Visually Impaired Persons Of Charlotte County Florida Inc
4055 Tamiami Trail Suite 24
PT CHARLOTTE FL 33952-7016
Visually Impaired Persons of Charlotte County Florida exists to help people cope with impaired vision by providing free education, training and assistance according to nationally recognized standards which allows clients to lead a more independent lifestyle. 
Our mission is to educate and support the Visually Impaired to help regain the control of their life that severe vision loss seems to take away.  We strive to keep our visually impaired clients in their homes as independent and safe for as long as possible.
CEO/Executive Director Mr. David Wilson
Board Chair Mr. Brad Marquardt
Board Chair Affiliation Magnifying Selections
General Info
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1988
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Apr 2015
State Registration 0
Financial Summary
Note: Revenue includes the value of in-kind contributions/donations
IRS Letter of Determination
irs determenationView
Impact Statement
Visually Impaired Persons of Charlotte County
  1. We have augmented and strengthened our board of directors.
  2. We have updated our entire policy and procedures to be specific for our five year strategic plan road map. 
  3. We have hired certified instructors required by nationally recognized accreditation agencies.
  4. We have applied for and undergone our on-site review by NAC (National Accreditation Council for Blind and Low Vision Services).  
  1. To achieve accreditation from NAC. (scheduled results by June 30th) 
  2. We have just recently begun programs for children and young adults, and our goal is to grow those programs to provide more services in this age group.
  3. To build community awareness to the Visually Impaired Persons Center's value to those with limited or no vision.  Increase local eye care professionals interaction with the center.
  4. Obtain funding for services from the Division of Blind Services/ Florida Department of Education. 
Needs Statement
We are the ONLY center of its kind here in Charlotte County FL. We are the ONLY organization here to provide services in this capacity.  We are "the-go-to" source for help, referral and direction. Our top need here at the Visually Impaired Persons of Charlotte County is to stay open for business to continue serving our clients.  There are people in this community that do not even know they need us...YET. Being a non-profit organization that provides a needed service is daunting.  If money is not donated or granted, this center could go away.  Our job of getting funding is a never ending job.  If we are not successful than services for visually impaired people in Charlotte County and surrounding area may cease to exist.  It is hard to prioritize the "top 5."  We just need to remain OPEN.
Background Statement
Visually Impaired Persons of Charlotte County was incorporated in 1987.  It was developed when some in the community felt there was a need to help those people who had or who were losing their sight.  The center itself has moved around Port Charlotte over that time, and has settled into its permanent home also in Port Charlotte. 
Visually Impaired Persons or VIP as most of us call ourselves, continues to serve those impaired individuals.  We have a caring staff that have been involved with the visually impaired for years.  We a have a diversified board of directors who are dedicated to running our non-profit as efficiently and effectively as possible.  VIP has never been in this good of shape.  We have all the tools we need to move forward.  There are people in the community that do not even know that they need us....yet.  They have not been diagnosed with a sight robbing illness....yet.  VIP plays a very specialized role  in educating our clients.  It is education that no one else in Charlotte County can provide.  We are the only center of its kind in this area.
Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Charlotte
Areas Served Comments
We will see anyone with visual impairments that comes into our office.  We will be a resource for anyone and attempt to answer questions sight related or not.
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Human Services
Secondary Org Type Education
Tertiary Org Type
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
As a Christian and compassionate human being, I find great pleasure in helping people.  Often in life,we find that our greatest joy in helping others, comes from serving those in need the most.  As a financial advisor, I experience great satisfaction every day, by helping clients achieve their lifetime financial goals.  I am delighted to feel the same sense of accomplishment as a board member for the Visually Impaired Persons of Charlotte County.  I highly commend the Organization for the great work that they do, and am proud to support them with guidance and leadership.
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director
Hi,  My name is Susan Bledsoe and I am the Executive Director for VIP.  I am so excited to be a part of an organization that provides a specialized service at no charge to individuals who truly need us.  Things sighted people sometimes take for granted.  Safe kitchen practices, closet organization and personal management are some topics that we cover in our class.  Our goal is to keep our visually impaired clients in their own homes as independent and safe for as long as possible.  We are the ONLY center of its kind in Charlotte County.  Our services are unique.  How lucky am I to be part of such a wonderful organization?  I feel blessed to be in a position to help those in need.  It has been said many times, when questioned about their imminent future, that seniors do not fear death, but rather going blind.  We can walk down that path  with our clients so they are not alone.  With the knowledge we can instill and the support we can provide, the journey may not be as dark.
