who we are
The Sight-Loss Support Group of Central PA is a non-profit, self-help organization comprised of people personally coping with sight loss and those with a desire to assist those with sight loss. We offer peer counseling, including vision rehabilitation referral services, community outreach educational events as well as direct accessibility support in the form of guides and audio describers for local cultural events. We hope to grow the outreach and service programs we currently offer to serve a wider audience and to develop new programs to address unmet needs of the visually impaired.
The SLSG was founded in 1982 by Rana Arnold and Dr. Fred Carlin, a State College optometrist. Rana served as the Executive Director of the SLSG until her "retirement" in 2013. In the early 1990s, the SLSG introduced the Art Through Touch and Festival Eyes programs which provide sighted guides for vision-impaired attendees of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts and Peoples' Choice arts fest. In the late 1990s, Rana co-founded View Via Headphones, another prominent SLSG program and the area's first audio description service for live theatre, musical and dance performances. In the 2000s, under the auspices of the SLSG, Rana developed the Parents of Children with Sight-Loss support program (later known as Eye on Youth). Also established in the 2000s, the Centre County 4-H Seeing Eye Puppy Raisers Club is a collaboration between the SLSG, the Centre County 4-H and The Seeing Eye, Inc. (the oldest guide dog school in the world serving the visually impaired).