Association for the Blind Gets New Leader

Association for the Blind Gets New Leader

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After two months on the job, Olivia Kassoum-Amadou's calendar is filling up with meetings and other events.

As the new executive director at the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired of Northern New York, she's taking a proactive approach to growing the organization.

"Traditionally, our organization did not provide rehabilitation services. But we are fortunate enough that we are going to be working with the New York State Commission for the Blind, which will provide us funding to offer those services," she said.

Kassoum-Amadou moved here from North Carolina where she worked for the state Division of Services for the Blind.

Among her goals here is working with children with vision problems and their parents.

"How they can work with their child at home. Some of the skills that they can use for them and also socialization and recreation," she said.

And for people of all ages, she wants the organization to help educate its consumers on the technology that is available to them.

"This switches the color, because different eye conditions pick up different things," said Tim Monaghan, who is legally blind. 

Different programs can help people with visual impairments read things for themselves by magnifying and adjusting what's on a computer screen or even read things to them.

Eventually Kassoum-Amadou would like to open a computer lab where the association can train people on this kind of technology.

But it is still looking for a space to do that.

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