NABA began on December 2, 1908, when ten blind men and women came together in an effort to overcome the difficulties of adjusting to their vision loss. Then known as the Albany Association of the Blind, the organization was housed at 105 Lancaster Street, and began to offer social and workshop activities to its members. These activites generated employment for blind individuals, and the goods produced were sold to help support the growing association. In 1923, NABA relocated to 208 State Street in Albany. Thirty-five years later, in 1958, the Association purchased its current building at 301 Washington Avenue in Albany.
With help from Dr. Harry M. Judge, the Albany Association of the Blind opened its Low Vision Center in 1967, offering specialized eye examinations to individuals with vision unable to be corrected by conventional eyeglass lenses.
The Albany Association of the Blind officially became the Northeastern Association of the Blind at Albany, Inc (NABA) in 1978 when it broadened its services to assist individuals in seven upstate counties: Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Southern Saratoga, Schenectady and Schoharie. In 2002, some of NABA’s services were expanded to reach individuals in the rest of Saratoga County and Eastern Montgomery, Fulton, Warren and Washington Counties.
Today, NABA provides a wide range of services to individuals with visual impairments. Some of these services include training and placing legally blind adults in professional employment, and providing rehabilitation services to seniors with age-related vision loss. NABA, with over a century of experience, continues to help individuals overcome the challenges of vision loss, enabling them to lead more productive, independent lives. NABA also provides free vision screening for children 18 months to 4 years old through our KidSight Program.
NABA is a private, not-for-profit, 501(c) 3 organization, and provides its services to individuals without regard to socioeconomic status, race, religion, gender or age. NABA is overseen by a Board of Directors and employs over 100 individuals. Additionally, NABA provides a variety of opportunities for volunteers and interns. The agency hosts several fund raising events throughout the year, and publishes Brighter Horizons, a (bi-monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or periodic) newsletter.