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VISIONS Newsletter
Sports and leisure through the eyes of individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

FALL 2004

SportsVision Fall Clinic Comes to Slippery Rock University

Slippery Rock University and the Adapted Physical Activity Council are proud to announce SportsVision Fall Clinic 2004. On Saturday November 20th, 2004 children between the ages 8 and 18 are invited to participate in the fun. Athletes will learn the basics of football, swimming, dance, rock climbing, and goalball. For the first time there will also be an obstacle course. The cost of attending the clinic is $5, and that includes a t shirt and lunch will be provided. The registration deadline has been extended so more people will have the chance to participate. Do not miss this opportunity. If you do not have a registration form call Wendy Fagan at (724)-738-2791.

Rachael Gniewkowski Receices Athlete of the Month Honors

Our Athlete of the Month is Rachael Gniewkowski. Rachael lives in Shaler with her Mom and dad, older brother Michael and two dogs. Rachael is a happy twelve year old seventh grader who attends Shaler Area Middle School. Rachael enjoys all sports and loves attending SportsVision clinics and camp. Rachael is on both the indoor and outdoor traveling soccer team for the Sarah Heinz House Boys and Girls Club, where last year she was recognized as one of fifty outstanding members. She is the only girl in the deck hockey league. She enjoyed karate at camp so much this year that she is currently taking a karate class at the boys and girls club. Rachael has been dancing since she was two years old and currently participates in tap, jazz, and dance company.

The Center on Disability and Health Opens at Slippery Rock University

Thanks to a grant from The Center of Disease Control Slippery Rock University opened The Center on Disability and Health In September 2004. The Center serves as a resource for individuals with disabilities. They can contact the center to receive information about a specific disability, support groups, and national organizations. Along with providing information, the Center provides programs in physical fitness, aquatics, adapted physical education, equine therapy , and other recreational activities. The Center on Disability and Health is located in the Strain Behavioral Sciences Building on the SRU campus and is run by 3 professional staff members and 10 students staff members. If you would like more information on the Center or any of the programs that it provides, you can call (724)738-2904.

The First Ever SV Flea Market

SportsVision held its flea market and bake sale on the beautiful Saturday morning of September 25. In all, five blindness related organizations came together for an unprecedented fundraising effort. Representatives from the National Federation of the Blind, the Golden Triangle Council of the Blind, and Blind Outdoor Leisure Development took advantage of the great weather as they sold new items and distributed information to folks traveling along Craig Street. Inside, SportsVision and Radio Information Service loaded 6-foot banquet tables and all of the available floor space with tons of donated used merchandise. Dozens of patrons took their turns browsing the merchandise tables and scarfing up the sweet treats at the bake sale area. The day was a success because of the hard work and generosity of many people. From the folks who donated used merchandise, to those who spent weeks collecting and pricing items, to those who helped with setup and cleanup, to those who baked homemade sweets, everyone played a vital role in the success of the event. Fortunately for SportsVision, there are just too many people involved with the success of the flea market to thank by name in the newsletter. For everyone that helped though, please know that SportsVision’s leadership sincerely appreciates your steadfast support of our programs and fundraisers. THANK YOU!!

The Harold Schlegel Audio Darts Tournament

The Fifth Harold Schlegel Tournament was held at the Best Western, Boulevard of the Allies, the weekend of October 8-10. Twenty nine visually impaired and two sighted individuals competed, all on equal footing since everyone must wear occluders when throwing. They came from as far as Minneapolis Minnesota, Independence Missouri, a few from North Carolina, and the majority from Wilmington Delaware and Pittsburgh. Nine of the eleven Pittsburghers finished in the money. Twenty two different participants won trophies and/or money. It was great that so many different people were rewarded for their competitiveness. Those of us on the home field felt good about so many Pittsburghers placing in the money, but just a little disappointed that only one trophy stayed here in Pittsburgh. Lynette Lewis and Joe Wassermann finished first in 501 Doubles. We’ve got to work harder. A few of us may just confront the winter weather in Minneapolis come January in order to compete in their tournament. It’s fun to compete and to support one another’s events in those few “hot beds” of “talking” dart machines. Perhaps there will come a day when manufacturers will finally make a machine that audibly tells us running and final scores so that we do not have to completely rely on the wonderful spotters who help at these tournaments. Thanks to all those who helped us here in Pittsburgh. All of us certainly appreciate your assistance.

