Agencies Seeing Hand Association

 The Seeing Hand Association, Inc

Contact Information:

Address: 750 Main St
Wheeling, WV

Name of Program Funded through UW:  Employment programs for the blind and visually impaired

Contact Name: Karen Haught

Phone Number: 304-232-4810

Email: [email protected]


What is The Seeing Hand Association?

The agency’s mission is to help the blind and visually impaired lead full and independent lives.  The signature program provides employment opportunities for the blind and visually impaired.  The unemployment rate among the blind is 70%.  If they have a secondary disability, the unemployment rate is 90%.  Employment opportunities in the on-site workshop include refilling and selling refurbished fire extinguishers, caning chairs, assembling mops, and janitorial duties.  Administrative job duties include outreach, phone canvassing, visual support, and marketing.  Seeing Hand also owns and manages Edelman Garden on Wheeling Island.  Employees work throughout the garden season planting, harvesting, and selling fresh produce to local individuals and nonprofit organizations. Our actual mission statement reads “The Seeing Hand Association, Inc is committed to assisting all ages of blind and visually impaired persons living in the Upper Ohio Valley to receive the needed services for individuals and families to achieve the quality of life, self-sufficiency, and independence.”  Each and every day we strive to offer and sense of normalcy to those who cannot experience the world through their eyes.

How does United Way support The Seeing Hand Association?

All of our programs at The Seeing Hand fit the criteria of health, education, and financial stability.  The program funded by The United Way falls under all of the above categories with an emphasis on financial stability.  The United Way’s investment in our organization is for the support of EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES for the blind and visually impaired and the employment program support employees. The goal of this program is to give every blind or visually impaired person wishing to work a place to do so. We do this by 1.  Refurbishing Fire Extinguishers. 2. Caning chairs, making mops, painting, and crafts, and many janitorial duties. 3. Our vertical garden.  4. Marketing and Outreach which includes attending home shows and outside events, phone canvassing, and visual support.

The above programs help fulfill our goal of giving blind and visually impaired individuals an employment opportunities.  Chances are if we did not exist our workers would not have income from gainful employment.  Our workshop is a safe environment where the workers congregate among others with like disabilities.  It is not only a source of income but a source of peer support and a chance to interact with others who understand the daily challenges of living with the loss of vision.

Check out our other member agencies and learn more about their programs here!

About the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley

The United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley supports Ohio County, Tyler County, Marshall County, Wetzel County, Brooke County in West Virginia, and Belmont County and Monroe County in Ohio. Donating through your local United Way is the best way to reach the most people in need. 

The United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley is an organization that supports nonprofit organizations in our area through annual campaigns, payroll deduction fundraising efforts, and individual donations. These community-minded people combine donations from employees and businesses alike to help assist those who need it most. The support from the annual campaign is then allocated to nonprofit programs through our volunteer allocations panels. We support 40 programs (and counting) in the upper Ohio Valley that tackle the toughest needs in the Ohio Valley. Consider giving to the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley today.

Community Success Stories

Check out the following Community Success Stories for examples of how Seeing Hand Association has impacted our community.

The Seeing Hand Association Helps The Community

In November I attended the United Way agency meeting and spoke of my concern for one of my workers who had a severe mold problem in her home. I was trying to determine how we could help, when a man decided to take a look at the home on behalf of his company. After looking at her home, it was determined that it needed $20,000 to $30,000 in mold remediation and then that much in additional repairs t ...

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Achieving His Goals

It is hard to comprehend that we hire employees and train them only to hope they can find a better job in the future.  I was reminded of this last week.  Dan worked at The Seeing Hand for years as a shop tech.  He has a degree in Criminal Justice and is working on his masters.  He had plans to be the lead for our extinguisher project.  Dan worked with the Department of Rehabilitative Services ...

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The Seeing Hand Association Help Visually Impaired

Imagine being born blind and never getting to see a sunset, comprehend the color red or see the face of your wife. These are the real circumstances for one of our part-time shop techs. In addition to the loss of vision, now imagine facing an unemployment rate of 70% and a lack of transportation to get to the workplace. The struggles are real for a blind person and if The Seeing Hand Association di ...

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“A recent hire was a paralegal with a successful career and lovely home.”

A recent hire was a paralegal with a successful career and lovely home. In 2014 she had strokes in the back of her retinas. This caused a severe loss of vision and a diagnosis of legally blind. She could no longer drive or see well enough to continue with her career. Because of this health crisis she was forced to sell her house. She moved to Colorado with her boyfriend but decided returning to Wh ...

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Angel Volunteer

"About a year ago we had a gentleman stop into our agency looking for volunteer opportunities. He is an educated adult who has a degree in economics. He lives in the Elm Grove area of Wheeling with his wife. He is both visually impaired and hearing impaired. He worked many years in the field of computer engineering. He came to see us because he was losing his sight due to macular degeneration. Thi ...

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Employment and So Much More

"We had a case worker refer a client to us back in 1992. He still is an active client and employee of The Seeing Hand. This client resides in Rayland, Oh with his mother because he needs supervision and care. He is totally blind and has been since he was about 8 or 9 years old. He was diagnosed with retinal disease which caused massive scars in the retina. He also has other developmental disabilit ...

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