During his accounting career Ernie was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a progressive, degenerative eye disease. Ernie retired early when his sight decreased. It was not an easy transition for him, or for his wife, Kathy. She became his lifeline to the outside world. While undergoing rehabilitation at BBVS, he signed up for transportation services and life skills classes at The Sight Center. He also joined the Wednesday Club support group at The Sight Center, where he meets with peers and new friends twice a month. He helped establish a local chapter of the PA Council of the Blind (PCB), serving as Chapter President and also on the State board. Ernie became a vocal advocate for others with vision loss and is a regular in Harrisburg. He serves on the Advisory Committee of The Center and he and his Guide Dog, Maya, were favorite volunteers at The Center’s front desk.
“Door-through-door-transportation,” trips to the doctor, bill-paying, mail-reading and grocery shopping for adults can make the difference between independence or dependence. Blind youth attend the Children’s Experience Program to prepare them for productive and meaningful lives.
The primary goal of all Specialized Services provided by the Sight Center is to promote and enhance independence for people without sight or who are losing their vision.
Qualifications for services include visual acuity and other factors. You may inquire about these services by calling (814)455-0995.
Transportation and escort services are provided to and from medical or dental appointments, the grocery store, and other essential locations for qualified participants.
Depending on an individual’s needs, assistance is provided for shopping, mail reading, letter writing, and a wide variety of other typical household tasks.
Transportation and Chore services are offered M-Th 8:00 AM until approximately 3:00 PM.
Life Skills Education
Our professional staff provide practical, hands-on training in daily living skills. We offer instruction in personal and home maintenance, nutrition, consumer awareness, and the use of specially adapted equipment for people who are visually impaired.
This program, offered by the Library of Congress through the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh, offers thousands of books and magazines in Braille, largeprint, and digital formats to eligible visually impaired and/or physically disabled individuals. We will assist any qualified individuals interested in the enrollment process.
Counseling and Support:
A variety of social, recreational and supportive group activities are offered year-round and one-on-one counseling is available. We introduce independence issues, define resources and alternatives and promote self-advocacy.
The Wednesday Club is a group of people over the age of 45 who are blind or severely visually impaired. The Club meets on the first and third Wednesdays of the month for discussion and sharing of ideas and life skill techniques. Support is offered through speakers, staff and peer interaction. Topics have included household management, low vision helpful hints, directory assistance, appliance marking, nutrition, and helpful community resources. Transportation to and from Club can be provided although participants are encouraged to explore other means such as the EMTA LIFT service.
Information and Referral:
It is the goal of this agency to be among your primary resources for information and support with issues related to vision and vision loss. If you or someone you know are not seeing as well as you used to, or as well as you need to, please call us. If we cannot provide the services you need, we will help you connect with those who can. Please e-mail us or call (814) 455-0995.