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Envision, Inc. is an interesting company. We're glad you noticed. Envision has a rich history of enhancing the personal independence of employees who are blind or vision impaired.
Jobs are available in our hometown of Wichita, Kan., and in more than a dozen other places across the country. Whether it's helping run a retail outlet, operating production machinery, assisting clients in our vision rehabilitation clinic or handling a support role that allows us to do all those things, we think you would find Envision an enriching place to work.
Read further to find out more about what our not-for-profit company produces and sells, what services we provide to blind and vision impaired people, what your job might entail, what expectations Envision has of you and how we'll accommodate any special needs you might have. In addition, you can learn about our commitment to a safe, secure workplace and about the competitive package of health insurance, vacation and other benefits we provide.
You also can gain an appreciation of what life would be like in Wichita, one of the best and most affordable cities around, a place with big-city attractions and small-town feel.
You'll come to understand the mission of Envision - providing jobs and greater independence for blind and vision impaired Americans - and, we hope, come to realize how satisfying it is to be part of that mission.
Read on, then come join us.
Our mission then, now and tomorrow...
The mission of Envision is to enhance the personal independence of individuals with low vision or blindness through employment and vision rehabilitation.
In essence, that means that we put people who are blind or vision impaired to work in our offices, factories and military base stores, providing valuable and enriching jobs for individuals who, as a group, suffer from high unemployment. Through vision rehabilitation, we provide the tools and the training for them to live richer, more independent lives. Both facets have been our mission for nearly 80 years and will continue to be in years ahead.
Meeting needs for vision and for daily life.
During the depths of the Depression, blind and vision impaired people faced a great hurdle to independent living that still exists today: a lack of job opportunities. So the Wichita Workshop and Training School for the Adult Blind was founded to provide job training, employment and support for blind and low vision individuals.
Over the nine decades since, the Workshop evolved into the Kansas Foundation for the Blind, then into Wichita Industries & Services for the Blind and, finally in 1997, into Envision, Inc. The names changed but the goals of employment and vision rehabilitation remain the same. Today, Envision Inc. employs more than 400 people at its plants, retail stores and administrative offices, not only providing gainful and satisfying work but also creating taxpaying citizens for communities in Kansas and other states.
Public education is a vital piece of Envision's mission. TV and radio public service announcements, informational guides about eye diseases, community outreach, assistive technology camp and seminars are all parts of our education component. Only a few years ago, in 2006, we launched our annual Envision Conference, bringing together low vision professionals to share the latest research and best practices.
What We Make
For much of our organization's early days, employees produced brooms, a natural choice as Wichita was a leading broomcorn marketing center. During World War II, workers did their part for the war effort, adding pillowcases for soldiers to the product line. Postwar and into the 1960's and 70's, production expanded into car seat belts, doormats and various janitorial supplies.
Much of the manufacturing since the beginning has been done under government contract. The federal AbilityOne program and Kansas law give priority to not-for-profit companies employing blind or disabled people. The contracts are in no way cushy entitlements, as the products must be competitively priced and meet stringent quality standards.
Today, all types of plastic bags-trash, seal closure, grocery, recycled, biodegradable - are Envision's primary product, but we also make rifle slings, high-visibility belts and industrial wiping towels.
Vision Rehabilitation and Training
Having given blind and low vision workers the means, a job for financial independence, it was only logical to provide them a tool - vision rehabilitation and training for independent living outside the workplace.
Braille lessons and orientation and mobility training were early offerings. Today, for employees and numerous others in the community, the Envision Vision Rehabilitation Center offers vision assessments and training in daily living skills, adaptive lighting and optical aids, orientation and mobility, and assistive technology involving computers. Knowing that each patient's needs are unique, Envision's licensed staff of doctors and other professional staff create a specific plan for each patient.
Building a Foundation for the Future
Three branches of Envision work together to support our mission.
Envision Industries manufactures goods and provides employment. Envision Digial Print handles printing ranging from business cards to oversized banners, and Envision Xpress operates retail outlets at 16 military bases that sell blind-made goods.
The Envision Vision Rehabilitation Center, which opened in new quarters in downtown Wichita in 2008, offers the services described above as well as many others.
Recognizing the need of ensuring that services are available to people who are blind or low vision today and in the future, the Envision Foundation was created in 2007 as the charitable and fundraising arm of Envision, Inc. The Foundation conducts capital campgaigns and handles endownments, memorials and contributions, all with the goal of making sure that no one is turned away because of an inability to pay.
Company Structure: How We're Set Up and Working Together For a Triple Play
Envision, Inc. consists of three primary areas that work together to support our mission of employing and serving people who are blind or low vision.
- Envision Industries manufactures plastic bags, industrial wiping towels and other products, employing more than 150 people at facilities in Wichita and Kansas City, Kansas. Envision Xpress, which operates retail stores at 16 military bases in 10 states, and Envision Digital Print in Wichita are part of Envision Industries.
- The Envision Vision Rehabilitation Center does just that, providing vision assessment, adaptive aids and training for people who are blind or have low vision.
- The Envision Foundation provides public and professional education and, through its fund-raising and charitable conponents, supports the mission of Envision, Inc.
Different Companies of Envision
Facilities and Opportunities Far and Wide
Envision, Inc. consists of several entities that provide employment. Envision, Inc. and the Envision Foundation have administrative and other support positions, while the Envision Vision Rehabilitation Center offers professional positions involving vision services and training. Employment in those areas occurs in Wichita, Envision's headquarters.
The largest amount of employment comes through Envision Industries, Envision Xpress and Envision Digital Print.
Envision Xpress operates retail outlets at 16 military bases in the Midwest and West. The stores furnish job opportunities for blind and vision impaired people, and serve as outlets for blind-made products (including Envision plastic bags) for government customers. They sell everything from light bulbs to hand trucks to office supplies to computer software. Stores are on bases in or near Lemoore, Calif.; Aurora and Colorado Springs, Colo.; Mountain Home, Idaho; Junction City, Lansing and Wichita, Kansas; Warrensburg, Mo.; Bellevue, Neb.; Grand Fords and Minot, N.D.; Millington, Tenn.; Spokane, Wash.; and Cheyenne, Wyo.
Envision Digital Print, based in Wichita, has a 30,000 square foot facility that employs visually impaired and blind people in all phases of its operation. Its capabilities have grown steadily since 2000. For government and private customers, Envision Digital Print performs low to high volume color and digital printing and national and international mailing services. It prints everything from business cards to large formats such as banners, as well as handling binding, packaging, fulfillment and warehousing.
Envision Industries operates manufacturing facilities in Wichita and Kansas City, Kansas, providing jobs and training for individuals who are blind or have low vision. Envision Industries, with more than 200 workers, is the second-largest employer of blind and low vision people in the United States. Envision Industries' products include:
- trash bags
- grocery bags
- seal closure bags
- industrial wiping towels
- rifle slings
- Visi-belts® (safety reflectors worn by crossing guards, construction workers and emergency personnel)