SIGHTS FOR HOPE

Seize Independence Now

Allentown, PA   |  www.SightsforHope.org

Mission

To enable personal triumphs over visual impairments.

Ruling year info

1951

Executive Director and CEO

Mr. Dennis Zehner

Main address

845 West Wyoming St

Allentown, PA 18103 USA

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Formerly known as

Association for the Blind & Vsually Impaired

PA Association for the Blind Lehigh Co. Branch

Visual Impairment & Blindness Services

EIN

23-1352260

NTEE code info

Blind/Visually Impaired Centers, Services (P86)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Services for People with Visual Impairments: A permanent visual impairment is one of the greatest physical threats to a person’s independence and is cited frequently as the greatest health-related fear for Americans. Severe vision impairments in the United States are expected to grow from now until the year 2050 at a rate faster than that of both domestic cancer deaths and HIV diagnoses. There is greatly diminished access to interventions for people with vision impairments and limited financial resources. Prevention Services: A child’s visual capabilities account for 80% of what he or she learns. Meanwhile, one in four students has an unidentified vision deficit and one in four people diagnosed with a learning disability experience some degree of vision loss. Children with diminished and uncorrected abilities to see cannot meet early learning benchmarks – including the ability to read at grade level by the end of third grade.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Counseling Services

Counseling services are provided by caseworkers and a certified vision rehabilitation therapist. A primary counseling focus is to help people who lose much of, or all of, their vision adjust to the changes in their lives.

Population(s) Served
People with vision impairments
Seniors

The agency’s Low Vision Care services include functional exams by an optometrist who specializes in helping people with severe vision loss and a variety of assistive devices for purchase. Both of its locations also have a store with devices that assist people with visual impairments conduct daily activities.

Population(s) Served
People with vision impairments
Seniors

The agency has provided its guided transport service for its clients with vision loss since the 1970s. This service provide access to medical care, groceries, and agency services that counteract isolation and improve quality of life. Approximately 60% of the agency's escorted clients are ages 65 and up, and approximately 80% are from low-income households.

The guided transport service is “door-through-door,” which means that the agency's specially-trained drivers guide clients from their homes and into their destinations. When it is necessary, drivers provide additional assistance – such as helping to read paperwork or carrying bags into clients’ homes.

Population(s) Served
People with vision impairments
Seniors

The agency's skills education services are provided in group and one-on-one sessions and empower people with visual impairments to increase their self-sufficiency.

Rehabilitative Skills
Clients learn how to use their existing vision most effectively and how to apply specific functional techniques. Skills taught include kitchen safety, the preparation and cooking of meals, the completion of checks and forms, personal organization, and adjustments to in-home lighting. All sessions are presented by vision rehabilitation therapist (VRT) certified by the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation & Education Professionals (ACVREP).

Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Skills
Clients learn how to understand their surroundings and how to navigate between familiar locations. All sessions are presented O&M specialist who are ACVREP-certified.

Technology Skills
Clients explore present-day and emerging technologies that improve their quality of life. Sessions also help clients gain a deeper understanding of the use of the devices they use.

Elemental Life Skills
Clients learn critical non-physical skills of daily life. Examples of topics include financial planning, fraud protection, voting, meditation, and mindfulness.

Skills Education for Youth
Programs for kids with vision impairments are designed to teach them how to function independently as adults. We hope to introduce additional programs in the future. The agency's Camp I CAN! summer program is held annually for kids ages 7-13.

Population(s) Served
People with vision impairments
Seniors
Children
Preteens

The agency offers a variety of educational programs for preschool kids, students, adults, and professionals. Its C. Well Bunny Goes to School presentation introduces preschool children to basic concepts about eye health and safety. During some of his adventures, C. Well is joined by friends Dr. Optical and Miss Illusion. The Low Vision Road Show shows audiences the specialized services that are available to people affected by vision loss. The Eyes in the Library presentation encourages students to discover the similarities and differences between human and animal eyes. The Doing Things Differently presentation helps professionals interact effectively in their workplaces with visually impaired patients, customers, and clients.

Population(s) Served
Families
Children and youth

Sights for Hope conducts thousands of free vision screenings for children ages 6 months and up to age 6 refers hundreds of children for additional care by medical professionals. When one of these children finds their vision improved, they literally are able to see a new world of possibilities.

Screenings are conducted at preschools, daycare centers, kindergarten registrations, and other appropriate venues such as community health fairs and libraries. The agency is particularly sensitive to the needs of low-income children and provides screenings in many locations which have a high proportion of disadvantaged children.

Screeners use the state-of-the-art SPOT vision screening equipment by Welch Allyn, a camera-like device which uses a non-invasive laser to take a reading of the child’s visual acuity. The SPOT can screen a child’s eyes in five (5) seconds or less and the equipment is extremely accurate in determining eye conditions including near and farsightedness; astigmatism; strabismus; and amblyopia, a condition that can lead to blindness if not detected and treated early enough in a child’s life. The SPOT equipment also is especially effective to use for children who are autistic or have other disabilities or language problems. The parent or guardian of a child referred for medical care receives computer printing of the screening results that can be shared with an eye care professional.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

The agency offers a variety of peer support groups for its clients with permanent vision loss. Support Groups give clients opportunities to express needs and concerns, participate in problem solving, and share resources in environments of openness, respect, encouragement, and trust.

