Blind Service Association

Blind Service Association Since 1924, Blind Service Association has provided an array of programs and services to people who are blind & visually impaired in the Chicagoland area

Blind Service Association (BSA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization providing an array of programs and services to people who are blind and visually impaired in the Chicagoland area. We are located at:

17 N. State Street, Suite 1050
Chicago, Illinois 60602
312-236-0808

Here are some of the things we do:

• One-to-One Reading where trained volunteers are available to read any type of material

Blind Service Association (BSA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization providing an array of programs and services to people who are blind and visually impaired in the Chicagoland area. We are located at:

17 N. State Street, Suite 1050
Chicago, Illinois 60602
312-236-0808

Here are some of the things we do:

• One-to-One Reading where trained volunteers are available to read any type of material

Operating as usual

Access Living's Chicago Snow and Cold Weather Resources, including tenant rights to heat, where to find City warming cen...
01/19/2022
Winter is Coming: 2021-2022 Chicago Snow and Cold Weather Resources

Access Living's Chicago Snow and Cold Weather Resources, including tenant rights to heat, where to find City warming centers, and how to submit requests or complaints concerning uncleared snow and ice to 311: https://www.accessliving.org/newsroom/blog/winter-is-coming-chicago-snow-and-cold-weather-resources-2021-2022/?fbclid=IwAR3gOwCsFJJ078dmXQAziJaxmPuvH0VJeuD8d15tgG8Gy_EFJhCvZJcuYks

Landlords can face fines of $500 to $1,000 per day, per violation, for each day they do not supply adequate heat.

Is one of your 2022 intentions to get more exercise?Our friends at Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing offer exclusive, weekly...
01/04/2022

Is one of your 2022 intentions to get more exercise?
Our friends at Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing offer exclusive, weekly virtual "Judd's Gym" fitness classes in cooperation with and led by an exercise physiologist from the Fitness Center of the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab in Chicago. You can join the class tomorrow Wednesday, January 5th at 3:00pm Central via Zoom. To receive information on this class and other upcoming JGASP activities, email Kerry at [email protected]!

Image Description: Man lifts weights in his living room

Is one of your 2022 intentions to get more exercise?
Our friends at Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing offer exclusive, weekly virtual "Judd's Gym" fitness classes in cooperation with and led by an exercise physiologist from the Fitness Center of the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab in Chicago. You can join the class tomorrow Wednesday, January 5th at 3:00pm Central via Zoom. To receive information on this class and other upcoming JGASP activities, email Kerry at [email protected]!

Image Description: Man lifts weights in his living room

Forgot to make your New Year's Resolutions?  No worries, BSA has got you covered! We have ideas for how you can read mor...
01/01/2022

Forgot to make your New Year's Resolutions? No worries, BSA has got you covered! We have ideas for how you can read more, learn new things, get healthy, find a volunteer opportunity, prioritize self care AND social connections in 2022. There are many wonderful things happening at BSA, just check out January's Client newsletter or read some of the ideas in the image below.

Image Description:
RESOLUTIONS
READ MORE: Join the new BSA Book Club 1/20 @ 3pm & Listen to Short Story Club on Mondays @ 1pm
LEARN SOMETHING NEW: At Tech Talk 1/11 & 11/25 @ 3pm & Zoom Basics Workshop 1/21 @ 3pm
FOCUS ON HEALTH: Practice Tai Chi on Tuesdays @ 10am& Attend Healthy Living Group 1/20 @ 1pm
PRIORITZE SELF CARE: Attend Stress Management on Wednesdays @ 1pm & Join a BSA Support Group
VOLUNTEER: Join BSA Client Outreach 1/14 @ 3pm OR Advisory Committee 1/18 @ 1pm
SOCIALIZE: Coffee Talk on Wednesdays @ 10am OR Teatime with Lynn Cooper 1/7 & 1/21 @ 1pm

Forgot to make your New Year's Resolutions? No worries, BSA has got you covered! We have ideas for how you can read more, learn new things, get healthy, find a volunteer opportunity, prioritize self care AND social connections in 2022. There are many wonderful things happening at BSA, just check out January's Client newsletter or read some of the ideas in the image below.

