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NYVRA Call to Action Video



This video explains what is preventing New Yorkers with visual impairments from receiving IDEA mandated O&M services. The fix is to pass the licensure bill that is currently in the Higher Education Committees of the State Assembly and State Senate.

This is a call to action for New Yorkers and all O&M specialists, parents and those who wish to help New York be the first state to achieve state licensure.

Please send comments or questions to Grace Ambrose-Zaken at gambrose@hunter.cuny.edu or 212-772-4741.




VRT and O&M Licensure Lobby Day 2012

 NY Assembly Woman Donna Lupardo during a press conference for VRT & O&M Liscensure Lobby Day

Albany, NY Assembly Woman Donna Lupardo-Binghamton, lead sponsor of A. 8576 An Act to License vision rehabilitation therapists (VRT) and orientation and mobility (O&M) specialists said it best when she asked, “Why are you still holding lobby days? With more than half of the Assembly signed on in support of this bill, we shouldn’t need another lobby day.” We will keep working until we get every Assembly Member signed on in support and until the Assembly Higher Education Committee votes on the issue. We are here to get this bill passed and to get vision rehabilitation professionals licensed.


More than 50 supporters came together to deliver our message once again. Nancy Miller remarked, “We have such a diversity of supporters.” Licensure supporters came from the far reaches of New York and some, like Dona Sauerburger and Melanie O’Mea, come from nearby states. The chapters of the American Council of the Blind were well represented by Mike Godino, Cliff Perez, Becky Barnes and many others. NYS AER was represented by Dan McLaughlin, Sharon Schwalm, Amy Lindsey and others. Hunter College VRT and O&M graduate students were there in force along with first-timers like Michael Levy.


Once again many of the New York vision rehabilitation agencies and schools for blind children sent staff. The Association for the Visually Impaired, VISIONS, The Lighthouse, Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, ABVI – Goodwill, Aurora of Central New York all sent multiple representatives as did the New York Institute for Special Education. Blind and sighted O&M Specialists and Vision Rehabilitation Therapists who work in schools and agencies across New York State, such as John Kelly, were also there.


NY Senator Joseph Griffo and members of the AER NY Chapter during a press conference for NY VRT and O&M Licensure Lobby Day 2012


Assembly Member Donna Lupardo held a press conference where she, and our Sponsor in the NYS senate, Senator Joseph Griffo- Utica, spoke on behalf of this bill. Other speakers included Nancy D. Miller, Grace Ambrose-Zaken, Robert Hanye, Erin Kavanagh, and Stephen Comency.

John Kelly posted the entire press conference on his you tube channel.  To view it go to www.jjkvc.org. Print and video coverage can be found Lupardo: License Vision Rehab Specialists and Lupardo & Griffo Promote Vision Rehabilitation Bill.





The Start of 2012 Campaign


Lobby Day is the kick off to our push for 2012. Please write a letter to Assembly Member Lupardo and State Senator Griffo telling them why you support licensure. To Senator Griffo and Senator Lavelle we want to thank them for moving the bill out of the Senate Higher Education Committee.

Join NYVRA and together we’ll achieve licensure in 2012.






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