The support of family and friends is vital when someone loses their vision. Finding the right information or the best resources can be difficult when you don’t know where to turn or don’t understand the new terminology.
At Second Sense, we can help both you and your loved one discover the options that are available to help you make an informed decision. Below are some of the first steps you can share with your loved one to help them begin their adjustment process. For additional information, please call us at 312-236-8569 or send an email to Kathy Austin. We are eager to help.
Ask your eye-care professional to clearly explain, and write down, your eye condition. This will help you explore your treatment options and understand your prognosis. Ask for a letter stating your condition, acuity and field of vision. A copy of this letter will serve as proof of legal blindness when applying for many services.
Ask your eye doctor for a referral to a low-vision clinic or specialist. The low-vision specialist will help you determine your need for magnification devices, lighting and contrast. See What Is A Low Vision Exam? for more details.
Visit your eye-care professional annually to monitor vision health. There are many newsletters about the latest medical advances that you can share with your doctor.
Rehabilitation training is simply having a professional show you adaptations you can make to perform daily activities with vision loss. These adaptations help you maintain your independence. They can also reduce stress and frustration.
Available training can include cooking, handwriting, recreational activities, technology and independent travel. Second Sense can help you create a training plan that best meets your needs. Call Kathy Austin at 312-236-8569. She will explain how we can help or direct you to a resource in your area.
There are many products that can help with everyday tasks. Talking watches help you tell time, large print calendars help you keep appointments and locator markers help you label appliances. Our Product Center at Second Sense provides a wide variety of products you can use.
Call the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) to obtain a reduced-fare card and/or to apply for para-transit service. Your local township or municipality may also have dial-a-ride or voucher taxi services.
Continue to stay informed and entertained by signing up for alternative reading options for books, magazines and newspapers.
City of Chicago residents: Harold Washington Library — 312-757-4654
Suburban residents: Illinois Talking Book Outreach Center –800-426-0709
Find a local vision-loss support group in your area. These groups are a safe place to share feelings, exchange ideas and learn about the many resources available to you. Second Sense offers support groups in Chicago. We can also help you find a local support group in Illinois.
If you are located outside Illinois, visit VisionAware for an online listing of community-based support groups.
Contact your local telephone service provider to obtain an application for free directory assistance.
Involve your family and friends in your rehabilitation plan. Communicate with them about how and when you may need assistance. Incorporate the new things you learn into your daily routine.