Founded in 1906, Cleveland Sight Center (CSC) is the only organization in Northeast Ohio dedicated to fulfilling the lifelong needs of individuals who are blind or have visual impairments. Supported by 150 employees, 47 board trustees and 187 volunteers, CSC impacts thousands of people every year through direct services, outreach and education programs.
Our team of optometrists, therapists, employment specialists and other CSC staff is dedicated to assisting our clients to live their lives to the fullest. Through education, recreation, training and assistive technology, CSC provides opportunities for those who are blind or visually impaired to engage in activities and optimize remaining eyesight.
In mid-March of 2020, Cleveland Sight Center’s main building closed due to the uncertainties of COVID-19. Similar to many other businesses, we had to quickly pivot our traditional in-person services to a remote service model. For CSC, there was one drastic difference – our clients are blind or visually impaired and rely on their sense of touch during trainings with staff – which limited the amount of remote services we could perform.
In May, staff recognized that our clients still needed vital in-person services that couldn’t be offered remotely. So, staff followed all safety guidelines, put on their PPE and delivered in-person services – providing essential relief to isolated clients in need throughout the year.
Together, our clients and staff adapted, overcame obstacles and allowed us to see what is possible by serving 5,522 people through direct services and outreach in innovative ways:
Instruction to students and parents was provided through interactive online sessions.
Virtual instruction to children (0-3) and their caregivers was provided and do-it-yourself tactile projects were mailed home.
Braille classes were taught as students followed along with their textbooks over the telephone.
The clinic conducted tele-health appointments, serving 823 patients.
People who are blind or visually impaired are often unable to drive and have difficulties accessing public transportation. We learned that transportation does not have to be a barrier to access many of our services. Now, services are successfully provided remotely and engagement is no longer limited because of those unable to visit the building.
“I am so happy that you are hosting virtual dance and yoga. I typically am unable to leave my apartment because of my health concerns. I love to dance, and now I get to do it from my living room with all of my CSC friends!”
– CSC Client
The future will only be more fruitful because of the lessons learned, and we continue to learn, during the COVID-19 pandemic. We all continue to see “what is possible” because of the resilience of clients, staff, donors and volunteers.
Thank you for believing that the blind and visually impaired community can achieve anything a sighted person can. Your support allowed us to continue to be a beacon of hope.
“The past year has been so depressing, so dark, so hopeless. After my visit with Cleveland Sight Center I was able to acquire the recommended magnifiers and lights. Now I am able to read recipes, cooking instructions, prescription labels, microwave panels, ingredients, my mail and my own writing! I am so grateful for the advice, information and support given to me by the Cleveland Sight Center. A ray of hope. A ray of light on my cloudy days.”
– CSC Client
Established to honor all individuals who have made the ultimate commitment of an endowment gift, established a life income plan or made provisions in their estate plans to benefit Cleveland Sight Center.
Members have given gifts totaling $5,000 or more in 2020.
Members have given $2,500 to $4,999 in 2020.
Howard A. Lichtig
Bonita G. Teeuwen
First Vice Chair
Joan U. Allgood
Sheryl King Benford
Immediate Past Chair
Erin C. Ploucha
Cheryl E. Fields
Chair, Consumer Council
Chair, Strategic Planning
Dr. Jennell C. Vick
Chair, Client Services
*Past Board Chair **Trustee Emeritus
The Visionaries is a group of dedicated young professionals that work to support CSC’s mission while raising awareness and funds through events that involve the community. Members develop leadership and networking skills that will prepare them to be the next generation of board leadership at Cleveland Sight Center.
Vice President and Finance Chair
Events and Fundraising Chair
President and Chief Executive Officer
Kevin R. Krencisz, CPA, MBA
Chief Financial and Administrative Officer
Charlotte Fornal, CPA, MAFIS
Steven Frohwerk, MBA, MSA
Director of Marketing, Communications and Special Events
Director of Facilities & Transportation Services
Marcia R. Houston
Manager of Board Relations
Director of Empowerment - Rehabilitation Services
Jassen Tawil, MNO
Director of Business Development and Customer Success
Ali Thomas, PHR
Director of Human Resources
Director of Client Planning and Employment
$9.543 Million in 2020
9.488 Million in 2020