Blog Posts by Priscilla Rogers


World Sight Day: Learn More About "Avoidable Blindness" and Schedule a Comprehensive Eye Examination

World Sight Day is an international "day of awareness," coordinated by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). The purpose of World Site Day is to focus attention on the global issue of avoidable blindness and visual impairment. It is held each year on the second Thursday of October. This year, World Sight Day will be held on October 11, 2018, with the theme of Eye Care Everywhere. Important Messages on World Sight Day These are the key international messages for World Sight Day: Approximately 285

American Foundation for the Blind Ramps Up Aging and Vision Loss Initiative

With the introduction of AFB's new strategic direction last year, AFB has identified three significant issues to address in our efforts to create a world of no limits: education, employment, and aging and vision loss. Many of our initiatives moving forward will center around these priorities. With regard to aging and vision loss, America is woefully unprepared to respond effectively to the aging of the population, especially as the Baby Boomer generation ages out. Further, according to the National Health Interview Survey, in 2016, of all the civilian, non-institutionalized adults ages 65

World Glaucoma Week

The week of March 11 is World Glaucoma Week. Glaucoma is a serious condition that merits serious attention. It's time for a recap of the extensive information that VisionAware offers about glaucoma. Glaucoma often is called the sneak thief of sight for good reason: Many people are unaware that glaucoma has few symptoms or warning signs in its early stages. Early treatment for glaucoma can usually (but not always) slow the progression of the disease. However, as of yet, there is no cure for glaucoma. <img src="" width="500px" alt="Series of four photos demonstrating typical progression of vision loss due to glaucoma.

National Teleconference Addresses How Medicare Might Provide Coverage for Low Vision Devices

  As reported by Maureen Duffy in a recent VisionAware blog post, the American Foundation for the Blind hosted a national teleseminar on October 4 to discuss this critical topic. Approximately 200 people across the nation participated to hear what the panelists (listed below) had to say and to make their own comments about the need for coverage and what that coverage should look like. Panelists

What Does Independence Really Mean to Older Persons Experiencing Vision Loss?

We are celebrating our independence as a nation this week. We indeed have much to celebrate as we our flag flows proud and free, and we sing our nation’s anthem (in my case slightly off key)! Taking this to a personal level, the VisionAware peer advisors have addressed this theme in a series on independence. How Independent Do You Want to Be? Peer Advisor DeAnna Noriega raised this question saying, the training, tools, and

Taking It to the Streets: Make the 21st Century Agenda on Aging and Vision Loss Happen on a Local Level

As highlighted in a post in May regarding critical issues for older persons with vision loss, AFB has joined with other advocates in a renewed 21st Century Agenda on Aging and Vision Loss. Why is this important? Check out the facts.    Building the Case As laid out in the, the Agenda's web page, older adults

Interested in Aging and Vision Loss? Your Vote Counts

Are you concerned about aging and vision loss? Are you or someone you know older and visually impaired? If so, as you go to the polls to vote, you may want to think about the presidential candidates and their stances on aging and disability. You may also want to think about the stances of your legislative candidates. Why is this important? Research tells us that 6.1 million adults ages 65 and older experience vision lossthat’s 13.5% of the population. For those 85 and up, the percentage increases to 22.3%. And the numbers are increasing rapidly as our population ages. <img src="" alt="older

AFB Releases Our VisionConnect™ App for Android

The American Foundation for the Blind is pleased to announce that its popular VisionConnect(tm) app is now available for Android, as well as iOS devices. It can be downloaded from both the GooglePlay Store or the Apple App Store and is free. About the New VisionConnect(tm) App <img src="" alt="VisionConnect logo - an eye with the pupil

The Medicare Rights Center Answers Your Medicare Questions

by Joe Baker, Medicare Rights Center staff On October 15, open enrollment begins for Medicare recipients. This can be a very confusing time. You can get help from The Medicare Rights Center, a national, nonprofit consumer service organization. This organization works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs and public policy initiatives. The Center works tirelessly to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through its counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives. Medicare Rights is the largest and most

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) 21st Century Agenda on Aging and Vision Loss Is Moving Forward!

