Participant Newsletter: December 29, 2021

Welcome to Connections, ASB’s participant newsletter! This newsletter is a monthly resource for all things ASB. Read on for upcoming events, program schedules and other opportunities to explore. Feel free to forward this email along to anyone who may be interested in our programs and resources.


Access a text-only version of this newsletter here.


Happy New Year from ASB

We want to wish everyone a joyous and healthy New Year. ASB will be closed Friday to observe the holiday, and we will resume our usual hours on Monday, January 3.


ASB Remote Programming January- March 2022

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

If you are interested in signing up for these programs or have any questions, contact our Director of Participant Engagement and Outreach, Lexi Jones, at ajones@asb.org.


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’s Speaker Series: January – February 2022 Schedule

On the second and fourth Friday of every month, ASB welcomes professionals from health care and other fields to speak about topics such as health and welfare, insurance and finances, legal assistance and much more!Review the confirmed January – February 2022 schedule below, and contact ASB’s Director of Participant Engagement and Outreach, Lexi Jones, at ajones@asb.org if you are interested in attending any of these sessions.


Topic: Independence and Aging
Presenter: Mercy LIFE will discuss supporting the health and independence of seniors and living safely at home
Date: January 14, 2022
Time: 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.


Topic: Philadelphia Center Against Sexual Violence
Presenter: WOAR – Philadelphia Center Against Sexual Violence will talk about its services and healthy relationships
Date: February 25, 2022
Time: 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.


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.


Apply Today: Fellow Positions for the Equitable Community Engagement Toolkit

The City of Philadelphia is hiring two fellows to assist in developing an Equitable Community Engagement Toolkit.

The PHL Service Design Studio and the Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Service have been working on an Equitable Community Engagement Toolkit in collaboration with City engagement staff, community groups and Philadelphia residents. The Toolkit is an initiative that will transform how the City of Philadelphia thinks about, plans for and facilitates engagement with the communities it serves. 

The following fellowship positions are available. Successful candidates should plan on starting in March and April of 2022. Each fellowship is full-time and eight months. Please see job descriptions below for full details.

For questions about the fellowships, contact service.design@phila.gov


January 2022: Health and Wellness Workshops 

This January, the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging and the Pennsylvania Department of Aging are offering two health and wellness workshops. These six-week workshops will be offered virtually for free to adults 60 and older. Learn more about the two workshops below. 

To register for either of these workshops, call Health Promotion Nurse Supervisor Stephen Merrill at 215-765-9000 ext. 5123 or email Stephen.Merrill@pcacares.org.

Keep it Moving Workshop

This six-week workshop is a Chronic Pain Self-Management Program where participants will learn tips and strategies to take charge of their chronic pain. Topics include managing pain, dealing with fatigue, working with health care providers, physical activity, addressing poor sleep, problem solving and becoming more involved in everyday activities. All participants will be mailed a Self-Management Toolkit at no cost. 

Where: Zoom
Schedule: Every Tuesday from January 11 to February 15, 2022
Time: 1 – 3:30 p.m.

Help Yourself to Health

This six-week workshop is a Chronic Disease Self-Management Program where participants will learn tips and strategies to take charge of their chronic conditions such as heart disease, arthritis and lung disease. Topics include dealing with fatigue, working with health care providers, physical activity, addressing poor sleep, problem solving and becoming more involved in everyday activities. All participants will be mailed a Self-Management Toolkit at no cost. 

Where: Zoom
Schedule: Every Thursday from January 20 to February 24, 2022
Time: 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


Stay in Touch

Have questions about ASB’s programs and resources? Looking to get more involved? Please contact ASB’s Director of Participant Engagement and Outreach, Lexi Jones, at ajones@asb.org.