Mr. Vito J. DeSantis joined the staff of the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired in 1984. Initially, he was instrumental in the research and strategic planning for what became a comprehensive reorganization and expansion of CBVI services and programs to meet the evolving needs of consumers and the onset of the technology age.
In November 1988, Vito was appointed to the position of Manager of the Commission's Southern Regional Office (SRO), which provided services to consumers living in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties.
When Vito became the Manager of CBVI's Joseph Kohn Vision Rehabilitation Center in New Brunswick in August 2000 he quickly implemented program modifications that reinforced the need for students with varying degrees of visual impairment to be thoroughly trained and accustomed to utilizing the skills of blindness through the use of sleep shades during instruction.
Before entering state service Vito served in the U.S. Armed Forces for nearly 11 years, retiring in the rank of Captain. Primarily assigned to medical units, he held numerous leadership positions in the 47th Medical Battalion in Nuremberg, Germany, Wilcox Hospital Clinic in New York and the Patterson Army Hospital in Fort Monmouth, NJ.
Vito was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. John's University in 1973, a Master of Public Administration degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1985. In 1994 he received a certificate in supervisory management from the state's Certified Public Manager Program.
One of Vito's most cherished achievements is being the recipient of the 2001 Major General Melvin J. Maas Achievement Award at the 56th National Convention of the Blinded Veterans Association. This award, the highest honor bestowed by BVA, is annually presented to one individual, who is chosen for outstanding exemplification of the principles of initiative, independence and self-reliance.
In 1996, Vito was recognized with a U.S. Congressional Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Community Service. Having served as a scout leader since 1989, he earned a Wood Badge from the Boy Scouts of America.
On the national level, Vito currently serves as president of the National Council of State Agencies for the Blind (NJSAB). The NCSAB is an organization which seeks to maintain and support categorical services to blind citizens and to advocate for improved programs and quality service.
Vito and his wife, Sally Ann, have 2 sons and reside in Mercer County, NJ.