Re: #COVID-19Response #COVID-19Response

Elly du Pre

Thank you!


Elly du Pré, DPA

Executive Director

Florida Agencies Serving the Blind

Moving Beyond Vision Loss

1641 NW 2nd Avenue

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311

Direct Line:  305-898-2636 (cell)


Check out our blog!



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From: [] On Behalf Of Wendy Hymes via
Sent: Friday, April 3, 2020 12:34 PM
Subject: [visionservealliance] #COVID-19Response


Hi Everyone,
Greetings while working from home! I wanted to share here that VisionServe Alliance has a new COVID-19 Resource page on our website where we are gathering all information we've shared so far along with new postings marked *New* 

Visit this page often:

Be safe everyone!

#COVID-19Response #COVID-19Response

Wendy Hymes

Hi Everyone,
Greetings while working from home! I wanted to share here that VisionServe Alliance has a new COVID-19 Resource page on our website where we are gathering all information we've shared so far along with new postings marked *New* 

Visit this page often:

Be safe everyone!

#COVID-19Response #WorkFromHomeProgams #COVID-19Response #WorkFromHomeProgams


TechSoup Resources for Nonprofits Impacted by COVID-19

"In difficult times, the world turns to civil society for support. At TechSoup, we're committed to equipping your nonprofit with the technology resources you need to meet your mission, serve your community, and support your staff."


#COVID-19Response #COVID-19Response

Wendy Hymes

Beautiful letter to the editor from Elly du Pre that appeared in the Orlando Sentinel dated March 23rd



Nonprofits can help recovery. They need our help first. | Commentary



Elly du Pré, DPA

Executive Director

Florida Agencies Serving the Blind

Moving Beyond Vision Loss

1641 NW 2nd Avenue

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311

Direct Line:  305-898-2636 (cell)


#COVID-19Response #COVID-19Response

Wendy Hymes

Sharing some great resources on financial management during a crisis from Blackbaud: 


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Cloud Preparedness, Revenue Diversification, and Radical Collaboration

What the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Means for Nonprofit CFOs

COVID-19 is unprecedented and tax-exempt organizations are facing never-before-seen challenges. How can nonprofit CFOs lead their organizations through these challenges, ensuring continuity, a stronger organization, and continued stewardship of entrusted resources? Here are a few resources to get you started.

Cloud Considerations for the Nonprofit CFO
With many offices moving remote to help flatten the curve, anytime/anywhere access to mission-critical financial management systems can ensure business continuity, while improving overall stewardship and security.

Read the whitepaper

Financial Management Toolkit: Your Expert Guide to Connecting Finance and Development for Strategic Partnership
Disruptions in expected revenue patterns require radical collaboration between the finance and development offices. With economic realities prompting major changes to critical nonprofit revenue channels including event fundraising, grant funding, and ticketing, get actionable ideas on collaborating for positive change.

Get the toolkit

Best Practices for Grant Management: Mapping Success at Five Leading Organizations
In response to economic turmoil caused by COVID-19, a coalition of nonprofit organizations is seeking $60 billion in grant funding for 501c3s. Discover how five organizations have optimized their grant management processes and technology to ensure grant success in a study from Lucy Morgan.

Read the study

Guidebook to Becoming a Lean Organization
Operating on a tight budget isn’t new to nonprofit organizations. But lean management philosophies pioneered in the private sector offer benefits for nonprofit organizations looking for innovative approaches to reduce overhead and increase impact.

Download the guidebook


Purpose-Built. Mission Ready. Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT product tour



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#COVID-19Response #ClosedOrLimitedServices #COVID-19Response #ClosedOrLimitedServices

Wendy Hymes

News from Diane Nelson at Visually Impaired PreSchool Support:

VIPS. We are having to watch every penny for a bit as you completely understand.  Our teachers are seeing children virtually for the first time (we have had limited test clients) and we just receiving notice Friday that First Steps in Kentucky and Indiana will be paying us for those visits.  We have been trying to make this possible for a very long time so lets hope the data after this all is over with will prove our case.  They are only reimbursing at a 75% our current rate but we don’ t have to travel or spend time in the car.  We think this is a way forward to grow capacity without growing budget.  Our center based programs are using Zoom to meet as a class and even though attendance is down, it is so exciting to watch education continue.  Teachers are also jointly presenting schedules across all classes using DoJo so they don’t get bored just with their teacher. Lets just hope satellites hang in to support all this great technology.  At this time, we have not let anyone go and hope we find funding or support to continue until things return to a new normal. 


We are pushing forward.  My best to you guys an hope this bit of great news boosts your day.

#WorkFromHomeProgams #WorkFromHomeProgams


TechSoup's COVID-19 Response Course Track for Nonprofits (Free)

To continue serving your community during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may find the need to quickly transition to remote work. To help you, TechSoup created a free track of courses to provide information and tools you'll need to do so.

This track will help nonprofits lay the groundwork for successful remote office environments. After this course, you'll be able to:

  • Identify necessary technology tools to get your remote office up and running in no time
  • Boost collaboration at your nonprofit
  • Better insure information security

Action Alert! Defend Students' Educational Rights Today! #COVID-19Response


From Mark Reichert, Interim Executive Director, AER:

To all AER members and friends,

See below the excellent alert from COPAA concerning some mischief afoot in the U.S. Congress right now that would put the education rights of students with vision loss and all other disabilities at significant risk. 

Read the alert below, and please do take action as they advise. Links to guide you through sending a simple email or two, as well as, a draft message template are provided:

Protect IDEA and 504: New Bill Asks Secretary DeVos to Recommend Waivers to Civil Rights Laws


Online Version


As the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Inc. (COPAA) reported yesterday, negotiations are underway in Congress to provide an additional stimulus package in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. We are actively working on behalf of children with disabilities with Members of Congress and appreciate those who contacted federal policymakers and asked that they not waive requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) at this time. Your actions worked - there is NOT an absolute waiver authority over IDEA in the bill.  However, we cannot stop now, there is still cause for grave concern. 


Today, we are providing an update and can share the bill introduced last night in the Senate -- the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act which provides an infusion of cash to key industries, support for health care providers/health care systems and more.


Unfortunately, also included in the bill is a provision that directs the Secretary [DeVos] to report back to Congress within 30 days on the waivers needed under the IDEA and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) see pages 220-231.The bill also gives the Secretary broad waiver authority over the Higher Education Act (HEA), the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and Carl D. Perkins education laws.


While the COVID-19 outbreak has placed a tremendous and unprecedented strain on schools and districts, we need to let Congress know that now is the time to embrace the IDEA's required partnership between schools and families to innovate, individualize, and, if needed, advocate for more resources or relaxation in funding rules to allow services to continue and to meet student needs. It is not the time to abandon children through waivers, which allow schools and districts to abdicate their responsibility. We must help schools and families work together to find solutions that allow children to receive equitable access to an education and the services that support them without weakening or undoing all of their civil and educational rights.


Many of our members have reported examples of schools and districts that are embracing their responsibility and meeting the needs of students while physical buildings are closed.


Action: We must not allow Congress to use the national crisis as a reason to justify opening up civil rights laws to harmful amendments in future bills. Therefore, COPAA: 


  • ·opposes the requirement for Secretary DeVos to develop a report of needed waivers under IDEA and Section 504. Such a report would provide the basis for the Secretary to recommend any number of waivers that in future bills could upend key civil rights protections.
  • ·opposes giving Secretary DeVos's broad waiver authority under the ESEA because sufficient flexibility is built into the law to allow for state waivers; and
  • supports providing states with additional funding that can be used under the IDEA to:
    • ensure teachers, school leaders, students and their families have needed tools for teaching and learning online and through other virtual methods
    • provide extended school year to students and other compensatory services.

Finally, COPAA is especially concerned that some Members of Congress may use the national crisis as justification for giving Secretary DeVos unnecessary authority to waive key provisions of IDEA, Section 504 and ESSA -- just when our children and their families need protection and rights the most. 


Take Action NOW!:







Dear Senator/Representative:


I am writing as a concerned (insert your role here) I to urge you to stand up for students with disabilities during this crisis and reject the provision included in theCoronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) that directs Secretary DeVos to provide a report on needed waivers under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Over 7 million children eligible under IDEA and 700,000 eligible under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act rely on these laws to receive special education supports and services.


While the COVID-19 outbreak has placed a tremendous and unprecedented strain on schools and districts, now is the time to embrace the IDEA's required partnership between school and family to innovate, individualize, and if needed advocate for more resources to meet student needs. It is not the time to abandon children through waivers which allow schools and districts to abdicate responsibility. We must help schools and families work together to find solutions that allow children to receive equitable access to an education and the services that support them without undoing all of their civil and educational rights.


Teams need flexibility to innovate, individualize, and if needed advocate for additional resources or relaxation in funding rules to allow services to continue and to meet needs of all learners. It is not the time to abandon our kids or for districts to abdicate responsibility.


I hope you will help schools by providing states with additional funding that can be used under the IDEA and other education laws. Teachers, school leaders, students and their families all need tools for teaching and learning online and through other virtual methods. Schools can also be supported with funding to provide extended school year to students and other compensatory services.


(insert how this closure is affecting your family/families you represent and/or examples of ways schools are already working in partnership to provide services)


Please support students with disabilities and their families, who rely upon IDEA and Section 504 to have equitable access to an education.



Action Alert--Contact your Legislators TODAY! #COVID-19Response


From Independent Sector: 

Emergency Aid for Nonprofit Organizations

How to contact your member of Congress today


Tell your member of Congress to provide emergency aid to nonprofit organizations in any COVID-19 legislation.

