Non-profit expands to help more blind people in Tucson

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — 21-year-old Sarahann Goree was born blind.

“It’s a rare genetic disease. I was born blind and grew up with low vision,” said Goree.

Goree faced challenges while in school.

“I didn’t really have those non-visual skills. The public school system kind of just taught me how to do things visually, even though I didn’t have the best of vision,” said Goree.

Now, Goree is learning that it’s not what you can see, it’s what you can do. She spends many of her days at SAAVI Services for the Blind. The center helps blind people of all ages learn the skills they need to be independent.

“We have some great big kitchens to spread out in and do all kinds of skills training. We have two big new computer labs. We have two areas in our gym…a cardio and weight area,” said SAAVI Services for the Blind President, Amy Porterfield.

After years of planning, SAAVI opened a new facility to serve the blind community.

“We have such a great facility here. The potential for it is enormous. However, it’s not about the building necessarily. It’s the people that make what we do here special,” said SAAVI Services for the Blind Student Services Manager, Tarik Williams.

Their goal is to encourage more people to do anything they set their minds to.

“I love people recognizing that blindness is only one characteristic of many. It’s not something that stops your life,” said Porterfield.

Megan Meier is a reporter for KGUN 9. Megan graduated from Arizona State Universityʼs Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications in May 2018. While pursuing her degree in broadcast journalism, Megan interned at the City of Phoenix. Share your story ideas and important issues with Megan by emailing or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


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