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



Dance! Dance! Dance!

On May 1 more than a dozen visually impaired youth attended the SportsVision Spring Social. After brief introductions, participants moved into learning many of pop culture’s favorite dances. At the same time, parents of many attendees joined a discussion of issues facing visually impaired youth. The discussion included several blind adults who have been active in a variety of sports and leisure activities. Attendees then snacked on scrumptious pizza donated by Fox’s Pizza Den. The afternoon ended with a splurge of ice cream and sundae toppings. A good day was had by all.

SV Community Picnic

Just over two dozen folks came out for the first annual SportsVision Community Picnic. Attendees took advantage of the great weather by tossing around the beep football and experimenting with beep baseball. Some showed off their coordination skills by playing Bop It while others simply enjoyed the opportunity for fellowship. After the delicious lunch of homemade dishes, folks took chances in a Chinese Auction and 50/50 raffle. It was a great start to an event that we hope will become an annual tradition.

Camp SportsVision Replay
By Bob Jahoda

The Camp SportsVision held at Slippery Rock University in June was a huge success with every child who attended. The 26 campers competed in 12 sports and leisure activities with help from volunteers from SRU and SportsVision. The three-day camp featured the perennial favorites of goalball, track and field, wrestling, soccer, swimming, tandem biking, and beep baseball. Additions to this year’s camp schedule included rock climbing, dance, gymnastics, and taekwondo. Campers also had the opportunity to try a bit of basketball this year as instructor illness forced the cancellation of one dance session.

On Saturday morning the families of each camper were invited up to SRU to watch their child compete in some track and field events. Campers also demonstrated their skills in goalball, beep baseball, and taekwondo. Before the group moved on to the pizza and awards party each camper received his introductory white belt in taekwondo.

We at SportsVision will work to continue and grow the Camp SportsVision experience. Our goal is to encourage and prepare more youth to compete at higher levels of sports for the visually impaired. This was the third year for the camp. Hopefully we can go for many more.

Looking for Leaders

SportsVision is seeking diverse, inquisitive individuals who are committed to the organization’s cause to join our Board of Directors. Ideal leaders will have relevant experience that can be used to further our mission of developing opportunities for individuals who are visually impaired to participate in competitive sports and life-long leisure activities. SportsVision board members are active and involved in the work of the organization.

SportsVision is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization. An active Board of Directors, which meets monthly to provide governance, leads it. Meetings typically run less than two hours and include discussions about past and future program activities, opportunities for fundraising, financial information, potential networking contacts, etc. This is often the forum where board members share input, personal contacts, and known resources that may be beneficial. Board members serve a two-year term.

As SportsVision expands its Board of Directors, it is striving to achieve a well-rounded leadership body that includes a variety of interests, perspectives, and expertise. Some members will bring their expertise and talent, others will give lots of time and hard work, and others will contribute financial and networking resources. If you can contribute in any one or all three of these ways, we invite you to learn more about becoming a SportsVision leader.

Please contact Sue Lichtenfels in the SportsVision office to express your interest in becoming more involved in SportsVision’s leadership or to share information about someone you believe might be a good person for us to approach. Call (412) 441-4940 or email < a href=""> In addition to answering your questions, Sue will send out the packet of information we have developed for prospective board members.


As late as February, SportsVision leaders feared there would not be a Camp SportsVision this summer because the two-year camp grant we received from Western Michigan University had expired. There were few prospects for new grant money and no major fundraising efforts in the works. But during the spring, numerous individuals and organizations stepped forward to ensure the camp would go on. SportsVision salutes those supporters for their all-star commitment to Camp SportsVision 2004.

The 2004 Camp Director, Wendy Fagan certainly went above and beyond her operational duties. Throughout April and May she visited a number of area Lions Clubs seeking financial sponsorship. Wendy’s efforts literally paid off with individual clubs and the Lions District 14N as a whole. But she didn’t stop there. Her contacts with the Lions led her to other service organizations and area businesses. As a result, dozens of individuals, community organizations, and businesses answered the call. Both Wendy’s efforts in fundraising and this year’s camp sponsors deserve our All-Star Accolades.

Just as important to the success of Camp SportsVision 2004 was the incredible volunteer corps that gave so generously of its time and talents. Students from the SRU Adapted Physical Activities Council (APAC) assisted with planning, provided sports instruction, and assisted campers throughout the weekend. The camp was fortunate to have more than a dozen repeat volunteers from previous Camp SportsVisions as a strong base. Also deserving praise are the dedicated vision teachers and agency professionals that assist us with recruiting campers every year.

Without a doubt, the planning and operation of the three-day Camp SportsVision experience require an enormous level of commitment. We applaud your dedication and THANK YOU!



