Update: October 30, 2020 — Message to Our Community

Dear Members of the ASB Community:

In a year marked by worry and loss the world over, this week in Philadelphia has been especially tragic.  With the killing of Walter Wallace, Jr. by police in West Philadelphia, we again find ourselves seeking ways to cope while also searching for peaceful, productive, and meaningful change that can disrupt this same outcome from playing out time and again in our nation’s Black community.  ASB expresses its deepest sympathy for the family and friends of Walter Wallace, Jr.

Given the gravity of this moment, you may be seeking resources for support.   Below is a list of contacts that you can reach out to with any concerns related to disability rights and social justice as well as for access to mental health and wellness services:

The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities
The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities houses the Mayor’s Commission on People with Disabilities and the Office of ADA Compliance. Both offices work to make Philadelphia a better place for people with disabilities.

Contact: Claudia Tasco, Constituent Service Coordinator,  215-686-2798, claudia.tasco@phila.gov

Healthy Minds Philly
Offers tools and resources to support and improve the mental health and well-being of all Philadelphians.  Includes Mental Health First Aid and a 24/7 Crisis Prevention Hotline.

Contact: (215) 686-4420

People’s Emergency Center
Community Resources Hotline connects callers with all the free services that People’s Emergency Center offers.

Contact: (267) 777-5477

Provides direct access to city government information, services, and real-time service updates. 

Contact: Call 311 or 215-686-8686, or tweet @philly311 for a quick response. 

Department of Human Services Statewide Support & Referral Helpline
Provides mental health and emotional support 24/7. 

Contact: 1-855-284-2494; for TTY, 724-631-5600

City of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health
Provides mental health services, addiction services, intellectual disAbility services, and children and youth services.

Contact:  Emergency mental health crisis line 215-685-6440; mental health and addiction services with or without insurance and Medicaid eligible 888-545-2600; for nonemergency services 215-685-5400; for intellectual disAbility services 215-685-5900.

City of Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management (OEM)
The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) works to ensure the City of Philadelphia is ready for any kind of emergency. To receive text alerts to your phone, text ReadyPhila to 888-777.

At ASB, we welcome anyone with vision loss to experience our education, training, and enrichment programs.  All of our work is designed to assist people from all walks of life in building skills in order to live the lives they wish to lead.  And despite the challenges of the pandemic, participants have continued to engage remotely in increasing numbers with technology and home management training, peer support groups, a speaker series, and enrichment programming for mind and body wellness.  In addition, we work to provide holistic support through informed referrals to other agencies and resources across the region (like those in the list above) that can help you address issues from healthcare and education to workforce development, housing, disability rights and equity and inclusion.

Lastly, we want you to know that as a welcoming, inclusive service agency for anyone with vision loss, ASB is committed to continuing to build upon our team’s diversity, from our Board of Directors through to our direct service staff, to reflect the region’s – and our participants’ – diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, work and life experiences, and vision loss experiences. 

We encourage you to use our resources, including the resources listed above as needed, and to stay in touch with our peer support groups and weekly office hours to let us know how you’re doing.

Karla S. McCaney, President & CEO