While you may have spent your life caring for your vision there are any number of circumstances that could result in vision impairment or blindness. If this occurs, it’s imperative to find the most effective treatments and support systems to enhance the vision you still have and help you maintain your independence. What follows are some great options to ensure you don’t miss out on anything in life!
• Get a library card and take advantage of the wealth of books on tape that are now available to people who have a vision issue. Most libraries still offer audio books for vision-impaired seniors (although the service can be extended to other age groups) as a free service. This is a great way for anyone to devour literature.
• If your intent is to continue to work, there are a variety of training programs and workplace technologies that will ensure you can meet job expectations. Begin by researching your rights as a visually impaired employee. Find out what modifications are expected and how these will help you adapt to the work you do. If necessary, ask for a transfer to a position that is better suited to your abilities. The most important thing is DON’T GIVE UP! Everyone has challenges. Learn to rely on your other senses and continue to investigate research on the opportunities to improve your vision.
• Join a support group. Do not wallow in self-pity. Instead, reach out to others who have had a similar experience and learn from them. Visual impairment and/or blindness support groups can be found in churches, through social services and even during rehabilitation. Life throws us curve balls. The best idea is to catch them and throw them back! There is no question that vision loss can be difficult but it can also be a time for reflection and change.
• Work with a rehabilitation specialist to identify all of the resources that are available to a visually impaired or blind citizen in your community. There are often transportation services dedicated to this population, and training in how to create a home environment that is easy to manipulate and maneuver.