Mission Statement & History
Blind Center of Nevada Mission Statement
The Blind Center of Nevada assists blind and visually impaired persons of all ages in reaching their highest physical, social, intellectual, and economic potential. To achieve these objectives there are three focus areas: personal development, social interaction and meaningful employment.
Blind Center of Nevada History
Creating a place in Las Vegas to offer help and employment for blind people was F. Marion Keele’s dream since 1934 when he became totally blind at the age 38. After spending time at the Utah Blind Center in Salt Lake City, Marion, with his wife, Effie, learned to teach Braille, rug weaving, leatherwork and other handicrafts to their blind compatriots. In addition to teaching these valuable skills to blind people living in Las Vegas, Marion lobbied State legislators in Carson City to increase state aid to the blind which, at that time, was $20 per month. The Nevada Association of the Blind, held its first meetings in the Keele’s home.
Upon Marion’s death in 1955, one of his students, Audrey Bascom Tait, continued Marion’s work and on February 5, 1955 filed Articles of Incorporation for Southern Nevada Sightless. As time went on Audrey convinced the Lion’s Club to help her find a place where chair caning and rug weaving could have a permanent home and in so doing, provide steady work for people who are blind.
Fast forwarding to early the 2000’s saw the Las Vegas valley bursting with growth and opportunity. To keep pace with the valley’s growth and to better meet the needs of its growing population of people who are blind/visually impaired, the “Sightless Center” went through a tremendous metamorphosis. The renamed, “Blind Center of Nevada” brought on a community-based Board of Directors, opened an award-winning day center, began offering daily transportation, hot meals and much more—all with the mission to help persons who are blind and visually impaired reach their highest physical, social, intellectual, and economic potential.”
The Blind Center of Nevada accomplishes this through a myriad of social activities, job and life skills training, meaningful employment, and most importantly love thus creating a sense of belonging to a people who are sometimes lost and forgotten.
The Blind Center of Nevada—helping the blind and visually impaired to see both their individual worth and their amazing potential.