Coming To Terms

Yesterday, I had two interactions with people from the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI).  I had an appointment with a Home Rehab specialist to come to my house, after work, to show me some products and see what assistance I might need.

Before I met with her, however, I received a call from a Mobility Trainer (Casey).  He has called me several times, but I have always avoided his call.  Not on purpose, of course, but each time I have been glad to see that I missed his call.  I know that Mobility Training is part of my transition, but it is the part that I most dread.  I can’t imagine myself walking with a blind person’s cane.  That being said, I have noticed that I cling to John’s arm when we go out at night.  It would be nice to be more independent when I am walking in low light.

My conversation with Casey was very nice.  He told me that his job is not to push me into anything.  He seemed to understand that Mobility Training is a hard step for me.  He reassured me that he simply will give me an assessment and we will talk about what mobility training might be helpful for me.  He, himself, has trouble with night blindness, so he understands that I have issues in dim light.  He was so nice and I am looking forward to my appointment with him later in the week.

After work, I met with the Home Rehab specialist at my house.  I had met her before, one day when I was at ABVI.  She brought me a couple of products and showed me a few additional options.  One item that she brought me was a “talking” alarm clock.  When I push a button, it announces the time.  This will be helpful to me.  With my contacts out, I can see nothing.  When I wake up in the middle of the night, I have no way of telling what time it is.  Now, I will just have to push a button and I will know.  I don’t know how much John will like this product, but I am really going to like it.  She also gave me a few products to make cooking easier.  She put these plastic “bumps” on my microwave and washer and dryer, so I can know the settings by feel instead of trying to see if they are set correctly.  Those little bumps are a godsend.

We talked about how my low vision has affected my life at home and I shared that the thing I miss most is sewing and needlework.  I showed her a quilt that I made, which is hanging up in our dining room.  She told me that there is no reason that we can not find accommodations so that I can sew.  In fact, ABVI does contract sewing on site.  She is going to talk with the head of that department to see what products can get me sewing again.  I am so excited at the prospect of sewing again!  It would be a dream come true.

Both of my interactions with people from ABVI exceeded expectations.  I did not feel overwhelmed, not by all the product choices or by talk of mobility training.  Maybe I am getting used to the idea that I need help.  Maybe I see the benefit of regaining even more independence.  Whatever the reason, I look forward to the day when the rest of my assistive technology come through for work (in addition to my ZoomText) and my low tech items for home are delivered.  Not so much the mobility training, but at least I am no longer dreading meeting with the Trainer.  I am blessed to have this organization so close to my home and work and to be able to work with such nice people.


4 thoughts on “Coming To Terms

  1. Hi Belinda,

    I am glad to see that you are taking advantage of all the possible resources to make daily life easier for yourself. Learning about what products are available will allow you to make your own decisions as to what you want to use and what you don’t. Hmmm..can you change the voice on the alarm clock like you can on a Garmin??? Maybe you can pick the voice of George Clooney or Tom Cruise 🙂 haha

    • LOL The alarm clock has only one voice – a very proper British woman. It would be nice if I could choose the voice…maybe I will invent such a clock. I am really excited about the possibility of being able to sew again. Hopefully, the people at ABVI will be able to come up with some ideas.

      • See – I knew you would eventually make those pillows I suggested!

        I am considering contacting ABVI to have them help my Dad. He is having lots of anxiety about not being able to drive anymore due to his lack of vision, and maybe they can help him accept it better than he is doing now.

        Thanks for all your info!

      • Oh, pillows, pillows, pillows. I will be happy when I can sew anything! lol

        The way ABVI worked for me was that my eye doctor gave me a referral for a low vision evaluation. That evaluation opened up a whole world of opportunity. I don’t know if you can call them directly, without a referral, but it is certainly worth a try. It takes a while to get the process moving, so I would suggest you start before your dad gets into “crisis mode.” The people at ABVI are really wonderful, so it is worth the work it takes to get into their system.

        Good luck and let me know how it goes.

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