Blind & Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh has opened the Michael A. Romano Fitness Center in its facility at 1800 West St. in Homestead.
In the new and larger space are instructors to help people use the new equipment. It meets a need identified by BVRS president Erika Arbogast when she started working there eight years ago.
"I sat with all of our staff and I said, 'What are the barriers that you experience both in your work life as well as in your personal life?'" she said. "And I'll never forget, one of the staff, who was blind, said to me, 'You know, I cannot find a gym that will allow me to come and work out in the facilities because it's too much of a liability, and I have no one to show me how to use the equipment.'"
BVRS serves local clients and those from around the country, offering many services to the blind, visually impaired and disabled. Arbogast said plans are to make the fitness center available to the community in the future.
Funds for the fitness center come from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, the Robert & Mary Weisbrod Foundation and the William B. McLaughlin Charitable Trust.