2024 Employee Awards

At a recent employee holiday luncheon, several members were awarded for their hard work and dedication to North Central Sight Services. Join us in congratulating our awardees!

Brandy Moon, Steven Floyd and Kim Zimmer

True North Employee of the Year Award: Steven Floyd

The True North Award is given to an employee who seizes opportunities to enhance our company culture by fostering positivity, learning about our various departments, programs, and services, contributing to training, participating in events, excelling under pressure, and making responsible decisions. Someone who lives our mission every day.

The recipient of the True North Employee of the Year Award is Steven Floyd. Steven embodies the core values of our company with his consistent positivity and dedication to our mission. Through participation in various QWE (Quality Work Environment) Teams, Steven has expanded his knowledge of not only our own departments and operations, but also those in different organizations as well, enhancing both his own processes and contributing significantly to the overall improvement of the agency. Steven’s commitment to continuous learning is matched only by his can-do attitude, and his evolving set of leadership skills. His kindness and willingness to assist his colleagues contributes immensely toward improving company culture, providing valuable insights into various fields outside of Assistive Technology alone. Steven’s involvement in events, AT training, and  conferences, such as the PAB conference, showcases his dedication to both personal and professional growth. His commitment to fostering positivity and living our mission daily makes him a truly deserving recipient of this award. 

Kim Zimmer, Paul Diehl and Terri Kio

UniqueSource Employee of the Year Award: Paul Diehl

UniqueSource Employee of the Year Award recognizes visually impaired employees who have made a meaningful impact both on North Central Sight Services, Inc.’s and UniqueSource’s mission and values. The nominee contributes to UniqueSource products as well as other positive growth throughout the year.

Paul stands out as an exceptional employee who has significantly contributed to the missions and values of both NCSS and UniqueSource. Paul’s relentless commitment to enhancing his independence is evident in his use and training of advanced assistive technology. As a chair of a QWE team, he addressed accessibility challenges within the workplace, testing prototype devices, and striving to make all jobs more accessible. Paul’s active participation in various departments and his continuous search for more efficient job methods underscore his dedication to positive growth. A true team player, Paul advocates not only for himself but also for the visually impaired community, fostering a mindset that the only real limitations he has come from external forces rather than his own inherent capabilities. His contributions and commitment to improvement make him a deserving recipient of this award.

Terri Kio, Nathan Shaffer, and Kim Zimmer

Peter J. Salmon Award: Nathan Shaffer

National Industries for the Blind Peter J. Salmon Employee of the Year Award honors individuals who are visually impaired and excel in direct labor manufacturing or service roles. Nominees are evaluated for the exceptional job performance and positive contribution at work and in their community, reflecting their dedication and impact in both their job and their community.

Nathan has consistently demonstrated exceptional job performance and positive contributions both within the workplace and the community. His desire to continuously develop is evident as he readily assists in various roles, from shipping, to inventory, to industry support, adapting seamlessly to changes in processes. Nathan’s commitment to self-improvement is notable, as he took the initiative to learn about and promote a program enhancing prescription accessibility, actively participating in fairs and events to spread awareness. Engaging in various teams, committees, and educational opportunities, Nathan showcases a positive attitude, punctuality, and a continuous pursuit of knowledge. His advocacy efforts for Script Talk, public speaking engagements, and ability to take on more responsibility whenever needed underscores Nathan’s dedication to both his peers and the visually impaired community, making him a deserving recipient of this award.

Terri  Kio, Steven Floyd, Kim Zimmer

Milton J. Samuelson Career Achievement Award: Steven Floyd

National Industries for the Blind Milton J. Samuelson Career Achievement Award honors individuals who are visually impaired and have excelled in their employment goals this year. They’re recognized for their job performance, community involvement, and career development efforts like training and education. This award celebrates their dedication to inclusivity and independence.

