‘Sights for Hope’ helping visually impaired lead independent lives

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EAST STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Sights for Hope is an organization that helps people with visual impairments.

The organization removes barriers to help them lead independent lives. Eyewitness News reporter Mark Hiller shows us how they are making a difference in one woman’s life.

“Sights For Hope empowers people with visual impairment,” Susan Lieberman said.

With the aid of a handheld lighted magnifier, Lieberman can read, an ability that became all but impossible for the former nurse after she suffered a series of strokes in 2014. Her visual field became reduced from what’s normally 100 percent to just 20 percent.

“You have to adapt. You have to figure out. It’s totally rocked,” Lieberman said.

Adapting did not come easy. The East Stroudsburg woman found herself sinking into quiet despair.

“I didn’t know how to get out of it and I didn’t want to join anybody. I was very isolated,” Lieberman said.

But then she heard about Center For Vision Loss which recently changed its name to Sights For Hope.

“My first thing I came to was group therapy and it was like I was given the biggest gift you could be given. Mind boggling, really,” Lieberman said.

Sights For Hope Director of Services Jennifer Pandolfo recalls those first encounters.

“She needed some help not just being able to see using the equipment that we have and some of the tools we use, but she also needed some support,” Pandolfo said.

The support extends beyond group therapy. It also includes skills education, specialized technologies like talking clocks and watches and even a liquid level indicator to prevent spills.

There’s no denying the services which Sights For Hope provides to hundreds of its clients is transformative. But none of this would be possible if not for the transportation that is made available to them.

Sights For Hope offers round trip rides to the center’s programs and medical appointments, to the grocery store and bank, and even to social outings.

“And our drivers stay with our clients from door through door to make sure that they get to their destination safely,” Pandolfo said.

As a top four finalist of Pocono Mountains Community Fundraiser, Sights For Hope plans to use funds to expand its transportation service by beefing up its paid driver staff and maintaining its vehicle fleet.

“The bigger we grow, the more and more transportation we need to get people where they need to go,” Pandolfo said.

People like Lieberman who looks forward to each and every ride from Sights For Hope.

“I have family who support me but they can’t support me all the time. Okay. So, it gets you out. You learn how to socialize again,” Lieberman said.

Please join us for “Where Hope Meets Help”, this Thursday night. It’s for the 2021 Pocono Mountains Community Fundraiser. You can watch it streaming live at pahomepage.com starting at 7 p.m.

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