Support Groups and Other Resources
Audrey Demmitt, R.N., and VisionAware Support Group Advisor is managing the support group area.
Importance of Joining a Support Group
If you've been diagnosed with an eye condition, have a family member who has, or have become a caregiver, joining a support group may be the most important thing you'll ever do. Whether online or in your local community, such groups offer the opportunity to talk to others, share common concerns, frustrations, and stories, and find solutions to your vision-related difficulties. To locate a support group in your area, contact your state or local vision rehabilitation agency for support group information. Some national organizations, such as The American Council of the Blind or The National Federation of the Blind may also be able to link you to local or online support groups, or your eye doctor may also be helpful.
VisionAware periodically features support groups to bring to you a sample of the rich resources that are available to you locally. VisionAware offers an "ask any question about support groups" topic on the VisionAware message boards. So if you cannot find a support group in your area or you would like more information about what to expect, or even how to find a group, be sure to post a question.
Support Group Resources
- Check out our Support Group Primer.
- The VisionAware Directory of Services allows you to find local support groups as well as organizations that offer counseling and adjustment services, low vision services, mobility training, and vocational rehabilitation.
- The American Council of the Blind has a list of helpful resources for people with vision loss and their families. It also has a national directory of affiliates in each state. Seniors can find information through the ACB affiliate Alliance on Aging and Vision Loss.
- Low vision issues are addressed through the Council of Citizens with Low Vision International.
- The Family Caregiver Alliance. FCA was the first community-based nonprofit organization in the country to address the needs of families and friends providing long-term care at home. FCA now offers programs at national, state, and local levels to support and sustain caregivers, and has an online family support group.
- The Hadley School for the Blind. Offers tuition-free distance education courses in various media on topics such as participating in or even initiating a a self-help groups and dealing with many issues related to blindness and low vision.
- The National Federation of the Blind Seniors Initiative provides low vision resources and online discussion groups.
- Vision Exchange is a listserve for people who facilitate support groups for adults with vision loss. The purpose is to exchange ideas and information about video magnification and other devices and community resources to help adults with low vision be more independent.
- Rocky's Story: The Creation of the Frogtown Low Vision Support Group
The Frogtown Low Vision Support Group was born over 40 years ago through friendships and circumstances.