Services for the Sight Impaired

People living with blindness or visual impairments may be challenged by simple tasks of daily living and obstacles to navigating the world outside of their homes.

And yet these challenges are readily overcome, with the appropriate partnership and support for achieving goals. WCBA is here to empower their independence and quality of life.

Specialized Services

Who We Serve

Blind and visually impaired residents of Westmoreland or Indiana counties who are at least 18 years of age and who meet financial and vision requirements. There is no charge to those who qualify. Persons receiving Medicaid are automatically eligible.

Specialized Services are offered in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind.

What We Offer

Specialized Services is all about supporting greater independence and quality of life for those who are blind or living with sight impairments. Our staff helps program clients to accomplish daily living activities, with services provided on an as-needed basis. If a client is interested in working, paid employment is available in WCBA’s Production Center for those with capacity to perform the associated tasks.

Here’s a sampling of services provided through this program:

  • Transportation to appointments
  • Reading and reviewing mail
  • Filling out paperwork and applications
  • Shopping for and with the individual

Many clients say program services are essential to feeling secure and maintaining a good quality of life, especially for those without family nearby or good access to public transportation.

Low Vision Clinic

Who We Serve

Individuals whose vision loss is not correctable with the aid of glasses, contact lenses, surgery or medication. Many have been diagnosed with macular degeneration. Referrals are typically made by eye specialists, but individuals can call to request an appointment.

What We Offer

The Low Vision Clinic is open Monday mornings by appointment only. Most patients are seeking help in being able to continue important activities of daily living, such as reading newspapers and mail and to take care of their finances. Evaluations are provided by Dr. Chris Cakanac, OD, FAAO, who has partnered with WCBA for more than 25 years. The exam is billed to the patient’s insurance; the patient is responsible for any co-pay. Magnification devices are an out-of-pocket expense.

If magnification devices are recommended, WCBA keeps a variety in stock and offers them to clinic patients on loan for seven days. Patients can then purchase devices they have tried and found useful. Referrals to a partner agency are made if cost is a factor. Clinic staff can also recommend other resources, such as programs for audio.

The goal is always doing whatever can be done to help patients achieve their goals for daily living, despite the challenges of low vision.

What Others Are Saying About the WCBA

“We provide a truly needed service. Often times, we are the only visitor they see or the only time they can get out of their residence for the week.”


The manufacturing department at WCBA produced 82,529 textile items for our armed forces last year.

The Low Vision Clinic at WCBA conducted 147 evaluations last year.

WCBA provided 8,439 units of service to the sight impaired in Westmoreland and Indiana Counties last year.

Strabismus is a failure of the two eyes to maintain proper alignment and work together as a team.  Affecting 2-5% of children, if left untreated, strabismus can lead to impaired depth perception, amblyopia (“lazy eye”), or even vision loss.