This program is aimed to teach the client all aspects of safety, independence and dignity along with various mobility aids that are appropriate for the individual.  Helps blind and severely impaired individuals learn to use the white cane appropriately in order to navigate their environment.  It begins with teaching the individual how to get around (most often) in their own home.  If desired, then training may also include navigating streets and or shopping.
Budget $18,000
Category Education, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults People/Families with of People with Disabilities Other Health/Disability
Short Term Success
Shor-term success would be the individual that is able to get from the bedroom into the bathroom without relying on another person.  Another example would be the individual who can find their way around their home without having  to feel the walls to know where they are.
Long Term Success
Lon-term success for Orientation and Mobility would be an individual that is able to navigate their community and are able to live and travel about independently.  This would be a long term success because it will take an individual quite sometime to learn the lay of the land and aquire the confidence needed to navigate it.  Tracking would include verbalization of said abilities and return demonstraation of abilities.
Program Success Monitoring
Therapist notes and interviews with clients are our tracking tools.
Program Success Examples
We have clients who are able to travel to the store on their own.  They are able to cross a streen and walk a few blocks to the store.  We have a young lady who does not need her mother any longer to help her find the bathroom.
This is a class in independent living skills.  Using a proven curriculum, a Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist (CVRT) oversees an experienced trainer as she directs students in daily living adjustments needed for maintaining independence and safety in one's home.  Just imagine all the things we do in our homes, imagine doing them if you could not see.  We provide tips and tricks to help our clients live in their homes as independently and safely as possible for as long as possible.
Budget $41,000
Category Health Care, General/Other Independent Living Skills Instruction
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults
Short Term Success
Short-term success would be measured by the clients who were able to  tell the difference between a $5 dollor bill and a $20 dollar bill.  Clients who were able to make a cup of tea without making a mess or burning themselves.  Clients who were able to sign their checks in the appropriate place. 
Long Term Success
Long term success would be measured in the number of clients that were able to remain in their homes versus entering an assisted living facility.  Clients who were still in their homes living independenty and safely.
Program Success Monitoring
Independent instructor documentation, client interviews and return demonstration are methods for determining success.
Program Success Examples
We have clients who are able to do light cooking.  They are grateful they do not have to eat frozen dinners all the time.  Along with magnification equipment, the independence of balancing one's own checkbook is obtained by our clients. 
Description VIP shall provide a wide range of Technology Instruction to all consumers (including our increasingly tech savvy seniors) who can benefit from this training.  Our Vision Lab is well supplied with modern technology equipment.  After an initial comprehensive evaluation, it is determined the needs and the ability of the client.  At that time the Certified Assistive Technologist will proceed to instruct and educate to the desires and needs of the client.  VIP has a clear policy of delivering integrated services.  Consultation with other staff/instructors is scheduled when necessary. 
Budget $15,000
Category Education, General/Other Education & Technology
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens Elderly and/or Disabled Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Short Term Success The success of this program will be measured by verbalization and return demonstration from clients as to their ability to master the skills they themselves requested taught.  Examples may be learning to skype with out of  state family, learning to navigate the internet or posting their status on facebook.
Long Term Success
The long term changes from this program will be measured by client satisfaction surveys.  Our consumers are continuously  monitored for progress and at the conclusion of training or assistance, they are given a post-training evaluation.  
VIP is the ONLY center able to provide this service for the vision impaired in this area.  Clients/families/caregivers are encouraged to contact the center from time to time to schedule further training as new needs will most definitely arise. 
Program Success Monitoring Clients are monitored during and after the instruction.  6 and 9 month follow up calls are policy.  These evaluations are monitored and scored and reported monthly during our strategic plan deployment tracking review.  This metric is used to monitor the program to assure continuous improvement in all aspects of the training, including the trainers and the methods used.  This evaluation is part of the same process carried out for all services and training programs.
Program Success Examples Clients who report back to us that they are able to communicate in the new way using social media.  No hard data is available to us at this time as this is a new program.  It is also an objective opinion as to satisfaction.
The Peer Support Group exists to help a loosely connected group of consumers who are coping with visual impairment.  Many have been through training at 
VIP, but others may join without prior association.  VIP provides the facility on a weekly basis to approximately 20 people who are lead by a volunteer Board Member, also visually impaired.
