- Published on Sunday, 26 October 2008 22:22
At ASB, we know that most of the obstacles that come with blindness or visual impairment can be overcome with determination and work. Our roster of services is designed to encourage clients to conquer their challenges with all the support we can offer. Regaining independence can be a hard-fought battle, but at ASB we believe that no one ever has to fight alone.
Click on any of the following links to find out more about what we have to offer:
- Life Skills Classes
- Low Vision Support Group
- Diabetes Information and Support Group
- Classes in English As a Second Language
- Hands-On Gardening Program
- Recreational Programs
- Drop-In Center
- Special Events
- Legal Clinic
- Shopping Assistance
- Senior Companions
- Phone Friends
LIFE SKILLS CLASSES (Back to top)
Relearning and rethinking basic life skills after blindness or visual impairment are critical to independence. How do you use a stove? Coordinate clothing? Sew on a button? Identify canned goods? Make tea without burning yourself? ASB offers six different classes that teach clients how to adapt and thrive. Life Skill Classes are offered in English and Spanish.
LOW VISION SUPPORT GROUP (Back to top)
Low or impaired vision comes with its own set of challenges and emotions, and our support groups give individuals with similar conditions and backgrounds the opportunity to talk and share their stories, concerns and triumphs. We currently offer Low Vision Support Groups in English and Spanish, as well as a Men’s Group, Women’s Group, Senior’s Group and an Assertiveness Training Group.
DIABETES INFORMATION AND SUPPORT GROUP (Back to top)
Diabetes is the single most common cause of blindness and visual impairment among our clients, but Diabetes doesn’t stop when vision loss sets in. At ASB, clients with Diabetes are given a place where they can get essential information and help as they address their needs and concerns. We offer Diabetes Support Groups in English and Spanish.
CLASSES IN ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE (Back to top)
Understanding and speaking English is essential for true independence and mobility among the blind and visually impaired. Without sight and a grasp of English, for example, navigating public transportation can be a nightmare. Our ESL classes incorporate the specific needs of our clients, and provide a comfortable atmosphere where they are much more at ease to learn and digest the nuances of the English language. We offer Beginner and Intermediate Classes, and current participants include individuals from various Spanish speaking countries as well as Puerto Rico, Russia, the Philippines and Trinidad.
HANDS-ON GARDENING PROGRAM (Back to top)
Enriching our clients’ spirits is as important to us as teaching them skills. Our award-winning Hands-On Gardening program gives anyone with a love of gardening a place to appreciate nature and share in the joys of making things grow. Participants learn adaptive techniques, enjoy educational field trips and maintain a healthy and active hobby. And their passion shows: their Hands-On Garden in Philadelphia’s Fairmont Park has won multiple awards in its class from the Philadelphia Horticultural Society.
RECREATIONAL PROGRAMS (Back to top)
With recreational programs like crocheting, knitting and chess, people who are blind or visually impaired have a place to go to escape the solitary confinement many feel trapped by. Here, they can get out of their daily routine and have a place to be social, find friendship, chat and enjoy themselves with others who have the same interests.
DROP-IN CENTER (Back to top)
Just as the name suggests a place for our clients to drop by and socialize, chat and enjoy one another’s company. Maybe for a game of bingo, to watch a “descriptive movie,” participate in an art project…or just to relax.
SPECIAL EVENTS (Back to top)
Our clients have unique needs and interests, and ASB had long enjoyed tailoring special events meant to enrich their minds, bodies and spirits. From holiday parties to shopping trips, from Mardi gras celebrations to bowling outings, ASB seeks to bring joy into the lives of the blind and visually impaired throughout the Philadelphia region. We also schedule special speakers and programs on topics essential to our clients’ wellbeing, with a broad range of topics including nutrition, safety, fitness, voting, health issues and more.
LEGAL CLINIC (Back to top)
With many of our clients living below poverty level, having access to a reliable legal clinic that addresses their specific needs is imperative. Through a cooperative arrangement with the Legal Clinic for the Disabled, ASB hosts a monthly event where the blind and visually impaired can address a variety of topics, including consumer problems, landlord/tenant issues, problems with Social Security and much more.
SHOPPING ASSISTANCE (Back to top)
Navigating a supermarket or pharmacy can be an impossible task to anyone who’s blind or visually impaired. Is that a can of beans or tomatoes? Is that my brand of toothpaste? Did I pick up white bread or whole wheat? With Shopping Assistance, ASB offers clients once-a-month escorted outings together with a sighted volunteer who will help select exactly what’s needed. Not only does this give clients the opportunity to live more independently at home, but it gives them a chance to get out and be part of their community.
SENIOR COMPANIONS (Back to top)
Blindness or visual impairment can be particularly isolating for Seniors, although with Senior Companion Program it doesn’t need to be. Through a cooperative arrangement with the Philadelphia Corporation for the Aging, ASB happily offers our clients home visits by Senior Companions. These incredible volunteers help break the cycle of isolation and depression by reading to them, helping write letters, accompanying them on walks, or perhaps just listening.
PHONE FRIENDS (Back to top)
Dealing with blindness or visual impairment can be difficult enough, but when added to anyone who’s homebound, frail or physically isolated, the effects can be emotionally overwhelming. Our Phone Friends Program assures any client that at least once a week there will be a friendly voice on the other end of the phone; someone to talk to, chat with and make sure everything is ok.