News & Publications

Media Inquiries

For media inquiries about MABVI’s programs or events, or subjects related to disabilities and the field of human services, including developmental disabilities, brain injury, vocational services, visual impairment, and blindness, please contact:

Paul Twitchell, Director of Communications and Marketing


Explore our Annual Reports and other publications. We are an effective organization with a focus on building innovation and partnerships in Massachusetts.

2016 MAB Annual Report

2017 MAB Annual Report

2018 MAB Annual Report

2019 MAB Annual Report

2020 MAB Annual Report  (Audio transcription coming soon.)

MABVI Vision Loss Brochure

Ivy Street School Brochure

MAB Adult Disabilities Brochure

Our Stories” book (PDF)” is a collection of photos and stories of individuals with disabilities, sharing the impact of the deinstitutionalization of adults with disabilities in Massachusetts. Audio version available here.

MABVI Email Newsletters


Spring/Summer 2021

Winter 2021

Fall 2020

Winter/Spring 2020

Fall 2019

Winter 2018

Winter 2017

The Dangerous Vision Podcast

DanYellow road sign with a microphone image: Dangerous Vision with Rany Cohengerous Vision explores what it would be like to be blind in a sighted world. Host Randy Cohen, a blind Harvard Business School professor and board member of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired, learns how other blind people “do blind”, navigating their way over and around obstacles with white canes, guide dogs and technology that will blow your mind.

New episodes are released every Monday and can be found online and where you find all podcasts.

Recent News

COMMONWEALTH MAGAZINE Op-ed by Ivy Street School’s Executive Director, Brandon Cardet-Hernandez

Playing catch-up with remediation won’t work
Meeting kids where they are is the approach needed

FOR A MOMENT, imagine you commute to work each day by train. A co-worker also commutes by train, but on a different line. Every day your co-worker arrives late, missing important meetings. You both live equidistant from the office and take the same mode of transport, yet you are always on time, while your co-worker is not. Now imagine you discover that your co-worker is late because of a train track in need of repair that requires the conductor to go slower at certain times. The system has failed your co-worker. And while this may upset you to learn of it, it doesn’t impact you directly. That is until the route you take develops the same problem. Now the system has failed you both.

This story illustrates what the COVID-19 pandemic exposed about our education systems. For too many—primarily poor, Black and brown students, students living with special needs, and English language learners – the system had broken down long ago. For the rest of the article click here

5 for Good: Volunteers collect donated dresses for prom at Ivy Street School

At the Ivy Street School in Brookline, prom was held celebrating the end of a difficult year. Like all students, those at Ivy Street had to deal with remote learning, isolation and pandemic-related anxiety….See video here


Ivy Street School Welcomes Brandon Cardet-Hernandez
Brookline, MA – (November 03, 2020)
The Ivy Street School announced it has appointed Brandon Cardet-Hernandez as its new Executive Director. Brandon joins Ivy Street School with nearly twenty years of experience working in education, including serving as the Senior Education Policy Advisor for the Mayor’s Office of the City of New York and as the Principal of The Urban Assembly Bronx Academy of Letters, a turnaround high school in the South Bronx. As Executive Director, Brandon will be responsible for outlining a clear vision for Ivy Street’s future as a preeminent school for youth with neurocognitive and neurodevelopmental disorders. Additional responsibilities will include increasing the visibility and community-wide understanding of the organization’s mission, goals, and activities and deepening the ongoing work of building an inclusive community for students. MORE…

MAB Board member and an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Boston University School of Medicine, Dr. Michelle Durham is quoted in this article. 

Why Michelle Obama opening up about depression is a big deal for Black women
Harmeet Kaur
By Harmeet Kaur, CNN Updated 3:43 PM ET, Sat August 8, 2020

(CNN)Michelle Obama recently revealed that because of the pandemic and racial injustice in the US, she has been experiencing low-grade depression.

For the former first lady — perhaps the most well-known Black woman in the world — to be so candid about her mental health is hugely significant, two psychiatrists told CNN.
“It allows other Black women and women of color to understand that we all can essentially not feel great,” said Dr. Michelle Durham, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Boston University School of Medicine. “It normalizes that mental illness can happen to anyone at anytime, and that we can all struggle.”

