This Week at CSC

Keeping you “In the Know…” 5/17/19

Click here for a weekly archive of what's happening at CSC.

Cleveland Sight Center Testifies in Columbus:

-CSC President and Chief Executive Officer Larry Benders testified along with John Mitchell, President and CEO of the Cincinnati Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired, this week in front of the Ohio Senate Finance Subcommittee in support of $750,000 funding for each of the next two years for Early Intervention Services provided by the Ohio Sight Centers. Kevin Krencisz and Sylvia Snyder also attended to represent CSC.

Will You Join CSC at White Cane Walk?

-White Cane Walk is Saturday, June 1st and is Cleveland Sight Center's annual event to raise critical dollars needed to support our mission and raise awareness of our agency and the services we provide. Join us as we walk 1 mile through beautiful University Circle! 

In its 14th year, White Cane Walk has raised over $750,000 in support of CSC. These funds are vital to keep many programs and services available to clients, many of which are not covered by medical insurance.

Register to walk or make a donation here. All donations of $15 or more qualify you to walk as well. We hope that you will join and support us!

Schedule of Events

9:00 a.m. – Registration Opens and Activities Begin 
10:00 a.m. – 1 Mile Walk from CSC to the Art Museum Lagoon and Back
10:30 a.m. – Activities Continue

Activities Include:
• How to use a white cane for safe navigation
• Face painting and balloon artist
• Hands-on experiences such as beeper corn hole, technology demonstrations, arts & crafts
• Tours of Cleveland Sight Center
• Raffle Prizes and Snacks/Beverages

Thanks for your continued support of CSC!

What’s Happening at CSC:

-Monday marked the launch of the Ohio Department of Education’s (ODE) transition to the OH ID web portal, meaning a change to any ODE web user’s log-in information and the way those users access ODE online. This change impacted 500,000 users. Users of this system are teachers renewing licenses, parents completing applications for scholarships or education administrators looking to perform their daily tasks. CSC’s Call Center team prepared with a great amount of training the week prior to meet the demands and the entire Call Center team stepped up to the challenge! In one day, the Call Center received 1,639 phone calls and fielded 250 emails all while handling an additional 800 plus calls from other customers, making Monday the second-highest call volume day in the Call Center’s history! The commitment of the Call Center team to exceed customer expectations was on display once again. CSC received outstanding feedback on the success of the rollout due to all the individuals on the team going above and beyond to meet a customer’s need. Way to go, Call Center team!

-Dr. Richard Cirillo and Martha DiLorenzo from Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities came to CSC on Friday, May 10th to train CSC’s direct service providers on Conflict Prevention and De-escalation. Over 30 staff members attended the session that covered critical issues such as trauma informed care, setting effective limits, offering choices, active listening and more. Thank you to everyone for attending and special thanks to Jennifer Dean, Ralph Johnson, Jenny Schaeffer, Erin St. Denis, Ali Thomas and Taylor Volrich for role playing to reinforce the learning and to Bobbie Christopher and Scott Malone for all their assistance with set up, clean up and tracking and Barbara Piascik for taking pictures at the training event.

-Volunteer Services is currently recruiting for multiple one-time volunteer opportunities at events like Winners Club on Thursday May 30th, White Cane Walk on Saturday June 1st and Parade the Circle on Saturday June 8th. During these events, staff and volunteers will have the opportunity to lead engaging outreach activities and connect with clients of CSC to support their participation in fun programs and activities. If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering or learning more about helping with these events, contact Manager of Volunteer Services Melissa Mauk (

-Cleveland Sight Center had a busy day of volunteers giving back to the agency on Wednesday May 15th. In the morning, CSC kicked off the day hosting our friends from the Progressive IT Special Lines Team at Highbrook Lodge. Volunteers worked hard throughout the morning painting cabins throughout camp, cleaning and staining picnic tables and helping with outdoor maintenance projects. All in all, the group worked extra hard to accomplish tons of projects. We are so thankful for them and for all of their hard work to get camp ready for the coming season!

