VisionAware Turns Two

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Two Years Ago This Month VisionAware and Senior Site Joined Forces to Form the New VisionAware™

We are elated to report that we've had an increase in visitors of nearly 60% since we launched the redesigned VisionAware in June 2012! We thank our loyal followers and subscribers for contributing to that growth by sharing information and linking to us.

Some Background Information If You Are New to VisionAware

In June 2012 The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) and Reader's Digest Partners for Sight Foundation launched VisionAware, a free, easy-to-use, online resource center for adults with vision loss, their families, caregivers, healthcare providers, and social service professionals.

How VisionAware Helps

VisionAware offers information about living with eye conditions such as macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and retinitis pigmentosa. Available information includes:

  • Free, practical tips and articles on topics such as reading, finding the right technology, getting around for people with vision loss, their families, friends, caregivers, and related professionals.
  • A glossary of eye conditions.
  • Different ways to connect, including message boards and social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
  • Breaking news on the latest developments in vision loss treatment via the VisionAware blog. This blog (with over 300 posts) keeps readers updated on eye and vision research and provides interviews with vision researchers from around the world. The blog is written and edited by Maureen Duffy, M.S., CVRT, who also invites guest bloggers who bring a fresh perspective to issues that involve blindness and low vision.
  • Directories of helpful services, products, and resources.

Highlights from 2014!

Twitter

Our Twitter followers will reach 8,000 this month, making @visionaware the most "followed" organization in our field.

The Peer Perspectives Blog
Created this past year, the Peer Perspectives Blog, recruits peer advisor volunteers (18 to date), from around the world. They provide a variety of perspectives on living with vision loss, including technology and accessibility insights, advice for family members, travel tips, and safety and accessibility throughout the home. The peer advisors also contribute articles and interact on message boards and blogs.

Helping People Get Started
This year, VisionAware created a “Getting Started” Kit, containing 10 tip sheets with information designed to:
  • provide hope,
  • help handle the challenges of vision loss,
  • connect people with important resources, and
  • serve as a "roadmap" to finding useful information on VisionAware.

The tips can be downloaded in English or Spanish at visionaware.org/gettingstarted. Or to receive a free print copy register to join the VisionAware community.

My VisionAware
“My VisionAware” is a tool designed to help visitors find the information they need. By logging in through the VisionAware home page, you can find a listing of the latest articles, events, blogs, and announcements that relate to the interest categories you indicated in your online profile. You are also able to “track” the blogs and message boards.

Peer Support Group Section
This new section highlights peer support groups across the country.

Low Vision Provider Directory
The Find Services feature of the VisionAware directory of services now includes a new category of service providers— Low Vision Services-Independent Service Providers. It includes eligible independent or individual practitioners and private clinics that offer low vision services. If you would like to be included in the directory, please follow this link.

Listening to our Visitors and Subscribers
VisionAware offers an online survey through which we solicit comments and suggestions. This helps us both to affirm what we are doing and add new content suggested by visitors.

How VisionAware Responds to Input
We have developed “Readers Want to Know“ blogs which address questions that are helpful to everyone. For example, one of the most popular "Readers Want to Know" blogs is: How is Vision Screening Different from a Comprehensive Eye Exam?
We also utilize visitors’ questions in our “Question and Answer” feature found throughout VisionAware.

Thanks again for all of your support. We hope you will continue to enjoy VisionAware and share our information and links. As Helen Keller said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

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