Diane McMillan is the Manager of Children Services. She manages staff who work with pre-schoolers and school-age children up to age 18. AVRE staff work with children in nine New York counties.


Diane and our service staff work with toddlers and their parents to provide a wide variety of early skill training. These include tactile and sensory learning experiences, such as buttoning and zipping clothing, opening bags of food, and peeling bananas or hard-boiled eggs. Pre-schoolers are provided with Orientation and Mobility (travel training) instruction and pre-Braille skills to prepare for schooling. Forums and information sharing for parents are also provided. Diane coordinates closely with Pre-school agencies and the New York State Commission for the Blind.

We have enhanced our services by offering new teaching tools such as SAL (Speech Assisted Learning) to teach pre-Braille skills, storybooks that feature large-print, Braille and tactile illustrations, and special toys that use audio, motion and visual stimulation to teach pre-mobility skills.

School-age children

AVRE professional staff work with school-age children, their parents and teachers in all grades up to age 18. Services include Orientation and Mobility instruction at schools and around the community, independent living skills training both at home and at school, teaching Braille, and adaptive computer technology and connecting peers.

Recreation for kids

Through a Recreational Grant from the New York State Commission for the Blind, AVRE provides recreational outings for children and teens who are legally blind. Involvement in recreation and social activities during the formative years of life has a significant, positive impact on many basic aspects of growing and reaching adulthood. AVRE's goal is to increase the social skills, independence, confidence and self-esteem of children with a vision disability by using a recreational settingen

Pre-vocational Experience

During the summer, AVRE hosts a pre-vocational experience for students ages 10 through 18, offering them a sense of what having gainful employment really means. Participants have opportunities to learn about adaptive technology for school and work. They learn about different career paths and how to prepare for them. They also spend time talking with adults who are blind or visually impaired about their jobs and how working allows them to lead productive, fulfilled lives. For young people who are blind or visually impaired to succeed, it is critical for them to understand that there are no limitations to living well and independently.