Steven demonstrates an unwavering commitment to enhancing independence for the visually impaired community. His dedication is evident in pursuing multiple trainings and achieving a certification as an Assistive Technology Instructor. Steven helps mentor his colleagues, oversees the Assistive Technology department, and provides valuable skills and knowledge to the organization. Beyond the workplace, Steven operates a DJ service, actively engages in community events, and advocates for assistive technology at fairs and conferences. As a leader in the QWE Career Development team, he empowers individuals with tools and knowledge regardless of their abilities. Steven’s journey as a visually impaired, certified Assistive Technology Instructor exemplifies his resilience. Steven defies limitations and make a positive impact wherever he goes. These qualities and skills make him a deserving recipient of this award.

Moah Mantione, Brandy Moon, Kim Zimmer

Harry Plankenhorn Honors Award: Noah Mantione 

The Harry Plankenhorn Honors Award is a testament to the legacy of Harry Plankenhorn, a remarkable individual who dedicated his life to helping those in need. It recognizes an employee’s commitment to maintaining positivity, composure, and control over their tasks, actively seeking solutions, and advocating for the visually impaired community, just as Harry Plankenhorn did throughout his life.

Noah is a dedicated team player who consistently seeks to improve the impact of his work and tackles challenges with a resilient, mission forward mindset. He consistently provides reassurance, compassion, and understanding for everyone around him. Noah’s ability to think innovatively and actively seek solutions benefits not only his clients, but also his collogues, and the organization as a whole. Noah’s dedication to improving the lives of visually impaired individuals is evident as he regularly strives to go beyond helping clients navigate their necessities, actively promoting their independence and access to a fuller life of their own making. Noah is a true asset to the visually impaired community with his consistent engagement, thoughtful efforts, and commitment to outreach, making him truly deserving recipient of this award. 

Brandy Moon, Kim Zimmer

Vince Matteo Leadership Award: Brandy Moon 

The Vince Matteo Leadership Award is a tribute to Dr. Vincent J. Matteo, an outstanding leader with a profound dedication to both professional excellence and community service. This award recognizes an employee who demonstrates strong leadership skills, enhances agency profitability and productivity, and who contributes to a positive work environment, embodying the exceptional leadership qualities exemplified by Dr. Matteo.

Brandy embodies the exceptional leadership qualities of Dr. Vince Matteo. This year, Brandy has made a remarkable impact on multiple departments, revitalizing them and steering them back on track. Demonstrating her commitment to continuous improvement, Brandy also attends various courses, focusing on finance in an effort to enhance her understanding of financial statements, budgets, and profitability. Brandy fosters a positive work environment through empathy, unbiased perspectives, encouragement, and emphasis on self improvement. her thoughtful approach extends to personal and professional development, seen in her enthusiasm for team projects and initiatives that elevate overall positivity among organization members. from actively listening to providing understanding and motivation, Brandy creates an inclusive environment for the whole organization. Her contributions to various departments showcase her dedication to success of the company. These skills and traits make Brandy an exceptional leader, truly deserving of the Vince Matteo Leadership Award.

Steve Britton Memorial Award: Heather Engle

The Steve Britton Memorial Award recognizes an employee who follows in the footsteps of Steve Britton, displaying a deep commitment to community service, resilience in the face of challenges, and a strong spirit of giving. It honors someone who actively participates in community outreach programs and advocates for the visually impaired community, carrying our mission with them wherever they go, just as Steve did throughout his life.

Heather embodies both the spirit of community service and resilience through challenges. As a remarkable advocate for the visually impaired community, Heather engages in and teaches low vision and blindness awareness trainings, attends various events to help raise awareness, and provided vision screenings to hundreds of children throughout the year. Reflecting on her consistent positivity even in very tough situations, Heather’s support for both clients and colleagues, combined with her dedication to enhancing the lives of everyone she meets, demonstrates her commitment to our mission. Through her selfless acts of service, her education and etiquette training, and her vision screening programs, Heather has significantly contributed to the NCSS mission this year. Her warm demeanor, reliability, and the positive impact she makes everywhere she goes make Heather a deserving recipient of this award.

Kim Zimmer, Paul Diehl, Brandy Moon 

Rudy VanEmon Memorial Award: Paul Diehl and Donaven Scott-Mann

The Rudy VanEmon Memorial Award is dedicated to the memory of Rudell C. “Rudy” VanEmon, a remarkable individual who left a lasting legacy. This award honors employees who actively engage in fundraising and team-building events, maintain an uplifting and supportive attitude, and inspire their colleagues through encouragement and support. It celebrates their commitment to making a positive impact, mirroring Rudy’s dedication to community and compassion for others.

Paul is a true collaborator, adapting seamlessly across departments and contributing significantly to work processes and overall accessibility. Paul actively pursues innovative solutions to make jobs easier for everyone. His quick wit and hardworking nature shine through as he creates tools and aids to help streamline tasks and consistently seeks improvements. Paul is an inspiring force, providing to his peers and leadership the vast capabilities of the visually impaired community. His positivity, humor, and commitment to raising awareness are evident in his role as a spokesperson and his contributions to various training programs. Paul’s creativity, can-do attitude, desire to excel, and constant push to develop his skills make him an inspiring individual and deserving of this award. 

Brandy Moon, Donaven Scott-Mann, Kim Zimmer

Donaven exemplifies an extraordinary commitment to community services and compassionate leadership. He consistently goes above and beyond, actively engaging in fundraising and team-building events while maintaining a positive attitude that uplifts his colleagues. Donaven’s dedication to helping others is evident in his willingness to take the time to explain situations and processes to his colleagues one on one and helps them navigate various challenges. He brings a sense of belonging and equal respect for everyone. He has not only excelled in his career but actively contributes to the growth of his colleagues by sharing valuable insights and providing training, support, and guidance. Donaven’s involvement in his training, external societies, as well as the various programs he’s developed and revamped, reflects his commitment to personal, professional, and team-oriented growth and development. He remains focused on positive outcomes, working tirelessly to revitalize and contribute to internal and external outreach initiatives. Donaven’s forward-thinking approach, consistent focus on teamwork, ad dedication to the visually impaired community make him an inspiring individual and deserving recipient of this award.

 

November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month

Tozer Eye Center
34 million Americans live with diabetes. Diabetes can impact multiple health systems in the body including eyesight and eye health.

Diabetic Retinopathy is a complication of diabetes where high blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels in the retina and is the leading cause of new-onset blindness. This condition can cause blurred vision, floaters and vision loss which can lead to blindness if not treated. While these complications can most often affect older patients, they can affect younger people in their teens and twenties as well.

According to the National Eye Institute, Diabetic retinopathy has four stages:

  • Mild non-proliferative retinopathy: At this early stage, small areas of balloon-like swelling occur in the retina’s tiny blood vessels.
  • Moderate non-proliferative retinopathy: As the disease progresses, some blood vessels that nourish the retina become blocked.
  • Severe non-proliferative retinopathy: Many more blood vessels become blocked, which disrupts the blood supply that nourishes the retina. The damaged retina sometimes then signals the body to produce new blood vessels.
  • Proliferative retinopathy: At this advanced stage, signals sent by the retina trigger the development of new blood vessels that grow (or proliferate) in the retina and the vitreous, which is a transparent gel that fills the interior of the eye. Because these new blood vessels are abnormal, they can rupture and bleed, causing hemorrhages in the retina or vitreous. Scar tissue can develop and can tug at the retina, causing further damage or even retinal detachment.

The CDC recommends these eye health practices to diabetics, both for control of vision problems and to slow worsening eyesight:

  • Schedule a comprehensive eye exam annually getting the recommended yearly dilated eye exam.
    • Keep blood sugar levels in your target range – over time, high blood sugar not only damages blood vessels in your eyes; It can also cause large fluctuations in your glasses and contact lens prescriptions.
    • Keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels in your target range to lower your risk of diseases and vision loss.
    • Quit smoking.
    • Exercise and be active. Physical activity protects your eyes and helps you manage diabetes.
    • Educate your family and friends. Preventing vision loss and blindness is a leading public health challenge.

If you or someone you know is experiencing vision loss, contact us 570-323-9401.

October is National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month

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Declared in 1988 by the United States Congress, October is recognized as National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). This is a time to celebrate and educate the importance of employing people with disabilities. Seventy percent of working-aged American’s who are blind or visually impaired are unemployed. This figure is unacceptably high given the abundance of assistive technology available and record low unemployment rates among the general population. 

This year’s theme for NDEAM is Advancing Access and Equity. An inclusive workforce is a strong workforce. It is critical to recognize the importance of ensuring all people have equal opportunity to contribute their skills and talents by providing the resources needed to succeed. NDEAM counters negative attitudes and misunderstandings that persist and lead to unequal employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

How can you celebrate NDEAM?

Get educated!

Spread the word!

Be an advocate!

  • Commit to making your community accessible to people with different disabilities
  • Support artists with disabilities
  • Participate in protests and demonstrations on disability issues
  • Join and/or donate to disability organizations you like
  • Talk about disability issues with friends, family, classmates, and coworkers

Employer Resources

Inclusive apprenticeship programs help employers access a wider talent pool. Learn how to start or expand an apprenticeship program: dol.gov/agencies/odep/program-areas/apprenticeship

The Job Accommodation Network helps employers increase access and opportunity for people with disabilities:  AskJAN.org 

Want to hire a diverse, talented workforce? This free online toolkit from AskJAN.org/toolkit  has tools to create a more disability-inclusive and compliant workplace 

Employers: Are you using accessible technology to increase access and opportunity for people with disabilities? The Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology can help: PEATWorks.org

The Campaign for Disability Employment, an initiative of the Office of Disability Employment Policy, offers PSAs and more that employers can incorporate into National Disability Employment Awareness Month celebrations: WhatCanYouDoCampaign.org

For more information about #NDEAM visit dol.gov/ndeam

September is (CVI) Cerebral Vision Impairment Awareness Month

CVI- Cerebral visual impairment (sometimes referred to as cortical visual impairment) is a disorder caused by damage to the parts of the brain that processes vision. CVI is the leading cause of visual impairments in the United States. One study shows that up to 1 in 30 children have CVI-related visual difficulties.  

CVI is most common in babies and young children but can continue into adulthood. Some people with CVI have good vision when measured on a letter or picture chart – their vision is sharp – but they can’t use their vision properly to do everyday tasks. In other words, many children with CVI have no problems with their eyes, but their brains are unable to decode what they are looking at.


A Child with CVI may have trouble:

  • Responding to the things they see
  • Seeing certain parts of what is in from of them, like busy moving scenes
  • Recognizing faces and objects
  • Recognizing things in cluttered spaces
  • Reaching for something while they’re looking at it
  • Understanding what they’re looking at

Frontiers | Cortical Visual Impairments and Learning Disabilities

Parents may also notice that their child with CVI:

  • Reacts slowly to visual clues
  • Prefers to look at things that are moving
  • Prefers to look at things in a certain part of their vision like with their peripheral (side) vision

What causes CVI?

CVI can be caused by a number of different factors including a lack of oxygen or blood supply to the brain, hydrocephalus, infections that reach the brain, head injury, and certain genetic conditions. Babies that are born prematurely are more likely to have CVI.

There isn’t a cure for CVI, but vision rehabilitation can help people with CVI make the most of their vision. They can continue to do the things they love, they just may have to find alternative ways of doing them. Babies and children with CVI need early intervention and therapy, educational support, and other special services to help them develop and learn.


If you believe your child is experiencing CVI, or any other vision difficulties, we are here to help. contact us at 570-323-9401.

August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month

August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month

Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month is celebrated every August to bring attention to the importance of healthy eyes to prevent blindness and other sight impairments. The goal is to raise awareness about the importance of taking care of the health of children’s eyes throughout the month. Good eyesight and eye health are vital for young children’s physical and cognitive development. Because children of a young age are not always able to understand when their eyes are not healthy or when they are having a sight issue, parents need to be cognizant of their children’s vision. They should understand and recognize when their child’s sight is being hindered or they are having a significant issue that needs attention. 

