About the ABVI of NNY

About the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired of NNY

The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired has been in existence since 1918 and was formed in the Watertown and Jefferson County area. The founders of the organization were James Avery, a local businessman, Frances Lynch and Evelyn Bourcy a nurse for the Watertown Public Schools. The three of them formalized the first volunteer program for the blind. They also formed the first sheltered workshop for the blind upstairs in the old Mohican Building. This would provide the blind community to sustain independence and become a part of the workforce in the Watertown area.

Many changes have taken place within the Association for the blind and Visually Impaired since January 2017. We are moving forward and anticipating many new and exciting ventures. One of the first changes would be our move from the Prospect St. location to 131 Washington Street, the NNY Philanthropy Center (the old Black River Valley Club). We are located on the 3rd floor Suite 300. Come by and visit our new setting and enjoy the warm and caring atmosphere of our staff.

Speaking of our staff, we have a new Executive Director, his name is Larry Storie who is willing to bring many new things to the North Country, such as up-to-date technology, equipment, workshops, educational seminars and self-advocacy programs. We also have on-board with us, Brandy Roark, Consumer Advocate and many volunteers to help us bring new ideas to help those in need of our services.

Lastly, we have changed our name, we are no longer the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired of Jefferson County but the new Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired of Northern New York. This will entitle us to expand our services in affiliation with other organizations covering parts of St. Lawrence and Lewis Counties.

 Board of Directors

  • Dr. Charles Metzler, President
  • Karen Stumpf, Vice-President
  • Gary Mack,Treasurer
  • Heather Bowman, Secretary
  • Karen Strife
  • Robert Ashodian
  • Denise Wetterhahn
  • Dr. Grace Burke
  • Megan Kendall
  • Justin Pecori
  • Linda Beyette
  • Mike Tyo
  • Mike Simmons
  • Deltra Willis

The Association’s office is at 131 Washington Street Watertown, New York.  Mrs. Laura Warner is the Administrative Assistant and willing to answer any questions you may have.


The association receives an annual appropriation from the Jefferson County Board of Supervisors and an annual support contribution from the Jefferson County United Way.

Upcoming Events

  1. New- Downtown Support Group

    April 3 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

    April 6 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
  3. Golden Glasses Award May 19, 2018

    May 19 @ 6:00 pm