The 21st Century Agenda on Aging and Vision Loss: Some Background AFB began a "national conversation" on aging and vision loss over a year ago in anticipation of the 2015 White House Conference on Aging. As noted in our post on the outcome of the conference, AFB and other stakeholders have been extremely concerned that aging and vision loss issues have not been addressed in any significant way on a national level: "Older persons with vision problems should not be sidelined or forgotten because of their inability to engage – due to

Aging in America: Women at Risk for Vision Problems

by Mary E. Worstell, MPH Editor's note: Guest blogger Mary E. Worstell, MPH, is Senior Advisor, Office on Women's Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services. Ms. Worstell recently spoke on a panel at the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) Leadership Conference and at a recent teleconference on the 21st Century Agenda on Vision Loss and Aging. She spoke to the health and disability disparities represented by seniors with vision loss and the need for collaborative efforts to improve services for older persons with vision loss. She encouraged our community to "be proactive and at the

During Older Americans Month 2016, AFB Initiates the 21st Century National Agenda on Aging and Vision Loss

This year, the theme for Older Americans Month is "Blaze a Trail." During Older Americans Month 2016, the Administration for Community Living is using this opportunity to raise awareness about important issues facing older adults and to show the ways that older Americans are advocating for themselves, their peers, and their communities. In addition, VisionAware is highlighting the American Academy of Ophthalmology's new resource, Eye Care for Older

AFB Press Releases New Edition of Making Life More Livable: Simple Adaptations for Living at Home after Vision Loss

by Mary D'Apice, VisionAware Contributing Writer An interview with Maureen A. Duffy, CVRT, Author Making Life More Livable Agencies that provide services to people who are blind or visually impaired offer vision rehabilitation to the 5.3 million Americans over 65 with

Veterans Day: A Perfect Time to Review Your Benefits for Eye Health and Rehabilitation Services

Editor's note: The information in this post has been updated in this article, Veterans Health Administration Services for the Blind or Visually Impaired. For more in-depth information and available services for veterans who are blind or visually impaired, check out the Information for Veterans Coping with Vision Loss section on VisionAware. With Veterans Day on the horizon, we thought it would be timely to highlight the

Wearing Decorative Contact Lenses Can Be the Scariest Part of Halloween

Caption: Lady Gaga in Still from "Bad Romance" Halloween is right around the corner. You may be tempted to try out those "cool" decorative contact lenses that Lady Gaga wore in the "Bad Romance" video a few years ago. Maureen Duffy wrote about the dangers of these lenses in a post last fall. Vampire eyes or other cosmetic effects using contact lens may be very dangerous to your eyes. Here's what the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has to say

I Have A Cataract, What Now?

By Frank J. Weinstock, MD, FACS. Dr. Weinstock is an ophthalmologist, board-certified,with extensive experience in practice management, and in medical and surgical ophthalmology. He is a Professor of Ophthalmology NEOMED, Affiliate Clinical Professor in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, and Volunteer Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. Editor's note: With World Sight Day

Vision Rehabilitation Therapists Awareness Week Commemorates Anne Sullivan’s Birthday

by Steve Kelley, CVRT New Date for Celebration of Vision Rehabilitation Therapists Awareness Week This year marks a change of date for Vision Rehabilitation Therapist (VRT) Awareness Week. In the past, the week of Helen Keller’s birthday, June 27th was the highlight of this commemoration. For 2015 VRT Awareness Week will take place, April 12-18, the week of Anne Sullivan’s birthday, which was April 14. <img src=""

Preparing for the 2015 White House Conference on Aging: Highlights of the Phoenix Conversation on Aging and Vision Loss

On April 8, 2015, a large group of older individuals with vision loss, family members, service providers, eye care specialists, policy makers, and researchers gathered in the same room in Phoenix, Arizona, during the American Foundation for the Blind Leadership Conference. The purpose of the gathering was to hold a “conversation about aging and visual impairment” to discuss issues to be raised at the upcoming White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) to be held in July, 2015. White House Conference to Be Held July, 2015 How fitting that the conference will be held in

Don't Let Consumer Fraud Fool You

This is not an April Fool's joke! April is Financial Literacy Month as well as that time of year that we think of (shudder) paying taxes! Speaking of taxes, IRS has put out a list of 2015 scams of which you need to be aware. Among them are phone, phishing, and identify theft. You may also be interested in VisionAware's tax guide. AFB's Partnership with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau To help consumers, family members, and professionals in the field, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has

National Reading Month: Reading with Visual Impairment, Part II

by Steven Kelley, CVRT, VisionAware Contributor Continuing our discussion of reading options, let’s look at some of the reading alternatives available today. Lighting If you have low vision, lighting is a critical component of reading. VisionAware has lots of information on this topic, including a video series entitled

