About Us

Our Mission

Associated Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired is dedicated to assisting all who are living with vision loss to achieve greater independence through excellence in education and wrap-around support services that advance necessary skills and establish meaningful community connections.  ASB is committed to collaborating with local, regional and national partners to broaden access to resources and opportunities that enable those we serve to live their lives to the fullest.

Our Vision

Associated Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired seeks to inspire all who are living with vision loss to thrive.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement

Associated Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ASB) is fully committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. We embrace the diversity within our organization and within the multi-faceted community we serve. We embrace the principles of equity, fairness, and inclusion and we remain committed to best practices for providing anyone, anywhere on the vision loss continuum with the education, tools, and wrap-around services that they need to navigate their communities, manage their specific visual challenges, and live their fullest lives. 

At ASB we realize that there are many forms of diversity including racial, gender, sexual identity, cultural, religious, economic, ability and disability, and we work diligently to be open and welcoming to all. Our work is collaborative – with those we serve, with our professional staff, with healthcare professionals, with community partner organizations, and with other human services agencies regionally and nationally.  We believe that this collaborative framework, across disciplines and communities, as well as our commitment to serving those with vision loss makes our organizational efforts more diverse, more equitable, more inclusive, and more sustainable over time.

PA Working Home for Blind Men

Castner, Samuel, Jr., 1843-1929 – Compiler. Pennsylvania Working Home for Blind Men. [Scrapbooks]. Retrieved from https://libwww.freelibrary.org/digital/item/44592

Our History

ASB’s roots date to 1874 when the Pennsylvania Working Home for Blind Men opened. For more than 100 years, the entity continued on through a series of mergers and recast itself many times until it was acquired by the Nevil Institute for Rehabilitation and Services in 1982. Over the course of those same years, many organizations would form in the Philadelphia region to provide a variety of services for those who were blind or living with vision loss; the range of services included vocational training and employment, residential living, mobility and life skills training, audio recordings of printed materials, and Braille production. One of those organizations was Volunteer Services for the Blind (VSB), which after World War II began to transcribe books and magazines into Braille and record college textbooks. In the 1970s, VSB moved to our current location at 919 Walnut Street in Center City. In 1983, VSB merged with two other local agencies—the Radio Information Center for the Blind and the Nevil Institute for Rehabilitation and Services—to form the organization that subsequently became ASB.

two staff members talking

Annual Report

Read our 2018-19 Fiscal Year Report to the Community.

Read Annual Report

Associated Services for the Blind & Visually Impaired is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.


Karla S. McCaney, MBA, President and Chief Executive Officer

Beth Deering, Chief Program Officer

Emily E. Yaskowski, MPA, Director of Operations and Strategic Initiatives

Board Officers

Sarah Glick Johnson, Chairperson
Kevin E. Brown, First Vice Chairperson
Tom Teesdale, Treasurer
Kevin E. Brown, Secretary (September 2021 – December 2021) / Jacqueline Candido, PhD, Secretary (December 2021 – September 2023)

Board Members

Alice Donavin Day
Dr. Karen L. Graves, PhD, MPA, MBA
William J. D. Jordan
Dr. Ranjoo Prasad, OD
Thomas J. Wlodkowski

Advisory Board

Dr. Roy Fitzgerald
Michael Norris

2017-18 Fiscal Year Financial Overview

Pie chart showing percentages of Support and Revenue income

Support and Revenues

Grants and Donations $ 379,000  
Product and Service Sales $ 1,250,995  
Government Grants $ 349,110  
Investment Income $ 1,263,475  
Other Income $ 324,827  
Total $ 3,567,407  
Pie chart showing breakdown of expenses by percentage


Program Services $ 964,779  
Braille Operations $ 1,430,506  
Administrative/ General Operations $ 927,598  
Fundraising $ 216,600  
Total $ 3,539,483  
Change in Net Assets $ 27,924  

Associated Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired has earned a 2021 Gold Seal of Transparency.

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