Search

Joined in October 2019

About Us

Mission: The League’s mission is to provide and promote opportunities that empower people with disabilities to achieve their potential.

Vision: The League’s vision is full inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of community life.

About: The history of our organization begins in 1946. At that time the local Community Chest (now called United Way of Allen County) asked the Social Planning Council to conduct a study to determine if services for the blind should be carried out by a part time employee who worked for the Community Chest, if it should be merged or coordinated with other existing services in the community, or if the community needed a new non-profit corporation to serve people who are blind.

The Social Planning Council completed their study in 1948 and recommended that a new non-profit agency for the blind be started. The Council also recommended that an interim committee be established to set up the new agency. This committee, known as the Allen County Committee for the Blind was established in 1948. This interim group brought Helen Keller to Fort Wayne in 1949 to challenge the community to address the needs of the blind, and help raise the needed funds for the League’s first two year operating budget. The Junior League of Fort Wayne voted to give money for a two year demonstration period and spent many volunteer hours establishing the agency. The League was incorporated in October 1950, began operations in February 1951, and obtained its non-profit, 501(c)(3) status in July 1951.

The League operated as a completely self-contained organization until 1961. From 1961 to 1981 it co-located, and was administered by the Community Coordinating Council (which later became AWS). During this 20 year period, the League maintained its non-profit corporate status and was governed by its own Board of Directors. In 1981, it received a federal Centers for Independent Living grant, became the first Center for Independent Living in Indiana and separated all ties with the Community Coordinating Council.

This event had a major impact on the agency’s philosophy and operations. The League grew to serve eleven counties in Northeast Indiana, and opened eligibility to all people with severe disabilities while maintaining specialized services for people who are blind. The League established a commitment to “consumer control” and put this commitment in action by requiring that the majority of its staff and Board members be qualified people with disabilities. A new organizational emphasis was also placed on addressing systemic barriers that people with disabilities encounter as they seek to be included in community life.

In 2000, the agency acquired the former Work Force Development Building through a donation from the State of Indiana which allowed the agency to add new programs and services. In 2006, the League acquired DeafLink from AWS and established this new division as the only non-profit sign language interpreting and case coordination provider in Northeast Indiana. In 2009, the League created an In-Home Care Division to help people receive the homemaking and attendant care services they need in order to remain in their own home and community. Community rooms were also built in the facility for use by worthwhile organizations that needed meeting room space. This latter addition established the League as a community wide resource.

Today, The League continues its tradition as a direct service provider and advocate through commitment to its mission to provide and promote opportunities that empower people with disabilities to achieve their potential.

Mission: The League’s mission is to provide and promote opportunities that empower people with disabilities to achieve their potential.

Vision: The League’s vision is full inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of community…

Issue Areas Include

  • Children & Youth
  • Communications Access
  • Disability
  • Human Rights & Civil Liberties
  • Seniors & Retirement

Location & Contact

Photos for League for the Blind and Disabled, Inc.

Join Idealist

Sign up today to save your favorite organizations and get email alerts when new ones are posted.