Good Works Wednesday: December 22, 2021

Good Works Wednesday

A newsletter celebrating ASB progress, programs and people

At Associated Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired, we work every day to help individuals build skills and gain access to the information, experiences and resources they need to live the lives they wish to lead. We are an agency for anyone, anywhere on the vision loss continuum and offer education, training, community-based enrichment opportunities and referrals to help them achieve their individual goals.

Happy Holidays from ASB

We want to wish everyone celebrating happy and safe holidays this weekend. ASB will be closed Friday through Monday to observe the holidays, and we will resume our usual hours on Tuesday.

Meet Sylvia Purnell: ASB’s New Director of Learning and Development

We are excited to announce that Sylvia Purnell has joined ASB as the new Director of Learning and Development!

Sylvia joins us with more than 15 years of nonprofit experience, serving as a leader on numerous nonprofit boards. We recently sat down and asked her a few questions about joining ASB and her previous experiences. Learn more about Sylvia in the Q&A below. 

Q: What excites you most about joining ASB?

The people – staff and participants. ASB has a long history of focusing on individual needs while prioritizing compassion in the delivery of services and programs. The role I hope to, and can play, is to provide added value to the organization’s mission.

Q: What do you hope people with vision loss can gain from educational programs at ASB?

One definition of education is “an enlightening experience,” which is overarching, all-encompassing and unique for every individual. The basic goal of education is to learn. When you learn, you can do. When you do, you move forward. The adage that “knowledge is power” is true to its core. For me, that power translates to one of the fundamental words in ASB’s mission statement – independence. Independence is the beginning of whatever else they choose to do with it.

Q: You’ve built a long career in education, Philadelphia-based nonprofits and city government. How does that work inspire you?

I like aha moments as a result of my work. Each phase of my career, regardless of sector, has directly related to educating, mentoring and guiding individuals to a personal goal, or working with an organization to meet its mission. I’ve taught non-traditional students who are entering new phases of their lives and want more opportunities to advance and support their families. I raised needed funds to support initiatives and programs that provide access to technology and research opportunities, and created initiatives that align with goals to support arts and education, senior citizens, women, children and youth. All of my experiences have been about the impact and making a difference.

Q: What’s a fun fact that people might be surprised to learn about you?

I have traveled to jazz festivals in a number of places, as far as Cuba, Switzerland and Saint Lucia, and as close as Washington, D.C., New Orleans, Los Angeles and Saratoga, New York. COVID-19 has hit the pause button on that activity. You meet some amazing people, and aside from the music, that is what I miss the most.

ASB Remote Programming January- March 2022

ASB’s January- March 2022 virtual program schedule is now live on the ASB website!

ASB is accepting participant sign-ups for our January – March remote program schedule. If any of the participants you work with are interested in signing up for these programs or have any questions, they can contact our Director of Participant Engagement and Outreach, Lexi Jones, at

ASB is sharing the events below as a courtesy to ASB participants. These are non-ASB events. Please be mindful of any requirements, including COVID-19 requirements, that may apply.

TOMORROW: Free At-Home Rapid COVID Tests

Philadelphia residents can pick up free at-home COVID-19 rapid test kits at a Philadelphia Department of Public Health vaccine clinic popping up tomorrow, making it more accessible for people to stay safe at holiday gatherings.

The health department is hosting a COVID vaccination event tomorrow, where at-home rapid test kits will be available. There’s a limited supply, so free kits are limited to two per person. Review the details below, and feel free to share this opportunity with any of the participants you work with who may be interested in a free at-home test kit. 

Thursday, Dec. 23