Good Works Wednesday: July 7, 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.

New Education & Training Programs

Our virtual program schedule for the third quarter of 2021 is live! Our July- September 2021 schedule – with more education programs, creative enrichment opportunities and support and social groups – is now listed on the ASB website!

Please be aware of changes to the schedule, and if any of the participants you work with are interested in signing up for these programs or have any questions, please contact our Director of Participant Engagement and Outreach, Lexi Jones, at

Friends, Family and Professional Training

Are you the family member or friend of someone experiencing vision loss? Are you interested in learning about more ways to support participants you work with experiencing vision loss? Associated Services for the Blind is excited to offer an eight-week series of Zoom workshops for YOU!

Beginning on Wednesday, July 14, at 7:00 p.m., ASB will offer friends, family and professional training workshops designed to provide information, support and encouragement for those living or working with individuals who are blind or experiencing vision loss.

These workshops are also open to health care providers, employers, social service workers and anyone who would like to learn more about the social and emotional effects of blindness and vision loss. Feel free to forward this invitation to anyone you think might be interested.

If you are interested in participating, please email Community Training Specialist, Lynn Heitz, at or leave a message at 215-627-0600 extension 824.

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, July 9, from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. for a session onthe American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)Member Benefits, including health and wellness, travel, employment, volunteering and discounts.

If any of the participants you work with are interested in signing up for this session, please contact our Director of Participant Engagement and Outreach, Lexi Jones, at or at 267-551-0561.

FRIDAY: Professional Development Workshops

ASB will be working with Kevin E. O’Connor, CSP, a leadership and communications expert, to lead sessions teaching the tools and techniques needed to provide the best experience for our participants. One session per month will be for all staff, agency-wide, focusing on improving individual and team professionalism and the provision of high-quality service. The Department of Education and Enrichment Programming (DEEP) will have an additional session per month, focusing specifically on skills to improve working relationships with our participants and learners. 

A calendar invitation and Zoom link will be sent to you for Friday, July 9, from 9 – 10:30 a.m. for an all-staff session on The Helper’s Personal Experience: Self-Reflection and Self-Disclosure and Emotional Intelligence

We are looking forward to joining you at the next session! 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

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.

Participants can determine their eligibility by contacting ASB’s Director of Participant Engagement and Outreach, Lexi Jones, at 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.

A Year After Covid-19: Where Are We Now, and Where Are We Headed?

The Mayor’s Commission on People with Disabilitiesinvites ASB to join its virtual webinar, A Year After Covid-19: Where Are We Now, and Where Are We Headed? on July 28, 2021 from 7 – 8:30 p.m. zia Zoom. Review the agenda for the webinar below.

  • 7 – 7:10 p.m.: Welcome, meet our new executive director and the Mayor’s Commission on People with Disabilities.
  • 7:10 – 7:15 p.m.: Update on the ADA Transition Plan.
  • 7:15 – 7:30 p.m.: Update on current and upcoming work of the Commission.
  • 7:30 – 7:45 p.m.: Update from Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department.
  • 7:45 – 8:30 p.m.: Public comments: Residents and families can share their input to support the work of the Commission going forward.

If any of the participants you work with are interested in this event, they can register in advance here: After registering, attendees will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

ASL and closed captioning will be provided. To request additional ADA accommodations, please email or call Claudia Tasco by July 16 at or 215-686-2798.

Braille Music Classes from Miami Lighthouse

ASB is pleased to be able to connect our participants with Miami Lighthouse’s Distance Learning Braille Music program, a braille music curriculum designed for people who are interested in pursuing a music career.

Over 10 years ago, Miami Lighthouse created a unique Distance Learning Braille Music curriculum, bringing music instruction to students who are experiencing vision loss worldwide. Miami Lighthouse designed the curriculum for people of all ages who have advanced braille skills and a goal of working in the music industry. Using Expert Learning License, the Braille Music curriculum is an at-home learning experience, perfect for social distancing.  

Braille Music makes mainstream music industry employment an option for people experiencing vision loss. The curriculum is the only way for a blind musician to gain comprehensive training in the U.S. and learn to read music scores directly. Students learn basic computer technology and develop proficiency in Literary Braille Grade 2, which are standards in the music industry.  

Instructor Jin Ho Choi, a musician who is blind and certified braille music transcriber by the Library of Congress, teaches the Braille Music curriculum at Miami Lighthouse. Now available online, each of the 26 lessons can be completed in 45 minutes and enable the braille reader, as well as sighted helpers, to learn the basic concepts of musical notation. 

If any of the participants you work with are interested in learning more about this program, please contact Beth Deering at