395 Azalea Avenue (Mailing Address: PO Box 15546) Richmond, VA 23227 | 804-266-2477

What’s New

Virginia Voice is proud to offer Live Audio Description for audience members with vision impairment at selected Virginia Repertory Theater performances at their downtown November Theater and Children’s Theater at Willow Lawn.  Upcoming performances included West Side Story, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Sister Act and more!  For information, call Sassy at (804) 266-2477.

Are you interested in learning to become a Live Audio Describer for Virginia Voice, to help individuals take part in the experiences we share as a community?  We will be offering a training class soon!  For information, call Sassy at (804) 266-2477.

We ar.e providing live audio description for the April 29th matinee performance of River Ditty at Virginia Repertory Theatre.  For more information about how to use this accessibility option call Sassy at (804) 266-2477

Are you interested in learning how to become an live theater audio describer for Virginia Voice?  We are offering a training seminar on March 24 from 9-4.  Call Sassy Rychalski for more information. (804) 266-2477

The Blinded Veterans Association is offering life membership to all blinded veterans at a discounted rate of $20.

The BVA membership promotional will be effective from September 1, 2016 through August 1, 2017. Downloadable applications are available under the announcements section on the following website:  MARGBVA.ORG.

There are two local BVA chapters in Virginia. Richmond and Hampton.

Blinded Veterans in the Richmond and surrounding areas who are interested in additional membership information should contact the President of the Richmond chapter BVA, Herbert Patterson at 804 222 8714.

Blinded Veterans in the Tidewater area should contact the President of the Hampton Chapter BVA, Robert Byrd at 757 375 – 3776.

Do you know someone 55 and older with a vision impairment?

Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired (“VRCBVI”)


“Live Active, Live Healthy, Live Modern”

A one-week retreat for seniors experiencing vision loss + one (a loved one, family member, or friend)

August 21-26, 2016, Sunday-Friday

(Participants will arrive at the VRCBVI dorm on Sunday, August 21, 2016, after 4:00 p.m., and the program will end on Friday, August 26, 2016, at noon.)

Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired, 401 Azalea Avenue, Richmond, VA 23227, phone: (804) 371-3151

Does your vision loss affect your ability to read, get around independently, take care of your home, and enjoy your hobbies?  If so, how can the Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired Program help you?  We can help by providing the following services free of charge:

  • Coping with vision loss
  • Daily living skills
  • Independent travel
  • Assistive technology skills such as learning to use IOS devices
  • Low vision assessment and training
  • Diabetic information and training on the use of talking glucometers
  • Nutritional consultation
  • Recreational activities that are designed to promote a healthy and active lifestyle
  • Additional resources

Coping skills

Through meeting as a group, we come together and discuss our problems in relation to loss of vision, loss of independence, inability to do tasks we once did, depression, and reaction of family and friends. We identify solutions for problems and issues related to vision loss and develop a network of individuals, who share our experiences, to create a resource for the future.

Daily Living Skills

Just because your vision is getting worse doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy life. We can teach you safe cooking and sewing techniques, methods for labeling medications and personal items, money identification and the use of adaptive tools, i.e., talking clocks, signature guides, etc.

Independent Travel

You can still travel safely and independently. We can teach you techniques for traveling with family and friends with confidence and dignity. These include the use of the long white cane for independent travel and identification purposes so that you can remain active in your community.

Assistive Technology Skills

You will learn the basics of how to access information on the computer using speech software and/or magnification programs and how to send and receive e-mail communication; additionally, you will receive an introduction to iOS devices

Low Vision

You will be evaluated to see if you can benefit from a wide range of devices, such as handheld or stand magnifiers, special telescopes, or sunglasses.  If you would benefit from a device, you will be trained to use it.

Diabetic Information

You will learn techniques and strategies for managing your diabetes independently as a blind or vision-impaired individual.

Nutritional Consultation

You will learn about the benefits of a healthy diet to mind and body.  How do you monitor nutritional information of food if you are blind or vision-impaired?



Recreational Activities- Physical Conditioning

You will learn how to participate successfully in exercise routines to optimize physical fitness and participate actively in the hobbies and interests you had before vision loss

And much, much more!

The program consists of a diverse group of qualified professionals trained in the field of blindness and low vision.

For information on the application process call your Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired Rehabilitation Teacher or Melody Roane, Director, Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired, (804) 371-3323.

Participants must meet the following qualifications to attend:

  • Legally blind or vision impaired
  • 55 or older
  • Must self-administer all medications and manage personal needs independently (VRCBVI uses no medical staff or personal-care attendants for the retreat).
  • Physical health, stamina, and functional ability to participate fully in all retreat activities from morning through evening (breakfast starts at 8:00 am).
  • Strong desire to achieve independence

Only fourteen seniors, each allowed an accompanying + one, will be accepted for the retreat.  Deadline for applications is Monday, August 1, 2016.


Did you know that if you are at least age 70 ½, the IRA Charitable Rollover law enables you to donate up to $100,000 a year from your traditional IRA directly to Virginia Voice.  This charitable gift counts towards the required minimum annual IRA distributions but is not included in your adjusted gross income. Given that this gift isn’t counted in your income, you cannot claim an itemized charitable deduction. This is a powerful giving option if you don’t usually itemize deductions on your 1040.

Volunteer Don DaleAll of us at Virginia Voice are saddened to start 2016 without our dear friend Don Dale.  As a volunteer and supporter of our audio reading and information service, Don created and hosted one of our most popular online programs, What’s Your Story? Using a portable audio recorder, Don traveled around Richmond to capture “stories” to share with others.  In his words, “everybody has a story to tell, all you have to do is ask”.  Don shared his story on his own program. Listen to Don’s story.

Since 2011, Don was the host of our original program What’s Your Story?  Having been in the communications field for many years, I had heard of Don but never had the chance to meet him until I joined Virginia Voice in 2014. What a pleasure he was to be around!  He was a consummate gentleman, with a never ending supply of stories. I always learned so much from his perspectives and wealth of knowledge. In putting together his What’s Your Story? programs Don didn’t need much direction.  He just had a knack for finding interesting people and getting them to open up to him. We’ve lost a great voice, a good friend and supporter of Virginia Voice, and a compelling storyteller.  We’ll miss him.

– Liz Cleal, Virginia Voice Program Director