Population(s) Served
People with vision impairments
Seniors

The agency's socialization and recreation activities help clients with vision loss remain active, execute skills and techniques that they have learned, connect with those who face similar challenges, and avoid the harmful effects of isolation.

Population(s) Served
People with vision impairments
Seniors

The agency's caseworkers guide clients with vision loss to services that meet their goals, monitor client progress, arrange for one-on-one instruction, make referrals, and provide counseling as necessary.
Caseworkers also conduct home visits, during which they can help clients read mail, write checks, manage finances, complete forms, and perform basic home repairs to ensure safety.

Population(s) Served
People with vision impairments
Seniors

Where we work

Accreditations

Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) -Accreditation 2017

Affiliations & memberships

VisionServe Alliance 2019

Pennsylvania Association for the Blind (PAB) 1928

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Percentage of clients with visual impairments who reside outside of assisted living

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Seniors, Older adults, People with vision impairments, Low-income people, Working poor

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Percentage of clients with visual impairments who improve or maintain their overall quality of life

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Seniors, Older adults, People with vision impairments, Working poor, Low-income people

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Percentage of clients with visual impairments who improve or maintain their ability to perform daily activities

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Seniors, Older adults, People with vision impairments, Working poor, Low-income people

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Sights for Hope empowers people with visual impairments to achieve their greatest independence and opportunity and champions healthy eyesight throughout its communities.

The organization's services for people with visual impairments promote the accomplishment of daily tasks, increased access to medical services and food, enhanced personal wellness, and extended self-sufficiency. Its free vision screenings for children stimulate success in school and its community education programs advocate for eye health and safety. Sights for Hope provides its services at little or no cost, and 85% of its clients and patients with visual impairments are from low-income households.

Our services for people with visual impairments promote the accomplishment of daily tasks, increased access to medical services and food supplies, enhanced personal wellness, and extended self-sufficiency. Our free vision screenings for children stimulate success in school and our community education programs advocate for eye health and safety.

Our primary service categories are as follows:

Skills Education: Group and one-on-sessions that teach vision rehabilitation, orientation and mobility, adaptive use of technology, and elemental life skills.

Specialized Technologies: Functional low vision exams and individualized consultations performed to match clients and patients with the devices and assistive technologies that best meet their needs.

Support Services: Services for clients – including casework support, guided transportation, support groups, counseling, and enrichment activities – that strengthen their bodies and minds and increase their access to medical care and food.

Prevention Services: Free vision screenings conducted with advanced hand-held SPOT equipment that is highly accurate and educational programs for preschool children, students, adults, and professionals.

Services for Lehigh and Northampton counties are provided from the agency’s Lehigh Valley Services Center in Allentown, PA. Services for Monroe County are provided from its Monroe Services Center near Stroudsburg, PA. The agency has approximately 25 staff positions and approximately 40 active volunteers. The agency is funded through private contributions, grants, government service contracts, revenue from sales of devices and assistive technologies, event revenue, and the affiliated Sights for Hope Endowment Foundation.

An analysis of agency service data and client surveys reflect our impact.

A total of 92% of our clients reside outside of assisted living.

A total of 96% of our clients who improve or maintain their overall quality of life.

A total of 97% improve or maintain their ability to perform daily activities.

A total of 94% of clients who improve their outlook on life.

Every dollar we spent on services for people with visual impairments in our 2019-2020 service year represents $35.38 spent on assisted living in Pennsylvania.

Nearly 1,300 guided transport rides – which provide increased access to medical care, food and other critical services – are completed in a typical year.

More than 9,500 children who receive free vision screenings and/or participate in education programs during a typical year. Approximately 10% of children screened are referred for additional care.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Paper surveys, other,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

SIGHTS FOR HOPE
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

SIGHTS FOR HOPE

Board of directors
as of 4/23/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Linwood Gehris

Affiliated Financial Planners

Term: 2019 - 2021

Linwood Gehris

Affiliated Financial Planners

Martin Lang, CPA

Lang, Faylor & Chomo CPA

Lucille Piggott-Prawl

Disability Rights Pennsylvania

Michael Wambaugh

Air Products and Chemicals, Retired

Ross Ramaley, Esq.

Gross McGinley Attorneys at Law

Fred Folland

Hop Energy, Retired

Richard Gerhart, CFP

Gerhart & Associates Financial Services

Marsha Johnston

Northwestern Lehigh School District, Retired

Erin Pietrulewicz

ESSA Bank & Trust

Steven Savino

Lehigh University

Kate Raymond

St. Luke's University Health Network

Jeffrey Deloglos

KeyBank

Devin Darby, MS, OTR/L

Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network

Donald Kaufman

Pennsylvania Lions District 14-K

Janet Salek

Educator for the Visually Impaired, Retired

DaWayne Cleckley

Strategic Arc Limited

Gary Dvorshak

Agency Client

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 02/19/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data