EXETER — After a century of service to the vision-impaired in the Wyoming Valley and Northeast Pennsylvania, the Association for the Blind has a new name.
Northeast Sight Services, formerly The Greater Wilkes-Barre Association of the Blind, revelead a new logo and new resource center Thursday morning.
“With our centennial comes so much opportunity both to celebrate the past 100 years of service to our community, but also to plan for our next 100,” said president and CEO of Northeast Sight Services Sara Gorgone Peperno.
Northeast Sight Services was founded in 1918 by Arline Phillips, whose mission was to “help blind persons help themselves.” Since that time, Gorgone Peperno said, the association has expanded into Pike, Wayne and Wyoming counties, as well as learning “how better to serve people in our community.”
Gorgone Peperno said the organization realized people in the community did not fully understand the scope of the services the association provides and wouldn’t seek help or services.
“They hear the term ‘blind,’ and they don’t think to call us,” she said. “We believe this new name is a better indicator of the good work our organization does for local residents.
“And we believe this name will encourage people who are adjusting to low vision to seek our services to help them live more independently and thrive.”
In addition to the new name, Northeast Sight Services also opened a new Vision Resource Center, where residents can come and try household items such as kitchen items, computer programs and even children’s toys.
“People can come in, they can meet with our staff, try out different things,” Perpone said.
Lindsay Bezick, vice president of the Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce and newly appointed Northeast Sight Services board member, said there is a sense of excitement around the association’s new name.
“The new mission of really being able to help anyone that has any sort of visual impairment is a key issue,” Bezick said.
“Also that they service more than the Greater Wilkes-Barre area, which they have been doing for years.”
Reach Brigid Edmunds at 570-991-6113 or on Twitter @brigidedmunds.