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Winning Solutions for Failing Sight
Serving Our Community Since 1979

On this page:

Welcome to LVC

(Formerly known as The Low Vision Information Center)
Read this to me

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, Eschenbach, and Schweitzer 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

BARD outage April 16

The BARD web site of the Library of Congress the site for downloading Talking Books, is scheduled to be off line all day (midnight to midnight) on Wednesday, April 16, 2014, for maintenance and upgrades.

Braille reading contest, now through May

We need lots of children from Maryland to enter the NFB BELL reading contest!  The child must read 3 books in Braille by May 31, 2014.  In addition to the national prizes, there will be special prizes in Maryland so, we can be sure that there are MD winners.

For a description of the contest and links to the instructions and entry form, view this Facebook announcement:

Read and complete the instructions.  If your child is entering the contest, please also send a note to:

Source: Sharon Maneki

Braille books are available for loan from The Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.  Children in elementary, middle, or high school who need book recommendations can contact:

Lori Guenthner, MS
Youth Services Coordinator
Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Library Development and Services
410-230-2457 voice | 401.333.2095 Fax |
415 Park Avenue, Baltimore Maryland 21201-2595

All other title requests may be directed to the library's reference desk, 410-230-2443, or

Johns Hopkins seeks blind study participants

The Neuroplasticity and Development Lab in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Johns Hopkins University is seeking participants for psychology research studies. We study how people with varying lifetime experiences process information. Our studies compare the brains of blind and sighted individuals. The goal of this research is to better understand how visual and non-visual experiences contribute to concepts and language.

Participating in our research studies involves listening to stories and sounds, reading Braille and answering questions. Some of our studies involve getting an MRI scan. Each study typically lasts between 2 to 3 hours and participants are compensated $20-$30 per hour for their time.

To qualify for these studies you must be a healthy blind adult between 18 and 75 years-of-age. Prior to taking part in any studies participants are asked to complete a pre-screening interview over the phone to ensure that they qualify. The screening interview takes between 15 and 30 minutes and those who take part in the interview are compensated $15. Participants who qualify will be scheduled for a study appointment.

To learn more, please contact the lab either by calling (410) 870-9895 or emailing

BISM summer youth programs

BISM Youth Services is gearing up for another fun and educational summer for blind and low vision high school and middle school students!  Work to Independence 2014 is a seven week residential program for high school students and recent graduates.  Independence 101 is a three week residential program for middle school students, grades 5-8.  These programs are designed to help students prepare for an independent life style with skill and confidence.  for information about these programs, please visit

UMBC seeks subjects for mobile web browsing study

Universal Access to Mobile Web Browsing through Treeview Adaptation

The researchers of the Department of Information Systems at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) are conducting a research study funded by National Science Foundation on how to improve Web content browsing on mobile phones both for blind and sighted participants.  This study has already been approved by IRB at UMBC.

We have developed a mobile application that can automatically change the presentation and navigation of traditional web pages to improve web navigation for blind users.  To evaluate the effectiveness of the developed application and solicit users' feedback, we would like to invite users that meet the following requirements to participate in our evaluation study, which will be held either in the Room 448 on the 4th floor of the ITE building at UMBC or at any other agreed locations, whichever is convenient to the participants.

Qualification: A qualified participant must 1) be blind and use text-to-speech screen reader as the primary method of navigating a smart phone, 2) be at least 18 years old, and 3) have prior experience of Web browsing on a mobile phone.

What you will do in the study: Participants will be asked to use a mobile device (will be provided by researchers) equipped with the developed mobile application to browse some Web pages and identify answers to a set of fact-oriented questions.  Then, participants will fill out a questionnaire about their perception of the used mobile web systems, and answer some interview questions at the end of the study to give researchers some feedback on how to further improve the system to help users more.  The entire study is expected to last about 1.5 hours.  There are little risks to participants.

Compensation: Participants that follow the experimental instructions will receive $20 cash at the end of their study.

