Connections: April 30, 2021

Welcome to ASB’s Participant Newsletter

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.

ASB News and Updates

Stay up-to-date with ASB’s latest announcements and updates by checking out the website and social media platforms! Find the links to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the website below.


MAY 4: Audio-Described “Resilience” Performance

On Tuesday, May 4 at 7 p.m. ASB participants are invited to experience the Pennsylvania Ballet’s “Resilience” Program featuring three short ballets, including “Allegro Brillante,” “Polyphonia,” and “Raymonda Suite,” along with another solo performance by Jermel Johnson. Showcasing the technical brilliance of the company’s dancers, these works will delight both new and old fans of ballet alike. Audio Describer Nicole Sardella will provide a live audio description of the program via Zoom.

Register for free here to gain access to the Zoom link. For questions about registration, please contact Beth Deering at

Virtual Art Class with Passle Helminski

ASB is excited to have artist Passle Helminski provide a virtual art class on May 5, May 19 and May 26 at 11 a.m. In this class, Passle will work with students on a practice called “blind contour” drawing. All levels welcome to attend! We ask that attendees bring a pencil and paper to the session.  

Passle’s creations are featured in several permanent collections and have been shown in many exhibits throughout the U.S. and countries such as Germany, Singapore, Sweden, Australia and China. She has also served as an adjunct professor at Mercyhurst College and Gannon University. 

If you are interested in signing up for an adventure into art, please contact our Participant Navigator, Lexi Jones, at or by phone at 267-483-9244 to register.

IOS VoiceOver Accessible App Workshops

ASB is hosting a variety of iPhone App Workshops in small group settings until mid-May. No iPhone experience is necessary, just an interest in using an iPhone with apps to make positive life changes. The programs are listed below.

Tuesdays through May 11 

  • AIRA & Be My Eyes: Learn how to access sighted assistance anytime, anywhere for any task you can imagine! 
  • Newsline: Learn how to read magazines and newspapers from all over the world.
  • BARD: Learn how to search for, download and listen to books and magazines.

Wednesdays through May 13

  • Instacart: Learn how to shop online and have groceries delivered right to your front door!
  • iPhone App Q&A Workshop: Want to learn about different apps? Looking for a quick app overview? Have iPhone app questions? Then, this workshop is for you. Email with your app overview request.

Thursdays through May 13

  • Seeing AI and Tap Tap See: Learn how to independently read mail, printed documents, product barcodes, use facial recognition, identify money and more!
  • Amazon: Learn how to shop online and have anything you desire delivered right to your front door!
  • iOS Health: Learn how to set up a medical ID, track how many miles you have walked and more.

If you are interested in any of these programs, please contact our Participant Navigator, Lexi Jones, at to register.

ASB’s Health Speaker Series

Every week 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 upcoming May schedule below, and contact ASB’s Participant Navigator, Lexi Jones, at if you are interested in attending any sessions.

Topic: Aira Application
Presenter: Jenine Stanley, Director Customer Communication, Aira
Date: April 30, 2021
Time: 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
About Aira: Aira is a service that uses artificial intelligence and augmented reality to connect the vision loss community to highly-trained, remotely-located agents. At the touch of a button, Aira delivers instant access to information, enhancing everyday efficiency, engagement and independence. 

Topic: Fire Safety
Presenter: Namor Brown, Philadelphia Fire Department
Date: May 7, 2021
Time: 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Topic: Changes to CCT and Key Card Information
Presenter: Treshia Hassell, Regulatory Coordinator, CCT
Date: May 14, 2021
Time: 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Topic: Safety Tips for Traveling and Staying Safe in your Home
Presenter: Julie Carpenter, Community Relations Officer, Philadelphia Police Department
Date: May 21, 2021
Time: 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

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 upcoming May and June conversations are below. We’ll be sure to share the link to the July event when it becomes available:

In case you missed AFB’s previous centennial events, you can replay the archived conversations below:

AFB is committed to creating inclusive events. Captions, ASL, audio description, and transcripts will be available for all #AFB100 events. If you need any other accommodations, please contact the AFB at

Stay in Touch

Have questions about ASB’s programs and resources? Looking to get more involved? Please contact ASB’s Participant Navigator, Lexi Jones, at