While most of our staff is working from home, that does not mean that our work has stopped. Thanks to technology, and a lot of creativity, we have found new ways to connect with people who are blind and visually impaired during this unprecedented crisis.
At the heart of what our staff is doing is periodically checking in with folks to make sure that they are doing OK and offering any support that we can. Thankfully everyone seems to be weathering the storm, although most report feeling very stir crazy. Since the middle of March, we have had 550 interactions with 221 clients.
Anyone who has a question, needs assistance, or is just looking to talk with someone should feel free to reach out to our staff. Find a list of staff by clicking here.
Getting Together via Zoom
Zoom video conferencing has been a big part of how people adapt to separation and it has been a useful tool for us as well. Our client services coordinator, Doreen Holmes, has been convening weekly Positive Outlook support group meetings with more than a dozen participants, and our Book Club will host their first virtual meeting in mid-May. Over the next few weeks, we plan to roll out more opportunities for people to make virtual connections.
Our assistive technology staff has also successfully used other video platforms to deliver remote training and to help people troubleshoot issues that they are having trying to access these new tools.
Valuable Tips, Two Minutes at a Time
Vision rehabilitation teacher Carla Ferreira has produced almost an hour of instructional podcasts in two-minute segments that touch on all of the basics of living independently with a visual impairment. Click here to listen.
Our orientation and mobility instructor, Melissa Mabee, has also started creating her own episodes with the first two focused on keeping your long white cane clean and getting yourself re-oriented when you suddenly feel lost. Click here to listen.
While it is not as lively and full of laughter as our usual weekly in-person Yoga classes, Doreen keeps her hour-long virtual classes fun and entertaining. New episodes are posted every Wednesday afternoon and can be accessed by clicking here.
A small group of our radio reading volunteers continues to come into our studios each week to read the Providence Journal and other local newspapers. To date the nine of them have provided more than 100 hours of service. There are many ways to listen to IN-SIGHT Radio and you can find out more here.