Chautauqua Blind Assn. Director Speaks At Marvin House

Marvin House members recently learned more about the Chautauqua Blind Association.

Members of the Marvin Community House met recently for lunch with Lynn Jordan giving the invocation and Helen Patti and Sue Schifano greeting the guests. Cashiers were Jonolyn Weinstein and Jane Winter. Beth Trosper, president, conducted the business meeting.

Members and guests then heard a presentation by Lisa Goodell, executive director of the Chautauqua Blind Association, an organization that has been active in the area for 91 years. The mission of the CBA is to enable visually impaired people to be active members of their community and to provide education and services to prevent vision loss. Once a person is determined to be legally blind, all of the services offered from the Chautauqua Blind Association are free.

The association will make house calls, as well as to visit work settings and schools to help individuals continue to perform the tasks that they accomplished before their vision problems occurred. The association has access to numerous devices that can assist persons, and they are continually working with companies to help design new vision tools. One of the main goals is to help keep persons independent, mobile and safe. In addition to low vision rehabilitation, The CBA offers free vision screenings to all pre-schools in Chautauqua County.

Ms. Goodell also talked about W. Ernest Tiffany, a Lions Club member from Jamestown, who was instrumental in getting the White Cane Law passed in New York state in 1956. The White Cane enables freedom, self-reliance and identification to the public. Only persons who are legally blind are allowed to carry a long white cane with a red strip above the tip. New York state’s White Cane Law requires drivers to yield to persons carrying a white cane or using a guide dog.

Ms. Goodell said vision change, as people age, is normal. Vision loss, as people age, is not normal. However, even if one’s vision is lost, life does go on, and one must approach life with strength and hope.

The next Marvin House luncheon will be held at noon April 18. The presentation will be an overview of the Chautauqua County Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program, focusing on its mission and accomplishments. The speaker will be Pat Appelbe, a graduate of the Master Gardener Program. Ms. Appelbe has been a passionate vegetable and berry gardener and is very active with the Master Gardener Core Training Program. She has logged more than 350 hours of community service and continuing education. Reservations for the lunch and program may be made by calling the Marvin House at 488-6206. Guests are welcome.

The Marvin Community House was left to the women of Jamestown in 1951 by Elizabeth Warner Marvin. The home was opened to women’s groups whose purpose is the moral and mental improvement of women in literary, musical, educational, patriotic, scientific and historical fields. For more information, visit the Marvin Community House on Facebook or at