There IS Help

I got lots of help from Blindness and Visual Services of Pennsylvania. Lots. Part of the reason for this was I was in the vocational rehabilitation program. They wanted to get me back to work so I could continue to be a tax paying citizen. I shared that goal with them. At least the back to work part. Paying taxes maybe not so much!

People who are not planning on going back to work get a lot less help. According to my low vision special, Pennsylvania has now reduced funding for those clients down to $600 per individual. That does not buy much. My handheld magnifier was $600.

Since the government is, once again, not bending over backwards to help us, where can you go for some basic assistance? It turns out there are several private agencies that stand ready to help.

Again, the disclaimer: these are leads I got off the web. I have not used any of their services and I have not a clue how valid their advertising is. At least two of the three I am mentioning here are run by nationally known organizations. Hopefully that makes them good. Maybe not. If you have familiarity with these programs or others, please let us know.

If you live in Dallas or near to that city you might find some services at the American Foundation for the Blind.  The website advertises all sorts of seminars and community outreach programs. They also advertise an ‘apartment’ called Esther’s Place. Esther’s Place has all of the rooms outfitted with products and appliances either designed or adapted for several, different levels of vision loss. Hands on demonstrations of these things can be arranged.  AFB Dallas also offers help by voice at 214-352-7222 or email at dallas@afb.net.

If you live in Duluth Minnesota try the Lighthouse Center for Vision Loss. The Lighthouse also has an impressive list of services. They have such things as training programs for adjusting to vision loss, independent living and workplace adaptations. They also over free radios for listening to audiobooks and local newspapers. Their onsite low vision store has customer service people to help you with your purchase.  Contact number for the Lighthouse Duluth is 218-624-4828. Email: info@lcfyl.com.

In eastern Pennsylvania there is Center for Vision Loss with offices in the Lehigh Valley as well as Monroe County, my old stompin’ grounds! They advertise a speakers’ bureau as well as escorted transportation. This is in addition to the ‘usual’ services. Their contact numbers are 610-433-6018 and 570-992-7787.

That should give you a start. If you’re located elsewhere in the USA, I would suspect AFB could give you a few leads. Find anything – worthwhile or not – let us know and we will publish your impressions. There is help out there.


Next: coming soon!

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