When the ForSight Vision Children's Program began, it was intended to be limited to an art program for children who are blind and their siblings and parents.
In 2010, Molly Slenker contacted Bill Rhinesmith and described a benefit race/walk she was planning. Molly said she was having trouble finding an organization that would accept the proceeds. Bill said he would take the money but only if it was used to fund a program for children.
He got in touch with Marian Lorence who brought her experience with elementary art education, recreation therapy and counseling to run a parents support group. After further thought, Marian decided that an Art Class would be far more valuable. She also brought with her students from her York College classes.
From the very beginning a few concepts were adopted: The overarching theme for the class would be High Compassion with High Expectations. The Children would learn the elements and principles of art. The classes would be for families – children who are blind or vision impaired, their siblings, their parents, grandparents and other interested persons. The class would encourage self-expression and creative problem solviing. The class would enable the parents to form their own self-directed Support Group.It soon became apparent that an art class alone was not enough. Special events were scheduled with a goal of enabling children who are blind or vision impaired to have the same experiences as their sighted peers. The group went snow tubing, trout fishing and for a hayride. There have been holiday parties, Valentine’s Day parties and an annual swim party. The group also has participated in an annual Beeping Easter Egg Hunt.