Our Organization History

The Tri-State Independent Blind Society Inc. was organized in December of 1972 and incorporated under the laws of Iowa as a non-profit organization 501(c) 3 on February 27, 1973. The Tri-State Independent Blind Society was formed to help and support individuals with vision loss.

The Society was established by ten interested people in our community so that they might promote the education, welfare and safety of both the blind and partially blind. They intended to develop their talents and skills enough to become useful, productive, valuable and happy members of society, as well as to provide incentive, companionship and a sense of belonging amongst peers.

In the 1980's we started the first Low Vision Eye Clinic in Iowa. Dr. Doug Spyrison, Dr. Martha Smith and Dr. Kent Hillary are optometrist eye doctors that graciously volunteered their time in our low vision eye clinic.

In 1988 the Tri-State Independent Blind Society relocated to our present location due to lack of space to accomplish the long range goals set by our board and staff.

We served thousands of hungry families over the years. We were the first organization to purchase a fifteen passenger van that provided transportation to the blind and handicapped so they were able to get around to their appointments, grocery store and our weekly activities.

The Dubuque Racing Association has helped us many years with grants for different programs that we offer. Some of them include computer class, cane travel, Braille, cooking class, kitchen skills and much more. Appointments can be made with staff for home visits to mark their appliances, devices to provide safety (rugs, lights, steps). We like to see people stay in their own home but be safe.

Our used bookstore is another way that helps us help others. The community donates hard & soft cover books, we also have large print and audio books for sale, picture puzzles and more item for all.