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Welcome to NYS AER

logo shows outline of the NY state and says New York State Association for Education and REhabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired

The New York State Chapter of AER (AERNYS) is a strong chapter with about 300 members.  AERNYS strives to promote the education and rehabilitation of individuals of all ages in New York State who are blind and visually impaired.  We strive to provide activities, service, and opportunities for the professional growth to its members and the individuals we serve.

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2015 NYAER Conference




October 17-19, 2015


The Albany Marriott



Registration Form and Conference Program Info






Please circulate this survey widely to all your groups, contacts, students, parents and colleagues. 


The survey should be completed by by September 4, 2015.


If the person filling it out is both a provider and a consumer just complete one survey.


Please stress how urgent it is to complete the survey. 


Under comments if the person feels that the NYS Commission for the Blind should remain where it is, separate from the Office for Aging and other disability state services, please encourage the person to include it specifically. Let them know that the purpose of this survey is to explore combining aging  and all disability services at the state level.

Below is the internet address to the provider survey




Below is the internet address to the consumer survey




Nancy D. Miller, LMSW

Executive Director/CEO

VISIONS/Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired

500 Greenwich Street Suite 302

New York, New York 10013

212-625-1616 ext. 117

Cell: 917-859-9184




2015 Nominations for NYSAER Board of Directors

Nominations for the 2015 NYSAER Board of Directors are now being sought.  Serving on the NYSAER Board of Directors is a good way to be involved in your chapter, influence the future of the organization, and meet other professionals in your field.


Any current NYSAER member is eligible to serve for a three-year term.  There are three board meetings a year (one held at the site of the annual fall conference).


Consider running and nominating your associates for the Board of NYSAER. Fill out the nomination form and return it to Grace Zaken by August 1, 2015.


Those interested, should send a brief biography about your experience informing members a little about yourself.  If you have any questions, please e-mail Grace at gambrose@hunter.cuny.edu.


Click here to download the Nominations form for the NYSAER Board of Directors


Each year the New York State Chapter of AER recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the service of blind and visually impaired throughout New York State.  At the annual fall conference, Awards are presented to these individuals and recognized by the membership for their outstanding professionalism and service to people who are visually impaired.  


For more information about each award click here


I was the president of the Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton Massachusetts for 33 years, (1976-2009).  In 2010 I took responsibility for CANnect, which is a consortium of agencies and schools whose mission is to create leading edge, user-friendly and accessible online educational opportunities, learning resources and life skills training for persons who are blind and/or visually impaired, for professionals who serve them and for their families. www.cannect.org

CANnect has designed and implemented a “Portal: Course Catalogue” through which users are able to access existing online English language accessible courses.  We are working toward the goal of making CANnect THE one stop shopping site, like Expedia, Orbitz or Travelocity in the airline industry.  Many courses videos and webinars are already uploaded on our site with more being posted today to CANnect's Portal. 


Recently the board voted to expand our Master Catalogue of courses, and create a fully accessible resource database for TVI’s (Teachers of the visually impaired), available 24/7.  Because it was an idea of our board of directors, we wanted to test our instincts and receive input from TVI’s to learn whether this seemed like a useful idea. A Survey Monkey Accessible questionnaire was distributed to TVI’s registered with all Accessible Instructional Materials Centers in all 50 states.   TVI’s responded enthusiastically about our idea, but we received no responses from New York so I am writing to ask if you would distribute the questionnaire again to TVI's in New York.  


The CANnect consortium, which includes educators from long-established schools for the blind, experts in online business startups, and philanthropists, is seeking to understand the needs of the TVI regarding professional development and how you obtain information and resources essential to do your job.



from Rachel Ethier Rosenbaum



If any O&M specialist has ever had an issue or is having an ongoing issue with getting O&M referrals for preschoolers, clearance and/or payment to provide O&M evaluations and treatment to preschoolers in New York State, please contact Grace Ambrose-Zaken at (212) 772-4741.

Also contact Ms. Ambrose-Zaken if you have noticed that Service Coordinators are sending you only TVI referrals and no O&M referrals for preschool children.


Braille Challenge ScholarshipI

In 2008, NYSAER began supporting Braille Challenge™ winners in New York State who were selected to participate in the Braille Challenge finals in Los Angeles, by offering mini-grant scholarships to students. The National Braille Institute sponsors the annual Braille Challenge™ program, which is an academic contest designed to motivate school-age Braille readers to excel in reading and writing Braille.


Regional events were held in Batavia, Long Island, and NY Institute for Special Education, as well as students participating at their home schools. Each student competing in the Challenge completed a battery of tests in Braille reading and writing skills. The NYSAER chapter membership recognizes the importance of students with visual impairments learning Braille as well as the professionals who teach Braille literacy to students.


2014 Braille Challenge Scholarship winners can receive a $225 scholarship to help defray the cost of expenses for travel to Los Angeles in order to participate in the finals with winners from other regional contests around the United States. 


To apply for funding to attend the National Braille Challenge in Los Angeles, download the Braille Challenge Application.


U.S. Space Camp Scholarship Application

Space Camp offers school age students who are blind or visually impaired an opportunity to participate in Space Camp.


NYSAER offers a combined total of up to $725 per year towards one or more students who have been selected for Space Camp.


Space Camp dates:  September 20-25, 2014 in Huntsville, Alabama (travel home 9/26/14)


Scholarship Application Deadline:  May 30, 2014

Please go to http://www.tsbvi.edu/space for more information on the SCI-VIS program and applications for the camp.


If you know of students who want to go to Space Camp, and need some financial assistance, download the Space Camp application.


For questions, please contact MaryAnn Oyer, mmoyervi@verizon.net.


 Nominations are now being accepted for the 2013 AERNYS Awards!

To learn more about the Award recipients and 2013 nomination process, go to the Awards/Membership page


AERNYS is proud to announce the availability of scholarships for adults entering the vision profession and program grants for students interested in attending Space Camp and the Braille Challenge Finals.

Click here to learn more about how to apply for AERNYS scholarships and student grants!



Nominations are now being sought for the NYSAER Board of Directors 

  • Serving on the AERNYS Board of Directors is a great way to become involved in your chapter, influence the future of the organization and meet people.
  • Current AERNYS members are eligible to run for election to the board
  • Elected board members serve a three year term.
  • Board members are eligible to run for Executive Board seats which are two year terms.
  • The Board of Directors meets three times per year at various cities in New York State, with the fall meeting occurring prior to the start of the fall conference.

Click here to download 2013 Nomination form


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