WE GIVE VISION A VOICE
Since 1946, we have led the effort to protect the visually impaired, aid in the prevention of blindness, and promote ways to help all remain as independent as possible with their vision.
To promote the interest and welfare of the blind and visually impaired, assisting them in their quest for independence; and to facilitate the education and prevention of blindness throughout Fayette County.
Fayette County Association for the blind provides services to individuals of any age in Fayette County, PA without regard to race, sexual orientation, religion, gender, additional disabilities, or ethnic origin.
Services for Adults
With 70 years of experience in helping visually impaired people develop life skills and achieve independence, we bring innovative programs and resources to Fayette County. Our services span a broad spectrum to meet the varied needs of those with vision impairment. We offer individual and group, life skills education sessions, transportation assistance, vision screenings, support group, information and referral services, and more. We work to help those we serve gain self-confidence, self-advocacy, and independence.
List of services we offer:
· Life skills training at our agency and in client homes
· Internet access and information technology instruction
· Safety and prevention education programs
· Vision screenings in schools, preschools, businesses, senior centers, nursing homes, and other institutions
· Employment training
· Escorted transportation
· Social and recreational activities
· Low vision aids and clinics
· Designer and Fashion Frames for sale
· Financial management assistance
· Community service referrals
· Support group
· Seminars and educational programs
PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN
Pre-school Vision Screenings
One in every ten preschoolers have an undetected vision problem. Early intervention is crucial in preventing minimum vision loss. Our agency conducts more than 1,000 child vision screenings annually, referring 8% or more for further testing. Finding many of these vision problems early, ensures that the child does well in school and throughout adulthood.
Children Education Programs
Teaching children in schools how to protect their eyes, and exposing them to the abilities and talents people with vision loss have are ways that we provide education for children. Below are two programs for children;
C. Well Bunny Goes to School– An interactive program designed to introduce eye health and eye safety to preschoolers. Through this program, little learners will begin to understand the importance of their eyes, and remove any fears the children might have about the screening process.
Reckless, the Seeing Eye Dog -
Join Reckless as he teaches children about safety precautions while playing. Children will also learn about eye sun safety. Presenters read the Reckless story using a story book, visual aids, and a large stuffed dog to symbolize Reckless. After the story the children will be screened for vision problems. Contact the Fayette County Association for the Blind if you would like to see this program at your school.
Services and Support for Blind and Visually Impaired Veterans
The Fayette County Association for the Blind works to ensure that the men and women who have given so much to our country will be well-served for the rest of their lives.
Blinded Veterans Initiative -The Hadley Institute for the Blind is pleased to announce a new Blinded Veterans Initiative, officially unveiled on Veterans Day 2011. The goal of this new initiative is to educate and inspire blind or visually impaired veterans to pursue their personal and professional goals and help support their families. Visually impaired veterans, through Hadley’s Adult Continuing Education Program, and their family members, through the Family Education Program, can enroll in the school’s distance education courses tuition-free, thanks to the generous support of Goldman Sachs Gives.
How our Services Work:
Here is how our services work. We work very hard to provide services for all visually impaired clients in our county. As a small agency our staff collectively arrives at work each day with an attitude of caring, and ready to help our clients.
A client is referred to our agency with a referral form that is sent to us. (We provide a referral form for this purpose.) In addition, to determine whether the client is eligible for several different programs, we need a current eye report from their eye doctor. To help with the process of obtaining an eye report we provide, along with the referral, a consent to release information form for the client to sign and return to us so that we can use it to get the eye report from their doctor. Or, if the client prefers, they can ask their eye doctor to send the report to us.
Once we receive the eye report, we schedule an intake appointment. We usually travel to the client’s home to conduct an intake appointment. This is an attempt on our part to make it easier for the client, as we know that transportation is a problem for many, but we also conduct intake appointments at our office. All intake appointments are scheduled in advance.
At an intake appointment, our staff will visit the client to gather all of the information required in completing a client file. This includes some financial information, some demographic information, and some medical information on the client. Using this information, our staff will determine eligibility for the different service programs that are available to the client. Staff will also develop a service plan for the client at that time. The service plan provides a framework for us to assist the clients needs.
By developing a service plan for the client, we can tell clients about the services that we offer and determine which services the client needs and wants.
Our services listed on the service plan include:
Transportation and or Escort needs- Because many of our clients have difficulty getting to medical appointments, pharmacy, bank, grocery store, etc. we offer transportation and if needed, escort services to these places.
Support Services-Many of our clients need assistance with daily living tasks so we offer support services including, reading mail, preparing shopping lists, paying bills, budgeting, filling out applications, referral to other agencies, labeling, organizing and storage, etc.
Life Skills Education-Many clients need more information on their vision diagnosis, and for that reason we offer life skills education on blindness related issues, awareness/resources, self-esteem building, self-advocacy, peer support, etc.
Support Group Membership- Many clients feel that they can’t travel outside their home safely and thus suffer from isolation and depression. For that reason, we offer support group sessions to encourage the exchange of feelings and practical experiences and sharing of practical information among members.
At this point during the intake we also ask each client if they would like to be referred to a state agency where they can receive assistive technology products at no cost. If they indicate to us that they would like to do so, and are eligible financially and visually, we refer them to the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services.
The Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services will provide a social worker for the client. This social worker will assess the client and determine which services of the Bureau are best for the client. These services include rehabilitation teaching, orientation and mobility training, and an independent living program, along with other services.
From this point, we begin to provide our services for our clients. We continue to provide services for our clients as long as they need us to do so.
What We've Achieved
Fayette County Association for the Blind is Awarded AER Accreditation
Fayette County Association for the Blind has earned the distinction “AER Accredited” by the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER).
This accreditation distinction is awarded to organizations that provide high quality services and support to individuals who are blind or have low vision. In addition, the services must be provided under the most effective administrative and management standards. It signals accountability, results and high merit. The AER Accreditation Program has two fundamental purposes: to validate the quality of an organization and its programs and to assist in the improvement of the organization and its programs. It is a rigorous process aimed at ensuring that optimal gains are achieved for individuals with vision loss. AER’s evaluation of Fayette County Association for the Blind includes a thorough review of the physical facility and quality of client services and programs. AER interviews both staff and clients and conducts a review of organizational documents.
"We are extremely pleased to have achieved this designation," states Executive Director, Sandra Morris, "Accreditation is a rigorous process, but one that we welcome as a continual quality improvement mechanism. Earning AER accreditation is another measure of our excellence as a premier provider of care and programs for the visually impaired, and it reflects our commitment to our clients."