Helen Keller National Center and I hope you are having a great new year and will have much success in your practice with deaf-blind and hard-of-hearing seniors. It is my privilege to be able to work with each of you in providing technical training and assistance to seniors 55 and "better" who have combined vision and hearing loss.
We have a consumer who is a resident of another state but lives in our state ½ of the year and the other state the other half. She has an ID from the other state and a home in both states. Which state should serve her?
We are excited to announce that we are again combining the annual OIB Program Managers' Meeting with the AFB Leadership Conference. The Conference will be in Oakland, CA on April 5-7, 2018. The Program Managers' Meeting will be held on Thursday, April 5th.
In program evaluations with seniors, it seems like a small but reliable percentage of OIB consumers report having low vision aids and devices that they no longer use. It doesn’t work, doesn’t work well for them, or doesn’t do for them what they thought it would.
There are many different brands of hand-held video magnifiers on the market. If you were giving advice to a senior about how to choose one that works for their needs, what features or factors would you advise them to consider?
It is estimated the OIB programs are touching 1.4-5% of the eligible population of older persons with vision loss. We are serving a very small number of eligible persons, and our programs are often maxed out with waiting lists. We need more funding and more qualified personnel.
There has been some discussion about how older blind programs often do not attract males in numbers that reflect the percentage of the older population. Some may be served by Veteran’s Affairs, but there is some concern that programs traditionally may focus more on housekeeping tasks and less on areas of interest to older men.
New technology, like the Amazon Echo, offers the ability to ask questions and complete some tasks by using just your voice. Have you found older consumers using these products? Have you provided instruction on using this technology? How do you find your consumers benefiting from it?