Information and Resources for Professionals
"I am survivor and have lots of pride. I want to show people that they can do anything they put their mind to. It may be difficult and they may trip along the way, but they are stronger for the struggle."Read Maria's Story
How can I help my client right now?
1. Reassure them that they are not alone and there are services and solutions to the problems they are facing due to vision loss. Share this top ten list with your client and their family. It is a guide to show what to do and who to contact to ensure the person with vision loss is doing all they can do for themselves. Your client will not be ready to do everything on the list at once and not necessarily in order.
2. Provide practical help as soon as possible. Frustration, fear, and depression start when a person feels they are losing control over their environment. Help a person feel and do better by suggesting a simple but effective tool to help them with a task that is causing frustration. Our staff can advise you as to what product might be most helpful for your client. Start with this list of our top ten products for independence.
3. Refer to the appropriate services and or professionals. Educate yourself on the basics of vision loss — it's quicker and easier than you think!
Look over this list of our favorite resources.
Here are some quick tips:
- If your client tells you they have noticed a change in their vision, encourage him/her to contact their optometrist or other eye care professional right away. A sudden, drastic or painful change may mean a trip to the emergency room.
- If she mentions a loss of independence or curtailing her normal activities, your client needs vision rehabilitation to regain her ability to do things for herself. Contact Second Sense. We will help you and your client determine the most appropriate plan to regain the skills.
- If your client is driving and you know he can't see -- start by encouraging your client to ask their eye doctor's opinion on whether they are still okay to drive. People who are losing their vision fear to ask this question and may need your encouragement. Then, help them explore and register for other means of transportation through ride sharing, township buses, taxi services, para-transit and public transit. There are many ways to get from point A to B without driving. Online shopping and delivery services can be wonderful ways to avoid needing a ride. Friends and family are often willing to provide a ride -- but haven't been asked!
Quick Tips for Right Now
- ALWAYS ASK how someone wishes to be assisted, guided, seated, etc. Do not assume you know how they wish to be helped.
- identify yourself by name to someone with vision loss "Hi Mary, it's Betty"
- Print in black bold pen or use Arial 18 pt font bold when creating documents or provide an audio version. Sometimes the easiest way to give information to a person who can't see print is to leave a message on their voicemail.
- Guide a person by asking if they would like to hang onto your arm — do not grab them.
- Do not pet, talk to or otherwise distract a guide dog.
Where Can I Find a Vision Loss Support Group?
Vision loss support groups provide the necessary emotional support for a person who is coping with vision loss. Many groups also have educational seminars that add to the experience and make the effort of attending worthwhile for group members and their family.
Second Sense offers a variety of support groups to meet your client's unique needs. You can learn about our support groups and our other counseling services.
We also have knowledge of most of the vision loss support groups in the Chicago and suburban area so please just give us a call at 312-236-8569. Or the organization Ears for Eyes keeps a listing for all of support groups in the United States.