Librarian Helps Organize Fair for Those with Vision Loss

Article excerpt

At the end of her life, my mother was almost completely blind as a result of detached retinas. As wonderful as modern medicine is, at that time nothing could be done to help her. She was pretty healthy otherwise, but her blindness and the stigma of blindness crippled her. She ceased to walk very much or exercise. She seemed to lose interest in going out. She would not say "I am blind" and ask for help. One thing led to another and as a result she died before her time.

Knowledge could have helped my mother and our society could have helped too if it was more tolerant and accommodating of those with handicaps. This weekend in our community, we have an opportunity to learn more about a whole range of low vision conditions as well as strategies and implements that can be of help.

Eight suburban public libraries are co-sponsoring a Low Vision Fair Saturday, Sept. 27, at the Niles Senior Center, 999 Civic Center Drive. The Center is on the southeast corner of Waukegan Road and Oakton Street. The Fair is free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Dodie Frisbie is the outreach librarian at the Niles Public Library and is one of the fair organizers.

"This is the second year of the fair," she said, "and our inter-library outreach group has worked hard to pull these resources together. Weve scheduled some terrific speakers including Polly Abbott, a certified vision rehabilitation therapist, and Dr. Stephen Conti, a retina specialist. Abbotts talk, The Top Ten Things to Do When Diagnosed with Vision Loss will be at 9:15 a.m. Contis presentation, Macular Degeneration and Senior Vision will be at 11:30 a.m."

"The Niles Lions Club will be providing macular degeneration and diabetic eye screenings," Frisbie said. …