Making history: Overbrook School for the Blind elects first blind president of board of trustees

Matteo Iadonisi Image
Thursday, July 13, 2023
First blind president of the board elected at Pa. school for the blind
"I call this place my second home," said Lyle Sine. "They gave me the initiative to go out and be independent."

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Overbrook School for the Blind, founded in 1832 and nearly as old as Braille writing itself, is still breaking ground in the year 2023.

"I call this place my second home," said Lyle Sine. "They gave me the initiative to go out and be independent."

Born with a visual impairment, Lyle Sine enrolled in Overbrook School for the Blind at the age of four. He spent 13 years as a student before graduating in 1977. His wife graduated the year prior.

Sine went on to have a career with Verizon Communications in the automotive and real estate departments.

"It really opened my eyes to different things I could do, different talents I had with numbers," he said.

But Sine always had a desire to give back to his school. And his active involvement as an alum culminated this year when he was selected as the President of the Board of Trustees.

"I am the first visually-impaired person to hold that position in the school's history," he said.

Sine thinks his unique qualification will put him in a position to guide the school into the future.

"I know what these students are going through," he said. "It has changed over the years a little bit, but it comes down to the basic fact that we need to teach our young people here at the school to be self-serving so they can go out and do the best that they can in their life."

Students are taught typical school subjects in addition to mobility skills and therapies during their enrollment at Overbrook School for the Blind. During the summer, students can engage with a 5-week Extended School Year program.

"We reinforce the kinds of educational achievements that they have attained over the course of the school year so they don't lose those skills during the course of a long summer vacation," said CEO and Executive Director, Todd Reeves.

Reeves thinks that Sine's promotion is a natural fit and an inspiration.

"What we want to be able to represent for the world is what the potentials and capacities and abilities are for people who are blind and visually impaired," he said.

To learn more about Overbrook School for the Blind, visit their website.

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