NOTTINGHAM, MD—The Maryland School for the Blind has received a $400,000 gift from the Maryland Society for Sight, Inc., which will be used to help fund the school’s statewide outreach programs and services and to expand and enhance the low vision clinic on the school’s campus.
The newly named Maryland Society for Sight Low Vision Clinic at MSB will be dedicated on January 27 at 6:00 p.m. in a virtual ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony.
The Maryland Society for Sight, a community funded organization that was dedicated to preserving the vision of all Marylanders, closed its doors in early 2020. Staff and volunteers of the organization performed eye screenings and educated over 30,000 Marylanders in the course of its 110 year history. The board of directors unanimously voted to donate all of the organization’s remaining funds to MSB when it ceased operations.
According to Dr. Joanne Waeltermann, MSFS Board of Directors, “For over 100 years the Maryland Society for Sight screened for sight-threatening conditions and educated the people of Maryland about preventable blindness. When we closed our doors in 2020, our board looked for an organization that matched our goals and we found that in the Maryland School for the Blind. The donated funds will allow more access to the school’s outreach services for individuals and families across the state of Maryland. With this gift the Maryland Society for Sight will continue its mission to preserve and protect vision for all for another 100 years.”
“The Low Vision Services provided by MSB are some of the most essential statewide services we offer. These services include low vision assessments and consults that provide valuable information for students, local school system staff and families about the impact of their vision loss on their day to day functioning, while also providing recommendations for accommodations that will ensure access to their educational environment. Educating others about low vision is one of the important outcomes of these services, particularly that vision loss doesn’t mean a loss of ability or expectations,” said Ruth Ann Hynson, MSB Director of Statewide Outreach Services.
Founded in 1853, MSB is a private, statewide resource center providing outreach, educational and residential programs to children from infancy to age 21 with low vision or blindness, including those with multiple disabilities. Annually, the school serves approximately 1,200 students identified in Maryland who are blind or visually impaired from all 24 jurisdictions through its on-campus and outreach programs.