History of the GDABVI
Since 1961, the Greater Detroit Agency for the Blind and Visually Impaired (GDABVI) and its predecessor organizations have provided innovative services to thousands of men, women and children throughout southeast Michigan. The original Metropolitan Society for the Blind was established to provide direct assistance to people in the metropolitan Detroit area who were blind or visually impaired through consultation, along with 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 as the Upshaw Institute for the Blind.
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 residents with visual impairments to achieve and maintain independence. Read more about our history.