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Greater Detroit Agency for the Blind and Visually Impaired


November 2023

Letter from GDABVI Chief Operating Officer - Jim Smock

Hello all and Welcome to November!   I hope you are enjoying fall, family, football, and are looking forward to the upcoming holidays!


As I write, I have been with GDABVI for almost 4 months and am very excited with our progress.  We are improving our social media presence; hosting more events; attending more events; and seeking to build and rebuild relationships!  I have been pleased to share GDABVI’s story with several Lions Clubs and meet so many who support our mission; thank you to all our great supporters!


As we approach Thanksgiving and reflect on our many blessings, I am thankful to be with a group of talented and caring individuals who are committed to helping our clients. Our energy is focused on what people can do rather than what people cannot do!   We are here to celebrate determination in every part of daily life; thank you for your confidence in us and for joining us on this journey.


Please enjoy the holiday and let’s hope for a Lions win against the Packers!

GDABVI Board Member


Cathy McAdam

I am happy to serve on the GDABVI board of directors. Back in 2005-2010, I contracted with the agency to develop a computer training project with our local libraries for the blind. I believe in the power of assistive technology! I’m a long-time disability advocate, and worked as a medical social worker at the Rehabilitation institute of Michigan before starting my small business! Now retired, I am an active LION, voting rights advocate, and love to travel! Welcome to the board of directors Cathy!

Event Highlight

Celebrating 62 years' service! Attend the Winter Gala on December 2, 2023, at the Imperial House.

Tickets are $60.00 per person. To purchase tickets, go to our website, Home| Greater Detroit Agency for the Blind & Visually Impaired Life Beyond Sight

Purchase Tickets

November Events

  • November 3 BINGO: 11:00am - 2:00pm - Join us for fun food, and prizes. LAST ONE UNTIL March 2024.
  • November 14 New Direction Support Group - Discussion: Beating the holiday blues and discussion on National Diabetes Month 12:00pm - 3:00pm
  • November 28th GDABVI Book Club: 12:00pm - 2:00pm - Join us to discuss "Hidden Figures"

For more information on any of these events, please call GDABVI at 313-272-3900.

November is National Diabetes Month

November is National Diabetes Month, a time when communities across the country seek to bring attention to diabetes. This year’s focus is on taking action to prevent diabetes health problems.

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. It affects about 37 million Americans, including adults and youth. Diabetes can damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart, and it is linked to some types of cancer.

But there’s also good news: Taking charge of your health may help you prevent diabetes health problems.

To read more and use tips for promoting awareness in your community, Click here

World Diabetes Day November 14, 2023


The theme for World Diabetes Day is access to diabetes care. In 2023, the campaign focuses on the importance of knowing your risk of type 2 diabetes to help delay or prevent the condition and highlighting the impact of diabetes-related complications and the importance of having access to the right information and care to ensure timely treatment and management.

1 in 10 adults worldwide have diabetes. Over 90% have type 2 diabetes. Close to half are not yet diagnosed.

In many cases, type 2 diabetes and its complications can be delayed or prevented by adopting and maintaining healthy habits. When not detected and treated early, diabetes can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening complications.

For more facts and figures, click here

BSBP Excellence Awards 2023: Celebrating Achievements of Vision Impaired and Blind Individuals

The Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Opportunity (LEO) along with the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP) presents a first-of-its-kind virtual celebration, the BSBP Excellence Awards Ceremony, on Wednesday, November 15th, from 10 -11:30 a.m. The event will honor the remarkable achievements of BSBP’s customer community and distinguished business partners.

Despite the challenges posed by vision loss, BSBP customers will be spotlighted for their outstanding accomplishments in employment and independent living. The awards also extend to organizations that embody BSBP’s core values of inclusion and diversity.

GDABVI is extremely proud to ANNOUNCE that KaShonia Graham, Outreach & Engagement Specialist, has been chosen to receive an Excellence Award. These awards are presented to people who have demonstrated amazing success, community organizations and business partners throughout Michigan that have embraced the spirit of vocational rehabilitation, independent living and transition services. GDABVI staff and members of the GDABVI board of directors are very proud of KaShonia and of her accomplishments.

KaShonia - Outreach & Engagement Specialist

GDABVI's Annual Appeal

Coming soon to your mailbox is the GDABVI's Annual Appeal. The Annual Appeal is our way of thanking our donors, constituents, families and friends for their continued support. We have so much to be thankful for, but we still have work to do for our blind and visually impaired community. Please consider donating to the annual appeal, as it supports all of our wonderful programs, such as our Braille class, technology training, ADL training, orientation & mobility training and support groups. Watch your mailboxes, the annual appeal will be arriving soon!

Special thank you to Focus Hope

GDABVI would like to give special thanks to Waymond Hayes and the entire Focus Hope team for providing Thanksgiving dinners for 15 of our families in need. It is truly a blessing but realize there may be more families in need than the contribution allowed. If you are in need of resources, please call the office at 248-272-3900 and we can direct you.

GDABVI would like to wish you and your family a safe and blessed Thanksgiving. Our office will be closed from November 23 -26 and we will re-open on Monday, November 28th.

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