The Resources That Kept Me in My Mojo
Good morning. We ended with my having the diagnosis and panic attacks. (That was a few pages ago; remember?) I was treating my panic attacks with good drugs. Better living through chemistry and all that. When the top number of your blood pressure reaches 180, you probably should do SOMETHING; yes?
We also talked about my improving my mental state by ...well, going to Zumba and sort of playing princess. Doesn’t every 62-year-old do that?
Looking for help
Unfortunately, neither of those things was making it easier for me to SEE for crying out loud. I probably should do something about that. I needed help!
Since I had spent several decades as a school psychologist, I was aware of many, different types of human service. I knew to call Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services. However, as I started this piece, it dawned upon me that being in the “biz” had given me a leg up on the process. Many people would not know where to start.
Finding visual impairment resources online
Looking online I discovered the American Foundation for the Blind has a site called Find Services for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired. Catchy title. Totally accurate because that is exactly what it does. You put your state or territory in and the search engine comes up with pages of suggestions for services. Or at least it did for Pennsylvania.
Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services
The list for Pennsylvania was a little overwhelming. You might have to have someone look at it for you and pick out the most promising one. For Pennsylvania, I would suggest you start with the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services. I have been very pleased with my experiences with them.
Working with macular degeneration
Now, a bit of a heads up here. BBVS is a division of our Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. Please note the word vocational. Their mandate is to help people to work and maintain their independence. I was 62 and dying to get back in harness. I am really weird that way. I have always wanted to work. Beats sitting home and watching daytime TV. However, if you are not anxious to get back into the workforce, your experience with BBVS might not be as great as mine.
Anyway, I also found VisionAware featured Pennsylvania’s BBVS as the agency of the month. Which month? No clue. If they put dates on their stuff, I cannot find them!
The services I used
Be that as it may, the site lists the services BBVS offers. These include vocational rehabilitation - which I got -, rehabilitation teaching - which I got - and orientation and mobility instruction - which I also got.
In addition, they listed several things that I didn’t got, errrr, get. Those included a business enterprise program, independent living for the older blind and prevention of blindness services. Already have a profession. Who are you calling old and too late...in that order. However, if you don’t have a career, are old and/or have a potentially preventable eye concern, these programs may very well be for you.
And as for usual, I just prattled my way right up to my 500 words. Why don’t we plan on talking about my experiences with the great people from BBVS the next time we chat. Sound good? OK!
How do you protect your eyes from the sun?