One of 20 children ages 3 to 5 has a vision problem that could result in permanent vision if left untreated. Despite these unsettling statistics, 80 percent of preschoolers do not receive an eye screening.  The best way to ensure good vision health is to take your child for regular eye examinations. Eye examinations allow for diagnoses of impairments or difficulties your child may have with their vision better ensuring for greater success with learning. 

Examinations are the best way to protect your child by health. It’s important to know, eye problems can develop in between appointments as well. There are some behaviors that children may display that could be warning signs concerning their eye health: 

Eye Appearance:

Eyes not lining up properly—one eye turns in or out

Eyelids are red, crusty, or swollen

Eyes are red or watery

Behavior:

Rubbing eyes all the time

Covers or closes an eye, Squints or frowns

Your Child Says:

“My eyes itch”, “My eyes are burning”, “My eyes are on fire”


At NCSS we offer vision screenings to our community. Our vision screenings detect symptoms of vison loss and potential eye diseases. Quick, easy and effective, our screening program incorporates the Spot™ Vision Screener, a handheld device that scans both eyes at the same time from a comfortable three feet away. It can detect potential vision issues across all age groups, starting at six-months. If an individual shows signs of a visual problem and does not pass our screening, we refer that individual to an eye care professional of his or her choice for a complete eye exam. 

Functional Vision Exams for Children
NCSS’ Functional Vision Clinic (FVC) is an initiative that aims to serve school aged children with unique vision capabilities and those who would otherwise have financial hardship or are under/uninsured. It provides a complete eye examination with tests that can find vision-related learning problems in children. 

For more information, please contact our Prevention of Blindness Department

 

NCSS Receives Grant from the Elsie Skvir Ganister Fund at the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania

North Central Sight Services was awarded $465.00 from the Elsie Skivir Ganister Fund at the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania. These funds will be used to provide vision screenings to 232 children in the community’s we serve. 

School districts are currently performing annual vision screenings on all their students to remain in compliance with 28 PA code, Chapter 23.4. Valuable resources are being used within the school districts, often removing those resources from daily school functionality including but not limited to nursing and administrative staff. NCSS aims to remove the need for these resources by assisting in meeting state mandated reporting requirements while also providing high quality screening results and information from certified screeners and consistent follow-up and support for families as they seek the corrective measures needed for their children. The American Association of Pediatrics Ophthalmology and Strabismus sites several correlations to the academic performance in children and the health of their eyes. Early detection and treatment are imperative. 

NCSS is expanding our Social Services Program to provide all students in Lycoming, Sullivan, and Tioga County School districts with high quality, state mandated vision screenings on an annual basis. These funds will help us reach that goal. 

NCSS staff completes vision screenings for numerous school districts and will begin to incorporate an auditory assessment to school children K-12 to provide all results necessary to meet state reporting guidelines. NCSS will also assist in the referral of students who meet additional referral criterion. 

We are thankful to the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania for their continued support! 

NCSS Receives Document Shredding Contract for Pennsylvania State Agencies

North Central Sight Services, Inc. (NCSS) in partnership with UniqueSource Products & Services is now contracted to offer document shredding services for Commonwealth agencies, including executive, independent, and state-affiliated entities in central Pennsylvania.

Beginning on July 1, 2023, NCSS became the sole provider of document shredding to state agencies in Bradford, Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Luzerne, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, and Union counties. Dauphin, Juniata, Mifflin, and Perry counties are projected to be added July 1, 2024.

“We have provided excellent service to our commercial shredding clientele and are thrilled to add PA state agencies as customers,” said Brandy Moon, SHRM-SCP Chief Operations Officer.  “This growth in our shredding department will help us to continue our mission to serve more people,”

“UniqueSource is proud to facilitate the expansion of NCSS’s shredding services to Commonwealth agencies,” said Matt Dickens, UniqueSource Vice President of Sales. “The growth of employment opportunity for Pennsylvanians with disabilities that offer competitive wages and integrated environment is our primary focus, and we are excited to see the continued development through this and other contracts.”