Vital Coronavirus Information Is Failing the Blind and Visually Impaired
When it comes to communicating crucial updates around the pandemic, blind readers are an afterthought.
By Melanie Ehrenkranz
Apr 9 2020, 8:24am Several times a day, I search for coronavirus updates online, an increasingly grim and unconscious habit I’ve adopted over the last few weeks from the confines of my New York City apartment. I’m met with a barrage of charts, infographics, and transcripts of news conferences. I’m able to grasp the harrowing reality we’re in with just a few clicks. But for the blind and visually impaired communities, information from the government and news sources remains largely inaccessible, and in the midst of a global pandemic, this isn’t merely an inconvenience, it’s a fatal negligence…

Coping with disease and disability in the time of coronavirus
Ryan Prior
By Ryan Prior, CNN

Updated 11:33 AM ET, Wed April 8, 2020

(CNN) Sassy Outwater-Wright has fought off cancer three times in the last 33 years, losing most of her eyesight to a rare form of the disease at the age of three.

And now, at age 37, she’s fighting a fourth cancer — this time in her brain.
As a result, Outwater-Wright is no stranger to navigating the byzantine corridors of the healthcare system, and she guides others who’ve lost their sight in her role as executive director of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
As someone who relies on touch to navigate the world, the potential threats to her existence have multiplied now that the novel coronavirus might be waiting on the next door knob or window sill…

Blind Grafton Runner Finishes First In California Marathon

Chaz Davis finished first at the United States Association for Blind Athletes Championship at the California International Marathon.

GRAFTON, MA — A Grafton runner represented the Bay State at the finish line of a California marathon earlier this month. Chaz Davis finished first in the United States Association for Blind Athletes Championship at the California International Marathon in Sacramento, CA. Davis had a time of 2:43:11…In 2018, Davis ran the 122nd Boston Marathon where he finished 5th among 15 notable 2018 Boston Marathon finishers with a time of 2:56:22. Chaz ran as a member of Team With A Vision.

The group raises funds and awareness for the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI) to promote greater involvement of visually impaired runners in the Boston Marathon.

Davis works for MABVI as an adjustment to vision loss counselor as well as the coordinator for Team With A Vision and United in Stride, a website that matches runners who are blind or visually impaired with sighted guides across North America. READ MORE

Brookline Community Foundation Awards $335,000 in Fall Grants to Local Nonprofits Making a Difference

BROOKLINE, MA: The Brookline Community Foundation (BCF) awarded more than $335,000 in grants to 19 organizations through its 2019 Fall Community Grant Cycle.
These grants will support high-quality programs and organizations serving the diverse needs of Brookline residents and are strongly aligned with BCF’s strategic focus on reducing and eliminating the impacts of poverty, improving access to out-of-school time programs, and meeting the health and wellness needs of youth and other vulnerable community members,” said Gioia Perugini, BCF Vice President and Chair of the Program and Grants Committee…READ MORE

Recent press coverage and news releases of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired.


Sacramento, CA – (December 08, 2019) Chaz Davis, from Grafton, Massachusetts finished first at the United States Association for Blind Athletes (USABA) at the California International Marathon (CIM) with a finish time of 2:43:11. Chaz participated as part of the U.S. Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) Championships.

The USABA Marathon National Championships are held at the California International Marathon. Since the CIM adopted the Visually Impaired Division in 2007, participation of visually impaired and blind runners has grown from 2 to nearly 70 participants. This year, the group of 70 blind runners and 40 guides included military veterans, local runners, international runners, and Paralympic athletes. …READ MORE

MA Association for the Blind and Innovate@BU Announce Community Transportation Challenge

Brookline, MA, (October 1, 2019) –  The Massachusetts Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired (MABVI) and Boston University Innovate@BU have announced a partnership to develop a challenge open to BU students and alumni to solve community transit problems that will benefit society at large–and particularly for seniors and the blind and low vision community.

The goal of the Community Transit Design Challenge is for Boston University students and alumni to develop and design new human-centered tools to improve transportation accessibility solutions for the aging and visually impaired communities, which will ultimately improve transportation for everyone while competing for a $10,000 grand prize. Ultimately, the challenge hopes to find solutions to help older adults who are losing their vision better connect to their communities.

“We each have a role in creating a more inclusive space for everyone to live and work and thrive, said Sassy Outwater-Wright, Executive Director of MABVI. “We have the duty to ask tomorrow’s designers, engineers, and social scientists to start thinking about that today and to start building smarter solutions. MABVI is proud to partner with BU to solve some of the most common problems facing older adults who are blind or have low vision. Accessibility in design today creates a more inclusive future.”

