Winning Solutions for Failing Sight
Serving Our Community Since 1979

Summer 2010



by Ms. Terry Eason, Executive Director
Low Vision Center

Summer is upon us!  It is bright and hot.  If that is what you like, I hope you are enjoying this heat.  I prefer the winter so I am hiding out in air conditioning or the pool when time allows.

LVC wants to remind you to use sun protection.  This means not only on your skin, but also for your eyes!  Wearing glasses that provide UV protection is important, but the color of the sunglasses that you select is also significant.  You don't want glasses that are too dark, thus restricting your already limited vision.  Don't forget the value of a visor or hat with a brim.  They can offer glare protection without reducing your visibility.  I hope that this issue of EyePower will offer you more refreshing ideas for this hot summer season.

We feature another piece about one of our devoted board members, Soo-z Stein.  Plus we will introduce you to our newest intern, Luyang (Lu) Jin.  How much of your time do you give to others?  Volunteering is a wonderful way to connect with people.  Organizations such as LVC could not run without this help.  Lu has given us an informative piece on volunteering.

In addition, we offer a reminder of the value of listening instead of seeing.  Please consider using some of the excellent free services that are available to you for your listening pleasure.

We still want to hear from you, our devoted clients,, about your visit to LVC.  Your words just might be the thing we need to help us get much needed funding from our community.  We strive to solicit grants to expand our services for you.  Your support is always needed and appreciated.

Finally we include information about used CCTVs for sale.  These are great tools that we have available at a fraction of the original cost.  As always, we hope you will find all of this information useful.

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Let Us Introduce You To - Soo-z Stein:

Mary Sue (Soo-z) Stein has been our board vice president for more years than I can remember.  Her actual starting date is uncertain.  Soo-z was a close personal friend to our founder, Joan Freed Kahn, and our former board president, Pat Coupard.  I think she might be fond of our current president, her daughter Sherry Stein, too!

Soo-z and her wonderful husband, the late Sylvan Stein, have been major financial supporters of the Low Vision Center for more than a quarter of a century.  Soo-z works tirelessly to help us raise funds to keep our center open.  Every year Soo-z commits to a campaign sending letters to her personal friends that nets a large portion of LVC's budget.  (To those of you reading this, we thank you so very much for your generous support!)

It is important that you know why Soo-z has a close personal interest in LVC; she has suffered with Macular Degeneration and vision loss for over 60 years.  Soo-z knows and understands, the struggles that vision loss brings, like having to give up her driver's license 24 years ago.  But Soo-Z would not let that stop her as she continued to enjoy sports for years.  She even played golf until 2003!  She has never been afraid of new treatments, techniques, technology or training.  If there was something new out there to try, SOO-Z has willingly given it a 100% effort.  I admire the grace and courage with which Soo-z has approached her personal journey.  Soo-z is an integral part of our organization and we are so grateful to have Soo-z, and her daughter Sherry, spending their extra time and energy with LVC.

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Summer Intern:

We are pleased to welcome Luyang Jin, or Lu as she likes to be called, to our LVC family.  Lu is a Wellesley intern who will be seeing clients, as well as assisting in a number of office tasks such as editing and even writing a piece for this newsletter!  Lu will be with us Monday through Friday from June 1 through August 6.  Lu, who has the added benefit of being fluent in Mandarin, is currently a pre-med student at Wellesley and hopes to be an ophthalmologist upon completion of her education.  If you wish to speak with Lu or make an appointment to see her, please call our office at 301-951-4444.

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by Luyang Jin:

From offering free optical aids demonstrations to providing truly invaluable information, it does not take 20/20 vision to see the good that the Low Vision Center (LVC) performs for the sector of society diagnosed with eye ailments.  Yet sometimes, the one that tirelessly helps can use a little assistance too.  The Low Vision Center is proudly a nonprofit organization that subsists on donations.  However, another way you can support LVC is by giving your time and talents (though your donations are and will always be welcome).

