Vista Center is the premier service provider for individuals who are blind and visually impaired in Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Benito, and Santa Cruz Counties. The organization began in 1936 as the Palo Alto Society for the Blind, and first opened as a home for blind or visually impaired residents of Palo Alto. The organization incorporated in 1947, became Peninsula Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired in 1970, then changed its name to Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired in 2005. Vista Center formed a partnership with the Doran Center for the Blind in Santa Cruz (the Doran Center was established by Ray Westman in 1979) and began serving individuals in Santa Cruz County in 2003. In June 2007, the Doran Center merged completely with Vista Center to become Vista Center Santa Cruz. We celebrate our local founder by calling our Santa Cruz center the Ray Westman Branch. Today, Vista Center is a regional, one-stop resource providing a comprehensive range of services which help people who are blind or visually impaired learn new skills and strategies to overcome the emotional impact of sight loss and remain independent, employed and mobile.
In 2018, Vista Center acquired the Santa Clara Valley Blind Center on Bascom Avenue in San Jose. This acquisition improves our ability to conveniently provide services to clients in the South Bay area.