The charitable sector is on the front lines of addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, but risks catastrophic damage from evaporating revenue, new demands, and major disruptions in charitable giving.

We urge you to quickly visit the Independent Sector Policy Action Center to tell your legislators that Congress must provide emergency aid to nonprofit organizations by expanding charitable giving and providing organizations with grants, loans, and tax credits.

It only takes 30 seconds -- and your time and voice could help secure billions of dollars in critical funding for our communities.

Take Action by clicking Here:

#COVID-19Response #COVID-19Response


From Miki Jordan, CEO of Wayfinder Family Services: 

In case this can be helpful, here is our COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan. It will continue to be updated on a daily basis. It has not be changed since the CA Stay at Home order for all of CA.

Clean hands and Open hands,


Miki Jordan  |  President/CEO


#COVID-19Response #COVID-19Response


Good Afternoon VisionServe Alliance Leadership – I wanted to offer you a few thoughts for leadership that I gathered through two online town halls I attended in the last 24 hours.


Dan Cardinali and Independent Sector teamed up with Bridgespan and offered some great advice. They suggested compartmentalizing your planning in the four areas:

  • Strategy/program - How do we deliver on our mission under current constraints?
  • Organization - How do we support our staff? How do we adapt or create new systems for working?
  • Leadership - how does our leadership approach need to respond/evolve?
  • Financials - how do we retain our teams & sustain ourselves financially?

Then they focused on the first three steps of “Eight Steps for Managing Through Tough Times” (link to the full article below):

  1. Act quickly but not reflexively and plan contingencies: understand the critical aspects of the challenge as quickly as possible; do away with “nice to haves” that are not critical to mission; delay new initiatives; manage costs aggressively; scenario planning for best & worse case (not just for funding but also staffing shortages, etc); identifying “trigger points” for action; develop contingencies
  2. Identify the ppl who matter most & keep that group strong; invest in them - time, care, focus & support; engage them in problem solving etc; heighten your focus on equity, diversity and inclusion
  3. Stay very close to key funders; transparency is key in both directions; explore/negotiate grant funding restrictions

By now you have probably realized this is a marathon, not a sprint. Take care of yourselves and your family. Give yourself a break. If you are taking care of children or others at home in addition to running your organization, it’s ok to acknowledge that you need help or that some things will take longer than usual. We are all human beings first.


Take more walks. Someone likened this situation to whitewater rafting in the fog. It will require lots of pivoting and rapid response numerous times over the next few months. As much as possible, pace yourselves – and do the same for your staff team.


Remain “other-focused”, acknowledging that people process things differently and we may need to provide more reality checks as we work remotely and move quickly through a dramatically changing landscape.


Inspire & build trust in all we do: that is our currency – utilize it.


The good news is that the Independent Sector (that’s us!) was designed to create and rebuild community. There are so many things we have all wanted to change within our field and beyond it. Let’s embrace the opportunity to fully innovate.


Lastly, be creative, inspirational and occasionally spontaneous. One suggestions was to ask everyone to find a costume or crazy hat to wear to the next staff Zoom huddle!


That’s it for now. I have tremendous respect for you all – thank-you so very much for leading your organization and this network through this pandemic. And do something fun this weekend! (Let’s organize a virtual happy hour via Zoom or other platform soon! BYOB!)


Lee Nasehi

President & CEO| VisionServe Alliance

#COVID-19Response #COVID-19Response


Check out the initiatives NOAH is taking to stay connected with their members!

Surviving Social Distancing with Kids


Monday, March 23rd

11:00 AM ET / 10:00 AM CT / 9:00 AM MT / 8:00 AM PT


Calling all parents! Join us to discuss your survival tips and different resources that you have found to be the most helpful while having your kids at home. We can all benefit from each others’ knowledge, experience, support, and humor within this wonderful NOAH community. Please share your screens whenever possible to increase our connectivity and to let others into your home in this time of social distancing. Please send any valuable resources you may have to sadamo@... so we can compile a list for all to share.


Join Hangouts Meet:

Join by phone

+1 4703260181 (PIN: 409698076)

Family Social Hour


Tuesday, March 24th

3:00 PM ET / 2:00 PM CT / 1:00 PM MT / 12:00 PM PT


Parent and Children: It's NOAH time in your house, and we are going to be connecting NOAH members from all over the country. NOAH will provide the platform, you provide the entertainment and community. So gather up the whole clan and pull out your computer; we can't wait to see your smiling faces!


Join Hangouts Meet

Join by phone

+1 7205802570 (PIN: 140152504)

PWA Happy Hour


Thursday, March 26th 8:00 PM ET / 7:00 PM CT / 6:00 PM MT / 5:00 PM PT


Adults: want to connect with your NOAH friends while practicing social distancing? Join us for a call to catch up and shoot the breeze during our Virtual Happy Hour (beverages optional).


