Sights for Hope provides people with visual impairments the skills, supports, and solutions that advance their self-sufficiency. In doing so, we empower them to achieve a greater equality of independence and quality of life. We carry forward a tradition inspired by Helen Keller nearly a century ago to transform lives throughout Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley and Monroe County, and most of our services are provided at no cost. Founded in 1928, Sights for Hope is a member of the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind (PAB) and the VisionServe Alliance.
Our Mission Statement
- To provide people with visual impairments the skills, supports, and solutions that advance their self-sufficiency.
Our Vision Statement
- To transform the lives of people with visual impairments by removing the barriers to their independence and success.
Our Theory of Change
- People with visual impairments face unacceptable disparities with respect to personal independence and wellbeing.
- These inequalities are manifest particularly by increased challenges in accomplishing daily life activities; limited access to medical care, nutritious food, and other critical services; difficulties with emotional health, including depression; and decreased potential to learn successfully in school.
- If Sights for Hope removes key barriers to self-sufficiency for people with visual impairments, then they become empowered to achieve a greater equality of independence and quality of life for themselves.
- Click here for our full Theory of Change (.pdf)
Our Three Pillars
We have identified three pillars to articulate our work.
- Skills: We teach people with visual impairments the adaptive skills to accomplish daily life activities.
- Supports: We provide supports to people with visual impairments that counter the effects of their circumstances and increase their access to essential services, including medical care and healthy food.
- Solutions: We advance solutions to people with visual impairments that enhance their sight capabilities.
Our Big Impact Goals
We have established four Big Impact Goals to achieve from 2022-2030.
- To provide at least 2,500 people with visual impairments with at least one assistive technology device that boosts their ability to interact with the people and environments around them.
- To provide at least 25,000 guided transports to people with visual impairments that increase their access to medical care, food, life skills education, and critical wellness services.
- To provide at least 2,500 people with visual impairments with at least one life skills education experience that enhances their ability to live independently.
- To provide at least 2,500 children ages 6 and under with professional eye exams and glasses or equivalent solutions that advance their ability to learn effectively.
- Life Skills Education: Group and one-on-one sessions that teach vision rehabilitation, orientation and mobility, adaptive use of technology, and elemental life skills.
- Youth and Family Programs: Life Skills Education programs that help young people with visual impairments build the skills to become independent adults and show their families how to empower them.
- Support Services: Services for clients – including casework support, guided transport services, peer support groups, personal counseling, social and recreational activities, and public service opportunities – that improve their quality of life and their access to medical care, food supplies, and other essentials.
- Technology Solutions: Functional low vision exams by a professional optometrist and individualized consultations performed to match clients and patients with the assistive devices that best meet their needs.
- Prevention Services: Free vision screenings for pre-kindergarten children that advance learning readiness and community education programs that promote eye health, eye safety, and inclusion of people with visual impairments.
- Our population of clients with visual impairments increased by 14% in our 2021-2022 service year.
- A total of 41% of our clients live below or near the federal poverty line. A total of 85% of them live at or below 300% of the poverty line.
- A total of 82% of our clients are ages 55 and older, and 64% of our clients are ages 65 and older.
- More than 70% of our clients are diagnosed with Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma, Diabetic Reinopathy, Cataracts, or Retinits Pigmentosa.
- We perform vision screenings on 5,000 or more children ages 0-6 annually, and up to 15% of them have an impairment of some kind.
- More than 90% of our children’s screenings in a typical year are held at preschools, at daycare centers, and during kindergarten registration and orientation events.