Category Archives: Uncategorized

“New Stimulus Package Brings Big Benefits to the Middle Class” – The new York Times

“Be it child care or health care, an array of tax changes and subsidies makes the $1.9 trillion relief legislation more than a lifeline for the poor.”

by Alan Rappeport

“WASHINGTON — The economic relief plan that is headed to President Biden’s desk has been billed as the United States’ most ambitious antipoverty initiative in a generation. But inside the $1.9 trillion package, there are plenty of perks for the middle class, too.

Whether they are direct stimulus payments, an array of tax benefits or an expansion of the Affordable Care Act, the bill will bring a big economic lift to middle-income families. In some cases, those households will have weathered the pandemic relatively unscathed, and those who are concerned about the cost of the legislation have suggested that the definition of middle class has expanded to include families who are actually well-off.

An analysis by the Tax Policy Center published this week estimated that middle-income families, those making $51,000 to $91,000 per year, will see their after-tax income rise by 5.5 percent as a result of the tax changes and stimulus payments in the legislation. The increase for that income group is about twice as generous as what it received after the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Read this article in its entirety at the New York Times, click here.

VisionCorps offers free programs to Groups and VISIONCORPS OFFERS free eye exams and glasses to qualified individuals

vision corps logo

VisionCorps is offering virtual programs to organizations and employers about its services. The programs, which can be individualized based on the needs of the group, include information on vision problems, living with low vision, employing people with low vision, and tips for living independently with blindness or low vision.

VisionCorps provides programs and services to clients in Lancaster, Adams, Chester, Lebanon, and York counties.

“During the pandemic when it is more difficult to meet in groups, many community groups, churches, and employers are meeting in teleconferences,” said Dennis Steiner, VisionCorps President/CEO. “We can present virtual programs to meet their needs.”

VisionCorps also gives programs in person, when advisable during the pandemic. All the programs are provided free of charge, and all services offered to clients of VisionCorps are free, said Steiner.

“We want people to know about the services we provide,” said Steiner. “We offer education and prevention of blindness services, rehabilitation, and employment to individuals in South Central Pennsylvania.”

VisionCorps programs include a general presentation about its mission and services, specific rehabilitation tips for those living with low vision, and training and Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for employees who work with individuals who are blind or have low vision.

To schedule a program or find out more, please contact Linda Conyers at

VisionCorps has a program to give free eye exams and glasses to qualified adults and children in Southcentral Pennsylvania.

“We provide this assistance to individuals in our community who may not be able to afford to get their eyes checked and purchase glasses,” said Dennis Steiner, VisionCorps President/CEO.

“We know that people are suffering during this pandemic and we offer this option as one way to help out.”Steiner said VisionCorps, with help from the Pennsylvania Vision Foundation, connects low-income families in Lancaster, Adams, Chester, Lebanon, and York counties to access free vision examinations and basic frames and lenses.

To see if you qualify for the service, please call VisionCorps at 717-205-4141.“Keeping your eyes healthy is an important part of preserving eyesight,” said Steiner, “and providing vouchers for a full eye exam is one of the many services we offer.” Steiner said VisionCorps offers education and prevention of blindness services, rehabilitation, and employment to individuals. Programs and services are offered to clients ranging in age from birth to seniors, including occupational therapy, tips for living independently and employment opportunities.

In addition, VisionCorps offers virtual programs to organizations and employers about its services. The programs, which can be individualized based on the needs of the group, include information on common eye conditions, living with low vision, employing people with low vision, and tips for living independently with blindness or low vision.

All the programs are provided free of charge, and all services offered to clients of VisionCorps are free, said Steiner.

About VisionCorpsVisionCorps serves individuals who are blind or vision impaired in Lancaster, Lebanon, York, Adams, and Chester counties, through rehabilitation services and/or employment opportunities. VisionCorps’ Enterprise Group focuses on employing people who are blind or vision impaired in manufacturing, food processing, and administrative services. VisionCorps Foundation, the fundraising arm of VisionCorps, provides grants, scholarships, and program support for people

March is Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month
The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history.”

womens history month

Shown above clockwise from top right: First WAVES Machine Gun Instructors. Collection: National Archives “Women in the Military” collection on Historypin,-80.14949/zoom:15/dialog:8647025/tab:stories_tab_content/Sojourner Truth, three-quarter length portrait, standing, wearing spectacles, shawl, and peaked cap, right hand resting on cane. By Popular Demand: “Votes for Women” Suffrage Pictures, 1850-1920 – Carla Hayden, 14th Librarian of Congress, Image credit: Carla Hayden, 14th Librarian of Congress. Photo by Shawn Miller. – Destitute pea pickers in California. Mother of seven children. Age thirty-two. Nipomo, California. Farm Security Administration – Office of War Information Photograph Collection.

