Needs We Address

Sights for Hope’s impact population in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley – defined as Lehigh and Northampton counties – and Monroe County consists of two groups.

The first group consists of people ages 7 and up who have significant difficulty seeing while using glasses or equivalent solutions. This group benefits from our client and patient services – including our life skills education; technology solutions; support services; youth and family programs, including our Camp I CAN! summer program; and the Posch Braille Library.

The second group consists children ages 0-6, essentially the population of all pre-kindergarten children, who have undetected visual impairments that keep them from learning to their fullest potentials. This group benefits from our prevention services – including our free vision screenings and community education programs.

Needs Addressed by Our Client and Patient Services

  • A total of 280,000 Pennsylvanians report difficulty seeing with corrective lenses or blindness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This total represents 2.16% of Pennsylvania’s population as of July 2021, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • As the census bureau reports that the collective population of our service area as of July 2021 is 858,440, and it estimated that 808,440 of them are ages 7 and up, approximately 17,462 people comprise the first group of our impact population.
  • A 2017 report by the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley’s Alliance on Aging indicated that the common activity that presented the most difficulty for respondents ages 65 and up was obtaining transportation for medical appointments or other critical services.
  • In its 2019-2022 community health assessment, St. Luke’s University Health Network identified access to care as one if its three highest priorities. With respects to the cities of Allentown, PA, and Bethlehem, PA specifically, St. Luke’s identified access to food as a major determinant of health.
  • Adults with vision impairment often have lower rates of workforce participation and productivity and higher rates of depression and anxiety, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • Vision impairments in older adults can contribute to social isolation, difficulty walking, a higher risk of falls and fractures, and a greater likelihood of early entry into assisted living facilities, according to the WHO.
  • Visual impairments affect an economic burden of $138 billion annually in the United States, as expressed in 2013 dollars, according to a study from the University of Chicago. Expressed in 2022 dollars, that burden is $168 billion annually – or approximately $500 for each American.

Needs Addressed by Our Prevention Services