care must operate. As a result, the joint efforts of the Bikers Care group of organizations ended and the Blind Services Foundation began to operate independently. A copy of our brochure can be found on our web site and a poster which is currently under development will be placed there once approved by the Board.
The Blind Services Foundation is proud of the projects it has funded. Over the past three years we have worked to create, test and spread the first vocational evaluation tool developed specifically for people who are blind since 1991. That test is currently being used in Florida with other states interested in adopting it. It is being utilized in Canada and will soon be tested in Denmark. We believe this test will provide an invaluable way of measuring work readiness for people who are blind.
This year the Blind Services Foundation has provided funding for a study that will analyze the cost of delivering services to people who are blind by local community programs in Florida. The objective of the study is to arrive at logical and defensible approaches to assessing what it actually costs to deliver services of various kinds to people who are blind of all ages. The objective is to create a fair and equitable way of developing and implementing contracts that the Division of Blind Service and those programs which accurately measure actual costs.
Our goal as the Blind Services Foundation is to identify and fund projects which are likely to improve the lives of people who are blind in our state. Some of our projects have publicized the work being done by the Division of Blind Services while others have publicized the capabilities of blind people to work and play effectively in a society which can sometimes make that difficult. Contact information available elsewhere on this web site can be used to get more information about what we do. Those of us on the Foundation Board are committed to making life better for the millions of blind people in our state! Help us, won’t you! A donation element can also be found on our site! Our vision is to create a society where people who are blind can thrive! Please help us!