“Learning to Listen to Patients’ Stories” – The New York Times

“Narrative medicine programs teach doctors and other caregivers ‘sensitive interviewing skills’ and the art of ‘radical listening’ to improve patient care.”

listen to patients stories“Waclawa ‘Joanne’ Zak, who now lives in Oxford, Wis., fought in the Polish resistance during World War II. As a teenager, she served as a scout, assessing German troop strength and positions. Later in the war she trained as a nurse and was liberated from a German P.O.W. camp. She told her story as part of the ‘My Life, My Story’ program at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison, Wis.” Credit…Andy Manis for The New York Times

by Richard Schiffman

“The pandemic has been a time of painful social isolation for many. Few places can be as isolating as hospitals, where patients are surrounded by strangers, subject to invasive tests and attached to an assortment of beeping and gurgling machines.

“How can the experience of receiving medical care be made more welcoming? Some say that a sympathetic ear can go a long way in helping patients undergoing the stress of a hospital stay to heal.

“’It is even more important now, when we can’t always see patients’ faces or touch them, to really hear their stories,’ said Dr. Antoinette Rose, an urgent care physician in Mountain View, Calif., who is now working with many patients ill with Covid.

“’This pandemic has forced many caregivers to embrace the human stories that are playing out. They have no choice. They become the “family” at the bedside,’ said Dr. Andre Lijoi, a medical director at York Hospital in Pennsylvania. Doctors, nurses and others assisting in the care of patients ‘need time to slow down, to take a breath, to listen.’

“Both doctors find their inspiration in narrative medicine, a discipline that guides medical practitioners in the art of deeply listening to those who come to them for help.”

Click here to continue reading this article at The New York Times.

“My Life, My Story: Advancing the Veteran Experience” – Veterans Affairs

“7 tangible ways to make vaccine website more accessible” – Fast Company

“Vaccine registration websites weren’t designed for the people who need them most. Here are easy fixes that don’t require starting over.”

tangible-ways-to-make-vaccine-websites-more-accessibleSOURCE: AZFree/iStock. Pavlo Stavnichuk/iStock

by Catharine McNally

“Across the U.S., online registrations for the COVID-19 vaccine are failing to consider some of the most vulnerable groups of people: seniors, those with disabilities, and certain racial and socioeconomic groups.

“The online registration processes were launched quickly (rightly so) in response to the rushed vaccine rollout. Usually, rapidly spun-up sites cater to the general public—the mythical ‘average users’—not these specific groups.

“But these groups are the main users of government vaccination registration websites, at least initially. Seniors face confusing, inconsistent, and frustrating registration processes that leave them scrambling to find help from family members, as an NPR story detailed earlier this month. New York, for instance, has a 51-question registration process that leaves many seniors overwhelmed.

“It’s not just seniors who are being left out.” Click here to read this article at Fast Company in its entirety.

You are invited to attend a RISE PA Regional Webinar

dhs logo

Earlier this year, “Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller announced the selection of a vendor for Resource Information and Services Enterprise – or RISE PA – an upcoming statewide resource and referral tool. RISE PA is a collaborative effort between multiple state agencies, counties, and local non-profits and community organizations, health care, and social services providers. Aunt Bertha, the selected vendor, will create an interactive online platform that will serve as a care coordination system for providers including, health care and social services organizations and a closed-loop referral system that will report on the outcomes of the referrals. It will also serve as an access point to search and obtain meaningful information to help Pennsylvanians find and access the services they need to achieve overall well-being and improve health outcomes.

“When fully implemented, anyone in Pennsylvania will be able to access this tool from their personal computers, tablets, and mobile devices to find information about services and resources, and self-refer to participating social services agencies. RISE PA will also allow service providers to assess the needs of individuals during a physician’s office or emergency department visit, when receiving case management services, or seeking assistance from a community organization, among others. Providers may refer their clients to agencies and be notified of the outcome of their referrals through the system. Most importantly, this is a person-centered, no-wrong-door approach. RISE PA will allow participating providers from local non-profits, health care organizations, local government and faith-based organizations to work together and coordinate care, making it easier for families and individuals to access the help they need.

“Please join PA Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Miller, and other DHS and Commonwealth officials for an informational webinar. They will share the vision for RISE PA, and how you may become involved.

“Webinars are regional and require registration. Please sign up for the webinar designated for your county. Please help spread the word by sharing this invitation with your contacts!”

RISE PA Stakeholder Webinars

Lehigh/Capital Zone – Adams, Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Northampton, Perry and York counties.

Please register for RISE PA Stakeholder Webinar on March 12, 2021 – 10:00 AM EST at:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

February is Heart Health Month: Check out these Updated Resources from Quality Insights.

.7tips for bp

understanding your bp

Click here for more.

Thank you, US Census 2020!

census appreciation

We are grateful to receive this recognition from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Service Area 13 (Berks – Lancaster – Lebanon County Link partners’ network was delighted to have Census 2020 outreach representatives present cross-training programs on the importance of the 2020 Census at meetings during 2019.

Learn about your community, your county, your state and the nation. Here are some QuickFacts about Lebanon County, Pennsylvania; Lancaster County, Pennsylvania; Berks County, Pennsylvania; United States.  QuickFacts provides statistics for all states and counties, and for cities and towns with a population of 5,000 or more.

“‘Stereotype threat’ makes older adults perform worse” – Futurity

“Stereotypes that view older adults as cognitively or physically impaired, may affect how they perform on a variety of tasks, according to a new study.”

older-adults-stereotype-threat-aging“‘We need to make people feel confident in their own abilities and feel that they will be respected no matter how they perform,’ says Sarah Barber.” (Credit: Getty Images)

posted by Anna Varela – Georgia State

“Stigmatized groups—whether due to race, socioeconomic status, or age—perform more poorly when faced with negative stereotypes, says Sarah Barber, a psychology and gerontology researcher at Georgia State University. She found expectations of others can play a powerful role in how well older adults perform on cognitive tasks and motor skills such as driving.

“The phenomenon is known as “stereotype threat,” Barber says. The new paper, published in the Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, looks at recent studies as well as those dating back to the mid 1990s, all of which show the power of this phenomenon.

“’The concept was originally formulated to look at stereotypes around race,” Barber says, but the effect turned out to be much broader. It can affect older adults and affect their memory, physical performance, driving abilities, and even job satisfaction.

“Older adults frequently encounter the challenge of stereotype threat at their physician’s office, where they routinely go for checkups, Barber says, and where they may take part in cognitive tests as well.”

Click here to continue reading this article at

“Hear the new experience designed to bring people who are blind into the excitement of a tennis match” – Fast Company

“Tennis is just a starting point. This technology could soon allow visually impaired people around the world to better experience the joy of live sports.”

hear tennis[Animation: Daniel Salo/Fast Company]

by Talib Visram

“The highs and lows of this year’s Australian Open have been delighting fans around the world, especially during global lockdowns. But not everyone is able to enjoy the thrill of live sports in the same way. For the tennis fans among the 600,000 blind and visually impaired people in Australia—and millions more around the world—experiencing sports broadcasts can be underwhelming. Kala Petronijevic, a young girl who has low vision, says her dad has to commentate every move to her. Maurice Gleeson, a blind tennis fan and the CEO of Blind Sports and Recreation Victoria, says: ‘Tennis, sadly, hasn’t been anywhere near as accessible as I would like.’

“But, this weekend, the blind and low vision community (BLV) will have a brand-new way to experience the upcoming men’s and women’s finals.

“For many months, digital agency AKQA and researchers from Monash University in Melbourne, have been finding a way to make watching tennis more accessible. With investment from Tennis Australia, the country’s tennis governing body, they’ve developed Action Audio, which takes visual, spatial data from the tennis court and converts it into audio.”

Read this article at Fast Company in its entirety, click here.