-Later in the afternoon, a group from KeyBank came to volunteer for their annual KeyBank Neighbors Make a Difference Day, spending their time at CSC preparing over 300 bags for CSC’s White Cane Walk in addition to helping prepare giveaways for CSC’s outreach team. Thanks to this group’s hard work, CSC is now all prepared for White Cane Walk festivities June 1st and is even further empowered to spread CSC’s message in the community!  

-Do you know a group, organization, church or school interested in connecting with CSC for a volunteer project? CSC has several projects that use the help of volunteer groups, many projects which take place over the course of the summer. If you know someone looking to organize a group project or learn more about projects available, please be sure to refer them to CSC Volunteer Services. Groups can contact Melissa Mauk at 216-658-4581 or to sign up for projects or to learn more!

-Congratulations to Keith Abramson, Share the Vision volunteer, who was the winner of the monthly contest for volunteers who record their volunteer hours.

As a Share the Vision volunteer, Keith Abramson is an individual who is not afraid to be open and honest about the hardships of vision loss. Having lost his vision as an adult, Keith explains how devastating it was to lose something he never had to think about, especially with that loss causing a total change in how he lived his life. In spite of this challenge and change, however, Keith has learned the power of persistence throughout his journey, becoming involved with the Cleveland Sight Center community and being able to tap into information, support and education the community offers. As a volunteer for Share the Vision, Keith desires to take this support he has found and offer it to others. “I want to incorporate all I have dealt with and help others understand that vision loss is not the end of life or of the world,” Keith shares. “We must never be afraid to ask and to proceed,” he continued, “and it is important for us to push to be involved and active.” As a volunteer, Keith wants nothing more than to share this with his Share the Vision partners and to help them understand that there is a community of people who understand and can offer support and encouragement in moving ahead and in achieving independence no matter the challenges that blindness or vision loss may create. Thank you for being such an inspiration Keith, and for all you do to make the CSC community a vibrant place as a client and as a volunteer. We are thankful for everything you do!

-Attendees to this week’s Line Dance session were taught a new dance by Jenny Schaeffer called “Little Sally Walker” which generated a lot of fun and laughs among the group. Vince Williams and Jenny also taught the attendees "The Macarena” and the dancers did some free-style dancing…people really got into the groove!

-CSC hosted a "Devising Healthy Communities Poetry Workshop" with Katie Daley on Thursday, May 16th. Three more workshops will be offered on the remaining Thursdays in May and first Thursday in June. Check out the calendar of events here.

-Students in Bright Futures Preschool had another very busy week as they are wrapping up the school year! They had a blast painting while swinging, enjoyed a great field trip to Prestone’s Hope playground and the class caterpillars have finally made their cocoons! A reminder that Bright Futures Preschool graduation is Thursday, May 23rd at 10:00 a.m. in the Clyde E. Williams, Jr. Auditorium at CSC. Stop by as your schedules allow!

-There’s nothing like sharing stories around a summer campfire…register for Highbrook Lodge today for an exciting summer camp experience for individuals who are blind or have low vision! Click here for registration instructions and more info…or call Jenny (216-791-8118) with questions.

-Winners Club will meet at CSC on Thursday, May 30th and will feature a performance by the Music Group that meets at CSC on the first and third Tuesdays (4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.) of every month. Volunteers are needed for this lunchtime event, mainly from 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Duties include assisting with serving lunch to attendees and being available to assist CSC clients throughout the program. Contact Melissa Mauk (216-791-8118) if you can assist or know anyone who can help out.

-Dr. Mark Bobofchak and Betsey Hallenburg from Eye Care for Animals will be at Cleveland Sight Center to conduct eye exams for service dogs on Thursday, May 30th from 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.  Please notify Lorie Marsalis (216-791-8118) if your dog will be participating. Please share this information with clients who have guide dogs.

Eyedea Shop’s Product of the Week: Eye Patch

-If you struggle with any eyesight issues that require you to cover one eye, for whatever reason, the Eyedea Shop may have a solution for you. It is the store’s new corner eye patch that fits over your eyewear. It slips over your eyeglass frame and stays in place and does what you need it to do. There's a comfortable fit and no slipping or rubbing as some other eye patches may cause. The patch comes in black and small and large sizes and the price is $7.50. 

Item of Note:

-Check out this video of skateboarder Dan Mancina – who is blind. For the video link, click here.