WVU Eye Institute hosts CVRP “Our Voice” concert series showcasing WV students who are blind or visually impaired

Blessing Offor, a former contestant on NBC’s reality series, “The Voice,” will perform a concert alongside students from the West Virginia Children’s Vision Rehabilitation Program at Chestnut Ridge Church in Morgantown on Saturday, Oct. 14, at 2 p.m.

Offor was born with blindness in one eye due to congenital glaucoma and lost his vision completely at the age of 10. He went on to develop a passion for music at a young age, leading to him being a contestant on season 7 of NBC’s “The Voice” in 2014 and releasing his debut full-length album in 2023.

In addition to his love for music, Offor also shares a strong passion for working with children who are blind or visually impaired. This led to him discovering CVRP, where he has served as a program volunteer for several years.

The concert event, titled “Our Voice,” will also feature musical performances from the blind and visually impaired children from across the state of West Virginia who are currently enrolled in CVRP. Program Director for CVRP, Rebecca Coakley, M.A., CLVT, said this concert event has been several months in the making and that she can’t wait for the children to give their performances.

“These kids have been working diligently on their music for this performance for the last six months and I couldn’t be prouder of them,” said Coakley. “I hope that they will have a full crowd to perform in front of when they take the stage next month.”

Our Voice is in collaboration with the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind, the West Virginia Department of Vision Rehabilitation, the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, the James H. and Alice Teubert Foundation and the Milan Puskar Foundation. Faculty and staff from the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and the WVU Eye Institute will serve as volunteers for the event.

Admission to the concert is $10 for adults and children ages 15 or older, $5 for children between the ages of 3-14 and free for any children under 3 years old. Tickets will be available for purchase at the door.

CVRP is a joint initiative between the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and the WVU Eye Institute. To learn more about CVRP and the other outreach programs supported by the Department and the Eye Institute, visit medicine.hsc.wvu.edu/eye/outreach.