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OIB Live Forum - Remote Instruction

We invite you to participate in a conversation about remote instruction on Thursday, March 19, at 2 pm eastern, 1 pm central, noon mountain, and 11 am pacific on the OIB-TAC's Community of Practice ( As we are all limited in how much interaction we can have with our consumers, we want to share ideas and resources that can help us to provide services. We look forward to a lively discussion and your participation. To participate in the forum, please click any "add a comment” button with any questions or insights you may have about the topic. Information will be added for an hour while our experts answer your questions. There is no audio or video.

If you have trouble logging in to your account or cannot access your account, please email Simon Marcy at He can notify you of your user name or edit your password.

Sylvia Perez and Kendra Farrow, from the OIB-TAC, are both experienced certified vision rehabilitation therapists. Their direct service experiences and extensive observations of OIB programs across the country will help them in leading our discussion on providing remote instruction during the COVID 19 outbreak. Feel free to post your questions or ideas on how remote instruction might occur.


Marsha Egan's picture

Our instructors are aware of this option and have provided this as a resource. However, I don't have any feedback on how many people or satisfaction with this resource at this time.
Kelly Coleman 's picture

I have had clients use this service and it works great! They set up a personal contact who then receives a detailed text message in real time when they are being picked up and when they arrive to their destination. Client felt much safer riding knowing their family member was receiving the same information. Cost is a little higher than simply using Uber/Lyft but is worth the added safety measure.
Sylvia Perez's picture

Don’t forget your own health We are in challenging times and being asked to provide training in new and possibly hard ways is heroic on your parts. It is important that all of you take care of yourselves too. Here are some stress management tips: -Breathe-don’t forget to take time to get up from your chair, sofa, or wherever you are and walk a few minutes and just breather. -Use this time to learn some new skills. That can be very stressful, but let’s all challenge ourselves to learn one new skill through this time—which might be a technology skill . - Plan your schedule and stick to it. -Designate a work area. -Eat healthy. -Read a good book. - Know that the end is coming.
Stephanie Jensen's picture

Agreed and thank you for the reminder. I was beside myself last Friday. While we don't know when the end is, there will be an end. There is lots we can still do to take care of ourselves. It may also model things for our consumers.
Curtis Jamison's picture

The most stressful thing, for me anyway, is the uncertainty. How do you pace yourself? Are we out for a week? Two weeks? A month? Six months? It feels a bit like being suspended from school, but not being told how long!
Stephanie Jensen's picture

It is true. But we don't want to disappoint ourselves each time a month passes and things are still going on. Our attitude should be we can do things anyway.
Marc Wentz's picture

Good reminders! If we don't take care of ourselves, we won't be able to care for others!
Nancy Scharpenberg's picture

Any specific guidelines from your agency?
Matthew Haynes's picture

Wish we had a like or heart button!
Teddy Kern's picture

So many valuables suggestions and collaborative thinking in new territory! THANK YOU! It seems imperative to keep track of our own schedule, when and whom we've contacted and to know when to re-connect, as clients want us to stay connected; what you discussed and your own "progress notes" in a sense, so that we can make our contacts continuous and relevant. New instruction seems less viable than reviewing areas of daily living you've addressed or were preparing for. I've found clients are open to discussing needs if we let them identify associated or new ideas, and i still keep talking about independence, always with kindness and encouragement.
Xiao Shao 's picture

I think for the elderly who has no technical skills the best way is to provide basic and simple instruction when they have someone over there, such as HHA or family member which reduce lots of anxiety. I did one yesterday on phone with a client directly but requested his aide being next to him to provide instant help if needed.
Sylvia Perez's picture

We thank all of you for joining or live forum today. We greatly appreciate all of you and the tremendous effort to continue to provide services to older individuals who are Blind. We are all currently working remotely ourselves, but want all of you to know you can absolutely reach out to us. Just email Kendra or I and we will respond and if neded we will arrange a phone call. Our site is full of great resources. Also you are all a great resource to each other. Stay tuned for more from us. We are diligently working to develop additional resources, plan webinars, and more. If you have helpful resources that you feel we can post on our community of practice please send to us. Best to you all... Keep up the great work. You are making a big difference in people's lives! Stay tuned
Amber Willard's picture

Thank you for the live forum today!
Angela Christle's picture

I just want to reiterate the importance of providing all that wee are able to, especially in this current time an space. I have had many people reach out to me that are in crisis mode, but are grateful that there is someone to talk to as has been fore mentioned via phone, Face Time, email, Zoom, Skype or otherwise, it is making a difference. For individuals that are working on technology some have been open to using online forums and resources and this is ultimately the independence we are assisting them with achieving. This may become a real positive derived from this current situation. I am working diligently to ensure that the people that I work with have the connections that they can reach in these times of need when we are all feeling a higher level of isolation. I appreciate all of the shared information out here and will definitely be using the tips! Thanks everyone!
Laurene Griffis's picture

Thank you OIB -TAC for hosting this Live Forum! Thank you to all for the many helpful comments, tips, and resources as well! This has been very beneficial!!
Melinda Underwood's picture

Very grateful for this forum and look forward to reconnecting as we navigate these new and unfamiliar waters together.
Nancy Scharpenberg's picture

Informed about possible virus with family last week, I started last week with the identification of clothing with Colorino. It worked well because I understood client's learning needs, total lack of vision and her husband's ability to provide support . By labeling the device with contrasting color for husband and raised texture for client, they were both able to identify buttons. Easily confused, the light detector was blocked with electrical tape. I included brief and simple instructions which worked very well and followed up with a phone call so she can start to organize closet prior to her next home visit. I recommend to all who have existing stock items, like myself, to use this approach with all ADL activities where we do not need to be concerned about safety (ie pouring, cooking)and when clients are able to process verbal information. Personal Care can be done for some when reading assistance is available so meds can be labeled with letters for identification in the unexpected absence of caregiver. This worked well in the past during hurricane season. Communication Skills lend itself very well to this type of training and will help our clients deal with their needs in the present situation. As we know learning is also best when provided at the opportune time such as this crisis situation. For those with Low Vision and ability to do facetime, of course, this method works best so you need to know your client for best result. Basics such as using the phone, telling time, managing appointments and even using a recorder can be explained to those with support by providing adequate marking tools and direction. Facetime helps with those activities that benefit most from visual feedback such as writing, marking appliances and when using Low Vision Devices. Involving support person(s) is always essential for children but also for older adults and those with multiple disabilities. This reinforcement helps with understanding and continuity which can be verified with demonstration when home visits resume. For my totally blind client, who doesn't speak English I am dropping off a labeled phone including writing instructions in both languages and will arrange to work with him and his friend when she returns from work.
Kendra Farrow's picture

We appreciate all of the posts on the topic of remote instruction. Over the next week we will continue to review and add additional comments. Please review as some posts overlapped and you may find an answer in a different thread. This forum is available at anytime, so feel free to continue to post. This is a new challenge and we can learn from each other as we forge ahead in providing services.