• 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.

About Us

State wide meeting of SAAVI staff, students and state officials in a large room.

Who we are

Legally known as The Southern Arizona Association for the Visually Impaired, dba SAAVI Services for the Blind is a 501c3 IRS approved non-profit agency, with offices in Tucson, Yuma and Phoenix, Arizona. Originally founded by two blind sisters in 1964, SAAVI first began as a social club for visually impaired individuals, and has since grown into a statewide agency serving thousands of blind children, adults and seniors throughout the state of Arizona.

For more information on our staff, check out our SAAVI Staff and Board.


What we do

SAAVI Services for the Blind is a blindness rehabilitation training center; providing skills training in low vision and nonvisual techniques to people of all ages.

Whether a student is new to blindness; has received training in the past and would like to learn new skills; or if an individual is experiencing vision loss for the first time, our goal is to provide skills training so our students may lead productive and independent lives. Our programs serve a variety of individuals of all ages, from children to seniors, all with the goal of providing confidence and skill building opportunities, through training and education.

By participating in any number of our programs, our students can gain confidence and the skills that allow them to return to the work force, pursue secondary education, or begin the path towards a new career.

For more information on our programs, please check out our Programs & Services, to find what works best for you.


SAAVI Students under learning shade boarding the light rail.

How we do it

At SAAVI, it is our motto and belief to expect more of our students. High expectations mean high achievements for program participants. We expect more of our students, and in turn they set high expectations for themselves.  Thus, achieving more and becoming more.

We use nonvisual structured discovery instruction for students participating in our programs. This approach involves creating an authentic approach to blindness skills training; utilizing the learning shade and focus on problem solving for skill development. We believe that it is not about what you can see, it is about what you can do – and all staff are required to be able to utilize their own nonvisual skills as part of their day to day responsibilities as well.

Our quality of services wouldn’t be possible if not for the amazing work done by our various partners and state wide grants awarded to us. Please check out our Partners and Resources for more information.

Interested in learning more about why do what we do? Please check out our Mission, Vision and Values.