Support Group for People with Vision Loss Meets Monthly

Support Group for People with Vision Loss Meets Monthly

I became legally blind at 59 due to a rare illness that severely damaged my optic nerves. I can see shapes and contrast between light and dark but no color or clear facial recognition or print. For me the world looks like when you step out of a shower and the mirror is all blurry.

At the time, I had never met a blind person, so I didn’t know what to expect for the rest of my life. Through the Oregon Commission for the Blind, I learned basic skills: how to adapt my home so I could cook and do laundry, and how to walk outside with a white mobility cane and cross streets safely.

Several of my instructors were blind, and it was inspiring to learn from them the tools I needed to operate in my new normal. I also attended the only adult camp for blind people, Hull Foundation and Learning Center in Sandy, Oregon. Here I met campers from all over the U.S. We kayaked and did whitewater rafting and rock climbing, learning to push our boundaries. These experiences helped me realize that I could still be a productive member of society just with some adaptations and help.

So that is why I have started a support group for people dealing with some or all vision loss, and their caregivers. We can share tips and tools to enhance our way of life and encourage each other on the way. A support group is also a good way to socialize, especially today when many people are feeling alone or distant from society.

We meet the fourth Thursday of every month at the Elsie Stur Center, 5550 SW Hall Blvd, Beaverton, OR 97005 between 10 and 11 a.m. If you are interested in joining our circle, please drop in on the fourth Thursday of the current month at 10 a.m. If you have any questions, please contact me at VIPBeaverton@gmail.com. I look forward to meeting you!

 

Learn more about the BCOA at www.beavertonlibrary.org/BCOA. By Rebecca Piros