Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Grant Recipient - Disable Entrepreneur Receives Grant to start his business!

Universal Low Vision Aids
Columbus, OH

Dessie Page

Initial Capitalization:

Sources of Capital:
State Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired

Annual gross sales in excess of $500,000

Number of Employees:
6 full-time employees– many of whom have vision disabilities

Future Goals:
Page is intent on continuing to meet his customers' needs.

Universal Low Vision Aids, Inc. (ULVA) is a Columbus, Ohio-based firm specializing in assistive devices and software for people with print impairments (such as blindness, low vision, and learning disabilities). In addition to product sales, ULVA offers optional on-site installation, system orientation, and technical support. Owner Dessie Page, who has a visual impairment, knows first-hand how crucial these devices are to those who need them. As one of the first participants in the grant program, Page started ULVA with a $10,000 equipment grant.  The equipment enabled him to offer product demonstrations, leading to his initial sales. After that, Page says, "it was sink or swim time." He sought no additional help for the business and has never collected Social Security benefits.  This firm that once operated out of a fledgling office on Page's side porch, now has an accessible office in downtown Columbus where customers can browse the latest equipment. Today, ULVA enjoys gross sales in excess of $500,000 annually. The company serves the entire state of Ohio and has a staff of six–many of whom are people with vision disabilities. While the business has experienced steady growth over the years, Page's focus hasn't changed–he still gets great personal satisfaction from meeting his customers' needs.

And this information comes to you courtesy of the public accessible page of the US Department of Labor!

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