Good Works Wednesday: June 23, 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.


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.


Professional Development Workshops

Thanks to everyone who participated in our Professional Development Workshop on Friday! These sessions are intended to support all of us in putting participants at the center of everything we do and to help ensure we are delivering the highest quality, best experience for participants every time they engage with us – whether online, on the phone, or in person. We are all ambassadors for ASB both at work and in the community, and these sessions are designed to continue to build our skills together as a team.

Here are some takeaways from our second session: The Intake & First Meeting: The Essence of the Coaching Relationship with Kevin E. O’Connor, CSP.

  1. Consider that the “essence” of the engagement has to do with hope. It is a common reason that all of our participants come to us.
  2. Remember that people who come to us have been to other places, attempted other solutions, spoke to experts, family, ordinary people and have likely experienced a great deal of discrimination. 
  3. Change happens with listening, not with judgment, advice, ego or our own experiences. We all have to be careful not to overstep, no matter how much our experience mirrors theirs. Let them tell you their story.
  4. Paraphrasing and empathy are key skills in order to connect with others. 
  5. There are times to dispense information about ASB services as long as they are targeted for the needs of the participant. While our services apply to many, the participants are unique, as are the interactions with each participant.
  6. Think of your interview as accompanying your participant on a freeway. Our questions that don’t relate directly to their needs or their story are like taking an unnecessary exit ramp. Stay on topic and focus on their way of seeing life.
  7. Participants often tell us how they are doing in the five areas of what we call “life tasks,” including, work, love, friendship, self and spirituality. Listen closely to how they explain their life to give you a sense of what their life is like right now.
  8. Provide encouragement along the way. Despite what is going on, it is highly likely that this participant is discouraged with their ability to cope at some level. They don’t need us to be cheerleaders or even models of what they can become; they need us to listen and respond to their need for hope.
  9. We need to be aware of ourselves so that we can help without taking on the participant’s pain. Dr. Dreikurs said, “Never do for another person those things they can do for themselves.” It is not respectful, and it does not help them become an independent person.

The next professional development session is scheduled for all staff on Friday, July 9 from 9 – 10:30 a.m. where we will learn about The Helper’s Personal Experience: Self-Reflection and Self-Disclosure and Emotional Intelligence. 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


FRIDAY: 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!

This week, participants can join us on Friday, June 25, from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. for a session onthe Health & Wellness Programs with the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging. 

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.


TOMORROW: Join AFB’s Conversation on Inclusion, Intersectionality, and the Future of Work 

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is inviting ASB to join its Centennial Conversation, Inclusion, Intersectionality, and the Future of Work, tomorrow, June 24 at 2 p.m. EST. Participants can register here for free: https://www.afb.org/afb100/future-work.

Join AFB for a robust discussion with leaders who are blind or experiencing vision loss about what the future of work will look like as they answer questions, including:

  • How can we strengthen workplace inclusion and reduce inequalities of race, disability, and gender?
  • How do we ensure that new workplace technologies are accessible and inclusive?
  • And how can we share our understanding of a changing occupational landscape to inform, prepare and train workers who are blind or low vision?

For additional information about 100 years of AFB and the ongoing series of Centennial Conversations, participants can visit afb.org/100. If any of the participants you work with require additional accommodations, they can contact the AFB at communications@afb.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.