Get HAPI in Vermont

vabviThe Vermont Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (VABVI) was recently granted a $75,000 3-year matching grant from The Gibney Family Foundation to help establish its Helping Adolescents Prepare for Independence (HAPI) teen program. The HAPI program was specifically created to address the daily living skills students need to possess in order to live on their own, establish careers, attend college, and/or become involved in their community. According to the American Foundation of the Blind, an alarming 64% of blind and visually impaired individuals aged 16-64 are not employed (more than double the percentage of the general population not employed). VABVI is working to change this disheartening statistic.

The HAPI program enables VABVI’s licensed Teachers of the Visually Impaired andCertified Vision Rehabilitation Therapists to work one-on-one with students to learn the skills necessary to thrive independently. Skills include utilizing an ATM, navigating public transportation, basic first aid, exploring career options, college preparation, self-advocacy, recognizing social cues, proper dress for various occasions, and fiscal responsibility.

A generous $5,000 grant has already been made by the Richard E. and Deborah L. Tarrant Foundation for this program, matched in full by The Gibney Family Foundation. If you are interested in supporting the HAPI teen program, please contact Ayeshah Raftery, Director of Development and Public Education, at (800) 639-5861 ext. 224 or You can also make a direct donation online at or via mail or in person at 60 Kimball Avenue, South Burlington, VT 05403.

VABVI was founded in 1926 with the assistance of Helen Keller and the American Foundation for the Blind. We are the only private, non‑profit organization in the state providing comprehensive support services for visually impaired Vermonters of all ages. VABVI offices are located in Brattleboro, Montpelier, Rutland and South Burlington.

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