Lions Vision Resource Network Grants for the Blind or Low Vision
The purpose of Lions Vision Resource Network (LVRN) grants is to provide financial aid to local blind or low vision individuals in order to improve their quality of life, broadly defined. The financial assistance is done by way of grants.
Only individuals 21 years old or older who are blind or low vision and live in Alameda or Contra Costa Counties in California or organizations that provide services to people who are blind or low vision in these counties are eligible for a grant. There is no income requirement. Certification of blind or low vision status by a professional third party is required.
Those interested in applying for a grant should fill out an application at the link at the bottom of this page. More information on our grants follows:
Types of Grants
LRVN offers two different types of grants:
1. Dr. Maureen Powers Quality-of-Life Grant (QOL)
These grants are named in honor of our past Board President who originated LVRN’s mission and founded our grant program. As a Vision Neuroscientist she has devoted many years of service and research to the blind and low vision community.
Quality-of-Life (QOL) Grants are awarded throughout the year with a limit of $5,000 for any single grant. QOL Grants are limited to blind or low vision individuals 21 years old or older who live in Alameda or Contra Costa Counties in California or to organizations that serve blind or low vision individuals in these counties. Applicants can receive more than one grant, however there is a one-year waiting period between receiving another QOL grant. Those who have received prior funding will receive lower priority than first-time applicants.
The Dr. Maureen Powers Quality-of-Life Grant is designed to fund the following types of needs:
- Smartphones and tablets and related training to enhance accessibility
- Computers – Applicants must have prior computer experience and a demonstrated proficiency with a computer
- Braille equipment and Braille training
- Low vision products, including training
- Equipment that aids in safety at home
- Research on blindness, low vision or vision impairment
The list is meant to be suggestive and not limiting. LVRN will consider any request, but those that fill gaps in funding provided by the State or other means, or those that are not available through other means, will receive priority.
2. Ed Cossart Immediate Needs Grant (IN)
These grants are named in honor of a past Lions Oakland Blind Center President who dedicated years of service to helping blind and low vision individuals.
Immediate Needs Grants are limited to blind or low vision individuals 21 years old or older who live in Alameda or Contra Costa Counties in California and are awarded throughout the year with the purpose of providing financial aid to those individuals who have a demonstrated immediate, but low cost need. The maximum amount to be awarded is $1,500. Computers are not a part of this program. Smart phones, iPads or Apple watches may be considered, but the cost of the item(s), any warranties or maintenance plan and/or any setup/training expense cannot exceed the $1,500 limit of these grants.
The Ed Cossart Immediate Needs Grant is designed to fund the following types of needs. The list is meant to be suggestive and not limiting.
- Medical Aids (e.g. Talking Blood Glucose Monitor)
- Seeing Aids (e.g. Canes or Repair of a Braille Machine)
- Transportation (e.g. Transit to Medical Appointments, Work Conference or for a Family Emergency)
Please note that filing an application for either grant is not a guarantee that a grant will be awarded.
Except for cash grants to organizations or to individuals for research, grant proceeds will not be given directly to an individual. LVRN will purchase the product(s) or service(s), but the grantee will be the owner of any devices and will register the product(s) so that any warranties will be in their name. Any warranty issues will be handled between the grantee and the vendor. LVRN will not participate in that process.
Awardees must give a final accounting or testimonial of how the grant was used, the benefits derived from the grant and be willing to have their testimonials used for publicity purposes by LVRN.
How to Apply
You can apply for a grant right here on our website. Please remember that only blind or low vision individuals 21 years old or older who live in Alameda or Contra Costa Counties in California or organizations that provide services to individuals who are blind or low vision in these counties will be considered for a grant. To get started, go to the Application Form.