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Serving Our Community Since 1979

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Welcome to LVC

(Formerly known as The Low Vision Information Center)
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Watch our one-minute introductory video

The Low Vision Center is a nonprofit organization that helps people with low vision maintain their independence. Located in Bethesda, Maryland, we offer information services as well as a demonstration area full of a variety of low vision aids and ideas.

The Low Vision Center offers its resources without charge, relying entirely upon personal contributions to fund its varied services.

I invite you to browse our web site for more information about our services, as well as helpful hints for improving your vision. Some examples include:

I also invite you to make an appointment to visit our demonstration area so you can examine our low vision aids, including magnifiers, CCTV's, Zoom Text, and non-optical adaptive aids (such as talking clocks and writing guides). We also sell a select group of low vision aids and Bausch & Lomb, Coil, and Eschenbach magnifiers. Please don't hesitate to call us for additional information or to make an appointment for a visit.  Appointments are usually scheduled between 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Terry Eason
Executive Director

News and Notes

Reading Rally March 3

We thank Columbia Lighthouse for this information.

This year's Reading Rally will occur on Saturday, March 3rd, from 10 am to noon at the Silver Spring Public Library.  Children, ages 3 to 10, will enjoy story time, followed by a craft project about the story.  Each youth participant with a visual impairment will receive a free Braille/Large Print picture book!  Parents can take a tour of the library and learn about the adaptive technology and Braille/Large Print books available for their children.  Chick-fil-A lunch is included.  To sign up, please contact Patti Lyman at plyman@clb.org.

Register now for Camp Lighthouse

Registration is open for Camp Lighthouse.  This year, camp will take place from Monday, June 25th to Friday, June 29th, 9 am to 3 pm each day.  In this week-long program, children ages 6 to 12, who are blind or visually impaired, enjoy the total summer camp experience.  At the Silver Spring YMCA, they participate in a variety of activities such as games, swimming, painting, science experiments, and playground time.

Teens ages 13 to15 who are blind or visually impaired can also participate in Camp Lighthouse as Counselors in Training (CIT).  CITs can earn Service Learning hours.

For registration, please contact Patti Lyman at plyman@clb.org.

Exhibition by visually impaired artists opens March 14.

CLB's annual exhibition of art by artists experiencing vision loss will begin with a free opening-night reception the evening of Wednesday, March 14.  Find more details on the CLB web site at http://www.clb.org/calendar/art-exhibition/

Google announces accessibility support team

Google has launched a dedicated disability support team to answer questions about using assistive technology with Google products and accessibility features and functionalities within Google products.  The support team is available through e-mail and only in the English language.  For details, see the announcement on the Google web site at http://www.google.com/accessibility/blog/post/announce-disability-support.html

POB-sponsored events in February and March

The February issue of Your Eyes Today, the newsletter of the Aging Eye and Macular Degeneration Network of the Prevention of Blindness Society of Metropolitan Washington (POB), can now be downloaded from http://youreyes.org/images/stories/newsletters/2018/YourEyes_022018.pdf.  This issue notes many events coming up in February (and some in March).

To subscribe to this newsletter on-line, visit http://www.youreyes.org/modify-your-subscription.

To view POB's calendar of coming events as a web page, visit http://youreyes.org/events/eventlist.

Free glaucoma screenings March 10-11

As in previous years, the Prevention of blindness Society of Metropolitan Washington will again provide free glaucoma screenings at the 2018 NBC 4 Health & Fitness Expo at the Washington Convention Center March 10-11.  For more information, see http://www.youreyes.org/events/details/480-nbc-health-and-fitness-expo-2018 or https://www.nbcwashington.com/contact-us/community/Save-the-Date-NBC4-Health--Fitness-Expo-March-10-11-2018-466965883.html.

Research Study about Experiences with Healthcare Professionals

The Judgment and Decision Making Lab at the University of Texas, El Paso, is conducting a study in the form of a questionnaire.  The Principal Investigator is a blind doctoral candidate conducting her dissertation research.  She will be looking at blind and low vision adults and their experiences with healthcare professionals (i.e. doctors, pharmacy technicians, health insurance agents).  All participants will be entered into a drawing to win an Amazon gift card.  If you qualify for this study and are interested, you can get more information and take the survey on-line at https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Futep.qualtrics.com%2Fjfe%2Fform%2FSV_25gcIseTmuygsCx&data=01%7C01%7Cnmheydarian%40miners.utep.edu%7Cee492ff6f78a4467a72508d563788b17%7C857c21d21a1643a490cfd57f3fab9d2f%7C1&sdata=g4rTTREovSrMmhvibqLVwxQoW5XXwstsdFj7no118Qo%3D&reserved=0.  If you have more questions or would prefer to take the survey by telephone or in person, please contact the Judgment and Decision Making Lab by e-mail at utep.psyc.hcd@gmail.com or by phone at 915-747-8659.  If you would like assistance filling out the questionnaire, please let the researchers know and one of the research assistants will help.  If you know of anyone who qualifies and would be interested please share this message with them.

Opportunities to help with research

We thank the American Foundation for the Blind for this information.

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire are conducting a research survey of people who use assistive technology at work.  They expect their research to help improve employment opportunities and productivity of individuals with disabilities through the implementation of assistive technology.  To learn more, please visit https://unh.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6heFdkmSWwDKq7b

Ibrahim Omara of the School of Media and Journalism at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, is studying the use of braille displays among people who are visually impaired.  The study will investigate how braille displays affect the daily life of blind users, what challenges they face when using the device, and explore what manufacturers can do to improve the quality of this device.  Each interview will take about 30 minutes and can be done over the telephone.  If you are interested in participating or for more information, please contact Ibrahim Omara at (919) 928-7755 or by e-mail at doctor.omara@gmail.com.

More Vision Enrichment Workshops scheduled

In September 2017, the Low Vision Center began presenting the new Vision Enrichment Workshop at Montgomery County Senior Centers.  The workshop covers lighting, contrast, magnification, household aids, and resources and answers questions attendees may have regarding vision.  The remaining sessions include for more information, contact your nearest senior center directly or call the Low vision Center at 301-951-4444.

These workshops are supported by a generous grant from the Montgomery County government.

If you are interested in the Low Vision center making a presentation to your group, please call us at 301-951-4444 to discuss possibilities.

Apply for AFB scholarships by April 15, 2018

The American foundation for the blind administers several academic scholarships in specific fields of study.  Applications for the 2018-2019 academic year must be received by April 15, 2018.  Find details on the AFB web site at https://www.afb.org/info/afb-2018-scholarship-application/5.

Annual CLB golf and dinner classic May 14

The 6th Annual Shot in the Dark Golf and Dinner Classic in support of Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind will take place on Monday, May 14th, 2018.  To learn more about this event or to get involved, please contact Cathy Miller at cmiller@clb.org.

Have you tried the SeeingAI app?

"Seeing AI" is a free iPhone/iPad app produced by an ongoing research project at Microsoft.  Its features reportedly include OCr and text-to-speech, face recognition, and product barcode reading.  An introductory video and a link to download the app are on the Microsoft web site at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/seeing-ai/.

If you've used this app, we'd like to know what you think of it.  Send us an e-mail and tell us your impressions.  Or, if you prefer, leave a review on the Apple iTunes web site.

We're tweaking our web site

LVC is gradually making some behind-the-scenes changes to our web site.  We're introducing the use of cascading style sheets (CSS) to bring our site into conformance with HTML version 5, and we're adding a few ARIA tags for the benefit of screen reader software.  Most visitors to this site shouldn't notice any difference, but if we accidentally break something, please let us know.