NCSS document shredding is secure, flexible, and compliant to ISO 9001:2015, HIPPA, I-Sigma, and PCI standards. Pennsylvania state agencies in these counties in need of shredding services can email services@UniqueSource.com to get started.

For more information about North Central Sight Services, Inc. shredding services, visit www.ncss-documentshredding.com

About UniqueSource:

UniqueSource Products & Services is a membership-based organization with 53 members that focuses on employment for Pennsylvanians with disabilities. By prioritizing adaptive technologies and other supportive accommodations UniqueSource members employ approximately 2,000 persons with disabilities each year, with positions available in every county of the Commonwealth. For more information visit www.uniquesource.com.

Firework Eye Safety Week June 28th-July 4th

Fireworks Eye Safety Tips - Kugler Vision
Firework related injuries can cause significant trauma and injuries to individuals. Studies have shown that hands and eyes are the most injured, with the loss of hand function and blindness being the most common and serious injuries. In the most recent annual report from the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), The commission found that there were an estimated 10,300 fireworks related injuries treated at US hospital emergency rooms. The report also found some of the following statistics relating to firework injuries.

  • 71% of fireworks-related injuries were to males.
  • 14% of fireworks-related injuries were to the eyes.
  • Firecrackers were the leading cause of fireworks-related injuries, followed by sparklers.
  • Adults ages 20-24 years had the highest estimated rate of emergency department-treated, fireworks-related injuries.

Children younger than the age of 15 accounted for 26% of estimated injuries. Some of these injuries were the result of using sparklers. Unbeknownst to many, sparklers can burn at temperatures up to 1800 degrees. It is vital that parents supervise their children when celebrating and using these fireworks. 

Other studies have found that bystanders can account for almost half of all fireworks related injuries. All individuals must be vigilant during any type of celebration that includes fireworks. Either simply observing the fireworks or taking part in a celebration, everyone should be aware of their surroundings and remain a safe distance from all threats.

Here are some firework safety tips from the American Academy of Ophthalmology to follow to remain safe if your family tradition includes lighting fireworks at home: 

  • Observe local laws and use consumer fireworks
  • Wear protective eyewear. Fireworks-related eye injuries are typically a mix of blunt force trauma, heat burns, and chemical exposure. 
  • Do not allow young children to play with fireworks. Sparklers, a firework often considered to be the ideal “safe” device for youth, burn at very high temperatures and should not be handled by young children. Children may not understand the danger of fireworks and may not act appropriately while using the devices or in emergencies. 
  • Set of fireworks outdoors in a clear area, away from a house, structure, dry leaves, grass, and other flammable materials. 
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies and for pouring on fireworks that fail to ignite or explode. 
  • Do not try to relight or handle malfunctioning or “dud” fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away. 
  • Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks. 
  • Never light fireworks in a container, especially a glass or metal container. 
  • Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas. 
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place. 
  • Check instructions for particular storage directions. 
  • Never have any portion of your body directly over a firework while lighting. 
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks. 

If you or someone you are with experiences an eye emergency, here are some tips to follow.

  • Seek medical attention immediately.
  • Do not rub the eye or the surrounding area. Rubbing may increase bleeding or cause the injury to become worse.
  • Do not rinse the eye out with water or any liquid. Rinsing the eye can cause more damage than rubbing.
  • Do not apply pressure to the eye or the injury. Protecting the eye from further contact with any item is important.
  • Do not stop to take any type of medicine or pain reliever. Finding medical attention or going to the emergency room is the most important thing. Time is of the essence.
  • Do not apply any ointment or lotion to the injury. This may cause the area to become slippery and hinder medical personnel from being able to examine the injury. Also, the ointment or lotion may not be sterile.

    The Explosive Truth on Fireworks Safety - Eye Centers of Racine & Kenosha


    As we celebrate America and our freedom, remember to do it safely. 

