GE Lighting Collaboration "Lights Up" Space for the Visually Impaired

Oct. 23, 2013 – Thanks to a Foundation Fighting Blindness collaboration with GE Lighting, people accessing services at the Spectrios Institute for Low Vision in Wheaton, Illinois, now have significant lighting improvements at their disposal. A “re-lamping” effort, courtesy of GE Lighting, replaced much of the institute’s existing lighting with energy-efficient products and fixtures throughout the facility’s training, exam and counseling rooms, among other areas.

The re-lamping was an added bonus for the winner of the GE Lighting VisionWalk Challenge, a new contest carried out in five cities during the Foundation’s spring 2013 VisionWalk season. Teams signed up for five designated walks were challenged to raise at least $500 during a two-week period to spur early fundraising. The incentive: GE Lighting would generously distribute $25,000 among the top 10 fundraising teams for each walk, giving the dedicated walkers a boost toward their team goals.

The contest’s top earner was the Chicagoland VisionWalk. As an additional prize, the walk’s fundraising leaders had the opportunity to nominate a local non-profit organization as a recipient of re-lamping by GE Lighting.

“Spectrios was the undisputed choice of Chicago VisionWalkers to receive the lighting audit and improvements,” says Michele DiVincenzo, the Foundation’s director of events in the Midwest. “Our members value the services they provide and understand that upgraded lighting quality will go a long way for people receiving rehabilitation and training at the facility. We’re very thankful to GE Lighting for supporting VisionWalk through this creative challenge, and for going above and beyond to create a more comfortable environment at Spectrios for people with low vision.”

After the facility was audited and then re-lamped, representatives from GE Lighting, FSG, Spectrios and the Foundation Fighting Blindness gathered on October 10, 2013, for a “Light Up” tour to experience the upgrades and improved lighting quality firsthand. GE Lighting donated more than $7,100 in energy-efficient products, and FSG, another partner in the effort, donated $1,000 in installation labor.

“Spectrios is truly doing wonderful things to assist those with low vision, from on-site evaluations to rehabilitation,” says Maryrose Sylvester, GE Lighting President and CEO. “Our lighting donation will create a brighter setting and enhance the environment for patients who seek care and support at Spectrios. We are thrilled to be able to support and impact such a deserving organization in this way.”

The Spectrios Institute is dedicated to helping individuals with low vision lead full and productive lives, providing a comprehensive visual rehabilitation program that includes evaluation, counseling and lessons in daily living skills and the use of technology.

“Thank you FFB, GE Lighting and FSG for your generous donation to Spectrios,” says Clinical Director Dr. Robert Chun. “The new lighting has made a great difference in the exam rooms and provides a more comfortable environment to work with our patients.”

Adds Spectrios Institute’s Rehabilitation Counselor and Assistive/Adaptive Specialist Leah Gerlach, MS, CRC, “As a person with a vision impairment, the new lighting is so much better. It is more even and has less yellow harshness without being blue. Thank you for your generosity.”

(Left to right): Tibor Voros, GE Lighting Senior Human Resource Manager; Maryrose Sylvester, GE Lighting President and CEO; Lynn E. Freyberg, Director of Marketing at Spectrios Institute for Low Vision; Joe Cannizzaro, Channel Sales Manager, GE Lighting; John Pishkur, Division Manager, FSG; Dr. R. Tracy Williams, Executive Director of Spectrios Institute for Low Vision; and Pete Sampson, Division Manager, FSG.

(Left to right): Tibor Voros, GE Lighting Senior Human Resource Manager; Maryrose Sylvester, GE Lighting President and CEO; Lynn E. Freyberg, Director of Marketing at Spectrios Institute for Low Vision; Joe Cannizzaro, Channel Sales Manager, GE Lighting; John Pishkur, Division Manager, FSG; Dr. R. Tracy Williams, Executive Director of Spectrios Institute for Low Vision; and Pete Sampson, Division Manager, FSG.

The re-lamping included new lighting in the Spectrios Institute’s low vision store.

The re-lamping included new lighting in the Spectrios Institute’s low vision store.