Image Description:
RESOLUTIONS
READ MORE: Join the new BSA Book Club 1/20 @ 3pm & Listen to Short Story Club on Mondays @ 1pm
LEARN SOMETHING NEW: At Tech Talk 1/11 & 11/25 @ 3pm & Zoom Basics Workshop 1/21 @ 3pm
FOCUS ON HEALTH: Practice Tai Chi on Tuesdays @ 10am& Attend Healthy Living Group 1/20 @ 1pm
PRIORITZE SELF CARE: Attend Stress Management on Wednesdays @ 1pm & Join a BSA Support Group
VOLUNTEER: Join BSA Client Outreach 1/14 @ 3pm OR Advisory Committee 1/18 @ 1pm
SOCIALIZE: Coffee Talk on Wednesdays @ 10am OR Teatime with Lynn Cooper 1/7 & 1/21 @ 1pm

Best Wishes for a Happy New Year from BSA!Image Description: Happy New Year 2022 superimposed over a background of holid...
01/01/2022

Best Wishes for a Happy New Year from BSA!

Image Description: Happy New Year 2022 superimposed over a background of holiday lights and fallen snow on the ground.

Best Wishes for a Happy New Year from BSA!

Image Description: Happy New Year 2022 superimposed over a background of holiday lights and fallen snow on the ground.

Wishing you a very happy New Year from all of us at Blind Service Association! Image Description: Fireworks border the t...
01/01/2022

Wishing you a very happy New Year from all of us at Blind Service Association!

Image Description: Fireworks border the text: HAPPY NEW YEAR 2022! Wishing you peace, joy and good health in the new year. With BSA Logo.

Wishing you a very happy New Year from all of us at Blind Service Association!

Image Description: Fireworks border the text: HAPPY NEW YEAR 2022! Wishing you peace, joy and good health in the new year. With BSA Logo.

2021 may have tested our mettle,  but also provided the many unique opportunities and valuable connections that have thi...
12/30/2021

2021 may have tested our mettle, but also provided the many unique opportunities and valuable connections that have this year feeling like a grand success! While BSA was able open the office this summer for in person reading appointments and Braille lessons, we continued most of our other programing virtually. Just some of the highlights: We celebrated one year of Stress Management classes led by Dr. Don Baird, incorporated a weekly Tai Chi class with instructor Dennis Newport, enjoyed incredible guest speakers like athlete & motivational speaker Anthony S. Ferraro during Pathways Summer Youth Program, collaborated with Pastor Felicia Campbell and Love, Faith and Hope Lutheran Church on three more holiday food boxes for those in need, connected through ongoing weekly and monthly programs such as Tea Time with Lynn M Cooper and peer led support groups, learned what's new in vision research & resources at our annual Vision Expo (a "Virtual Experience" this year), partnered with the Identity Theft Resource Center and other guest speakers to provide monthly educational workshops, and SO MUCH MORE. We hope that YOU can also reflect on your accomplishments, big or small, and feel a sense of achievement and contentment as well as anticipation for the year to come. Thank you to our client community, volunteers, donors and other supporters for your participation, time, expertise, financial contributions, and connection throughout this year. ❤️

Image Description: A collage of some of the 2021 highlights: Dennis Newport headshot, first client at the BSA when the office opened in July, Anthony Ferraro talking to Pathways via zoom, knitting club via Zoom, Lynn Cooper with a cup of tea, Dr. Don Baird, Pastor Falicia and the woodboxes, flyer for the Vision Expo, Sharon Howerton teaching Braille, volunteer and client working on mail, Youth Program Coordinator Dustin demonstrating how to put up a tent for Pathways students.

2021 may have tested our mettle, but also provided the many unique opportunities and valuable connections that have this year feeling like a grand success! While BSA was able open the office this summer for in person reading appointments and Braille lessons, we continued most of our other programing virtually. Just some of the highlights: We celebrated one year of Stress Management classes led by Dr. Don Baird, incorporated a weekly Tai Chi class with instructor Dennis Newport, enjoyed incredible guest speakers like athlete & motivational speaker Anthony S. Ferraro during Pathways Summer Youth Program, collaborated with Pastor Felicia Campbell and Love, Faith and Hope Lutheran Church on three more holiday food boxes for those in need, connected through ongoing weekly and monthly programs such as Tea Time with Lynn M Cooper and peer led support groups, learned what's new in vision research & resources at our annual Vision Expo (a "Virtual Experience" this year), partnered with the Identity Theft Resource Center and other guest speakers to provide monthly educational workshops, and SO MUCH MORE. We hope that YOU can also reflect on your accomplishments, big or small, and feel a sense of achievement and contentment as well as anticipation for the year to come. Thank you to our client community, volunteers, donors and other supporters for your participation, time, expertise, financial contributions, and connection throughout this year. ❤️

Image Description: A collage of some of the 2021 highlights: Dennis Newport headshot, first client at the BSA when the office opened in July, Anthony Ferraro talking to Pathways via zoom, knitting club via Zoom, Lynn Cooper with a cup of tea, Dr. Don Baird, Pastor Falicia and the woodboxes, flyer for the Vision Expo, Sharon Howerton teaching Braille, volunteer and client working on mail, Youth Program Coordinator Dustin demonstrating how to put up a tent for Pathways students.