June is Cataract Awareness Month

June Is Cataract Awareness Month | Eyecare Associates of New Orleans
June is Cataract Awareness Month
. Cataracts are the number one cause of preventable blindness throughout the world. Unfortunately, many people who suffer from cataracts in developing nations do not have access to care or technology that is required to diagnose and treat cataracts. With the advancement of technology, surgical procedures that remove cataracts have been developed and evolved greatly within recent times. These surgeries can restore vision within only a few minutes for those who have gone blind due to advanced cataracts. It is estimated that there are 4 million cataract procedures performed each year within the United States. Worldwide, that number is 28 million procedures each year or about 60,000 each day around the world.  

Cataracts come about in the eye when a natural lens becomes cloudy and does not allow the light to enter the eye. The lens of the eye is a small transparent structure that assists bending light and allows it to be precisely focused onto the retina. In most cases, cataracts develop in the eyes of individuals over the age of 50. In some cases, it may be congenital or result from a specific disease or trauma. The way to treat cataracts is to have surgery that removes the lens; and it is replaced with an implant to help restore vision.

Just a couple of decades ago, cataract surgery was considered a high-risk procedure with long recovery times. Thanks to advancements, cataract surgery today is an outpatient procedure that can be done with the patient recovering at home the same day. In some cases, the individual may even be able to operate a vehicle the day after the surgery. The surgery itself involves a microscopic incision that allows the cataract to be removed. An intraocular lens is then implanted to replace the damaged, cloudy lens. Recovery time is rapid thanks to the quick healing from the tiny incision that is made during the surgery. 


Symptoms of cataracts:

  • Decreasing vision with age
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Seeing halos around bright lights
  • Difficulty distinguishing colors
  • Frequent prescription changes for glasses
  • Difficulty reading

Causes of cataracts:

  • Age
  • Eye trauma
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Glaucoma
  • Sun Exposure

Treatment of cataracts:  

  • New glasses
  • Anti-glare sunglasses or magnifying lenses
  • Surgery

    Cataract Awareness Month


If you are experiencing cataract symptoms, contact your doctor to discuss your options. 

NIB/NAEPB Advocacy Day – Washington DC

Advocating for people who are blind or have low vision.

Before I lost about 85% of my vision 10 years ago, I would have never imagined that soon I would be confidently roaming the halls of Congressional office buildings in Washington DC. That is exactly where Kim Zimmer, CEO, and I (Suellen Porter, Customer Service Manager) were on May 10, 2023.  We were attending the NIB/NAEPB Advocacy Day:  Connect the Dots. We were visiting the offices of Congressmen Glen Thompson and Dan Meuser, and the office of Senator Robert Casey. 

The right for people with disabilities to choose their own career paths has become my political passion.  Over 70% of blind or visually impaired adults in the United States are under or un-employed. The AbilityOne Program is a federal program that was established in 1938 to create employment opportunities for people who are blind or have significant disabilities. Through our partnership with National Industries for the Blind (NIB), NCSS offers employment opportunities by manufacturing, purchasing, and shipping products to federal agencies and the military all over the world. 

Kim and I were asking our legislatures to amend the federal Rehabilitation Act to require State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies to provide their clients with information about AbilityOne jobs offered by non-profit agencies, like ours.  We also asked that they hold hearings to ensure that all government agencies are following federal mandates through purchasing AbilityOne products.

Providing employment opportunities is essential for people who have sight impairment or blindness. Without these opportunities, many individuals would be unable to find employment. As a result, they would struggle financially while relying more on government services to supplement their income and financial needs. Not only is employment a financial need, but it also gives individuals self-worth and dignity. Employment allows individuals to be part of the community. Interactions at work may lead to friendships and relationships that will also allow the individual to grow as a person rather than being isolated.

The Legislative Directors and Aides we spoke to in all 3 offices were eager to listen to our concerns.  They agreed that all people with disabilities have the right to choose where they work, and that Congress needs to exercise more oversight to ensure that the AbilityOne Program continues to grow to provide more opportunities for the disabled community.  We are assured that our elected officials are listening to our concerns and that they will continue to do their best to help keep us employed.


Visit https://nib.org/about/public-policy to learn more. 

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