I am sure it is not necessary to tout the myriad benefits of volunteer work because most understand that volunteering involves not only giving but also receiving blessings in return.  As a volunteer, you will witness a center whose unequivocal commitment to the visually impaired and capacity to care has contributed to the betterment of many lives.  The welcoming atmosphere here is infectious, and the terrific director's boundless energy and enthusiasm are contagious as well.  In addition, you will very much be appreciated for dedicating your knowledge and skills in this increasingly hectic world.

As for the type of work involved, the volunteer can choose from general tasks such as assisting the director with the assignment of the day to specific tasks like follow-up calls and database updates.  Though, truth be told, the daily routine contains much more than the aforementioned description.  This is because you will be exposed to very inspiring people who have embraced their situation and dealt effectively with severe eye damage.  You will also hear fascinating stories from people who have lived long and colorful lives, as well as people whose tales of friends and neighbors' readiness to give simply warms your heart.

If you have been attempting to find the perfect volunteer opportunity, please check out the Low Vision Center.  You might even catch the bug and find yourself enjoying what is termed volunteer work a little too much.  Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in generosity, as my favorite precocious girl Anne of Green Gables says, "Some people go through life trying to find out what the world holds for them only to find out too late that it's what they bring to the world that really counts."

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Eye-Know: Listening Instead of Seeing:

One of our generous volunteers who suffers from low vision, suggested to me after the last newsletter came out, "You need to do a piece for the newsletter on music.  It is such a wonderful replacement for reading when your vision goes."  I thought about her comment at length and realized that there was more to Cynthia Walsh's message than just music.  It is listening that is so important when one's vision deteriorates.  This listening can be to music,, of course, but what about books, and the newspaper?  Are you aware that there are exceptional free services that can enable you to listen to books and newspapers?
  • The Talking Book Service provides free materials on tape and in digital format to eligible individuals.  This includes books and magazines in over 60 languages, described videos, and other services.  A cassette player and/or digital reader are provided as well.  For more information on this free service contact the Maryland Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped at 1-800-934-2541 or the Library of Congress at www.loc.gov/nls/.

  • The Metropolitan Washington Ear, Inc. is a nonprofit organization established in 1974.  MWE provides, via a closed-circuit radio or the telephone, newspaper and magazine reading service for the blind, visually impaired, and print-handicapped in the greater Washington., D.C. metropolitan area.  You can get more information from their website (www.washear.org) or by calling 301-681-6636.

  • NFB-NEWSLINE® is a free service available through the National Federation of the Blind to those who cannot read regular newsprint.  Over 300 newspapers around the country are available.  Five Spanish-language newspapers are now available too.  Their services are available throughout the United States 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  For more information call 1-866-504-7300 or http://nfbnewslineonline.org
Back to the original comment, yes Cynthia, we should remember the joy that listening to music gives us.  It is such a universal language and can lighten any heavy burden, even that which vision loss can bring.  Thank you for your wonderful suggestion to this newsletter!

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LVC Needs Your Help:

This economic climate has left many of us in need of assistance.  Here at the Low Vision Center we are also struggling.  Our donations are down by 34%.  This means that we may have to cut services if we cannot make up this deficit.  If you can help by making a donation to LVC, your gift would go to helping those we serve who are suffering with low vision.  We thank you for anything you can do!  You can make a donation by mail to the Low Vision Center,
7701 Woodmont Avenue, #604, Bethesda, MD 20814
or on our website lowvisioninfo.org.  Just click on the "Donate" button.
Donate Now
Remember that your donations are tax deductible as LVC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.  Thank you so much for your help!

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Great CCTVs for Sale:

Even more models of used CCTVs have been donated to LVC.  There are many styles and manufacturers in both black and white and color models.  All are sold in "as is" condition.  For a complete list go to our website (www.lowvisioninfo.org) or call our office at 301-951-4444 for an appointment to see these useful devices.

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End Notes:

To have joy one must share it!

- Lord Byron

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