A sweet story to share on Christmas Eve …
12/25/2021
NORAD's Santa Tracker began with a typo and a good sport

A sweet story to share on Christmas Eve …

It all started in 1955 with a misprint in a Colorado newspaper and a call to Col. Harry Shoup's secret military hotline. Shoup played along with the tiny voice who called, and a tradition was born.

From all of us at Blind Service Association to each and everyone of you, Happy Holidays!  Thank you for all for all of y...
12/24/2021

From all of us at Blind Service Association to each and everyone of you, Happy Holidays! Thank you for all for all of your wonderful support and being a part of our awesome community. We couldn't do what we do without all of you! ❤️

Image Description : Winter foliage, white berries and white poinsettia border on a dark blue background with the message peaceful and safe holidays to all with BSA logo.

From all of us at Blind Service Association to each and everyone of you, Happy Holidays! Thank you for all for all of your wonderful support and being a part of our awesome community. We couldn't do what we do without all of you! ❤️

Image Description : Winter foliage, white berries and white poinsettia border on a dark blue background with the message peaceful and safe holidays to all with BSA logo.

Wishing you and your family a Happy Holiday!BSA will be on Holiday Break  December 24, 2021 to January 3, 2022. See you ...
12/23/2021

Wishing you and your family a Happy Holiday!
BSA will be on Holiday Break December 24, 2021 to January 3, 2022. See you in the New Year!

Wishing you and your family a Happy Holiday!
BSA will be on Holiday Break December 24, 2021 to January 3, 2022. See you in the New Year!

BSA volunteer and Chicago actor William C. Thompson will enthrall us with this abridged version of Charles Dickens's cla...
12/22/2021

BSA volunteer and Chicago actor William C. Thompson will enthrall us with this abridged version of Charles Dickens's classic tale A Christmas Carol via our teleconference line. You will not want to miss this holiday favorite!
https://anchor.fm/blind-service-association/episodes/A-Christmas-Carol-performed-by-William-C-Thompson-for-BSA-December-20--2021-e1c2jeg

BSA volunteer and Chicago actor William C. Thompson will enthrall us with this abridged version of Charles Dickens's classic tale A Christmas Carol via our teleconference line. You will not want to miss this holiday favorite!
https://anchor.fm/blind-service-association/episodes/A-Christmas-Carol-performed-by-William-C-Thompson-for-BSA-December-20--2021-e1c2jeg

A Holiday Treat! IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE! from Lux Radio Theater 1947Originally recorded Thursday, December 16th 2021 via ...
12/22/2021

A Holiday Treat!
IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE! from Lux Radio Theater 1947
Originally recorded Thursday, December 16th 2021 via Zoom.
Join us for IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE performed by only 3 Actors! Connie Foster, John Green and Robert Maher!
https://anchor.fm/blind-service-association/episodes/ITS-A-WONDERFUL-LIFE--from-Lux-Radio-Theater-1947-e1c2di1

A Holiday Treat!
IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE! from Lux Radio Theater 1947
Originally recorded Thursday, December 16th 2021 via Zoom.
Join us for IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE performed by only 3 Actors! Connie Foster, John Green and Robert Maher!
https://anchor.fm/blind-service-association/episodes/ITS-A-WONDERFUL-LIFE--from-Lux-Radio-Theater-1947-e1c2di1

Another successful Christmas Foodbox delivery thanks to BSA volunteers, NextGen members, and Pastor Falicia Campbell of ...
12/21/2021

Another successful Christmas Foodbox delivery thanks to BSA volunteers, NextGen members, and Pastor Falicia Campbell of Love, Faith & Hope Lutheran Church.

Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner feature The Blind Boys of Alabama in their Smile for a Saturday article, sharing a Chris...
12/19/2021
The Blind Boys of Alabama

Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner feature The Blind Boys of Alabama in their Smile for a Saturday article, sharing a Christmas update on the group from 2002. It's a piece that's sure to give you a smile as well...