“Our students and alumni are no strangers to Boston’s public transportation challenges. We are thrilled that this collaboration will give our community the opportunity to view transportation challenges from another perspective and to use their expertise to build better, more accessible solutions for all,” said Gerry Fine, Executive Director of Innovate@BU. More info


Team of blind runners joins Hood To Coast relay this year – For the first time, a team of blind and visually impaired runners will tackle the Hood To Coast relay this year, with the help of running guides.

PORTLAND, Ore. — There will be a first at the Hood to Coast relay this year: A full team of blind or visually impaired runners will take to the course. They will find their way with the help of running guides. The team is named “United in Stride Blind Runners” because the runners and guides come together through an online database on the United in Stride website.


This Eye Surgeon is Guiding Blind Runners Through the Oregon Mountains
Vivienne Hau fixes retinas by day; now, she’s co-captain of the first-ever visually impaired Hood to Coast Relay team.

On Friday, Hau—with Hunter—is leading the first team of visually impaired runners and guides at the Hood to Coast Relay, an overnight event in Oregon that starts at the base of Mt. Hood and finishes at Seaside. Twenty blind and sighted athletes will cram into two 15-passenger vans, taking turns running three to four legs each of the 199-mile course. Along the way, they’ll raise funds and awareness for United in Stride, the website Hunter developed that matches sighted runners and those in need of guides nationwide.

Tufts Health Plan Foundation Awards Nearly $1.9 Million to Support Healthy Aging

June 20, 2019 Tufts Health Plan Foundation today announced new community investments reflecting a commitment to a community approach for making our cities and towns great places to grow up and grow old. The nearly $1.9 million supports 15 nonprofit organizations working in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. MAB Community Services was awarded a three-year grant for $130,000 to integrate vision rehabilitation and care into healthy aging models through four pilot communities: Boston, Framingham, Lawrence and Springfield.

Boston, MA – At their annual Volunteer Appreciation Celebration, held at Community Boating in Brighton on June 14, the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI) recognized the Lions of Massachusetts as a Volunteer Community Partner for the Lions’ work in developing the Low Vision Rehabilitation Network (LOVRNET) in Massachusetts.

5 for Good: Volunteers help woman with blindness, hearing loss

WCVB TV – June 20, 2019
NEWTON, Mass. —A desire to help others resulted in a special relationship between a Belmont woman and a Newton family. It started nearly nine years ago, when Allie Dagg, who was in seventh grade at the time, found an opportunity to volunteer with the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, or MABVI.

Marshall Home Fund donates $75K to local nonprofits

Wicked LocalJun 25, 2019

Watertown’s Marshall Home Fund held its annual grant award ceremony on May 22, providing $75,000 to 16 local organizations that serve older adults. Through its grant making, MHF helps Watertown be an age-friendly community. The 2019 grantees of the Marshall Home Fund will provide programs and services that address many of these goals. Provide direct health, mental health, and social services for vulnerable individuals: Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired’s Technology Training for Seniors with Sight Loss…

T offers app to help the visually-impaired navigate the system

The Boston Globe – May 1, 2019
Blind since childhood, Sassy Outwater-Wright commutes every day on the MBTA, navigating a maze of turns, street crossings, tunnels, and train cars between her home in Salem and office in Brookline…“I need all of that information, and I need it in a few seconds. . . . This technology is able to help someone see with me,” said Outwater-Wright, director of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired…

WebWire (press release)Apr 28, 2019
The Hearst Foundations have announced that 76 grants valued at $15,975,000 have been awarded to deserving nonprofit organizations. The Foundations serve as a national philanthropic resource for cultural, educational, health and social service organizations and dedicate millions of dollars in grants quarterly…MAB Community Services, Brookline, MA: To support integrated care and interventions benefiting over 1,400 seniors…

Massachusetts Association for the Blind Receives Gibney Foundation Grant from Gibney Foundation

Brookline, MA, (April 22, 2019) – The Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI) is pleased to announce it has received a $119,000 grant from The Gibney Family Foundation (TGFF). TGFF partners with organizations to develop sustainable resources that foster independence, primarily for those who are blind. The funds will support MABVI’s statewide volunteer program.

