First Workshop

A group of six people developed a small workshop in a storefront on East King Street in Downtown Lancaster.

Their goal was to help Veterans of WWI who had lost their vision in combat. In the workshop, a shop supervisor taught the employees how to make baskets and cane chairs. These tasks were naturally very tactile, and the employees picked up production and were able to sell their goods in a store. The group was named the Lancaster County Association for the Blind (LCAB).


Move to Current Location

After several moves VisionCorps finally settled at its current Downtown Lancaster.

From E King St to the 300th block of N Queen, to a large, former school building on West—VisionCorps finally settled at its current downtown Lancaster location at 244 N Queen St. A former feed mill, the building had high ceilings and open spaces to accommodate the growing industry work that had transpired over the decades and was also along the bus route to accommodate the transportation needs of employees who rely on public transportation. In 1979, renovations were complete, LCAB moved in.

Key Events

  • Growth & Expansion

    The industrial opportunities continued to grow and expand into Federal contracts thanks to programs developed to provide opportunities to people who are blind.

  • Rehabilitation Services

    Rehabilitation services grew to support both the employees who were blind, as well as the general public.

  • Fundraising

    Fundraising supported the growing need for services.


Providing Prevention Services

The Steinman Eye Clinic was established in the Lancaster facility.

In an effort to not only help people living with vision loss but to provide preventative services to the community, the Steinman Eye Clinic was established in the Lancaster facility. Made possible with a grant from the Steinman Foundation, the clinic provides affordable vision care to the community.


Evolving Philosophy

The philosophy driving services continued to evolve.

No longer was it assumed that individuals who are blind or vision impaired want nor need others to simply take care of them. Focus shifted to allow these individuals to be as independent as possible, remaining productive members of society and their community. LCAB began focusing on providing the tools and training necessary for these individuals to regain and maintain their independence.



LCAB became Susquehanna Association for the Blind and Vision Impaired (SABVI) following the addition of Lebanon County into our service area.

SABVI had an industrial division in Myerstown, employing people who are blind. Rehabilitation services were housed in office space in downtown Lebanon. The new name reflected the growing footprint and the addition of “and Vision Impaired” addressed the misconception that only people who were totally blind could benefit from services.


Growing Need

The need for rehabilitation services—for both children and adults—continued to grow in Lancaster.

Business development efforts brought more contracts to the industrial division, and the need for rehabilitation services—for both children and adults—continued to grow in Lancaster.

Key Events

  • Lancaster Facility Renovation

    Completed in 2003, the renovation added 12,000 sqft of space, for a total of 60,000 sqft of manufacturing & administrative space, including a large gathering room available to other community groups.


Independence Industries

SABVI was eager to develop a program in Philadelphia to employ people who are blind.

In 2007, Philadelphia was the largest metropolitan area east of the Mississippi River without a program to employ people who are blind. SABVI was eager to develop a program and did so with a grant from National Industries of the Blind, SABVI’s liaison to the Federal Government. The location, called Independence Industries, was set in Northeast Philadelphia and employed people who are blind, and fulfilled light manufacturing contracts.

Key Events

  • Established as the fundraising arm of SABVI

    The Susquehanna Foundation for the Blind provided financial support to the entire SABVI organization, with a pronounced focus on fundraising from the communities where services were provided.


Alley Center for the Blind

Lebanon services were condensed to one new, larger location.

Thanks to significant support from Lebanon Ophthalmologist Albert Alley and his family, ground was broken for a new 19,000 square foot facility to house both rehabilitation services and industrial operations for residents of Lebanon County. The Alley Center for the Blind is located in the Lebanon Rails Industrial Park.


Pilot Program

SABVI was included in a pilot program with NIB for a Contract Management Support (CMS) program.

This program would offer white-collar job opportunities for people who are blind. Following the exceptional performance in this pilot program, SABVI became the first agency to employ individuals who are blind in this capacity. The CMS program was housed in Independence Industries, Northeast Philadelphia.


Chester County

SABVI began providing rehabilitation services in Chester County.

These services were contracted by the state to include transportation to critical appointments, support groups, and life skills training. As time progressed, SABVI began to subsidize these services with other types of support needed by Chester County residents who are blind, including Orientation and Mobility Instruction, Case Management, and Occupational Therapy.

Key Events

  • Food Process Certification

    In an effort to continue expanding revenue streams and employment opportunities, SABVI became certified in food processing and added another niche to its menu of capabilities.


VisionCorps Foundation

Susquehanna Foundation for the Blind became VisionCorps Foundation.

It became clear that the agency’s name was hindering SABVI’s growth due to the common misconception of who was able to be served and potential business partners not realizing the potential of employees who are blind. The Board of Directors voted to change the agency’s name to better reflect its services and provide flexibility with respect to geographical changes in service footprint.

Key Events

  • Rebranding

    The name VisionCorps was chosen to encompass all current and future locations and encompass every line of work, from rehabilitation services to industrial manufacturing.


ForSight Vision Merger

VisionCorps’ neighboring agency, ForSight Vision, approached VisionCorps to merge following their President and CEO’s retirement.

ForSight Vision was VisionCorps’s neighboring agency that served York and Adams counties. The merger was approved and provided benefits to both agencies. The combination of both agencies’ unique skills, expertise, and experience enhanced services provided across the board.


Present Day Organization

VisionCorps continues to grow its rehabilitation services, employment opportunities, and capabilities in the business and industry sector.

VisionCorps continues to grow its rehabilitation services, employment opportunities for people who are blind, and capabilities in the business and industry sector. VisionCorps is focused on continuing its mission of empowering individuals with vision loss to attain independence and moving towards a world where vision loss is not a barrier to personal nor economic independence.

Our Programming Now

  • Rehabilitation and Education Department

    Provides thousands of hours of service to the community every year.

  • Contract Management Services Program

    Has expanded to include satellite facilities throughout the country, giving opportunities for employment in areas without other programs to support professional work for people who are blind.

  • Food Processing

    Has taken off with the Alley Center being renovated to house rice packing operations for the United States Military.

Learn more about who we are today, our mission and values!

About Us

It's our mission to empower Pennsylvanians with vision loss to live and work independently.

Our Leadership

Our strength comes from within, and every employee plays a critical role in the success of VisionCorps.