School children visiting our Braille Production Plant
Conveniently located in Center City - Downtown Philadelphia, PA
Our Gardening Program is challenging and enjoyable!
Guide Dog Appreciation Day at ASB. These service animals know why they're there!
The Philadelphia Phillies take time out to recognize one of their many visually impaired fans!
Vision loss isn't the end of the road - it's a new road and we're here to help!
Who We Are? serving the blind & visually impaired
If you’ve been affected by blindness or visual impairment, know someone who has, or if you’re just seeking information, you’ve come to the right place.
ASB is a Philadelphia-based non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring self-esteem, independence and self determination among people who are blind or visually impaired.
What We Do? promote self-esteem & independence
Adapting to life with little or no vision can be a daunting challenge. Fear and uncertainty can be overwhelming. Even a lifelong home can suddenly become foreign and perilous. In blindness or visual impairment, much of what a sighted person takes for granted needs to be relearned in a completely new way.
What You Can Do? we depend on you!
We’re dedicated to the work we do and the people we serve, but we can’t do it without help. The services, education and support that we offer are possible, in large part, thanks to the generosity of those who give their time or financial resources.
Experience Story: Michele Zimmaro
- Published on Thursday, 25 June 2009 13:59
Michele Zimmaro: “ASB has given me the computer skills to get me back in the work force and make me marketable to potential employers.”
Philadelphia, PA, June 10, 2009 --- Port Richmond native, Michele Zimmaro, became a member of the Associated Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ASB) family in June 2008 after being laid off from her medical transcription and call center dispatcher jobs at a local hospital where she worked for 13 ½ years. Jobs were outsourced to save money and departments were eliminated. Michele, a trained DOS and basic Windows user, realized the importance of computer technology in employment and shortly after being unemployed sought to enhance her technological skills.
Michele, who was born completely blind, heard about the ASB Computer Technology Center (CTC) through an independent contractor who works at ASB’s headquarters. She had been searching for a credible computer class and asked The Pennsylvania Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services (BBVS) to refer her to the program. Michele began her classes with David Goldfield, the teacher of the CTC, shortly after.
Michele found that ASB’s computer course would equip her with the necessary computer skills that are vital in the employment world. Under David’s careful instruction, Michele has learned to operate Microsoft Office, expand her skills with Windows, and is currently learning how to navigate the internet. Once she has mastered the internet, she will begin learning email. Unique to regular computer classes, students work with adaptive software that either enlarges the material on the computer screen (ZoomText) or one that verbally reads what’s on the screen (JAWS), depending on their impairment.
Michele praised the level of instruction saying, "David is a very patient teacher. He knows how to teach the class and the programs we, the clients, use because he himself uses them. With JAWS, he can create analogies for the blind and visually impaired to understand because he can relate."
Michele’s goal after completing the class is to rejoin the workforce. She is interested in trying something new and working in a field where she can assist people.
When asked about her progress and thoughts on the CTC Michele stated, "I can complete the job functions efficiently with confidence and accuracy. Because of this class, I am on an equal level with my sighted peers. With the internet, I will be able to shop, buy and read books, and perform job searches independently. I won’t need a second party to help me locate information because I’ll be able to do it myself and that’s an incredible feeling."
Patricia C. Johnson, CEO and President of ASB stated, "Our goal with the Computer Technology Center is to provide training, support, and knowledge to our clients to keep them on par with their peers and help them gain independence. Computer skills are a necessity in entry level jobs, as well as higher range positions. Michele is a perfect example of what we hope this class will accomplish for all of our clients."
With Michele’s determination and vitality, she is sure to rejoin the workforce. Her extensive qualifications are on par with her sighted peers and her superior work is sure to be noticed by potential employers.
In her free time Michele enjoys rooting on all of the Philadelphia sports teams. She is a huge fan and regularly attends games. She is also an avid reader, theatre and movie-goer, she loves to travel, and attend performances of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
How Can I Help?
Do You Read Braille?
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