this is the volunteer page of the blind service association website.

volunteer

about

The services that are available at Blind Service Association could not happen without the dedication of volunteers who faithfully give of their time to read one-to-one to clients, to record books for audio playback, to mentor, to do office work, or to help in fund raising activities.

We welcome you to join the BSA family and give the gift of your time in helping blind and visually impaired adults, adolescents and children to succeed in achieving independence in their lives. Please contact Blind Service Association if you are interested in volunteering by either email or phone 312-236-0808. All volunteers must be 18 years of age and over.

reading & recording

In 2013-2014, BSA volunteers read more than 14,000 hours of material for visually impaired clients at six separate sites in the Chicago area. Clients bring in a broad range of materials to be read, including textbooks, novels, legal transcripts, recipes, and routine mail.

Blind Service Association provides reader services at our downtown office, as well as our other five satellite locations.

Some clients prefer recordings to live reading. Students on a tight schedule who need to study a textbook, for instance, might find it helpful to drop off their materials to be recorded and picked up later. Then they can listen to them repeatedly at home.

All potential volunteers must attend our one hour Information Session, usually scheduled on the third Thursday of the month (12:30-1:30pm or 5:30-6:30pm) at our downtown office. The Information Session will give potential volunteers information on BSA's history, mission, variety of programs and services, and what volunteers can do to help. Volunteers must fill out a Volunteer Information Form and be able to provide the contact information, mailing or email address required, for three references (professional or personal, but not family members) when they fill out their application. Volunteers must also be at least 18 years old, have a clear speaking voice and the ability to read at a college level for the entire length of a two hour session. Volunteers with special talents like reading foreign languages, advanced math, etc are especially welcomed. Once you have attended our Information Session and we have received your three references back, we will schedule a reading time. If you would like to sign up for our monthly Information Session please email() or call the BSA office at 312-236-0808.

mentoring

Blind Service Association seeks visually impaired adults who have achieved success in their lives to mentor students aged 10 to 18. The goal of our mentoring program is to increase self-esteem and to boost daily living and social skills among youngsters facing the challenges of visual impairment. To find out more, please contact Pamela Berman(email) or call the office at 312-236-0808.

administrative

The Staff at Blind Service Association can always use assistance in the downtown office. Volunteers may be asked to update mailing lists, send out newsletters, make phone calls, schedule appointments, or a thousand-and-one other tasks. For more information please call the office at 312-236-0808 or contact Lisa Petersen (email)

tag day

The Children's Benefit League, a 100+ year old non-sectarian organization sponsors an Annual 2-day Tag Day in the city of Chicago and the surrounding areas. This is one of the oldest of the Tag Days permitted by the City of Chicago and authorized by most suburbs. Blind Service Association is proud to be a member of Children's Benefit League along with other member agencies who participate yearly in this fund-raising event. All donations raised by Blind Service Association volunteer taggers will go directly to BSA's Youth Program. This year's event will take place on Friday, April 17th and Saturday April 18th. Blind Service Assocation needs volunteers to be team captains (organizing volunteers in specific areas) and be volunteer taggers (collecting donations on either of those days for at least a two hour period). Please contact Lisa Petersen (email) or call 312-236-0808 to find out more information or to sign up. You can also fill out this form and email, fax, or send it back to Blind Service Association.

associates

Blind Service Association is a not-for-profit organization that depends on donations from individuals and corporations to fulfill its mission. We do not receive any government funding. A special group of young professionals called The Associates is dedicated to this unavoidably necessary work. They put together fundraising events such as concerts and social gatherings - and help spread the word about Blind Service Association's important contributions to the visually impaired community. If you are interested in joining the Associates please contact Lisa Petersen(email) or call 312-236-0808.