Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired of NNY | (315) 782-2451


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.

As of January 2019, we have opened a Visual Rehabilitation Center located at 146L Arsenal Street, underneath the Concentrix building. The Visual Rehabilitation Center currently contains an Assistive Technology Lab and an Aids and Appliances store. Anyone in the community is welcome within the Center to utilize our technology or receive hands-on demonstrations at no cost.

Lastly, we are expanding our services in affiliation with other organizations covering parts of St. Lawrence and Lewis Counties.

 Board of Directors  

  • Dr. Charles Metzler, President
  • Gary Mack, Vice-President
  • Robert Ashodian,Treasurer
  • Deltra Willis, Secretary
  • Olivia Kassoum-Amadou, Executive Director
  • Dr. Grace Burke
  • Dr. Richard Matarese
  • Karen Stump
  • Mike Tyo
  • Denise Wetterhahn

The Association’s office is at 131 Washington Street Watertown, New York.

The association receives an annual appropriation from the Jefferson County Board of Supervisors and an annual support contribution from the Jefferson County United Way and the Northern New York Community Foundation.