• SAAVI Staff and Students Hiking Group

    A large group of SAAVI Students and Staff equipped with their canes and walking sticks, posing for a picture before they undertake a great hike outside.
  • SAAVI Students on the move

    Two photos, one showing a group of students under learning shades walking alongside a river, with a bridge in the background. The other photo shows a student under learning shade getting ready to fly down a zipline.
  • SAAVI Students Doing Great

    Two photos, one showing four students posing in front of the Community Food Bank truck after an event. The other photo shows a group of students under learning shades getting ready to light their grills and cook that nights dinner.

FAQ

Question: What is SAAVI Services for the Blind?

SAAVI Services for the Blind is a community rehabilitation provider for the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). We offer services under the Vocational Rehabilitation and Independent Living program

Questions: How much do services cost?

Answer: Services are free to participants. Most programs require a student to be enrolled in the Department of Economics’ Security Vocation Rehabilitation Program – see below on how to get started

Question: Can I come by for a tour?

Absolutely! Everyone is welcome, please contact us to schedule a time to come by and check us out!

Question: How can I give back?

There are many ways to give back to SAAVI, :

  • We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization – we accept donations cash, check, credit etc. all donations are tax deductible
  • Employment Experience – if you are an employer or an employee at a company in Arizona, we’d love to hear from you. Industry knowledge and experience is essential for our students of all ages. Examples of ways companies and their employees can give back: internships, volunteer opportunities, company tours, mock interviews etc.
  • Volunteers – Volunteers of all skill ranges are welcome, are can be called in for special events at various time throughout the year (depending on our calendar of events). Volunteers must be able to pass a DCS Fingerprint Clearance Card (Level 1) within the state of Arizona to qualify.

Question: How do I get started with one of your programs?

If you are interested in our Children Services, please contact: Alyssa Bracamonte, Abracamonte@saavi.us, 520-795-1331

If you are interested in our adult services:

If you are interested in our senior services:

If you are interested in employment opportunities, or partnering with SAAVI’s employment team, please contact: Reginald Laister, rlaister@saavi.us 602-795-0195

Please note: In order to participate in our Comprehensive Day Program (adult services) and Older Independent Living Blind Program (senior services), you will need to enroll in the Arizona Rehabilitation Services Administration (AZRSA or RSA) with the Department of Economic Security. Often times, this means completing the referral process online or the at your local DES Office.

For more information on the Arizona Rehabilitation Services administration Vocational Rehabilitation department, please visit: https://des.az.gov/services/employment/rehabilitation-services/vocational-rehabilitation-vrFor more information about the Older Individuals who are Blind Program, please visit https://des.az.gov/content/older-individuals-who-are-blind-oib-program

For information by phone: Tucson 520-629-0225  /  Phoenix 602-771-5240

You will need to complete a referral for services and submit it to your local VR office. You will be contacted for an appointment, and from their additional documents (9such as proof of disability) will be required in order for you to enroll in AZRSA.

Question: I am totally blind. How would SAAVI be able to help me?

Whether a student is new to blindness, is completely blind or has low vision, SAAVI can assist the individual in many ways—focusing on overall independence with a variety of areas of skill development as well as confidence building and maintaining a positive philosophy of blindness.

Question: Why should I come to SAAVI for training if my family already drives me everywhere and cook all my meals?

Answer: Our philosophy is one of independence in all facets of life. Learning these new transportation techniques and resources allows you the ability to make your own choices in your day-to-day life. With proper training comes reliable skills, and with skills comes freedom. With that freedom is the ability to control your daily schedule, to make decisions based on what you want not what you cannot do.

As far as cooking is concerned, it is always great when someone cooks for us – but it is even more enjoyable to prepare the foods you like, or even prepare the foods you like for others. Whether it is about travel, kitchen, computers or employment – it is about developing the skills and the confidence in knowing you can do whatever you want to do.

Question: I used to drive my own car before losing my sight. Now I’m stuck at home. What can I do? I have a bus line near my home but can’t see well enough to use it.

Answer: Orientation and Mobility training is what you need to help you with your travel needs. Our instructors are Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists and can teach the nonvisual skills and concepts they need to travel independently and safely at home, in the classroom, in their communities, and wherever they may want to go. We also have transportation services available to assist those in getting to our centers, for those who qualify.

Question: I need some help in advocating for myself, who should I call?

You can always reach out to the National Federation of the Blind of Arizona for assistance; current contact information for the state president can be found here: https://www.nfb.org/about-us/state-affiliates/arizona