Smile for a Saturday

12/16/2021

Apologies for the technical difficulties with FB Live today, please enjoy our recorded reading of the Lights of Love and Remembrance for 2021:

Grab a warm mug of hot chocolate and cozy up next to the fire as you enjoy a reading of the holiday classic " The Night ...
12/11/2021

Grab a warm mug of hot chocolate and cozy up next to the fire as you enjoy a reading of the holiday classic " The Night Before Christmas" performed by the Chicago Singers Collective. This audio reading will fill you up with the holiday spirit and put a smile on your face. BSA would like to thank the Chicago Singers Collective for recording this for the students in our youth programs. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!
https://anchor.fm/blind-service-association/episodes/The-Night-Before-Christmas-as-performed-by-the-Chicago-Singers-Collective-e1becm6/a-a729mjm

Image Description: The backside of a man dress in a red suit with white trim (could it be Santa?) can be seen in front of the embers of a fire, Christmas tree is lit to the side and gifts in the foreground.

Grab a warm mug of hot chocolate and cozy up next to the fire as you enjoy a reading of the holiday classic " The Night Before Christmas" performed by the Chicago Singers Collective. This audio reading will fill you up with the holiday spirit and put a smile on your face. BSA would like to thank the Chicago Singers Collective for recording this for the students in our youth programs. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!
https://anchor.fm/blind-service-association/episodes/The-Night-Before-Christmas-as-performed-by-the-Chicago-Singers-Collective-e1becm6/a-a729mjm

Image Description: The backside of a man dress in a red suit with white trim (could it be Santa?) can be seen in front of the embers of a fire, Christmas tree is lit to the side and gifts in the foreground.

Following a a worldwide search for blind and low vision actresses, Aria Mia Loberti will make her acting debut in Netfli...
12/11/2021
Netflix's "All the Light We Cannot See" Authentically Casts Newcomer Aria Mia Loberti - Respect Ability

Following a a worldwide search for blind and low vision actresses, Aria Mia Loberti will make her acting debut in Netflix's adaptation of the bestselling Pulitzer Prize novel “All the Light We Cannot See.” Loberti will play Marie-Laure, a young women who is blind and in occupied France during World War II. “Inclusion of characters – and actors – with disabilities – must be an intentional effort; it will not happen by accident,” said Lauren Appelbaum, who leads RespectAbility’s Hollywood Inclusion efforts as the organization’s Vice President of Entertainment & News Media. “What we see on screen influences how we act in real life. By casting authentically for ‘All The Light We Cannot See,’ Netflix can help remove the stigmas that currently exist around interacting with blind individuals.

Image Description: Head shot of Aria Mia Loberti alongside book jacket for "All the Light We Cannot See"

https://www.respectability.org/2021/12/netflix-aria-mia-loberti/

Loberti will play Marie-Laure, a blind teenager, whose path collides with Werner, a German soldier, as they both try to survive World War II.

Congratulations to Sharon Howerton for receiving the Lion of the Year Award from the Lions International District 1A Cab...
12/10/2021

Congratulations to Sharon Howerton for receiving the Lion of the Year Award from the Lions International District 1A Cabinet!

Sharon has been a Lion since 2008, joining due the Lions International commitment to service, which has been very important to her professionally and personally. Sharon has served the Lions in several capacities over the years including board member, vice president, and president. Lions Clubs work to improve health and well-being of communities and support those in need with this foundation of service - one key focus is on vision, helping those with eye diseases retain disability rehabilitation and education and working on programs and funding to prevent avoidable blindness. Just a few of the ways that Sharon has been a part of this mission, beyond her leadership roles: participating in annual Candy Day fundraising, assisting with vision and hearing screenings, presenting to senior groups about guide dog etiquette, and collecting hundreds of pairs of donated glasses and other items for those in need. Sharon also volunteers at BSA, teaching Braille for several hours a week! THANK YOU Sharon for your commitment to service and giving your all to our community!

Image Description: Sharon holding her award from the the Lions International in front of the BSA office. You can see the sign for Blind Service Association next to her head - it says the suite number 1050 in raised letters and in Braille. Sharon wears a red face mask from Guiding Eyes for the Blind and her award says" District 1-4 Cabinet Lion of the Year Sharon Howerton 2021 in print and in Braille with the Lions International logo (a circle with words Lions on the top and International on the bottom, two lions heads facing out and an L in the center)

Congratulations to Sharon Howerton for receiving the Lion of the Year Award from the Lions International District 1A Cabinet!

Sharon has been a Lion since 2008, joining due the Lions International commitment to service, which has been very important to her professionally and personally. Sharon has served the Lions in several capacities over the years including board member, vice president, and president. Lions Clubs work to improve health and well-being of communities and support those in need with this foundation of service - one key focus is on vision, helping those with eye diseases retain disability rehabilitation and education and working on programs and funding to prevent avoidable blindness. Just a few of the ways that Sharon has been a part of this mission, beyond her leadership roles: participating in annual Candy Day fundraising, assisting with vision and hearing screenings, presenting to senior groups about guide dog etiquette, and collecting hundreds of pairs of donated glasses and other items for those in need. Sharon also volunteers at BSA, teaching Braille for several hours a week! THANK YOU Sharon for your commitment to service and giving your all to our community!