It is the intent for this group to provide a largely social atmosphere to share experiences about visual impairment.  This group frequently receives updates about current topics relating to low vision in general. Guest speakers are scheduled throughout the year to speak on related subject matter as well.  Once a month the group attends a luncheon outside the center.
Budget $300
Category Education, General/Other Guidance & Counseling
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Elderly and/or Disabled Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens People/Families with of People with Disabilities
Short Term Success Consumer follow up is not policy in this particular area.  If intervention is needed, it is initiated by a fellow member to the Executive Director.
Long Term Success Hard data is difficult to obtain in this particular program.  The one statistic has surfaced over the recent past and that is no suicides and decreased discussion of such.  Several members of this group shared that when they were first diagnosed with a sight robbing disease, they had actually made plans to take their own lives.  They somehow made it to the Peer Group and that changed their minds.  We have head many times from many of our clients, that they are "not afraid of dying, they are afraid of going blind!"
Program Success Monitoring Verbal satisfaction by group members.
Program Success Examples Verbalized reports of increased happiness and general life satisfaction are our measures of success.
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Mr. David Wilson
CEO Term Start 0
CEO/Executive Director Email
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 3
Staff Retention Rate % N/A
Professional Development No
Contractors 2
Volunteers 0
Management Reports to Board No
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation No
Senior Management Formal Evaluation No
Non-Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Under development
External Assessments and Accreditations
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan Yes
Strategic Plan Years 3
Strategic Plan Adopted Mar 2014
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures No
Management Comments by Organization
The challenge for VIP is to secure funding so we can keep our doors open to continue serving our clients.  There are over 4000 people in Charlotte County alone that have some level of visual impairment.  I have heard from so many people that they were unaware of our existence.  My personal  goal is to educate our eye health physicians.  Along with a diagnosis of a sight robbing illness, should come the recommendation to start services at VIP.  The sooner we can start to instruct our clients (while they still have as much vision as they do) the more they will remember when the time comes when their vision diminishes.  I am embracing this education opportunity.  I would like to work in tandem with our physicians.  We are in the business of helping our clients (their patients) to remain in their own homes as independently and safely for as long as possible.  We are also a resource for our community.  We can suggest and encourage.  Answer questions, give guidance.  Sight related or not!
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Brad Marquardt
Company Affiliation Magnifying Selections
Board Term July 2013 to Nov 2015
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Gwen Aubrey Retired
DR. Denise Billings Vision Designs Low Vision Specialist
Cindy Cooley Port Charlotte Rehab
Dr. Kaitlyn Cremer-Smith Low Vision Works
Mr. Scott Evans Florida Community Bank
Nick Kulka Allison James Estates and Homes
Mr. Brad Marquardt Magnifying Selections
Ms. Sherry Mearns All Pro HomeHealth
Mr. Adam Pacyga All Pro HomeHealth
Mr. Jim Sproul Edward Jones
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 10
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Gender
Male 5
Female 5
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 2
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 11
Board Meeting Attendance % 78
Board Self-Evaluation No
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 16
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 0
Standing Committees
Community Outreach / Community Relations
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Current Year Projections
Tax Year Start Month Oct
Tax Year Start Day 01
Tax Year Begins 2013
Tax Year End Month Sept
Tax Year End Day 30
Tax Year Ends 2014
Projected Revenue $96,200.00
Projected Expenses $96,200.00
Organization has Endowment No
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
IRS Form 990s
Form 9902008
Audit/Financial Documents
Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201220112010
Program Expense$63,930$65,445$106,401
Administration Expense$14,967$14,648$27,889
Fundraising Expense$726$2,471$1,890
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.060.920.19
Program Expense/Total Expenses81%79%78%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue15%3%9%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201220112010
Total Assets$494,129$573,179$590,287
Current Assets$42,745$112,165$120,585
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$4,324$253$1,717
Total Net Assets$489,805$572,926$588,570
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201220112010
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising $2,451Contributions, gifts, grants $58,269Government Grants - Local $10,000
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $2,153Government Grants - Local $10,000Fundraising $7,232
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFederated campaigns $400Fundraising $5,398Miscellaneous income $4,736
CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201220112010
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities9.89443.3470.23
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201220112010
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Foundation Financial information taken from  IRS Form 990s and audit documents.  Individual contributions include foundation and corporation support. Federal tax returns and audited financial statements reconcile.
Nonprofit Visually Impaired Persons Of Charlotte County Florida Inc
Address 4055 Tamiami Trail Suite 24
Phone 941 625-8501