Contact: If you are interested, please contact Judith Uchidiuno at and make an appointment for the study.

Diabetes and visual impairment: June 4

Diabetes and Visual Impairment:
Meeting Challenges and Finding Solutions

The National Federation of the Blind of Maryland, Sligo Creek Chapter, in collaboration with the Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services, is sponsoring a one-day, hands-on seminar for diabetics with visual impairments, their family members, and service providers.  Meet blind diabetics who lead active lives, learn non-visual techniques to increase independence, and witness demonstrations of products available for the visually impaired to manage diabetes.  The seminar will feature group presentations, exhibits, and break-out sessions focusing on a variety of topics related to diabetes and vision loss.

  • When: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

  • Where: The Marilyn Praisner Community Center, 14906 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville, MD 20866.
    Lunch and snacks will be provided.

  • Cost: $10 before May 28, 2014, $15 at the door.  To register, go to and enter event number 578914 into the search box.  Only credit or debit card payments are accepted on this website.  You may also call Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006 for assistance in purchasing tickets, or send checks, payable to the NFB Sligo Creek Chapter, to: Debbie Brown, 11923 Parklawn Dr., Apt. 104, Rockville, MD 20852.  Please include your telephone number. (A $1.34 surcharge applies to tickets sold through Brown Paper Tickets.)

All registrations should be submitted by May 28, 2014. For questions call Debbie Brown at 301-881-1892 or e-mail

"Tech Tuesday" a success

The response to our "Tech Tuesday" open house on March 11 was gratifying.  Dozens of people turned out to learn what the Low Vision Center, Envision Technology, and Vision Support have to offer.  We've already begun planning another open house for this Fall.  But don't wait until then to find out how we can help you or your loved one.  Call 301-951-4444 to select a time for your personal visit to the Low Vision Center.

Help study the reading preferences of visually impaired youth

The Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness at Louisiana Tech University is seeking research participants for a study aimed at evaluating the reading characteristics and behaviors of blind/visually impaired youth grades 3-12 to better understand how various formats impact leisure reading.  As a result of this study, we will gain a much richer and robust understanding of factors that impact a child's desire to read for pleasure, which may also impact academic performance.  If you might be interested in having your child participate in the study, see more details at

Bowling by the visually impaired

If you think poor eyesight must keep you from enjoying the sport of bowling, you might be surprised.  For more information, read the article at

Tax tips for the visually impaired

TurboTax has updated their set of tax tips for the visually impaired for the 2013 tax year.  View the article at

BISM summer retreat June 10-13

(Senior Independent Living, Vision, Education, & Rehabilitation)

for qualified Blind and Low Vision Seniors 55 & Over

June 10 to 13, 2014


  • SKILLS TRAINING: Independent Living, Braille/Communication, Cane Travel, Computer/Adapted Technology, Adjustment to Blindness
  • PLUS: Social Activities, Product Demos, Peer Support

Hotel accommodations, meals, and activities INCLUDED ...ALL AT NO COST!

Contact your local BISM Senior Services staff for details:

Andy McIver
3345 Washington Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21227

Roger Williamson
322 Paca Street
Cumberland, MD 21502

Amy Crouse or Danielle Earl
410-749-1366 /
2240 Northwood Drive
Salisbury, MD 2180

Proudly Sponsored by:
Blind Industries & Services of Maryland
3345 Washington Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21227

with funding and support from MSDE -- DORS/OBVS

Accessible tax information

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides several tax forms and publications in formats designed to be accessible to the visually impaired.  For more information, visit the Accessibility page on the IRS web site at, or listen to a cartoon canine tell you about it on Youtube at

Before you browse this web site, we suggest you review our web site policies.

We thank the following sponsors and all our other supporters for their generosity.

Audio Book Contractors Audio Book Contractors, LLC
unabridged audio book classics on CD and cassette

Learn how you can support LVC by sponsoring this web page.

Last Update: April 14, 2014

4905 Del Ray Avenue, Suite 504
Bethesda, MD 20814

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