Welcome to the home of the
Houston Area Visually Impaired Network (HAVIN).

 

HAVIN is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization comprised of various volunteer groups and organizations from across Houston that serve the information, resource, and support needs of the blind and visually impaired. Our vision is to educate, provide peer support, and unify the blind and visually impaired community in the Greater Houston area.

 

Our mission is to provide training, education, workshops, seminars, and mentorship to the blind and visually impaired Community,  providing skills and resources to help individuals live full and independent lives.

Because we are blind and visually impaired ourselves, we understand how large in area Houston is and the challenges this poses to the many people from across our great city who are also blind and visually impaired. Our goal when starting HAVIN was to try to make it a little smaller for us, at least once a year, for those of us who are blind and visually impaired. To do this, we bring together the various support groups and nonprofit organizations that serve the blind and visually impaired community and make up HAVIN to host at least one event a year, the annual Insight Expo. While its not practical to come to each of our group’s individual meetings, it is possible for us to come together for that one day a year and bring unity to our community.

 

That is how we started, but, we have grown to do so much more than that today. Read below for the latest news and information about HAVIN. There are also links to our “About Us” page above, and “Our Groups,” if you want to find out about our history, or to contact one of the groups that comprise HAVIN.

 

 

Make a Donation to HAVIN

 

Even though we are a dedicated group of volunteers working collectively to serve our community, we still have expenses and rely on the generosity of donors to help us meet our financial obligations. If you would like to make a tax-exempt donation to support the work of HAVIN, know that it is much appreciated.

Secure donations can be made  through Square using a debit or credit card at this link:

Donate to HAVIN

However, if Zelle, Paypal, or the Cash app are your preferred methods of donating, we also have accounts set up on each of those platforms to receive payments.

For Zelle and Paypal, send donations to

havin.tx@gmail.com

 

for the Cash app, our Cashtag is  $HAVINTX

 

Next HAVIN Zoom workshop: Moving Day, exploring housing options for the blind and visually impaired

Whether moving out or moving in, we all need a place to live, and that goes for those who are blind and visually impaired as well as anybody else.

 

Make plans to join HAVIN as we present “Moving Day,” a Zoom workshop on housing options for the blind and visually impaired.

 

When: Saturday, June 29, 2024

Time: 1:00 to 3:00 PM (CDT)

Where: Zoom Platform

 

In this workshop, we will discuss the various housing options that exist and examine the pros and cons of each one. We will look at some Houston-specific options, but also discuss housing options in general. We will also have a few guests joining us who are professionals in their field.

 

Make sure to register to attend.

 

Registration will close on Friday, June 28, 2024 at 5 PM Central time. After registration closes, the Zoom link will be sent to those who registered. Those who register will be entered into a drawing for our ever popular door prize. We hope to see you there.

 

HAVIN presenting a program with Cruise autonomous vehicles

 

 

If you’re like most of us, we’re certain that you’ve heard of autonomous (self-driving) vehicles. And you probably have thoughts or questions about these vehicles, and particularly how they will impact the  lives of the blind and visually impaired community. If so, then you missed out on the Cruise listening session hosted by the Houston Area Visually Impaired Network (HAVIN), which was held on Thursday, May 23 at the gym at the Metropolitan Multi Service Center

 

After several weeks in the planning stage, HAVIN coordinated a meeting with Cruise, the autonomous (self-driving) vehicle division of General Motors. They wanted to know what the blind and visually impaired community thinks about self-driving cars and we had ideas and questions to share. Because they are GM, their fleet is comprised entirely of the all-electric Chevrolet Volt. They shared the latest news about their autonomous vehicles and what is going on with the progress of this program.  They also brought one of their vehicles to the presentation so attendees could check it out.

 

If you missed it, know that we are working to edit the recording and will post it to the HAVIN YouTube page when that’s done.

 

 

HAVIN’s White Cane Drive

 

Do you have one or more old folding white canes sitting around the house that you no longer need? Maybe the elastic is broken, or one of the sections is broken, or maybe it needs a new tip, or you just have an extra cane that you no longer use.

 

As another way to serve our community, HAVIN is sponsoring a white cane drive and is asking each of our member organizations to have their members donate white canes for this. Between now and June 1, we will collect used and broken folding white canes. The collected canes will be repaired and refurbished by HAVIN in June and donated to the You Cane Give initiative to further their work of providing white canes and Orientation & Mobility instruction to people internationally who do not have access to white canes or O&M training. This is serving a double function of clearing out your old canes and putting them to use in the hands of people who are in dire need of them.

 

So, if you have one or more folding white canes that you would like to donate, find out from your group or organization leader when and where they are collecting them. Your donations are greatly appreciated.

 

Latest News from HAVIN

 

We would like to welcome our newest HAVIN advisor, Dr. Jennifer Tasca, with the University of Houston College of Optometry. Dr. Tasca has been an active supporter of the HAVIN Insight Expo for several years and we are glad to welcome her in this official capacity.

 

Did you know…HAVIN is the official occupant of office #180 at the Metropolitan Multi-Service Center at 1475 W. Gray Street.

 

We have set office hours each Friday, from 11:00 – 3:00 PM. Walk-ins are welcome, but it would help if you schedule an appointment. If you want to schedule an appointment, email us at havin@havintx.org

 

HAVIN has a dedicated phone number. Contact us at (713) 570-6968.

Follow us on Social media – We’re on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: @HAVINTX
Or through your local group or organization email list.

 

Recognizing our sponsors and supporters

 

We appreciate everybody who has donated to support HAVIN. In just the past year alone, there has been an abundant number of charitable donations to HAVIN, and we want you all to know how grateful we are for these. This includes several individuals, as well as businesses. If you are one of the many individuals who have donated to HAVIN, thank you.

 

We would like to acknowledge the official sponsor of our annual Insight Expo,

The University of Houston College of Optometry

who have been part of HAVIN since our launch and have graciously hosted all of our Insight Expos.

 

Additionally, we would like to thank the following sponsors for helping us through charitable grants.

Houston Delta Gamma Foundation

WalMart Local Community Grants Team and WalMart Facility # 3579  in Kingwood

 

 

And, finally, HAVIN would like to say thank you to the following businesses for supporting us as we have delivered our programming and as we have expanded our operations and service.

 

Cheniere

Christal Vision Inc.

Dreamhost

RGA Tech Solutions

Trader Joe’s

Vispero

 

Hear how we began

 

If you would like to learn more and hear our president telling more about the formation of HAVIN, check out this interview with Chelsea Nguyen at Sight Into Sound studios.

Follow HAVIN on Social Media

 

We are on Twitter and Instagram: @HAVINTX

 

Also be sure to follow us on Facebook: (20+) Houston Area Visually Impaired Network – HAVIN | Facebook