Join Hangouts Meet

Join by phone

+1 2086964321 (PIN: 410746768)

First Timers' Chat


Wednesday, March 25th

8:00 PM ET / 7:00 PM CT / 6:00 PM MT / 5:00 PM PT


One suggestion for dealing with social distancing is to do something you haven't had time for in the past. If you haven't connected with others with albinism before, but would like to, here's your chance! Join a few NOAH veterans along with other first timers for a chance to talk with others who "just get it." This chat is a perfect way to get acquainted with our NOAH family from the comfort of your own home!


Join Hangouts Meet

Join by phone

+1 6319109084 (PIN: 478085204)

Young Adults' Night In!


Thursday, March 26th 10:00 PM ET / 9:00 PM CT / 8:00 PM MT / 7:00 PM PT


Young Adults: How is social distancing affecting your social life as a person with albinism? Join NOAH’s young adult roundtable to share experiences and connect with each other. This event is designed for PWAs ages 18 thru 30.


Join Hangouts Meet

Join by phone

+1 5057382772 (PIN: 994854962)


Re: #COVID-19Response #COVID-19Response

Wendy Hymes

Here's another great article from Independent Sector to share with your Fundraising and Development staff: 

Coronavirus and Your 2020 Fundraising Goals: What Nonprofits Need to Know

Forbes | March 11, 2020

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is being felt everywhere, at the grocery store, on the roadways, and in nonprofit fundraising goals. The pandemic will affect how nonprofits are able to raise money for the foreseeable future. The best path forward is to prepare, and Forbes contributor Alyssa Wright offers four steps your organization can take to help meet your fundraising goals this year, and well into 2021 and beyond.

#ClosedOrLimitedServices #ClosedOrLimitedServices


"The American Council of the Blind is closely monitoring information about the COVID-19 virus and its impact. After much thoughtful consideration, ACB has decided to close both offices and move our work to a virtual environment until further notice."

"The health and welfare of our members is of the upmost importance and we are actively working to confirm details and explore alternative options regarding our 2020 convention as the COVID-19 situation evolves. ACB will update our membership as soon as any developments are made. The ACB Board of Directors has scheduled a special meeting for March 30 to discuss the impacts of the COVID-19 virus on ACB. A recording of the meeting will be available on ACB Radio and will also be listed under ACB COVID-19 resources page "

#ClosedOrLimitedServices #ClosedOrLimitedServices


The Carroll Center for the Blind has made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend face-to-face rehabilitation services and meetings at all locations through April 5th, 2020. Our dedicated team will continue to provide services using modified work plans that ensure the safety of our consumers and staff. We have implemented many steps, including rotational office coverage, remote work, cleaning and disinfecting, and rigorous social distancing.

Additionally, the 8th Annual Walk for INDEPENDENCE scheduled for April 26th will be postponed. See the full update from the Carroll Center

#ClosedOrLimitedServices #ClosedOrLimitedServices


National Industries for the Blind (NIB) and the New York State Preferred Source Program for New Yorkers Who Are Blind (NYSPSP) are closely monitoring and assessing the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation. We are committed to maintaining safe work environments and have put into place continuity of operations plans to help us maintain business functions as normally as possible with our associated agencies, customers, and other stakeholders.

Please see below for the latest updates, resources and announcements from NIB regarding the coronavirus. We will continue to update this page as we receive additional information.

NIB Updates:COVID-19

NIB’s emergency telework plans are in effect. NIB and NYSPSP offices are open with restricted access to staff and outside visitors.

NIB has postponed the following events:

  • Continuous Process Improvement Forum – previously scheduled for April 20-22 – RESCHEDULE DATE TBD
  • Technology Forum – previously scheduled for April 27-29 – RESCHEDULE DATE TBD
  • HR and Compliance Forum – previously scheduled for April 27-May 1 –  tentatively rescheduled for July 20-24, 2020

#COVID-19Response #COVID-19Response


See what BALANCE for Blind Adults is doing to provide digital services during the self quarantine:

  • Using teleconference to provide Sharing Space Support Group and Anxiety and Stress Management programs
  • Adding a virtual “Coffee Connection” opportunity for clients, by zoom or telephone, with Elizabeth Mohler, 2x weekly (information in this newsletter)
  • Providing, as much as possible, remote assistive technology lessons.
  • Providing a new “virtual support service” which will involve telephone outreach to our clients by Cristina Lopes, Community Outreach Specialist, and two O/M instructors, who are redeployed to this service

Planning for CoViD-19 Contingencies


Hello Friends - hope you will all start using this forum to share what plans you have put into place, as well as to ask questions you have.

We realize this is an unprecedented period in our history - and we are here to try to help however we can. We will continue to share info as we see it relevant. Please do the same.