2021 Conference

Activity and Support Groups: Empower, Educate, and Engage with Consumers

Session Date: 
Thursday, September 16, 2021 - 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm CDT

Adjustment to vision loss is enhanced by access to peer support. Peer support and activity groups also give older individuals access to more resources. The possibilities for people to engage in peer support have significantly increased through remote and virtual opportunities. This session will provide some of the benefits of linking clients to peer support, peer support resources, and how to implement peer support groups in your community. 

Download the peer support handout.

Panel Presenters 

Amber Carroll


Amber Carroll is the Senior Director of Covia’s Connection Programs.  These programs, including Well Connected, Well Connected Español, and Social Call aim to decrease loneliness and increase social connections for older adults across the country. Long before the pandemic, these programs creatively and accessibly connected people by phone and online to both group and individual engagement opportunities.  Amber believes strongly in the power of connection and the myriad of associated benefits it brings.  Her career in aging services began at the San Francisco Aging and Disability Resource Center which provided information, referral, and assistance to nearly 10,000 seniors and adults with disabilities each year.  From there she led the San Francisco Transitional Care Program, a CMS-demonstration project that successfully decreased hospital readmissions for Medicare recipients.

Email: coviaconnections@covia.org

Website: covia.org

Phone: (877)797-7299

Audrey Demmitt


Audrey Demmitt is an RN who works for APH/VisionAware and the OIB-TAC as a health education writer. She has been part of the Peer Support Group Network in Georgia for the last 8 years and  leads her own support group. She lives in Peachtree City, Georgia with her husband and guide dog Delta.

Deborah (Debbie) Worman


Debbie Worman is a Hadley Learning Expert who loves to engage with learners through Hadley’s monthly Discussion Groups.  She holds a Masters in Counseling Human Services and recently earned a Certificate in Gerontology.  In addition to staying busy as the Hadley Discussion Group Coordinator, she also cohosts three of their ten groups: Resource Roundtable, Hadley Growers, and Writers’ Circle. She is passionate about the opportunities for learners of all ages, but especially older adults, to support and learn from each other through these Zoom connections.  Pre-Covid, Debbie led a lively Gratitude Group at an assisted living home and an intergenerational group for teen mothers, their babies, and older adults in a nursing home setting.

Erica Weise

Erica Weise is a social worker for Vision Forward Association. She facilitates support groups, including one for older adults. 


This session is a part of the EDUCATE series. By registering for the EDUCATE series, you have the opportunity to register for:

  1. Monday, September 13: Assistive Tech Resource Roundup
  2. Tuesday, September 14: Community Outreach: Time To Be Bold Campaign Successes, Tools, and Future Plans
  3. Wednesday, September 15: Empower Through Self-Care
  4. Thursday, September 16: Activity and Support Groups: Empower, Educate, and Engage with Consumers

At 11:00 AM PST, noon MST, 1:00 PM CST, and 2:00 EST. 

Registration is required. Click here to register for the EDUCATE series.

After registration, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.