Audio Darts Opportunities

Audio Darts
Tuesdays & Fridays 9:00-3:00
Pittsburgh Vision Services Building—300 S. Craig Street in Pittsburgh
Get in on the fun and friendly competition of the SportsVision Audio Darts Group every Tuesday and Friday. Our long-time darters would be happy to instruct you on how to throw the darts and play this hugely popular game. If you find that you like the game, you can join us on a regular basis for only $15 annual dues. Before you know it, you’ll be winning big bucks at tournaments around the country. To learn more about this activity, call Joe Wassermann at (412) 687-5166.

SportsVision’s Got Your Cure for Destressing the Holiday Shopping Season

Are you already dreading the sore feet, pushy crowds, and endless lines that have become synonymous with every holiday season? Is your head already spinning at the thought of circling the mall parking lot time after time after time just to find a spot that’s a quarter-mile from the nearest entrance, which because of your luck is on the opposite end of the mall from the store you want? Well, if you’ve got these holiday shopping stress symptoms already, SportsVision’s got the perfect cure. Since the holidays are supposed to be about peace and thankfulness, why not enjoy the peace and quiet of shopping at home while you are being thankful for your Internet-connected computer? You can give yourself a gift while your getting gifts for everyone else. Follow this prescription
for immediate relief:

1. Pour yourself a cup of your favorite hot beverage.
2. Situate yourself and your tall frothy mug in front of your home computer.
3. Once you have reached your maximum comfort level, use your Internet browser to log onto
4. Click on “Register” and sign up to support SportsVision.
5. Sip luxuriously at your delicious beverage while scrolling through the list of more than 300 stores in this on-line mall.
6. When you’re ready, select the store you would like to patronize and begin your leisurely perusal of its virtual departments.
7. Once you have added all of your items to the never-overflowing, always functional shopping cart, proceed to the front of the check out line.
8. Relieve your mind and relax your body as you realize your load of heavy packages will be delivered to your front door without the usual acrobatic struggle to reach the car.
9. Consider a quick trip to the kitchen for a refill as you return to the web site to begin your next shopping extravaganza.

Regional Recreation Roster

Yoga Class - Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 at Pittsburgh
Vision Services Building—300 S. Craig St. in Pittsburgh
Join instructor Liz DePiero, retired teacher of the visually impaired for this ancient Indian approach to relaxation and stretching. Designed especially for blind and low vision participants, the class features detailed descriptions of movements and tactile modeling when necessary. This low impact, highly relaxing class is regularly held each week. Why not take advantage of this FREE leisure opportunity? For additional information about Yoga or the weekly class, contact Liz DePiero at (412) 341-8014.

Mall Walking- Wednesdays 9-11 AM at Monroeville Mall—Meets at Food Court
Each Wednesday blind individuals and sighted guides meet at the Monroeville Mall to walk off the cold weather blues and do a little shopping too. Participants needing sighted assistance will be matched with a guide. Participants can even be met at either the 67A bus stop near Lazarus or at the Access drop off point. Although the activity is FREE, you’ll need to contact Joyce Driben, the coordinator so she can arrange to have a guide for you. Call her by the Sunday prior at (412) 521- 4385.

10 Pin Bowling- Varying Days & Times in
Pittsburgh, Mercer, & Houston
Southwestern PA is rich in its choices of blind bowling leagues. Currently five leagues meet weekly to play three games. With the assistance of sighted spotters, blind and low vision individuals use aluminum guide rails to enjoy and even excel at bowling. Most leagues charge $8-10 per week and bowl September- May. Leagues are always seeking new members. Give SportsVision a call at (412) 441-4940 to learn about the league in your area.




PO Box 23053 | Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Phone: 412.429.1996 | Email:
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