National Reading Month: Reading with a Visual Impairment Part I

by Steve Kelley, CVRT, VisionAware Contributor The month of March is designated National Reading Month, making it the perfect opportunity to highlight the expanding options for readers with a vision impairment. As a vision rehabilitation therapist, one of the most common complaints clients experiencing a vision loss report to me is that they are no longer able to read the newspaper,

Sorting Things Out in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

By Gregory L. Goodrich, Ph.D., Vision Rehabilitation Research Consultant. Editor's note: March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. We have asked Dr. Greg Goodrich, recently retired from the Veterans Administration, to kick off the month with a post about Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and its implications in the civilian world. TBI Can Be Challenging Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, of whatever severity, can be challenging to patients, their caregivers, and clinicians. Seek Immediate

Be My Eyes App Lets You Help People Who Are Visually Impaired Using Your iPhone

By John Henahan, O.D. I Love Being an Eye Doctor I love being an eye doctor! Helping people experience the richness of life by giving them the best possible vision brings me a strong sense of satisfaction and purpose. But sometimes, people lose vision despite our best efforts. Sometimes, people are born with blindness or serious vision impairment. As eye doctors, we have a variety of special tools available to us to help those with vision impairment, but sometimes there is no substitute for a pair of eyes to see something. That is one reason why people who are blind and visually impaired have flocked to smartphones, especially Apple’s iPhone. By initiating a

Adding Technology to the Mix: Remaining the Master of Your Tools

Editor's Note: Our guest blogger, Karen Gourgey, is the director of the Computer Center for Visually Impaired People (CCVIP) at Baruch College, an agency of the month for VisionAware. Observations on Technology I read with interest Dianna Noriega's blog post Confessions of a Reluctant Technology User published a couple of months back on the VisionAware site. She and increasing numbers of individuals who are blind are using mainstream accessible technologies as their primary tools for access, especially in the work place. Our technology center CCVIP at Baruch College, City

November—a Time of Thanksgiving

We know the end of October brought about very bad times for millions of people and that it is going to take a very long time to get back to normal. But as a nation we have lots to be thankful for, such as the opportunity coming up to vote as a free people, the wonderful generosity of people who have donated time and money to help those in need, and the sacrifices of our military personnel to help keep us safe and secure, to name just a few. We hope you will continue keep the storm victims in mind and, if you can, respond to requests for providing assistance. With that in mind, VisionAware has a section on

What Does the Future Hold?

I recently read a USA Today series, "The Next 30 Years" (September 30, 2012) regarding the future. As I read, I wished my grandmother were around to enjoy the predictions. She reveled in talking about how many changes occurred in her lifetimefrom riding her pony to school to learning to drive her first T-model, to taking a plane to Paris, to using a CCTV or electronic magnifier, as we know it today, to read the old-fashioned newspaper. Intrigued with the prognostications, I thought I would share a few with you for you to reflect on how the changes suggested will impact your life as person with vision loss, family member or professional in the field living in the 21st Century! Smaller homes, smaller yards, smaller cars, walking more, driving

White Cane Safety Day and World Sight Day

White Cane Safety Day has been celebrated on October 15 of each year since 1964, when a joint resolution of the U.S. Congress, H.R. 753, was signed into law as Pub.L. 88-628 This resolution authorized the President of the United States to proclaim October 15 of each year as "White Cane Safety Day". President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the first White Cane Safety Day proclamation. White Cane Day is also celebrated internationally. The date is set aside to celebrate the achievements of people who are blind or visually impaired and the important symbol of blindness and tool of independence, the white cane. Here is a listing of White Cane Safety Day events. More About White Canes Each state

Continuing to Work After Vision Loss

While Maureen Duffy, VisionAware's Social Media Specialist, is away, we want to update you on some very special events taking place this month. Since October is such a busy month, this update will take two blog posts! October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). The purpose is to raise awareness about disability employment issues and to celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. This year's theme is "A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce: What Can YOU Do?" According to the Office of Disability Employment at the US Department of Labor, NDEAM's roots go back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In 1988,

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Guest blogger Dr. Priscilla Rogers is the VisionAware Program Manager. The new VisionAware combines two stand-alone resources from American Foundation for the Blind and Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation (Senior Site and the former VisionAware, respectively) into a single, comprehensive website offering dynamic social

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