Welcome to the Sight Loss Support Group.


We offer a supportive atmosphere where individuals can adjust to loss of vision, learn what resources are available for assistance and develop strategies to regain independence. Through shared experiences and a positive approach, the SLSG helps people answer the question "What do I do now?" In 2015, we moved out of our physical office space in State College, and transitioned to a 'virtual office' configuration.  Our programs will continue without interruption; only our Contact info has changed.

If you would like to become a member of the SLSG, please mail the Membership request form to the Sight-Loss Support Group, P.O. Box 782, Lemont, PA 16851.  



Hot off the Press: "Living Life with Vision Loss" Resource Guide

  Living Life with Vision Loss: A Guide to Resources, Services and Support in Central PA    

Living Life with Vision Loss: A Guide to Resources, Services and Support in Central PA


The Sight-Loss Support Group has produced an excellent, all inclusive guide to resources, services and support for anyone adjusting to life with vision loss here in central Pennsylvania. This concise, yet all inclusive, 31 page periodical is primarily the outstanding effort of Josie Smith to compile years of research, interactions, and both professional and personal experiences into a single document. Hope and help are available; this guide makes finding that help much simpler.

A pdf version of the resource guide can be downloaded here, or by clicking the cover photo above. Hard copies will be available soon at many locations in town, or can be requested through the SLSG office.


The Outlook: The Official Newsletter of the SLSG

"The Outlook" will be arriving in your mailbox or email box in August. For past editions of the official newsletter of the Sight-Loss Support Group of Central PA, Inc, see our newsletter page.


Special Audio Described Tours 

Louise Rana and giant caterpillar.png

Special Springtime Tours 

We extend a huge thank you to Megan Wanttie and Kelsey Rieger of PSU's Palmer Museum of Art for their outstanding special gallery touch tour of "Plastic Entanglements" and to the Master Gardeners and friends who helped us tip toe through the tulips at the PSU Arboretum this spring! Along with the audio describers, these were spectacular demonstrations of making art accessible.

Plastic sculpture with guide and touching hands.png

Upcoming Talks ANd Meetings

2nd Thursdays: the new lunch group

 Josie Kantner Smith (Sight-Loss Support Group of Central PA), Steve Kechisen (Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services), Bill Muzzy (SLSG), and Lori Love (North Central Sight Services).

Josie Kantner Smith (Sight-Loss Support Group of Central PA), Steve Kechisen (Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services), Bill Muzzy (SLSG), and Lori Love (North Central Sight Services).

Eat, Share, and Connect

We have resumed our popular monthly lunch meetings, now held on the second Thursday of every month, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, at Mt. Nittany Residences (301 Rolling Ridge Dr, State College, 16801).  

The "new and improved" lunch bunch is a joint venture of the SLSG (Sight-Loss Support Group), the BBVS (Bureau of Blind and Visual Services), and the NCSS (North Central Sight Services). Open to the general public, the lunch bunch is a social, supportive, and informative afternoon. Representatives from each of the organizations will be present at each lunch, a new topic of interest will be presented each month, and a complementary lunch is provided.

Our summer meetings will be July 12, August 9, and September 13. Lunch is provided. If you need help with transportation, please contact the office. We are keeping the summer meetings light and easy, no presentations, just a sharing of friendship, thoughts and experiences. Josie is excited to share some thoughts on Isaac Lidsky's new book and TED talk, "Eyes Wide Open". The September meeting will be our annual picnic, this year a bbq and audio-described tour at the Boal Mansion in Boalsburg. Check back for more information.

Lunch Presentation, June 14, 2018: Transportation

Local representatives from the Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA) discussed CATARIDE and paratransit, the door-to-door transportation system for seniors and the disabled.  

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires most public transit systems to provide "paratransit" services. Paratransit is for people with disabilities who cannot use the "fixed route" bus. Paratransit must provide service that is comparable to the service provided to people who use the fixed route system. Paratransit is a civil right.

Also at the June lunch, Robert from NCSS demonstrated the assistive technology AIRA with us. 

Some photos from the June lunch:


UPCOMING AUdio description events

Audio description—available at no extra charge to ticket holders—offers live verbal description of the visual elements of selected performances. The service's trained audio describers use a transmitter and microphone to relay a pictorial description to patrons wearing earpieces attached to palm-sized receivers. Audio description clarifies details and provides background information, but it doesn't interfere with other key audible elements of a performance.

Please click title of event or picture for more detail.

Tickets for 2018/2019 audio-described performances at the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State are now on sale! For a complete list with ticket information, check the CPA audio description web page at http://cpa.psu.edu/eventswithad, or call the ticket office at 814-863-ARTSTIX. The Center for the Performing Arts at Eisenhower Auditorium has funding to provide a limited number of complimentary tickets under their accessibility program; phone 814-865-5011 and ask for Joi McKenzie. Remember, to use the audio-description service, you must also contact the SLSG office by email (office@slsg.org) or by phone (814-238-0132) at least two weeks prior to the performance.

For a full list of upcoming audio-described performances, or for more information on the audio-description service, please see our Audio-Description page. The Center for the Performing Arts provides a limited number of complimentary tickets under their accessibility program, and many of the local theater groups also often provide discounted tickets for our members, or allow us to audio-describe their dress rehearsal at no charge. To reserve the special tickets at the Center for the Performing Arts, call Joi McKenzie at the CPA box office, 814-865-5011.



Help Make the Arts Accessible to Individuals With Sight Loss

“View Via Headphones” Audio-Description Service


Become a View Via Headphones audio-describer and help blind and partially sighted people experience the arts beyond vision loss.

Audio-describers paint a verbal picture of the key visual elements of a play, musical, or dance performance that are often lost to blind and partially sighted people—scenery, costumes, and actors’ facial expressions and actions. View Via Headphones also offers occasional tours of art exhibits, arts festivals, historic sites, museums, and arboretums.

Please consider this rewarding opportunity: Become a volunteer audio-describer. View Via Headphones is a project of the Sight-Loss Support Group of Central PA and has been describing the arts for individuals with sight loss in the Centre region since 1999. For more information, or for a list of upcoming described events, please visit www.slsg.org or call the office at 814-238-0132