National Association for Visually Handicapped
Serving millions of Hard of Seeing people throughout the world

The History of NAVH

Over 55 years ago Lorraine Marchi, a fourth generation San Franciscan and mother of 4 children, began National Association for Visually Handicapped. Her oldest son was born with albinism and she became aware that schools were unable to supply adequate large print educational materials for children like her son who did not require Braille. Out of that frustration and concern NAVH was born.

In 1954 she convened a meeting of health officials, educators, ophthalmologists, civic leaders and members of social organizations.  From that meeting emerged the Committee to Aid Visually Handicapped Children. For the next 17 years Dr. Marchi volunteered her services to a cause she described as her “life’s calling”. 

NAVH was the first and remains one of the only national organizations devoted solely to serving and advocating for the visually impaired. In its 55 year history NAVH has been the leader and pioneer in this cause.

Some of NAVH’s accomplishments include: