Life Through Our Eyes

This is a photo collection of the many people connected through our organization. Each person (clients, families, staff, volunteers) has a story that shows that we are more alike than we are different.

Client of the Association who is involved with Book Club

 

 

 

“I love the Book Club.  I go online and download the books.  And I what I do is research and find out what the sighted people are reading.  So that when we go out, we can talk about the same books.  It’s very strange because some people think that you haven’t got a brain in your head or you’re mentally challenged just because you can’t see.  It’s either that or they’ll scream on the top of their lungs because they think you can’t hear.”

 

 

 

Pre Schooler with glasses

“How do you like your glasses?
“Better”
“Was it hard to see before you had them?” 
“Yeah”
“What couldn’t you see before?”
“I couldn’t see anything”

 

 

young girl in glasses with mother

 

 

“I feel so guilty that I sent her to school for all those months and she couldn’t see. I never noticed anything was wrong." 

 

 

Pre School Teacher

 

“I notice a big difference with her.  She seems to be focusing so much better on her work. It’s amazing to see.  I called her mom and I told her I couldn’t believe the difference in her.  I never realized that she had a vision problem.  She wasn’t squinting or anything. I was shocked.” 

 

 

 

 

“I’ve had glaucoma since birth.  I tell you, I’ve come a very long, long way.  I didn’t grow up, as you can tell, as someone who was sheltered.  Because I had three other sisters.  And I was the only one who had a vision problem.  So I was not excluded - not excluded - from anything.  What they did, I had to do the same thing.  Not because I was blind, feel sorry for me.  I can cook. I can mop the floor. I can vacuum.  I can pretty much do whatever there is to do.” 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary on the phone“I think almost everyone I see is more grateful than I would have expected.  Some even have said, ‘I don’t know what I’d do without you’.  It’s really so rewarding.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I’m into exercise.  I joined the YMCA in Pittston.  I try to do walking when I can, bicycling, water skiing, cross country skiing, just all kinds of sports.  I’m very active.” 

“Being able to make a difference in people’s lives.  I have a lot of patients who will come in and say that they haven’t been able to read for months or years.  And after the Evaluation, with certain low vision aides, they’re able to read again.  Or whatever task they’re interested in. There are a wide variety of devices that can help somebody - with something as simple as pouring a cup of coffee without overflowing it… to being able to read the newspaper… to watching TV… to operating their appliances.”

 

 

 

 

“I’m most proud of my switch board work at John Heinz – I was a supervisor there.  And, of course, of my volunteer work here.  And the fact that I learned the computer at 44.  Because I didn’t think I could do it.”   

 

 

 

 

 

 

“In 1972, when my daughter was registering for kindergarten there was no kind of registration going on other than you going to the school.  We started with a vision program – I called the Association for the Blind and there was no such program, but they were interested….so we did vision, the intermediate unit did speech and hearing. We wanted to make sure that a child could see and could hear before they started kindergarten without any of those limitations and that’s how it all began.”

“I loved being a nurse.  I was a nurse for 20 years.  I wanted to be a nurse since I was 5.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I’m getting these spots.  Colors…  colors…  the color purple.  All of the time.  It’s there today.  It’s on your face.  It looks like sugar.  But it’s purple.  One day I was coming from the doctor’s. And the red light had these purple spots in front of them.  I couldn’t tell if they were red or green.  So I lookedat the car next to me – thank God I had my common sense.  And he stopped, so I stopped.  And when I got home, I said, ‘well, lady, you’re really getting the hit with it.’  When I went home, I called the insurance man, and canceled my insurance.  I haven’t driven since.”

 

 

 

 

“I’m a better person, it’s a shame to say it, since I lost my vision than I was before.  Like now we don’t …we don’t look at people and say, oh god, look at her, how fat she is or look at that ugly outfit or look at her hair or whatever, we look sort of at the inside of people. And I think I love people now, compared to what I used to think then.  I think we are all guilty of that, everybody is…but I’m no longer guilty. I think I’m a lot nicer now than I was.” 

 

 

 

 

 

“I did not realize that you did work in Wyoming County, so that was a surprise to me. And I just was really unaware of your services. I thought they were really for people who were blind, not just the visually impaired.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I’m on the second floor and he’s on the third. That’s how we met, talking outside….he’s like I got to help that lady.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The Association for the Blind has been a part of my life for many many years in a sense – with my mother being a very active volunteer over the years, but also every time I would go to help out at the Kindergarten registration for my three kids, they were always there doing the vision screenings.

And  way back twenty years ago when my son was five – the ladies doing the screening were very surprised because they saw something they hadn’t seen very frequently or ever, I’m not sure. It was that he had strabismus, an issue where the eye muscles don’t coordinate together. I don’t know that I would ever have noticed it – he’s never needed glasses, it is not a vision problem.  You know, it was a big deal to me that they caught that. And then my youngest too, she was identified as having a mild vision problem and she started wearing glasses from that time on.”

 

 

 

“So they saw an issue and are referring him?”

“Yeah, because of a lazy eye - his sister has one on the same side. It’s awesome that they do these screenings, you know to pick up on these things, so we can go get it checked out before you start school.” 

 

 

 

 

 

“I’ve been all over the place, this is my first time here, I’ve been to Nanticoke, Hanover, I go to Day Cares too, they call me sometimes for there. I just enjoy going. And I don’t go to the luncheons, because I said I do this for me, and I do not have to be rewarded for it. Most of my family doesn’t even know I do this. My husband says, 'what I do is immaterial, if you can help one child, that’s so much better than what I do.'

Like I said, I don’t do it for any kind of recognition – and that’s why most people don’t know about it. I don’t need to be patted on the back or praised for what I do. And everything I do is under the radar, because too many people are only in it for the acknowledgement and I said I don’t like to do that.”

 

 

 

"I’m just so thankful - because there were no signs. He’s in a class of twelve, with two very experienced teachers. There is a lot of one on one time, and they would have definitely recognized if he was having difficulty with anything. And he wasn’t. And how would you know in a just turned 5 year old? You would never know. He was having no trouble.

If it had grown bigger and it wasn’t picked up until a year later when he was screened in kindergarten, it could have affected his other eye. The tumor was almost four centimeters in diameter and sitting right where the optic nerves cross. It could have affected the other optic nerve. The doctors were actually quite surprised that he hadn’t had any other symptoms. He never complained about anything."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
“They were actually quite surprised that he hadn’t had any other symptoms, he never complained about anything.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
“While I am here, I greet the visitors that come in, I answer the phone, I do filing and anything else the staff would ask for me to do, I would do for them. I like to meet people and I enjoy the staff immensely I just feel so accepted by them, I feel like I’m a part of the little family here. I feel very blessed to be here.”