2020 Conference

Connecting to the Community: Community Awareness & Outreach

Session Date: 
Tuesday, September 1, 2020 - 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm CDT

This session featured a short dynamic presentation by David DeNotaris on the power of community outreach. Then, Nancy Miller shared a new professional community outreach flyer that is available to all to brand and use. Please feel free to download the image used in the flyer here to customize and create outreach materials for your own organization! Consider distributing your customized flyer to the following:

If you can't see something say something flyer

  1. Food sources, such as food banks, Meals on Wheels providers, and grocery stores
  2. Medical providers such as nurses, doctors, opticians, optometrists, pharmacists, and in-home caregivers for private organizations, hospitals, clinics, and smaller centers (e.g., dialysis center)
  3. Associated providers such as social workers and social security office staff
  4. Transportation companies, including medical transportation agencies and driver’s license locations
  5. Caregiver support groups, such as the Area Agency on Aging and State Unit on Aging
  6. Consumer support groups, such as diabetes support groups or groups specific to vision loss
  7. Community and civic groups, including faith-based organizations
  8. Banks
  9. Libraries and bookmobiles
  10. Supported or senior living locations and centers

Vision Determination Release Form - This customizable coversheet is useful to include when requesting eye documentation from a doctor. A doctor might find it more convenient to fill out this cover sheet rather than sending pages and pages of, sometimes, outdated information. This resource can make it faster and easier to obtain current information. It can also help you quickly determine whether your program can serve this person. Thank you to Janet Pantaleo for submitting this resource.


David DeNotaris

David DeNotaris speaking publicly

David J. De Notaris has held leadership roles for the New Jersey Department of Human Services, NJ Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry Bureau of Blindness, and Visual Services and the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. Most recently, he served as their Executive Director with 1,200 professional staff, $200 million yearly budgets, assisting over 10,000 individuals with disabilities to find competitive integrated employment.

David has served as a job developer, job coach, coordinator of assistive technology, and has been appointed to several boards and committees, including the NJ State Rehabilitation Council and the Workforce Investment Board chairing the literacy committee.

David also served for 2-years as president of his national professional organization, the National Council of State Agencies for the Blind NCSAB.

Currently, David is the Chief Inspirational Officer for Sky’s the Limit Communications & Associates. This training firm delivers resilience, leadership, and diversity training for schools/universities, Fortune 500 companies, state agencies, and associations nationally.

Nancy Miller

Nancy Miller

Nancy D. Miller works with people of all ages that are blind and multi-disabled. She is Executive Director/CEO of VISIONS/Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired since 1987. VISIONS serves over 7,000 people each year with in-home, community, and center-based services. VISIONS government-funded Older Americans Act AAA Senior Center has over 800 participants with programs specifically adapted for blind seniors and instructors. VISIONS receives New York City government funds for an unpaid caregiver support project with over 750 registered family/unpaid caregivers with the caregiver, care recipient, or both experiencing severe vision loss or blindness. In 2005, VISIONS services for older blind persons were evaluated by the New York City Department for the Aging. It confirmed the positive impact of vision rehabilitation training and devices. Depression was decreased, independence was increased, and the research confirmed a more positive attitude about vision loss after rehabilitation training.

Ms. Miller, appointed by Mayor DeBlasio, serves on the Advisory Council to the NYC Department for the Aging (DFTA), the local area agency on aging for NYC.  She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Cornell University and a Master of Science Degree in Social Work from Columbia University in group work and aging. Ms. Miller also serves on the Board of Directors of LiveOn New York, is a co-founder and president of the New York Vision Rehabilitation Association, and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Gerontological Social Work.

Ms. Miller is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and the Hunter Brookdale Center on Healthy Aging. The National Association of Social Workers Foundation honored her with the designation Social Work Pioneer. She is the editor of Vision and Aging: Issues in Social Work Practice, Haworth Press. Her awards include the Community Trailblazers Award from Beyond Focus Media of Brooklyn, Practitioner of Distinction Award from National Rehabilitation Association, Maggie Kuhn Advocacy Award from Presbyterian Senior Services, Senator John E. Flynn Award from American Council of the Blind New York, and VisionServe Alliance Excellence in Leadership Award.

Ms. Miller is married to Jerry Miller, a former nonprofit administrator, current certified orientation and mobility specialist, and certified vision rehabilitation therapist. They are extremely proud of their four children and six grandchildren.

Additional Outreach Ideas:

  1. Partner with a local radio station to create public service announcements and radio interviews
  2. Design billboard advertisements
  3. Create or participate in health fairs, conferences, workshops, trainings, webinars, and virtual town halls on topics such as introduction to services, independent living skills, and assistive technology.
  4. Consider partnerships with other social services and related organizations, such as AARP, Well-Connected, Independent Living Centers, and 211.
  5. Establish relationships with medical professionals to promote services in their offices (e.g., videos, brochures at the doctor’s office) and create referral forms for medical offices to ensure a continuous relationship
  6. Order branded technology devices with contact information for OIB program to place in a local library, senior center, or other popular location (e.g., CCTV)