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Association’s Name Change Focuses on Sight, Not Blindness

With an expanding mission and signs of public distrust around its longtime name, the New Hampshire Association for the Blind made the move this week to rename itself Future in Sight.

The New Hampshire Association for the Blind doesn’t want to limit its mission because of its name.

As a result, this week the 105-year-old organization  announced that it is changing its name to Future in Sight, which the group says better reflects its goal and overall duties within the state.

In an interview with New Hampshire Public Radio, Future in Sight President and CEO David Morgan noted that 93 percent of the people the organization serves have some form of sight loss but aren’t blind.

From the interview:

Up until recently, we never served babies. We served seniors, but not outside their home. And more and more, we’re discovering there are some 30,000 New Hampshire residents with profound sight loss, and we only served about 1,100 last year. So there’s certainly a compelling need out there that’s left unfulfilled. And frankly, the word “blind” in our name inhibited a lot of conversations, particularly in doctors’ offices and between doctors and their patients.

The latter situation proved a significant problem for the organization, according to Morgan, who told the Concord Monitor that the group had expanded its mission in recent years, partly because of changes with the state’s offerings. As a result, the association has received more referrals from doctors.

But these referrals created problems because members of the public were thrown off by the name.

The new name already has had an important impact on these conversations, Morgan stated.

“As we stopped using the word ‘blind,’ what we did was create new conversation around the word ‘sight’ and the use of what’s left for residual sight for both school-age kids and adults,” he explained in his New Hampshire Public Radio interview.

In a blog post, Morgan added that the group is also expanding its mission to bordering states around New Hampshire.

(iStock/Thinkstock)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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