Good Works Wednesday: June 16, 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.


New ASB Phone Number

ASB has a new phone number! If you or any of the participants you work with need to contact ASB by phone, please use our new number, 215-627-0600.


NOW ENROLLING: Free Internet Access with Internet Essentials by Comcast

ASB is offering free internet access to participants through a new partnership with Comcast’s Internet Essentials Partnership Program (IEPP). Qualifying participants can sign up on a rolling basis and receive free internet for six months.

Eligible participants must: qualify for programs such as the National School Lunch Program, housing assistance, Medicaid, SNAP, SSI or others; live in an area where Comcast Internet service is available; have not had Comcast Internet Services in 90 days; have no outstanding debt to Comcast that is less than one year old; and meet at least one of the following vision requirements:

  • Visual acuity of 20/70 or poorer in better-seeing eye that cannot be corrected or improved with regular eyeglasses.
  • Corresponding loss of visual fields.
  • Progressive sight-threatening eye diseases, such as diabetes.
  • Diagnosis of a degenerative eye or sight disorder.

In July, ASB will host a Comcast IEPP Q&A on Zoom for participants interested in the program. We will keep everyone posted once we have a set date and time for this upcoming session.

Participants can determine their eligibility by contacting ASB’s Participant Navigator Lexi Jones at ajones@asb.org or by calling 267-551-0561.


FRIDAY: Professional Development Workshops

ASB will be working with Kevin E. O’Connor, CSP, a leadership and communications expert, to lead sessions teaching the tools and techniques needed to provide the best experience for our participants. One session per month will be for all staff, agency-wide, focusing on improving individual and team professionalism and the provision of high-quality service. The Department of Education and Enrichment Programming (DEEP) will have an additional session per month, focusing specifically on skills to improve staff working relationships with our participants and students. 

Calendar invitations and Zoom links will be sent to you according to the schedule. Please plan to attend and fully participate in all the sessions on your calendar. Each session will be held remotely on Fridays from 9 – 10:30 a.m.

This Friday, DEEP will hold a session on The Intake & First Meeting: The Essence of the Coaching Relationship. The full schedule of upcoming sessions can be found below.

  • July 9 – All Staff – The Helper’s Personal Experience: Self-Reflection and Self-Disclosure and Emotional Intelligence
  • July 23 – DEEP – The Skills of Empathy and Encouragement: Dealing with Participant Setbacks, Resistance, and Discouragement
  • August 6 – DEEP – The Participant Experience: Noting Progress Then and Now
  • August 20 – All Staff – When Conflict Comes… and It Will!
  • September 10  – All Staff – Modeling Hospitality, Friendliness, and Grace
  • September 24 – DEEP – Celebrating Success with Your Participant

We are looking forward to joining you at the Friday session! If you have a scheduling conflict, please let your manager know as soon as possible to make arrangements for you to make up the session. If you have any specific questions about the training schedule, please contact Emily Yaskowski at eyaskowski@asb.org


TUESDAY: ASB’s Speaker Series

Every week ASB welcomes professionals from health care and other fields to speak with participants about topics such as health and welfare, insurance and finances, legal assistance and much more!

Next week, participants can join us on Tuesday, June 22, from 1 – 2 p.m. for a session onREADYHome Training for Emergency Preparedness with the Office of Emergency Management. Participants who attend will receive a GO-Bag that includes: 

  • Small first aid kit
  • Portable charger
  • USB flashlight
  • A notebook
  • Emergency planning and medical information

*Please note this session is not during the regular speaker series time.*

If any of the participants you work with are interested in signing up for this session, please contact our Participant Navigator, Lexi Jones, at ajones@asb.org or by calling 267-551-0561.


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.


Braille Music Classes from Miami Lighthouse

ASB is pleased to be able to connect our participants with Miami Lighthouse’s Distance Learning Braille Music program, a Braille Music curriculum designed for people who are interested in pursuing a music career

Over 10 years ago, Miami Lighthouse created a unique Distance Learning Braille Music curriculum, bringing music instruction to blind and visually impaired students worldwide. Miami Lighthouse designed the curriculum for people of all ages who have advanced braille skills and a goal of working in the music industry. Using Expert Learning License, the Braille Music curriculum is an at-home learning experience, perfect for social distancing.  

Braille Music makes mainstream music industry employment an option for blind and visually impaired people. The curriculum is the only way for a blind musician to gain comprehensive training in the U.S. and learn to read music scores directly. Students learn basic computer technology and develop proficiency in Literary Braille Grade 2, which are standards in the music industry.  

Instructor Jin Ho Choi, a blind musician and certified braille music transcriber by the Library of Congress, teaches the Braille Music curriculum at Miami Lighthouse. Now available online, each of the 26 lessons can be completed in 45 minutes and enable the braille reader, as well as sighted helpers, to learn the basic concepts of musical notation. 

If any of the participants you work with are interested in learning more about this program, please contact Beth Deering at Bdeering@asb.org.


Get Vaccinated with Penn Medicine at Home

Penn Medicine at Home is currently offering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to participants and their caregivers in their homes. To qualify, individuals must reside in Philadelphia. Patients do not need to be on service with Penn Medicine at Home. Penn Medicine will:

  • Vaccinate any willing caregivers while in the home.
  • Provide vaccinated individuals with a CDC vaccination card.
  • Report all vaccines daily to PhilaVax.

If any of the participants you work with are interested in receiving more information, please contact Lexi Jones at ajones@asb.org or at 267-483-9244. Participants should be prepared to share their name, date of birth, phone number and address.


Philadelphia Department of Public Health Homebound Vaccination Program

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health is currently providing COVID-19 vaccines to homebound individuals in their homes through its Homebound Vaccination Program. This program is intended for individuals who are normally unable to leave home unassisted or people living with disabilities who have been rarely able to leave their home within the past month.

The vaccines are free – no insurance required! Personal care attendants, family and other caregivers or residents of the individual’s household are eligible to be vaccinated under this program. 

If any of the participants you work with are interested in signing up for an in-home vaccination, they can visit https://bit.ly/homeboundvaccinephl, call 215-685-5488 (dial 711 for TRS/TTY assistance) or use the QR code below.