Good Works Wednesday: June 9, 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.


Physical Location Closed Through Labor Day

In a new community update, ASB President & CEO Karla McCaney announced ASB’s plan to continue its remote-first, online programming throughout the summer. Physical offices will remain closed through Labor Day, and we will keep you updated as the date gets closer. In the meantime, we will continue to expand our successful online programming, which has shown high success rates and engagement among participants.

Read the full message from Karla here.


NOW ENROLLING: Free Internet Access with Internet Essentials by Comcast

ASB will offer 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.

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 inaugural Professional Development Workshop last week! 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 first session: The Advanced Art and Skill of Intentional Listening with Kevin O’Connor

  1. The goal for us and for our participants is to engage early and often in hospitality. It is this way that they will begin the process of developing trust and a social feeling of community with us. 
  2. Listening is intentional when done well: I can hear your words even when I am emailing, I can even repeat what you said. Intentional listening means I heard you, and you knew I heard you. “To understand a person, you must see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and feel with their heart,” (Alfred Adler).
  3. Intentional talk means that I am being as transparent as I can be in order to communicate effectively. Better than “I’m sorry,” intentional talk explains what I did and how I was feeling, not to rationalize but to explain. This is a prime time to use paraphrasing in order to understand and to communicate that you understand.
  4. Everything we do has to focus on the receiver; to focus on connecting with them and not judging.
  5. Cooperation is the goal. “You can never require cooperation; you can only win it,” (Rudolf Dreikurs, MD).

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 11, from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. for a session on the Health Insurance Assistance Program with the Pennsylvania Department of Aging. Participants will learn more about the program that offers free, unbiased, confidential Medicare and counseling through the Ageing Network.

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.


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.


AFB Upcoming Centennial Event Lineup

Since 1921, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has been at the forefront of creating a more inclusive world for people who are experiencing vision loss. To celebrate its 100th anniversary, AFB is hosting a series of Centennial Conversations. These curated webinars will focus on the most pressing issues and topics affecting the vision loss community, pairing prominent speakers with younger voices.

Links to the June and July conversations are below:

In case any of the participants you work with missed AFB’s previous centennial events, they can replay the archived conversations below:

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.