This month, I want to shine a light on a few of the fantastic resources that are available throughout the Central Pennsylvania area. One of those shining stars is the Vision Resources of Central Pennsylvania (formerly Tri-County Association for the Blind).

Shortly after graduation from high school, my mom had the opportunity to work for The Pennsylvania Blind Association. She has very fond memories of this job and has shared some great stories about her work experience. As a result of hearing these stories, I have a soft spot in my heart for the selfless men and women who support the visually impaired.

For over 98 years, Vision Resources have been providing services to those that are blind or visually impaired. When I toured their facility, I was surprised to learn about all of the business services they offer to employ the sighted, visually impaired, or otherwise disabled people. As a private, non-profit organization, they need to find ways to financially support the amazing services they offer to the visually impaired. Business services include a full-service flooring center, mail services, laser printing, custodial services, and packaging and assembly. The money raised from these businesses supports visually impaired clients to remain independent and enjoy a better quality of life.

Vision Resources offers specialized low vision care with an on-site low vision rehabilitation optometrist. Clients benefit by receiving many services that can maximize their residual vision to remain as independent as possible. A training specialist can work with the client to provide training in the use of low vision magnification equipment and other necessities such as unique talking watches and blood glucose meters. They offer large print or Braille address books, bingo or playing cards, low vision pens, and special sunglasses. They also have a training specialist that can help the client use iPads, smartphones, computers, or other mobile devices.

Prevention of blindness is also an essential resource to the community. Vision Resources offers a program to prevent blindness and promote eye health and safety. Vision screenings are available for adults and children to help to find undetected conditions that could lead to vision loss. Free vision screenings are offered at local preschools, daycares and nursery schools. Additional free screening is provided at health fairs, senior centers, and other civic events. For clients who meet the financial guidelines, they offer free eyeglasses.

I have only touched on the many ways that Vision Resources supports the blind and visually impaired in Central Pennsylvania. To learn more or to volunteer check out their websites at www.vrocp.orgor and