The grant, which will be distributed over the next three years, will enhance MABVI’s statewide volunteer program through which individuals who are blind or visually impaired are matched 1:1 with community volunteers who provide in-home support. Trained volunteers help older adults accomplish daily activities of their own choosing including wellness activities, technology support, reading print information, shopping for groceries, or serving as sighted guides at the gym―all of which foster autonomy and enable older adults to remain active in their communities.

Michaela Flaherty Running First Boston Marathon For ‘Team With A Vision 

CBS Boston-Apr 15, 2019
… Flaherty, a visually impaired runner, will run her first Boston Marathon Monday to raise awareness for the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and …

Blind runner defeats the odds

BU News Service-Apr 15, 2019
BOSTON — …Last year, Hasting’s was contacted by the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI) to run with Team With a Vision in the Boston Marathon. Team With a Vision is a program within MABVI that connects blind and sighted runners to support individuals throughout Massachusetts living with vision loss…

Joe Walsh to Receive Kara MacDonald Award

BROOKLINE, MA – The Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI) has announced that Joe Walsh, MS, MEd of Adaptive Sports New England will receive the 2019 Kara Macdonald Aspire Award.  The award was created to celebrate the life and work of the late Kara MacDonald, and her dedication to athletes with disabilities.

Team With A Vision Runners Take On Boston Marathon

BROOKLINE, MA – Every runner who takes on the legendary Boston Marathon course faces a challenge, but few more than the members of Team With A Vision (TWAV)a group of blind and visually impaired runners (and their sighted guides) with a common cause: to raise funds and awareness for the visually impaired. The team, fielded by the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI), draws runners from around the world, the nation, and the region to show that with the right support, people who are visually impaired can do anything they set their minds to. This year’s team includes a number of notable competitors.

Lions help WWII vet see with magnifying device

The Daily News of NewburyportApril 1, 2019
… Lions Club and the Massachusetts Lions District Visual Aid Association were … legally blind by the Massachusetts Association for the Blind.

Nahant resident to run 10th Boston Marathon

Daily Item-April 1, 2019
That phone call first came from her former sister-in-law, who is connected with the Massachusetts Association for the Blind, telling her there was …

Mansch On Montana: Vision-impaired marathoner Juli Brandvold …

Great Falls TribuneMar 25, 2019
Juli will be running in Boston to benefit an organization called the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. She has a …

Go the distance: UGA student to run Boston Marathon, raise money for …

Red and BlackNov 15, 2018
The list also includes Hart’s chosen team, the Massachusetts Association for the blind and Visually Impaired. “The applications had just opened …

New Natick Center a ‘big help’

MetroWest Daily News Sept 6, 2018

A Natick resident is thankful he has access to a new program in town. It’s helping him, and others, improve their quality of life.

Marshall Home Fund awards grants

Wicked Local-May 29, 2018

Tools to help potentially isolated older adults integrate into the community: Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired’s …

John Conceison: Blind national champion Chaz Davis of Grafton …

Worcester Telegram-Apr 14, 2018

… for the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. The MABVI delivers professionals, peer and volunteer support to more …

Nahant’s Ellen Goldberg set for ninth straight Boston Marathon

Daily Item-Apr 9, 2018

… that Ellen Goldberg’s then-sister-in-law asked her if she’d run the Boston Marathon to benefit the Massachusetts Association for the Blind.

Deyo running Boston Marathon for charity

Kokomo Tribune-Apr 12, 2018

He will run as a charity runner for the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. The organization is taking a couple of buses …

Huskies run: Northeastern students train for marathon

The Huntington News-Apr 4, 2018

… a sighted guide in the marathon with the Team with a Vision organization, which raises money for the Massachusetts Association for the Blind …

Why & How Innovation for the Visually Impaired is Big in Boston

American Inno-Mar 5, 2018

Sassy Outwater is serving as director of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired since September 2017.

Is Your Job Application Process Accessible And Inclusive?

Forbes-Jun 28, 2018

For my podcast, I recently interviewed Director Sassy Outwater of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI).

Bobby Dolan, A Feisty Advocate, Was Wrongly Kept In A State Hospital

WBUR-Aug 2, 2017

Retelling his story for the Massachusetts Association for the Blind (MAB), Bobby described his 38 institutionalized years. “Somebody suggested …