  • Bashlin Industries, Inc.
  • Burke Counseling
  • Commercial Appliance Contracts, Inc.
  • Neely Group
  • Rosebud Mining Company
  • TMS Physical Therapy P.C.
  • Turner Insurance


  • Dr. DeSimone
  • Thomas and Deborah Duddy
  • David Fairman
  • Gorden Henzel
  • Kearns Family
  • Bob McBryan
  • Alan Snyder

Community Organizations

  • Alumni Association o/t WPSBC
  • Butler Lions Club
  • Elfinwild Lions Club
  • Ellwood City Lions Club
  • Golden Triangle Council o/t Blind
  • Grove City Lions Club
  • Harrisville Lions Club
  • Hopewell Township Lions
  • Lions District 14-N
  • Little Beaver Lions Club
  • Penn Glade Lions Park Association
  • Slippery Rock Lions Club
  • United Way of Grove City
  • Volant Lions Club


August 15, 2004
Lions District 14N Picnic

SportsVision has been invited to join the Lions of District 14N for their annual picnic at Penn Glade Park in Butler County. The Lions are looking forward to the opportunity to play SportsVision volunteers and campers in a game of beep baseball. If you enjoy the picnic atmosphere and would like to show off your beep baseball talents, give Wendy Fagan a call at (724) 615-1418 to learn more about this event.

September 2004
Flea Market Fundraiser

In preparation for our September flea market we have begun collecting donations of household items, games, toys, books, music, computer hardware and software, luggage, clothing, and the like. The items will be sold in September at a flea-market-style fundraiser. If you have an opportunity to pass on some items that are no longer useful to you but might be to someone else, SportsVision would appreciate the contribution. Give the SportsVision office a call at (412) 441-4940 or reach Sherri Crum at (412) 732-2769 to make collection arrangements prior to September 4. Please watch your mail for additional information about how you can support this SportsVision fundraiser.

October 8-10, 2004
Harold Schlegel Audio Dart Tournament

The Audio Darts Group will hold its fourth annual regional tournament at the Best Western in Oakland. During the weekend darters will compete in both individual and team events. More than $4,500 in prize money is up for grabs. Entry into all six events is $75. Contact the Tournament Coordinator, Joe Wassermann at (412) 687-5166 for additional event details or to learn how you can become an audio dart thrower.

What Is Wilderlust?
Reprinted from

Have you ever longed to feel the sun’s warmth upon you and to take in great gulps of fresh air? Ever yearned to hear the robin proclaim that spring has come or to hear the mutter of a stream? If you have, you know what wilderlust is--the desire to experience nature.

The NHEST has published a book to show how blind and visually impaired people enjoy the outdoors. “Wilderlust” has 24 chapters written by 18 writers from all over the United States and Canada. Whale watch on Alaska’s Glacier Bay, hike the Mohave Desert, water ski on Utah’s Bear Lake, explore the forests of Ontario, backpack the entire Appalachian Trail, build a fire for those cold Massachusetts winters, ride on an Outward Bound cycling trip through northern New England, and much more. You’ll also learn about birding, spelunking, gardening, skiing, and other pursuits that blind and visually impaired people of all ages can enjoy.

It’s now available in regular print, large print and CD-ROM versions and we will create an audio version soon. All versions are $19.95 plus shipping. Please send an e-mail to Or call (207) 327-1453 if you would like to order a copy. The mailing address is: NHEST, 144 Atkinson Road, Bradford, ME 04410.

Join the Team!

As SportsVision continues to grow its services, so too grows the work. SportsVision has many, many opportunities for volunteers to join our team. You could help on a committee, become a community speaker, assist with public relations efforts, or stuff the next newsletter. There are tons of volunteer opportunities that don’t require any specific skills; just the willingness to get involved.

Expansion of our volunteer corps is vital to the success of all future program efforts. Please contact Sue Lichtenfels at (412) 441-4940 or to discuss how you can help. Here are a few opportunities that might interest you.

Administrative Assistant

We are seeking individuals to assist in filing, making phone calls, mailing newsletters, managing databases, proofreading documents, and writing very short pieces. While some tasks can be done from home, others require on-site assistance. If you can assist with any of these tasks, please give us a call.

Monthly Activity Coordinators

In order to launch the SV Junior monthly recreation program, we need to find individuals willing to coordinate a monthly activity. Responsabilities of these coordinators may include scheduling the event location, working closely with the activity's instructor, supervising the activity's volunteers, and generally running the actual event. These coordinators will be given both administrative support and coordination assistance from SportsVision. Individuals such as parents, college students, vision teachers, and blind adults should certainly consider this opportunity. The volunteer commitment could be as short as one month.