Image Description: Sharon holding her award from the the Lions International in front of the BSA office. You can see the sign for Blind Service Association next to her head - it says the suite number 1050 in raised letters and in Braille. Sharon wears a red face mask from Guiding Eyes for the Blind and her award says" District 1-4 Cabinet Lion of the Year Sharon Howerton 2021 in print and in Braille with the Lions International logo (a circle with words Lions on the top and International on the bottom, two lions heads facing out and an L in the center)

Address

17 N State St, Ste 1050
Chicago, IL
60602

Washington/ Wabash Brown Line & Green Line Station, Lake Red Line Station

Opening Hours

Monday 10am - 4pm
Tuesday 10am - 4pm
Wednesday 10am - 4pm
Thursday 10am - 7pm
Friday 10am - 4pm

Telephone

(312) 236-0808

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Comments

Third blind man scales Mount Everest!
For my birthday I am raising money for the Blind Service Association with some matching dollars. Help out at: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=3194484470668794&substory_index=1&id=100003218181906
One of our program coordinators Susie recently shared about finding a new way to connect with elders. "Ms. Edna shared with me that one of the most difficult things for her is that Blind Service Association is closed. Normally, she goes once a week and is read to for two hours! I told her I’d be happy to read to her during this time, and I called and read for about half an hour. Usually, she’s a busy woman and not someone I normally get to spend too much time with, but the reading led into good conversation, as well. She was really kind and appreciative of the effort. I’ve read with one other elder now, as well, and plan to incorporate it more as a way of staying connected." Have you found a creative way to stay in touch? Whether you reach out over the phone or through mail, hearing from a friend has a deeply meaningful impact in the lives of Chicago's elders who are aging alone! Always and especially now. #DistancingNotDistant #CallYourElders
Dare2tri is hosting its annual Multisport Clinic (swim, bike, and run) in Highland Park, IL on Saturday, March 7th. No experience needed and we would love to see more participants with a visual Impairment involved. Scholarships to cover the registration fee are available. Check out the link below for more information and registration. Hope to see you there! http://www.dare2tri.org/multisport-clinic
Chicagoans you know you're a foodie town. Now you're a VIP Foodie town with 95 accessible menus. Way cool!
Thanks to the Blind Service Association for working with our staff as we work to create our low vision tour guide; just one of the ways that the Museum works to be inclusive for all. Photo by Lauren Meranda
We look forward to learning more about your organization.
The Museum recently gave out first low vision tour for the Blind Service Association, the tour featured audio descriptions of images and objects from our exhibitions, a collection of tactile objects to interact with, and oral histories to listen to. Inclusivity is crucial to our work and we were happy to learn from the BSA and our audio descriptionist Victor Cole about the best practices for low vision guests, we look forward to working with them again in the future!
Hello, I'm Dr. Cristel, one of the Ear, Nose and Throat residents at UIC hospital. We are conducting a research project on blind individuals sense of beauty and are seeking 10 people with vision levels of "Count Fingers" or 20/400 to participate. The study is simply having a model come into a room and sit across from the blind individual without any interaction and then the blind individual will provide a beauty rating from 1-10. This study is approved by an institutional review board. Participants will receive a $25 starbucks gift card for their time, which would be about 2 hours only. Please contact me directly if you are interested or know someone that might be interested! We'd really appreciate any help with this research project!
ACCESS TICKETS ONLY $5!! AUDIO DESCRIBED PERFORMANCE: Saturday, May 26th at 7:30 PM Touch Tour at 6 PM Audio Describer: Rob Lamont GROWING UP BLUE by Chloë Orlando directed by Shade Murray The Theatre School at DePaul University on the Fullerton Stage On the verge of Blue’s 14th birthday, everyone in their small town finds out Blue may be transgender. Blue is confronted with violence, new restrictions on bathroom use, and an offer to star in a new reality television show. In this new play by Chloë Orlando, Blue struggles to grow up and escape a life in hiding to discover the beauty in difference. THE THEATRE SCHOOL AT DEPAUL UNIVERSITY 2350 N Racine Ave, Chicago For tickets call the Box Office: 773.325.7900 Or email [email protected] Use the code ACCESS to order $5 tickets. All Student Tickets are $5. (Photo by Michael Brosilow)
How did you do in Evanston/Wilmette?? All together?