This declaration of our organization’s values and principles was ratified unanimously by our Board of Directors on September 16, 2020. All activities and efforts by the employees, volunteers, and board members of the Center for Vision Loss reflect these values and principles.
The Needs We Serve
- The permanent loss of vision is one of the greatest physical threats to a person’s independence and is cited frequently, with the exclusion of relatively short-term public emergencies, as the greatest health-related fear for Americans.
- Our work is of a relevant and timely nature as severe vision impairments in the United States are expected to grow from now until the year 2050 at a rate faster than that of both domestic cancer deaths and HIV diagnoses.
- We recognize that there is greatly diminished access to interventions for people with vision impairments and limited financial resources. Therefore, we provide our services at little or no cost to those who receive them.
- A child’s visual capabilities account for four-fifths of what he or she learns. Meanwhile, one in four students has an unidentified vision deficit and one in four people diagnosed with a learning disability experience some degree of vision loss.
- Children with diminished and uncorrected abilities to see cannot possibly meet the early learning benchmarks – including the ability to read at grade level by the end of third grade – that are critical to their long-term success in school.
- Our mission statement is: To enable personal triumphs over visual impairments.
- These triumphs come in all shapes and sizes, but all are profound because they empower those we serve to seize and maintain their personal independence.
Our Core Principle
- We believe that a visual deficit should never be a barrier to independence, achievement, dignity, and hope for anyone
- We empower people with permanent vision loss to seize their personal independence – the most visible manifestation of which is their ability to remain in the homes of their choice.
- We empower children with vision issues to be successful learners who can become fulfilled, independent members of society as adults.
- We empower the people of our communities to make decisions that prevent, assuage, or counteract vision loss and, therefore, promote their continued independence.
- We are one team that serves Pennsylvania’s Lehigh, Northampton, and Monroe counties, and we believe that every person in these communities deserves our best possible service.
- Each of us is responsible for the environment in which we work, and we dedicate our efforts to ensure that our workplace nurtures, inspires, motivates, fosters enthusiasm, and uplifts one another.
- Each team member has a deliberately-defined role and is part of our team because he or she has specific and integral skills that distinguish his or her value to the organization.
- While we are flexible to assist each other when necessary, our daily focuses are on our defined roles so that we can achieve our best performances individually and collectively.
- In times of challenges and crisis, we focus on the needs and welfare of our colleagues, clients, and communities as much as, or more than, considerations for ourselves.
- While disagreement is natural and can be healthy, we communicate our thoughts, observations, and feelings constructively, proportionately professionally, and respectfully.
- Our leaders are human and, therefore, not infallible. However, they are tasked to serve the interests of our organization, our team members, and those we serve concurrently.
- While empathy, thoughtful listening, and the understanding that any person can generate a good idea are admirable traits, we recognize that there are situations in which decisions are required of, or influenced most by, those with the most related knowledge and experience.
- After decisions are made, we direct our time and our energies to their successful execution and the generation of positive outcomes from them.
Our Continuous Evolution
- As the world around us changes, so do the attitudes, perceptions, interests, needs and expectations of those we serve and those who support our mission. Therefore, it is natural and proper for our organization to evolve responsively.
- We take guidance from Helen Keller, the catalyst for our agency’s existence, who said, “To keep our faces toward change … is strength undefeatable.”
- All advances, adjustments, and new initiatives are undertaken to affect the greatest impact on those we serve or to strengthen our ability to serve them.
- Appropriate caution and deliberation will not acquiesce to disproportionate apprehension to change or allegiance to past and present practices.
- We define a supporter as any person, group, or entity that is not affiliated with the organization directly who chooses to provide a gift of financial resources, effort, expertise, or benefit of influence.
- We believe that supporters should make gifts primarily because they believe in the agency’s mission, vision, people, present incarnation, and strategic visions.
- While we appreciate all people, groups, and entities that have helpful intentions, we have the right to decline support when it is deemed in our best interest to do so.
- We will not solicit nor accept support that is stated explicitly or implied to be contingent upon the performance of any activity that diverts human capital and resources from our established focuses, objectives, strategies, and tactics.
- We conduct ourselves in adherence to the Association for Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Donor Bill of Rights, which identifies best practices with respect to solicitations, recognitions, and stewardship.
Our Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
- As the human eye is built to see all colors in the spectrum of light – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet – we respect the beauty and strength of humanity’s rich and colorful tapestry.
- We serve people of all capabilities not related to sight, economic capacities, cultural backgrounds, sexual orientations, ethnicities, genders, identifications, and ages and strive to foster an environment in which everyone feels valued, understood, appreciated, cared for, and empowered. We condemn and do not tolerate racism or intolerance in any form.
- The manifestations of these values – including our people, services, and exhaustive efforts to provide solutions at little or no cost – reflect our guiding principle that vision loss should never be a barrier to independence, achievement, dignity, and hope for anyone.