SportsVision is seeking sighted individuals to be spotters for its Audio Darts Program. This position takes no special skills and will include hands-on instruction. Spotting assistance is vital for the darters to sharpen their skills for tournament competition. The group practices regularly on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9AM until 3PM at 300 South Craig Street in Oakland. Spotters are also in need for our October tournament.


The continued success of "VISIONS," our information-packed newsletter, requires innovative ideas and creative writing. We are seeking individuals to contribute relevant stories to this quarterly publication. If you enjoy writing or have ideas for potential stories, this would be the perfect opportunity for you to demonstrate your creativity.


The Paralympic Games
Portions Edited from

The word "Paralympic" derives from the Greek preposition "para" ("beside" or "alongside") and the word "Olympics" (the Paralympics being the parallel Games to the Olympics). Many have the misconception that the Special Olympics serve blind and physically disabled athletes. In reality though, it is the Paralympics that provide elite international competition for people who are visually impaired, have a spinal impairment, experience cerebral palsy, or are missing limbs. Like the Olympics, the Paralympics have a long history and ever-growing popularity among athletes and the public.

History of the Games

The first Olympic style Games for athletes with a disability were organized in Rome in 1960, immediately after the Olympic Games. They are considered the first Paralympic Games. About 400 athletes from 23 countries competed in 8 sports. Since then the Paralympic Games have been organized every four years. The Paralympic Games have always been held in the same year as the Olympic Games. Other disability groups were added in Toronto in 1976 and the idea was conceived of merging together different disability groups for international sport competitions. In the same year, the first Paralympic Winter Games took place in Sweden.

In 1988, the Seoul Paralympic Summer Games marked a significant change, as both Olympic and Paralympic Games were held at the same venues. Since then the Paralympic Games have always taken place at the same venues as the Olympic Games. To date, eleven (11) Paralympic Summer and seven (7) Paralympic Winter Games have been organized. The Paralympic Games have evolved into a major sports event, second only to the Olympic Games.

Competition for Athletes with a Visual Impairment

As a way to ensure fair competition, the Paralympic Games organize athletes according to their functional ability where possible. Totally blind runners compete against totally blind runners. Sprinters with usable vision are matched against others with usable vision. As explained in the April 2004 edition of "VISIONS," there are three vision classifications in international competition. And those athletes with corrected vision better than a visual acuity of 6/60 or greater than 20 degrees of field vision are not eligible for Paralympic competition.

The Paralympic Games offer both individual and team sports for athletes who are visually impaired. The individual events include power lifting, judo, swimming, track and field, and the equestrian event of dressage. In dressage competition, riders perform individually and they must ride a pattern which includes various changes in pace and direction. Riders are judged on their ability to control and maneuver the horses. Both judo and power lifting are organized into weight classes and abide by the same rules as those for able-bodied international competitors. Athens 2004 marks the first time both men and women will compete in all individual sports.

Athletes who are visually impaired compete on a team or with sighted assistance in sailing, tandem cycling, five-a-side football, and goalball. Tandem cyclists and their sighted pilots compete on the track and in the road race. Sailors also use sighted advisors to help navigate their course since all yachts race at the same time. The yachts used in Paralympic competition have keels, mainly because this design provides greater stability. Participants in goalball and five-a-side football wear blindfolds to level the playing field. Spectators are required to be silent during goalball and football as the balls used contain a sound source for accessibility. While five-a-side football will be included at the Paralympics for the first time this year, it will only be open to male athletes.

Future Paralympic Games

Without a doubt, the Paralympic Games has become a dream come true for many athletes with disabilities who might have originally thought they could never excel at sports. At the 2000 Sidney Paralympics more than 3,800 athletes from 120 countries participated--more than the total number of athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. The degree of media coverage and attention from the public for the 2000 Paralympics was unprecedented. With interest in and acceptance for sport for persons with a disability growing, the expansion of the Games will continue well into the future.

The next Paralympic Games will take place in Athens, Greece during September 17-28, 2004. Information about specific events, rules, and athletes can be found at It's also not too late to take in the games first-hand in Athens. Find out about tickets at the web site.


August 10-13, 2004 from 9:30 AM – 2:30 PM
Technology Week-- Day Program
Keystone Blind Association

During this week, students will have the opportunity to experience a variety of adaptive technology available to students with visual impairments or practice certain pieces of technology to improve their skill level. The types of equipment you can learn include Braille 'n Speak, Type 'n Speak, Braille Note, JAWS, the Braillewriter, the abacus, low vision aids, and much more. Contact Kathie Preece at (724) 347-5501 for additional details and to register.

