History of the GDABVI
For more than 52 years, the Greater Detroit Agency for the Blind and Visually Impaired (GDABVI) has provided innovative services to thousands of men, women and children throughout southeast Michigan. Established in 1961 as the Metropolitan Society for the Blind, the organization provided direct assistance to people in the metropolitan Detroit area who were blind or visually impaired through consultation and staff training to health agencies and educational institutions.
The organization became Greater Detroit Society for the Blind when it merged with the Detroit Society for the Prevention of Blindness in 1970, and was once again renamed in 1993 to honor its founding director, McAllister Upshaw. In 2000, it was honored by Crain’s Detroit Business as the Best-Managed Nonprofit with a budget under $3 million.
In 2005, the organization sought out a more clearly recognizable identity, changing its name to the Greater Detroit Agency for the Blind and Visually Impaired. As it has since its conception, it continues to help those with visually impairments achieve and maintain independence. Read more about our history.