About Sights for Hope

Sights for Hope transforms the lives of people with visual impairments and blindness by removing barriers to independence and well-being. Our services provide the skills, supports, and solutions that advance their self-sufficiency and quality of life. We carry forward a tradition inspired by Helen Keller nearly a century ago 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 Values

  • Independence: We champion every individual’s right to control their life and pursue their personal success.
  • Impact: We advance solutions specifically for the people we serve and challenge ourselves to make our communities stronger.
  • Dignity: We demonstrate a person-first mindset toward those we serve and honor their strengths.
  • Character: We listen, pursue all that is possible, carry ourselves with sincerity and humility, and are inclusive without bias.

Our Theory of Change

  • People who live with visual impairments and blindness face unacceptable disparities with respect to personal independence and well-being.
  • 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; and a decreased potential to learn successfully in school.
  • If Sights for Hope removes key barriers to self-sufficiency, then people with visual impairments and blindness become empowered to achieve a greater equality of independence and quality of life for themselves.
  • Click here for our full Theory of Change (.pdf)
  • Click here for more on our definition of success

Our Three Pillars

We have identified three pillars to articulate our work.

  • Skills: We teach adaptive skills to accomplish daily life activities.
  • Supports: We provide supports that counter the effects of visual impairments and blindness and we increase access to medical care, healthy food, and other essential needs.
  • Solutions: We advance solutions that enhance 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 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 that increase access to medical care, food, life skills education, and critical wellness services.
  • To provide at least 2,500 people with at least one life skills education experience that enhances their ability to live independently with visual impairments or blindness.
  • To ensure that at least 2,500 children ages 6 and under receive professional eye exams and glasses or equivalent solutions that advance their ability to learn effectively.

Our Services

  • 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.
  • 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 children ages 6 and under to identify sight conditions; partnerships that provide eye exams and glasses to advance school readiness; and community education programs that promote eye health, eye safety, and inclusion of people with visual impairments.

Our Constituents

  • Our population of clients with visual impairments has increased by 27% from July 2020-June 2023, and 82% of our newest clients reside in Lehigh and Northampton counties.
  • A total of 44% 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 65% 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 4,600 or more children ages 0-6 annually, and more than 14% of them have an impairment of some kind.
  • More than 85% of our children’s screening events in a typical year are held at preschools, at daycare centers, and during kindergarten registration and orientation events.

Our Champions for Sight