August 13-15, 2004
VIP Camp
YMCA Camp Kon-o-kwee

Blind and visually impaired youth are invited to attend this FREE camp weekend. Activities will include: arts and crafts, swimming, hiking, fishing, archery, outdoor games and campfire fun. For camper application and additional information, call (412) 391-3328 or (724) 758-6238.

August 28, 2004 from 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
WTAE-TV Healthy 4 Life Expo &
American Diabetes Expo
David L. Lawrence Convention Center

This year, WTAE-TV and the American Diabetes Association promise an event that will offer the latest updates in health care and wellness as well as opportunities for entertainment and fun! The one-day event includes: Exhibitors, demonstrations, health screenings, hands-on activities, as well as national and local celebrities, health authorities and fitness experts. Admission is FREE and open to the public. For additional details visit or call (412) 244-4443.

Tuesdays & Fridays from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Audio Darts Practice & Instruction
Pittsburgh Vision Services

The Audio Darts Group practices dart throwing for recreational and competitive purposes twice every week. Both sighted and visually impaired individuals are invited to drop in for lessons. We’ve got the darts and talking dart boards if you’ve got the interest. If you would like to learn more about audio darts, give Joe Wassermann a call at (412) 687-5166.


International Paralympic Committee
Reprinted from

The International Paralympic Committee is the international representative organization of elite sports for athletes with disabilities. IPC organizes, supervises and co-ordinates the Paralympic Games and other multi-disability competitions on the elite sports level, of which the most important are world and regional championships. It is an international non-profit organization formed and run by around 160 National Paralympic Committees and 5 disability specific international sports federations: of which the International Blind Sports Association (IBSA) is one. Whereas other international sports organizations for athletes with a disability are either limited to one disability group or to one specific sport, the IPC - as an umbrella organization - represents all sports and disabilities. Still today the IPC is the only international multi-disability sports organization in the world.

In 2003, the IPC’s leadership adopted its vision to Enable Paralympic Athletes to Achieve Sporting Excellence and Inspire and Excite the World. And the new Paralympic motto of "Spirit in Motion" has captured the essence of this Vision. It expresses the inspirational character of the Paralympic Movement as well as elite performance of Paralympic athletes. It also stands for the strong will of every Paralympian. The word "Spirit" implies that the IPC is not limited to only staging high performance sport, but that there is a strong message behind our Movement. "Motion" on the other hand implies, that the IPC is an organization on the move.

While the IPC has adopted 11 broad goals to guide its work, there are a few that stand out as the key functions of the organization. It strives to ensure that in sport practiced within the Paralympic Movement the spirit of fair play prevails, violence is banned, the health risk of the athletes is managed and fundamental ethical principles are upheld. It promotes and contributes to the development of sport opportunities and competitions, from initiation to elite level, for Paralympic athletes as the foundation of elite Paralympic sport. Another one of its major goals is the continuous global promotion and media coverage of the Paralympic Movement, its vision of inspiration and excitement through sport, its ideals and activities. Within the last five years, the IPC has taken many huge strides toward achieving its vision.

In October 2000, on the occasion of the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games, the IPC and IOC, which outlined the principles of the further relationships between the two organizations, signed an Agreement of Co-operation. This represented a significant development in the IOC's support for sport for athletes with a disability. A further Agreement was signed in June 2001, aimed at protecting the organization of the Paralympic Games and securing the practice of "one bid, one city", meaning that when biding for the Olympics, the Paralympics are automatically also bid for. The Agreement addresses the general scope and organization of the Paralympic Games, with the aim of creating similar principles for the organization of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. This Agreement comes into effect beginning with the Beijing 2008 Paralympic (summer) Games and the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. However, the organizing committee of the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic and Paralympic Games chose to immediately make use of this constellation and Athens 2004 and Torino 2006 have followed the successful example of having one organizing committee for both Games. Furthermore, the IPC is represented on several IOC Commissions and Committees and vice versa. The IPC has secured over 300 hours of live broadcasts from the ATHENS 2004 Paralympic Games, the widest live television coverage ever in Paralympic Games history.

The world Headquarters of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) are located in Bonn, Germany. Due to the enormous growth and the increasing complexity of the various services offered by the IPC, the once fully volunteer-managed organization was forced to establish a professionally run office. Its office can be contacted by emailing Visit for additional information.

Ways to Give

* Designate your gift through the United Way by choosing SportsVision, Inc. #1324868

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* Include SportsVision, Inc. in your will and/or estate plan.

SportsVision's Mission

To develop opportunities for individuals who are visually impaired to participate in competitive sports and life-long leisure activities.

Our Vision

A community where people who are visually impaired have the freedom to pursue and enjoy the many benefits of sports and leisure opportunities.



PO Box 23053 | Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Phone: 412.429.1996 | Email:
Copyright © 2008 SportsVision. All rights reserved.