Tips To Protect Your Vision

As Spring arrives in western Pennsylvania, we are called to the outdoors. We rediscover what has been hidden by snow and lay dormant during the winter months. The nice weather is our inspiration to collect branches or leaves that have accumulated in the corners of the yard; stain the deck in time for grilling season or break out the bicycle.

The Westmoreland County Blind Association wants you to enjoy the season, and most importantly be safe and prevent eye damage. Please consider these tips to protect your vision in the coming months:

  • Wear sunglasses outside when the sun shines. Look for lenses that block 100% of both UVA and UVB rays.
  • View fireworks from at least 500 feet away. Never let children play with fireworks.
  • Wear safety glasses when doing work that may produce chips, dust or flying particles. When working with chemicals, choose goggles that fit snugly against your face and secure with a strap.
  • Thoroughly wash your hands before touching the eye.
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet. Foods rich in antioxidants, lutein, Vitamins C and E are good for eye health.
  • If you know something has scratched your eye, seek treatment from your doctor/emergency room for your eye injury.

Lions Club Donation

Thanks to the Trafford Lions Club and Penn-Trafford Leos Club for coordinating last night’s Dinner in the Dark event. The event was hosted in the WCBA’s Community Room here in Greensburg. Sighted participants were blindfolded and taught how to eat a prepared dinner and fold paper airplanes. Penn-Trafford presented a check donation of $1,210 WCBA’s Executive Director, Tim Miller.

There were approximately 60 people in attendance. The whole event was put together by the young members of the Trafford Lions Clubs which is commonly referred to as Link-N-Leos.  It was a unique and humbling event that gave participants a chance to experience everyday living activities through the eyes of someone with visual disabilities.

 

Action Needed – My Work, My Choice

PLEASE take time to comment on Proposed Changes that the Commonwealth is planning to make on individuals with an intellectual disability.

These changes will eliminate an individual’s CHOICE on where they want to work.  

The deadline to comment is January 17, 2017.  

Here is the information that you can use to comment on these changes.  

As a concerned resident of the Commonwealth, I would like to take this opportunity to Comment on Appendices A through H of the Consolidated and Person/Family Directed Support Waiver Renewals, effective July 1, 2017 (PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 16-2086).  My comment will specifically focus on Appendix C pertaining to the service known as “Community Participation”. 

I firmly believe that ALL individuals with developmental disabilities should have a CHOICE to achieve greater independence and opportunity in their lives.  As you are well aware, this is also the mission of the Office of Developmental Programs.  The most important piece of this statement is CHOICE.  I do not agree with limitations placed on ones CHOICE in Appendix C pertaining to Community Participation.

The following limitations placed on attendance in Vocational or Adult Training Facility settings take away ones CHOICE.  

  • From 1/1/18 to 6/30/18, a participant may not receive Community Participation Support services in a licensed Adult Training Facility or a licensed Vocational Facility for more than 75 percent of his or her support time, on average, per week.
  • From 7/1/18 to 12/31/18, a participant may not receive Community Participation Support services in a licensed Adult Training Facility or a licensed Vocational Facility for more than 50 percent of his or her support time, on average, per week.
  • Starting 1/1/19, a participant may not receive Community Participation Support services in a licensed Adult Training Facility or a licensed Vocational Facility for more than 25 percent of his or her support time, on average, per week.

The amount of time an individual wants to attend Vocational or Adult Training Facility settings should be the CHOICE of each individual and should not be mandated.

Please contact Governor Tom Wolf at Office of the Governor, 508 Main Capitol Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120 or call 717-787-2500 or fax 717-772-8284.

You may also email your comment to RA-odpcomment@pa.gov

If you want to get more involved, contact Tim Miller at tmiller@wcbainpa.org or at 724-837-1250, ext. 16 

A-Team Pennsylvania

We hosted our first meeting of A-Team Pennsylvania yesterday at WCBA in Greensburg. More than 25 staff members from a dozen pre-vocational providers came together to form this new mission for disabled workers. Vincent M. Loose, President & CEO of UniqueSource, was our guest speaker. See the A-Team Photo Album for additional event coverage.

Here is a little more information on the initiative:

MY WORK. MY CHOICE.
A-TeamGoal: Promote people with diverse abilities experiencing the dignity of work in a full array of employment settings.

Mission: Ignite the passion and energy of persons with diverse abilities and their families…
-to advocate in a grassroots efforts.
-create awareness in the community.
-advise those who care for our citizens with special needs to ensure service choices are protected and sustained.

We are looking for serious volunteers who would like to join the A-Team to ignite the passion and energy of persons with diverse abilities along with their families to ensure that service choices are protected and sustained. Please contact the Westmoreland County Blind Association at 724-837-1250 to learn more.

Our A-Team/Pennsylvania campaign will continue in preparation for our “Embrace the Abilities Day” in Harrisburg on October 17th and 18th. Many of our intellectually and developmentally challenged individuals, family members, staff members, and providers from numerous pre-vocational organizations throughout the state will be traveling in support of this cause. Actual stories and videos will be shared with legislators and the Wolf Administration during this meeting. For more information, please visit A-Team Pennsylvania or this website.

Employee of the Year Award Nominee

Congratulations to our colleague, Clyde Bittner on being nominated for the 2016 Peter J. Salmon Employee of the Year Award. Each year, National Industries for the Blind (NIB) honors an individual who is blind and employed in NIB’s network of associated nonprofit agencies. Clyde was nominated based upon his qualifications and accomplishments measured by criteria established by NIB’s Board of Directors. We here at WCBA, are PROUD to call Clyde our co-worker but more importantly our friend!

Services for Sight-Impaired and Intellectually-Challenged Individuals

The Westmoreland County Blind Association provides services and programs for individuals with visual, intellectual and physical disabilities and delivers business services such as embroidery and document destruction. This video offers an overview of our programs and services for sight impaired and intellectually challenged individuals.

Take Our Virtual Tour

The Westmoreland County Blind Association provides services and programs for individuals with visual, intellectual and physical disabilities and delivers business services such as embroidery and document destruction.

Here is a new video we created that offers an overview of our services and a virtual tour of our facilities.

Connect With Us

We recently launched a new blog and updated our social media presence for the Westmoreland County Blind Association. Our goal is to provide new channels for you to communicate with us while also sharing information that might interest you.

The pages will feature WCBA news, service information, featured employees, videos and more. We’ll also post information about the services we offer to businesses including embroidery, document destruction and manufacturing.

Please consider following us here: