Name of organization
Houston Area Visually Impaired Network( HAVIN)
To provide training, education, workshops, seminars, and mentorship to the visually impaired Community, providing skills and resources to help individuals live full and independent lives.
“Bringing unity to our community”
What is HAVIN?
HAVIN is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization comprised of various volunteer groups from across Houston that serve the information, resource, and support needs of the visually impaired. Our vision is to educate, provide peer support and unify the visually impaired community in the Greater Houston area.
Our office is located at #180 at 1475 W. Gray St., Houston TX 77019. This physical location gives us a place to meet with people and hold classes that help bring unity to our community.
How HAVIN began
In August, 2010, the leaders of five Houston area support groups for the visually impaired met with a plan to join forces and bring together the blind and visually impaired community from across the greater Houston area in a manner that had not been accomplished before. Their desire was to have the visually impaired support groups that were separated by miles, get together and host a program that would unify the community.
To do this, they committed to working together to plan one or two events each year that would be useful for sharing information and resources, as well as letting these people meet and network with one another. The first goal was to put on an event that would provide information and resources, and this was to become the inaugural Insight Expo. To meet this goal, they planned a seminar with speakers, panel discussions, and workshops, as well as a variety of exhibitors that serve this community to share information and products with the attendees.
Since that first event, , some of the founding support groups have rotated from membership on the Board of Directors and have been replaced by other groups. Today, HAVIN is comprised of 9 groups and organizations, including the local chapters of both the American Council of the Blind and the National Federation of the Blind, as well as the Blinded Veterans Association and the Foundation Fighting Blindness. The ultimate goal is to keep our community connected and share information and resources with one another. If we are able to help out somebody who is searching for these items, then we have done our job.
Past events HAVIN has sponsored
March 2011 – Inaugural Insight Expo University of Houston, College of Optometry
February 2012 – Screening of the documentary movie “Going Blind” and panel discussion afterwards Winwood Baptist Church, (in Willowbrook area)
October 2012 – Fall Social Metropolitan Multi-Service Center, on West Gray, Houston
April 2013 – Insight Expo University of Houston, Health and Biomedical Sciences Building
April 2014 Insight Expo University of Houston, Health and Biomedical Sciences Building
April 2015 Insight Expo University of Houston, Health and Biomedical Sciences Building
July 2016 Insight Expo University of Houston, Health and Biomedical Sciences Building
March 2017 Insight Expo University of Houston, Health and Biomedical Sciences Building
April 2018 Insight Expo University of Houston, Health and Biomedical Sciences Building
March 2019 Insight Expo University of Houston, Health and Biomedical Sciences Building
2020 – present Due to COVID, we began and continue to present a Series of regular virtual workshops using the Zoom platform
October 2022 Co-sponsor of Houston Community White Cane Safety Day