The mission that works. Rehabilitation. Bernie's Story.

A single mother of three teenagers and a full-time drug and alcohol counselor, Bernice spent her life and made her living caring for others. Diagnosed with high blood pressure at an early age, she was not aware of the acute danger she was in until a stroke and subsequent coma left her with chronic vertigo and a severe visual condition called “rotary nystagmus.” Bernice’s doctor suggested vision rehabilitation, as well as a special pair of glasses to enable her to continue her passion for cooking, baking and reading her beloved recipes. Unfortunately, long-term care had depleted Bernice’s financial resources and she had no vision care insurance. With the help of The Erie Lions Club Save An Eye Fund and our friends at Highmark BC/BS, we were able to provide Bernice with training and eyeglasses – and she provided us with her famous sweet potato pie!


Vision Rehabilitation

If you have been told by your eye doctor that your declining vision cannot be improved with stronger glasses, medicine or surgery, then you may benefit from the expertise of our professional team at The Sight Center. We have the distinction of being the only dedicated vision rehabilitation facility in Erie County.

Our team includes a specially trained optometrist, an Occupational Therapist who is specially trained in vision loss, and an optician.

If you have difficulty with the following…

  • Recognizing faces of friends or relatives
  • Doing things “up-close” like reading, writing or sewing
  • Picking out and matching the color of your clothes
  • Reading street signs or the names of stores
  • Doing things at home or work because the lights seem dimmer than they used to be

…then you may benefit from vision rehabilitation.

You will work with our team to learn to use your remaining vision to maintain your independence and continue to accomplish the tasks of your daily life.

The Process:

Evaluation ( click for more detail )

A low vision evaluation will be performed at The Sight Center after your eye doctor has done a thorough medical exam. This is not another eye exam, but a chance to discuss how vision loss affects your life and what your goals for vision rehabilitation may be.

Magnification ( click for more detail )

Together we will work to develop a plan to meet your individual vision needs. The plan may include magnification and optical devices, a variety of lighting tools, alternative sensory techniques, and special low vision products available to assist you.


Occupational therapy is part of the Sight Center’s interdisciplinary team approach to vision rehabilitation. A variety of professionals who work together to promote your independence despite vision loss. The goal of this service is to provide instruction in visual skills and the use of low vision devices and lighting to maximize your remaining vision.  These services are provided in our clinical setting but may also extend to the home, school, nursing home and rehabilitation center (in certain circumstances).

Conditions that may cause vision loss include:

  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa
  • Eye Injuries