WCBA is committed to servicing the sight impaired individuals in our community through employment, a low vision clinic, specialized services and prevention of blindness programs.
For many, finding meaningful employment in today’s economic climate is difficult. Consider the diminished employment opportunities for those who have lost their vision. Employment not only fulfills the need for a source of income, but also the need to be independent and productive. WCBA employment areas include:
DID YOU KNOW: The manufacturing department at WCBA produced 82,529 textile items for our armed forces last year.
WCBA IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER
Westmoreland County Blind Association, as a non-profit organization and employer, does not discriminate against any individual on account of race, color, religious creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, disability, gender identity, status as a veteran, or any other unlawful basis. This policy is applicable to all employment activity, all human resource matters inherent in the employer/employee relationship, and all educational programs.
In implementing this policy, all employment applications are welcomed. Hiring decisions are based upon qualifications, skills, ability, and organizational fit; all employment practices and educational programs are guided by applicable labor agreements and federal/state laws and regulations.
When vision loss is not correctable with the aid of glasses, contact lenses, surgery or medication, the WCBA Low Vision Clinic empowers the individual with options to retain or regain independence. More than 20 years ago, WCBA partnered with Dr. Chris Cakanac, OD, FAAO, to provide options for the visually impaired that were not available in the past. Together WCBA and Dr. Chris Cakanac OD, FAAO, established the first low vision clinic in Westmoreland County. The adaptive equipment prescribed by Dr. Cakanac often enables the patient to do tasks which they were previously unable to perform such as read printed materials, watch television, and function independently. An eye care professional or physician can refer patients to the WCBA Low Vision Clinic.
DID YOU KNOW: The Low Vision Clinic at WCBA conducted 147 evaluations last year. For more information please call 724.837.1250.
WCBA Specialized Services are offered to residents in Westmoreland and Indiana Counties. The services are designed to provide the sight impaired individual assistance that allows them to maintain their independence. Consumers of these services are provided:
- • Transportation to the bank, grocery stores and appointments
- • Assistance in completing applications and paperwork; and
- • Vision education and advocacy.
Specialized Services work in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind. An individual must meet certain financial and vision requirements to be eligible for WCBA Specialized Services.
DID YOU KNOW: WCBA provided 8,439 units of service to the sight impaired in Westmoreland and Indiana Counties last year. For more information please call 724.837.1250.
WCBA remains committed to educating the communities of Westmoreland and Indiana Counties about eye disease, damage prevention and detection. The WCBA Prevention of Blindness Program works with both children and adults to detect vision problems such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism, amblyopia, and strabismus. Though the screenings are not a substitute for a comprehensive eye exam by an eye care professional, persons who fail any portion of the WCBA preliminary screening and/or their guardians are notified of the results and encouraged to seek the advice of an eye care professional.
Prevention of Blindness – Children
Eighty percent of what a child learns before age 12 is comprised of visual cues. Undetected vision problems in children may manifest as signs of learning disabilities: frustration, inability to pay attention or follow instructions, frequently missed words or reversal of words, inability to maintain place while reading. Sixty-four percent of children under the age of 5 have never had a vision screening and an even higher percentage have never had a comprehensive eye exam by an eye care professional. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a child’s eyes be screened for problems at:
- • Birth
- • Six months
- • Between ages three and four
- • Age five
- • Every year following
WCBA Prevention of Blindness staff and volunteers travel to local preschools and kindergartens providing free vision screenings to identify children who may have vision problems.
DID YOU KNOW: Strabismus is a failure of the two eyes to maintain proper alignment and work together as a team. One or both eyes can turn inward, upward, outward, or downward and is often referred to as “eye cross.” Affecting 2-5% of children, if left untreated, strabismus can lead to impaired depth perception, amblyopia (“lazy eye”), or even vision loss.
Prevention of Blindness – Adults
WCBA Prevention of Blindness staff and volunteers travel to local senior fairs and other events to perform free vision screenings and adult education programs. Individuals may also receive a vision screening at our Low Vision Clinic.