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Tips For Living With Low Vision for YC OLLI

Tips For Living With Low Vision

Yavapai College OLLI, Workshop R, February 22 2021

Introductions

  • Susan- computing, education, Accessibility slger123@gmail.com.
  • Donna – Rancher, investor, pastor DBenny39@gmail.com.
  • “Catch the Vision” — “Low Vision Techies At Your Service”.
  • Our helpers – Donna’s Havana (black lab) and Susan’s Corky (white retriever).

We prefer “Low Vision” term versus “macular degeneration”, “visually impaired”, “legally blind”, “visually disabled”, etc.

Caveat: Our tips are social, educational, not so medical and mostly not covered by Medicare.

Simple Every Day Gadgets

  • Mark things with tactile adhesive “dots” from hardware and office stores.
  • Keep files organized with Pen Friend “talking labels”.
  • Orient yourself through multi-colored, motion sensitive wall lights.
  • Apply your contrast sense (e.g. yellow?) for surfaces and things.

Communication and more

iPhone = Apple VoiceOver and gestures, plus magnification

  • Demo: Susan calls Donna.
  • Demo: Donna texts Susan.
  • Demo: “siri, tell me the weather!”.

Learning Resources

  • “Learn macular degeneration”audio explanation from Hadley Institute website
  • Follow weekly podcasts like “Eyes On Success” interviews on people and technology.
  • Join free Digital Talking Book program (call Public Library).
  • Attend local West Yavapai Guidance Clinic, Catch the Vision, People Who Care meetings.

Go beyond magnification into voice

  • Moving window reading and typing commands and text (Windows ZoomText).
  • Total screen reading by keyboard (Windows NVDA).
  • Gestures, reading from screen (Apple).

Note: You adapt to “synthetic speech” and choose voices

Getting around safely

  • Visit a “low vision” specialist. doctor
  • Mark home hazards with contrast.
  • Use yurt feet to feel stairs, curbs, rugs, …
  • Extend arms in front to bend or open doors or use warning buzzer.
  • Get state rehab training for Orientation and Mobility, “white cane”.

Gradually build your life stile

  • Let others help you, but don’t become too dependant.
  • “low vision” is NOT “no vision” — see what you can and use all your senses.
  • Change “Every*body’s home town” — explain, teach, complain.
  • Enjoy well designed Yavapai College campus.

Links to above

Bon Voyage!!!

Group

Overcoming Vision Loss: A Starter Kit

“I’m Losing Vision, now what?”: A Listening Guide for Volunteers and You

This tutorial is directed toward people recently experiencing loss of vision. You will find resources and advice through listening to online audio libraries at the ‘Hadley Institute’ and the ‘Eyes On Success’ radio show. Prescott-based ‘Catch the Vision’ individuals with decades of low vision life experience created this “starter kit” and are available to answer your questions.


This email or web page can be used directly if you retain the ability to read and click the resource links. Alternatively, a volunteer can speak the questions and manage the clicking. The computer requires a working audio player in the system and might be best heard with an attached speaker. A “smart phone” (Apple or Android) might work in place of a computer.


So, you have some vision loss, now use this guide to help you understand and adjust to that condition. Ready, set, listen!!!

What does your eyesight diagnosis mean? What does your eye doctor recommend?

Hear retired teacher Dan Roberts tell his story of finding his way with macular degeneration.
Hadley Presents podcast on macular degeneration.
Click the PLAY button or download the audio file.


A medical and prevention email discussion forum’ is at
WWW.MDSupport.Org, Dan Roberts, Director
and the
‘American Federation for Blind’ directory Vision Aware.Org .

2. Getting adjusted takes time and patience, as in “asking people for help” and organizing your home. Where’s the manual for vision loss?

“When you can’t believe your eyes” is a well-structured book of practical and social tips. Radio show hosts interview low vision therapist author Hannah Fairbairn, with book details, at
vision adjustment book interview ‘Eyes On Success’ podcast.
Download or play the mp3 audio file.

3. Let’s get practical.

Lucky you!!! Hundreds of similar topics related to your situation are discussed at
Hadley.edu and
EyesOnSuccess.net.


Explore their search functions and show notes. Both sites offer tips and tricks on cooking, labeling, walking, shopping, traveling, sports, games, health, and safety.


To browse a catalog for gadgets you need or want or never knew existed, go to site
LSS Assistive Technology Products
or call 1-800-468-4789 for the printed version.

4. How can you keep reading?

Narrated books, magazines and news are just a phone call away at ‘Arizona Talking Book Library’.


Call 1-800-255-5578 and request an application. You’ll qualify if you cannot read standard printed material as certified by a vision specialist or your local librarian. There’s no charge for the audio books, equipment, supplies or mailing. Visit the site at
Arizona Talking Books.

5. Who is “Catch the Vision”?

Learn About us. We’re “low vision techies at your service”. We have been in your situation a while back. Our goal now is to knock down some barriers to speed up your visionk adjustment.


See contacts below or come to one of our Zoom sessions.

What comes after the Starter Kit?

Wait, there’s more, when you’re ready!!!


Too much information? You’re entering another world and need a new vocabulary. Get used to these terms: “vision rehabilitation”, “active daily living”, “confident living”; “low vision”, “visually impaired”, “visually handicapped”, “legally blind”, etc. Then there’s “assistive technology”, “orientation and mobility”, and your “disability rights”.


“Assistive technology” includes “text to speech”, “screen readers”, iPad/iPhone VoiceOver”, Google Android Talkback, “book readers”, “talking books”. “GPS tools help locate and navigate. Labelers mark papers and clothes. Scanners read mail and labels.


Skills you’ll gain include: getting used to “text to speech”, that is, your computer talks to you; making phone and text calls; fixing your home with contrast and lights and safety; reading with magnifiers; labeling things; questioning your eye doctor; getting state or veterans assistance; meeting for support, information, and spreading awareness around the community.

Bon Voyage!!!


Contact and Credits

This page is at https://catchthevision.Life. Published August 2020 by Susan L. Gerhart, Bob Walker, and Donna Bennet.


Contact dbenny39@gmail.com or slger123@gmail.com or Susan 928.848.9292.


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Resources, Conferences, updates

some resources from the conference interview circuit, including two Apple apps with podcasts. More to come…

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Coming Course: Living With Low Vision


  • What:Confident Living with Low Vision Course
  • When:Spring 2019 March 7,14,21,28,April 4
    Thursdays 1:00 to 3:15 p.m.
  • Where:Prescott United Methodist Church Campus
    505 West Gurley Street
    Douglas Meeting Room across from the People Who Care office.
  • Registration: is a must! Call 928-445-2480.
    A family member or friend is welcome to participate in the course.
    Course is limited to 30 participants.
  • Topics

    • Understanding Medical Conditions of the Eye,
    • Research & Treatment, Vitamins Make a Difference
    • Orientation & Mobility, Guide Dogs
    • Getting Organized, Safety Steps,
    • Reading and Writing & Lighting Tips, ‘Your Home is Your Castle’
    • Community Resources
    • Dealing with Life’s Changes
    • Audio and other Useful Technologies



Members of Catch the Vision will tell our assistive technology stories and illustrate, for example: Basic Apple VoiceOver use; iPhone and iPad reading and recognition apps; Pen Friend note taker; computer screen readers; and entertainment products.


Highly Recommended!!!