VISTAS is committed to facilitating equitable learning opportunities for blind and low vision students in grades PreK-12+ through specialized educational support in schools and other community settings. Our vision is to be a leading service provider at the regional and national level advancing full access and inclusion for blind and low vision students of all abilities where they learn and play.
VISTAS was launched in 2016 by Dr. Monique Coleman, a Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) with an extensive background spanning early intervention through high school. Dr. Coleman’s experiences as a classroom and itinerant TVI ignited her desire to reach more blind and low students who were in need of comprehensive TVI instructional services.
Since its founding, VISTAS has served as a vehicle for transformative educational opportunities for blind and low vision students in New Jersey. With Dr. Coleman’s forward-thinking leadership, VISTAS forges partnerships with school districts across New Jersey to support educational teams in meeting the needs of blind and low vision learners, and empower students with unique skills, knowledge, and tools to excel in their learning.
When pandemic-related remote learning swept across schools in March 2020, Dr. Coleman and a few of her VISTAS colleagues created the National Homework Hotline, a volunteer-driven initiative designed to assist blind and low vision students with accessing and completing their homework. This endeavor earned VISTAS the prestigious APH Navigator award in 2022, reaffirming the organization’s commitment to innovation and community service. The National Homework Hotline continues to flourish due to the ongoing dedication of its volunteers and the sustained interest of students and families.
Beyond the classroom, VISTAS hosts educational enrichment programs and activities that provide opportunities for blind and low vision students to reinforce their learning and socialize with their peers outside of the school day. These events include field trips, online and virtual classes, and the annual New Jersey Braille Challenge and Abacus Bee events. Through its varied school and community based services and programs, VISTAS maintains an unyielding commitment to facilitating learning opportunities for blind and low vision students of all abilities.
At VISTAS, our educators embrace an asset-based approach to teaching that acknowledges and values the strengths of our students as the fundamental building blocks upon which their learning is built. Learn more about our team members here.