Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Update: March 31, 2020

Dear Members of the ASB Community:

Yesterday, Governor Wolf extended the stay-at-home order and continued closure of non-essential businesses through April 30 for 26 Pennsylvania counties, including Philadelphia County and the suburban counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery.  As a result, ASB will remain closed through at least April 30 to be in compliance with the Governor’s order.  We will continue to monitor all local, state, and CDC guidelines, and communicate any changes on this website and on ASB’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. 

We completely understand that this temporary closure of ASB’s offices and classrooms may be difficult for you. 

  • If you need support, please call 215-821-6151, and you will be directed to the appropriate person.  Also please know that our staff is working daily to provide regular outreach by phone to check in on our ASB family. 
  • NEW weekly “Office Hours” with Lynn Heitz, Director of Education and Enrichment Programs are available.  Call in just to talk,  share concerns, or get connected to other resources in the city.  The open “Office Hours” schedule is Tuesdays 11-12 and Thursdays 3-4. The dial in number is 605-475-6006 and the access code is 849659. 
  • NEW Virtual Trainings.  If you are interested in joining, please call into the Office Hours line to sign up. We will be sharing updates with participants regularly.

We are thinking of all of you.  Be well, and stay in touch.

Karla S. McCaney, President & CEO

Update: March 27, 2020

Dear Members of the ASB Community:

We hope that you and those closest to you are staying safe and well during this time.

Like you, we continue to evaluate the changing situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and have determined that ASB will remain closed to staff, volunteers, guests, and program participants until Monday, April 6, 2020.  We will continue to monitor all local, state, and CDC guidelines and, going forward, will make decisions on a weekly basis about a reopening timeline.  All weekly updates will be posted on Thursdays by end of day.

You can also check our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages for updates.

Sincerely,

Karla S. McCaney President & CEO

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources

The City of Philadelphia recommends the following resources for updated information on the city’s response to the spread of COVID-19.

The City of Philadelphia Website

The City of Philadelphia COVID-19 Information

Find Free Meals and Safe Spaces for Students While Schools are Closed

The City of Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management

Sign Up for ReadyPhiladelphia Alerts from the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management’s Emergency Alert System

Update, Office Closure: March 14, 2020 3:00 p.m.

Dear Members of the ASB Community,

Effective by the close of business on Monday, March 16 and up to and including March 30, ASB is closing all offices, classroom educational training, one-on-one training, recreational activities, support groups, and programming until further notice.  For those staff with computer and Internet access at home, they will be working remotely during this time.  This action allows for appropriate social distancing and is aligned with CDC guidelines, the counsel of national and local health agencies, and similar closings in our community. We will reassess and post updates if there are any changes.

Please note, at this time we have no reported cases of COVID-19 at ASB.  We made this decision proactively according to national, state, and city guidance and an abundance of caution for the health and wellbeing of the ASB community.

Important: If any ASB program participant or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19 during this time, please contact Beth Deering at 215-627-0600 ext. 3398 after proper reporting with your local health professional. By letting ASB know of any confirmed cases, we can provide outreach to all those you may have been in contact with. This is a critical step to help contain the spread of the virus.

We will continue to actively monitor actively the guidelines and information from national, state, and local health agencies. For information on prevention, symptoms, and what to do if you feel sick, please go to the Centers for Disease Control website at cdc.gov/coronavirus.

This is an unprecedented decision for ASB, but it is an unprecedented situation. I assure you that this decision was made with careful discernment and the greatest concern for our staff, ASB participants, and for all members of the Philadelphia community.

We will continue to provide the latest information on the ASB website (www.asb.org) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ASBPhilly/) and will notify all engaged with ASB as to when we will resume our scheduled classes and programs. 

Thank you for your understanding and your cooperation during this time.

Sincerely, Karla S. McCaney
President & CEO

Update: March 13, 2020 12:00 p.m.

Dear Members of the ASB Community,

Effective Monday, March 16 through and including Monday, March 30 we are taking the significant step of suspending all classroom educational training, one-on-one training, recreational, support groups, and programming at the Associated Services for the Blind’s 919 Walnut Street building based on local, state, and CDC guidelines, and similar closings in our community.

Please note, at this time we have no reported cases of COVID-19 at ASB.  We made this decision proactively out of an abundance of caution for the health and wellbeing of the ASB community. ASB is actively following the guidelines and information issued by national and regional experts, including the Centers for Disease Control and our state and local departments of health to make further decisions.

Important: If any ASB program participant is diagnosed with COVID-19 during this time, please contact Beth Deering at 215-627-0600 ext. 3398 after proper reporting with your local health professional. Letting ASB and the Pennsylvania Department of Health know your current status will allow us to provide outreach to all those you may have been in contact with. This is a critical step to help contain the spread of the virus.

We will continue to actively monitor actively the guidelines and information from national, state, and local health agencies. For information on prevention, symptoms, and what to do if you feel sick, please go to the Centers for Disease Control website at cdc.gov/coronavirus.

This is an unprecedented decision for ASB, but it is an unprecedented situation. I assure you that this decision was made with careful discernment and the greatest concern for our staff, ASB participants, and for all members of the Philadelphia community.

We will continue to provide the latest information on the ASB website (www.asb.org) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ASBPhilly/) and will notify all engaged with ASB as to when we will resume our scheduled classes and programs.  We will reevaluate our ability to reopen and notification of reopening will be on our website and Facebook by Monday, March 30.

Thank you for your understanding and your cooperation during this time.

Sincerely,

Karla S. McCaney
President & CEO

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

The health and safety of all who visit and work with ASB is a top priority. With the height of the annual flu season upon us and evolving information regarding the novel coronavirus in the U.S. and internationally, we are sharing the following guidelines for utilizing ASB services. These are especially appropriate now but are also true at all times throughout the year.

If you feel ill, please do not attend ASB classes or activities. This is best for you and for others you may come in contact with.

Symptoms of the flu and coronavirus include fever and symptoms of lower respiratory illness such as cough and difficulty breathing. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia and other complications, especially in infants, older individuals, and those with underlying health conditions.

Please remember the steps we take every day to help prevent any respiratory illness:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with your arm or tissues, not your bare hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you are feeling sick. 

Inspiring Independence

If you or someone you know is experiencing low vision or blindness, we can help.

Associated Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ASB) promotes health and independence. We provide classes and training in life skills and accessible technology and offer enriching arts, cultural and community activities in Philadelphia. We can also connect you with regional agencies and information to help you navigate issues related to health, housing, employment, education, transportation, and more.

At ASB, you are welcomed as an individual who has unique life experiences and motivations. We encourage you to participate in classes and programming at the level of support you need, based on the skills you already have and the goals and interest you wish to pursue.

Live more independently and explore your community confidently with ASB.

Getting Started with ASB

If you or someone you know has low vision or blindness, explore the range of ASB classes and programs that can provide support, education, and access to resources. From mobility training and life skills classes to using technology, connecting with community-based activities, and more, ASB can help you strengthen your independence and confidence.

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ASB welcomes the opportunity to support your clients or patients with low vision or blindness. Whether they are experiencing new diagnoses or have lived with vision challenges throughout their lives, we can help support an independent, fulfilling lifestyle, according to their individual goals and interests.

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