Read about some of our IBCF supporters and why they donate!
ISBVI Orientation and Mobility Specialist
“I support IBCF because I believe in helping make students more independent.”
Jessica Hunt started working for ISBVI Fall of 2012. In January 2016 she became an Orientation and Mobility Instructor for the Middle School and High School students. Jessica moved to Indiana from Arkansas where she worked at the Deaf School. She specializes in working with the students who are deaf-blind here at ISBVI on their O&M skills. Jessica is also the Junior Varsity Swim Coach and assists with the Varsity Swim team as well.
“The Indiana Blind Children’s Foundation has and continues to provide us with wonderful resources that enhance our programs. Through their efforts we have been able to provide experiences and opportunities for our children that would not have been possible otherwise. Like the faculty and staff of the school, the members of the Indiana Blind Children’s Foundation generously and unselfishly donate their time, talents and resources to make our school a better place so that the children they tirelessly serve can be the best that they can be.”
Jim Durst has been employed at the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ISBVI) for the past twenty-five years. He was hired as the principal in 1992 and became superintendent in 2001. Transitioning from an administrative position at another school for the blind in the country, he was impressed with the dedication of the faculty and staff at ISBVI. Teachers, teaching assistants, education support staff and house parents, housekeeping, maintenance, laundry, dietary and business office staff, all made it very apparent that they were here to provide opportunities and make a difference for students.
IBCF Board Member & ISBVI Alumni, 1968
“I support the Indiana Blind Children’s Foundation because I want the School for the Blind & Visually Impaired to remain strong and vital as a way to ensure that blind and low-vision students will continue to have learning and life experiences on which to build a lifetime of success.”
John Huffman attended ISBVI from age 7 until he graduated in 1968. John went on to receive a B.A. in political science from Indiana University in 1972 and a M.A. in labor and industrial relations from the University of Illinois in 1975. His post-graduate education was followed by a 33-year career in human resources for a large federal agency.
Administrative Assistant, Superintendent’s Office (ISBVI)
“I support the Indiana Blind Children’s Foundation because they truly make a difference in the life of blind and visually impaired students by helping to provide the tools and technology needed to set them on a path towards success.”
Karen Keller has been with the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired since June of 2009. She enjoys her role as an Administrative Assistant because she is able to see first-hand the dedication of school administrators as they work and advocate to provide quality programming and curriculum to students.
ISBVI Elementary School Dietary
“I support IBCF because it is truly a worthy cause that benefits many kids.”
Robert Hampton has been working for the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired for over 25 years. He ensures the students in the Elementary School have all of their nutritional needs taken care of through the amazing food he prepares each day.
IBCF Board Member and Chairperson of the “Through the Looking Glass” Gala
“I support IBCF because it’s important to increase awareness of the amazing students and staff…and all that they do.”
As a Senior Sales Executive at Allergan, I have helped patients preserve vision with the multiple products they have to offer for almost 11 years. Early on in my career, I was formally introduced to the Indiana School for the Blind and IBCF by my company as we aided in a few graduation ceremonies. From that point, I couldn't think of a better place to volunteer my time as I saw how amazing and ambitious these students were despite their disability, and how incredible the staff was helping them. The Through The Looking Glass Gala has raised so much for their educational and technology needs, and I can't wait to see what the coming years brings to the foundation.
IBCF Board Member
“I support IBCF because we believe all children should have access to the world around them.”
Toula Oberlies has been affiliated with the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired since the mid 1990’s when her association started through the ISBVI music program known as the Barbershop Singers. Toula has been an active community volunteer and Board member for IBCF since 1996. Toula co-wrote the matching gift grant between Lilly Endowment and Nina Mason Pulliam Trust to renovate and expand the ISBVI library.
ISBVI Middle and High School Principal
“I support the IBCF because they help fund assistive technology for our students which helps to even the playing field with their sighted peers.”
Jay Wilson has been the Middle and High School Principal for the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired for nearly nine years. Previously he was a teacher at the Iowa Braille School where his love of sports motivated the launch of Camp Ability, a sports camp for children with visual impairments.
IBCF Board Member
"Unfortunately our society is profoundly uncomfortable with the reality of disability. All too often, people with disabilities feel invisible in their communities. I believe every child has the potential to thrive in life, and every child will have an important role in their communities. I support IBCF because they value every child and they support the work of dedicated educational professionals who help each blind and visually impaired child excel in life."
Kristina has over 17 years of experience in nonprofit administration. For the last several years, she has worked as an advocate for the inclusion of people with disabilities in the arts at the state and national levels.
“I support IBCF because it has created opportunities for my children and is opening doors for their future. IBCF stands behind the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired and provides the support needed to bring necessary resources for my children's education. It's difficult to get the comprehensive education that the school has to offer in a typical school. As a parent, we all want the best for our children, and getting the best opportunity for them to grow. This is what IBCF has opened for my children, a future that is bright, independent, and full of opportunities.”
Jill Pangle is the mother of two children with a rare genetic disorder that causes blindness. She has advocated for persons with blindness and visual impairment, and she will continue in the pursuit for advocacy for people with blindness and visual impairment. She is completing her master’s degree in rehabilitation for the blind, with advanced education in orientation and mobility.
David S. Thomas
Board Member, Indiana Blind Children’s Foundation
“All children need a wide range of learning opportunities and experiences in order to discover their gifts and talents. I support the Indiana Blind Children’s Foundation because helping children reach their potential is an investment in the future. Children with visual challenges require unique teaching techniques and guidance as well as multi-sensory experiences. The Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired provides the widest scope and highest quality educational experience possible.”
David Thomas has been associated with the school since 1990 in providing multi-media art education to the students through the Indianapolis Art Center where he served as Vice President and Director of Programs. He has worked in education and the arts his entire professional life and currently does strategic planning and capacity building for not for profit cultural organizations.
Elementary Principal and Director of Outreach & Related Services (ISBVI)
“I support the Indiana Blind Children’s Foundation because the foundation is continuously exploring and identifying creative ways to support the life-long learning journey of students who are blind or visually impaired.”
Tiffany Sanders started as an Outreach Consultant at the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in August of 2011. Although her 16 year career in special education didn’t begin at ISBVI, Tiffany has had a life-long history with the school. Her parents were both retirees from the school and her sister was a graduate. In addition, Tiffany’s niece is currently attending the ISBVI short course program and is an athlete on the school’s goalball and track teams.
Executive Director, Indiana Blind Children’s Foundation (IBCF)
“Being able to see gives you easier access to the world because so much learning takes place visually. I support the Indiana Blind Children’s Foundation because for children with visual impairments they need consistent and unique programs, resources, technology and a community of support to nourish their abilities.”
Laura Alvarado started as the Executive Director of IBCF in May, 2016. She has over 15 years’ experience working for non-profit organizations impacting underserved audiences. Her leadership throughout the years in the community has helped earn numerous awards and recognition for numerous programs.