Leading a Support Group?

Leading a Support Group for the visually impaired can be very rewarding. Please share your tips, resources and successes here. Lets support each other in this worthwhile endeavor!

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Re: Leading a Support Group?



Hi GC Blau- Glad to hear about your idea for a teleconference support group. it is a very viable option since so many of us do not have reliable transportation. There are several tele-support groups that I am aware of and I have participated in. For things to go smoothly, it is a good idea to begin the group explaining a few rules of etiquette for phone conferences. Often there is a delay of a couple of seconds and members can talk on top of each other at times. So you can work out a way to "call on" whomever wants to speak. Speakers should always start by stating their names. Here are some guidelines used by Senior Center Without Walls which conducts all on-line groups :
Phone/Online Etiquette • Ensure that you are in a quiet environment before joining a group. • Please try to join activities at the time they begin. Remember, all activities are in Pacific Time. • Be prepared to identify yourself with your first name when you join the group and before you speak for the benefit of everyone. • When you are not speaking, please mute your line to avoid background noise. For audio-only calls: Press the MUTE button or press *1 For audio/video calls: Press the MUTE button or press *6 Group Etiquette • Allow the Facilitator to guide and direct the flow of his or her activity. • Everyone’s opinion is valuable and must be respected in all groups. • Allow every member the opportunity to participate and be heard. • Do not monopolize the conversation. • Proselytizing, arguing, or directing hurtful or disrespectful remarks at any member is forbidden. You can learn more about how their groups are run by perhaps sitting in on them. here is their website; www.seniorcenterwithoutwalls.org

Another telesupport group that I know of is the International Low Vision Support Group network Telesupport that is run by www.mdsupport.org. Dan Roberts has been doing these for years and I am sure he would be happy to give you some tips. Here is their website where you will find lots of resources, topics and information for your new group: http://www.mdsupport.org/support/

One other tele group is run by our Talking Book library. it is a statewide group. Here is the information on it-you may want to attend and /or contact the leader just to get tips.
Statewide Phone
Georgia Libraries – Statewide
Peer Support by PHONE
Contact Vanessa Meadows at 404-657-1452
vmeadows@georgialibraries.org

Be sure to have a look around the VisionAware.org website too for ideas and topics to discuss! We have great information that can be used for support groups. As well, we have a whole section under the Emotional Support Tab on support group resources that are very helpful. I wish you all the best with this new group! Audrey Demmitt, Support Group Adviser for VisionAware.


Re: Leading a Support Group?



Hi, I will be shortly beginning to lead a run a support group via a tele conference. Nybody have any good ideas? I have run a group face to face but never viea the telephone.


Re: Leading a Support Group?



I was just wanting to ask a couple questions, and let those who might be looking to join a group. My name is johnny and I currently go to college as a full time student. We have put together a group for the visually impaired. We are working hard to make this group get things done through the college to help the blind and sited community come closer together. For a long time many colleges and teachers have always had that red line, where teachers are not sure how to help there student who is blind when they come to there class for the first time. So one of our goals is getting the teachers and students better educated on how they together can make things much better than before. Our group also will be doing a lot more than just teacher and student awareness. We also have other goals we are setting, and anyone who likes to help out and be a part of groups and so on. We would love to have you. Maybe you can help the group out with ideas, or even help with areas we might not have much information on. Even though we are really looking to get things done locally first, we are still looking to make this group for anyone who wants to be a part of it. Today is time for change, and if we don't stand up and start creating change, then it will never happen. The teachers for example. They could better understand how blind people do things, and how to communicate with blind students instead of feeling stressed and so on. We would love to have you join our group and help out when you can. If anyone could help us with information on things to do for the group as far as finding out about other groups and so on, please let me know and also let me know if you would like to join the group.
I hope someone might be able to help me out with information on areas I should check so we can build our group. Thank you so much.


Re: Leading a Support Group?



HI, I checked with a person who works for the Access Board and this is her reply:
"I think this information on the DOT website answers your question - see https://www.transit.dot.gov/regulations-and-guidan.... While a sighted guide is not typically regarded as a personal care attendant (PCA), I think the principle remains the same. The form for filing a complaint with DOT is at https://www.transit.dot.gov/regulations-and-guidan...
I hope this helps.


Re: Leading a Support Group?



I am a Case Worker running 2 Support groups in 2 Counties. I have a question to ask but was not sure where to post it. Recently one of my clients needed assistance getting on the van (public transportation) to get to his seat. Some days are better than others in regards to sight, this day he was having trouble seeing because of the sun. He was guided to his seat by another visually impaired person , sat down and rode home. However the problem come when the bus driver reported him to the Director of trans and the director told him he now needs a guide or to find another ride to our support group (as he poses a risk). I feel this is discrimination at its finest. Am I wrong? What Can I do. I don't want this to be a problem for another client..... and certainly do not want him to sit home because he cannot find a ride to our support group.


Re: Leading a Support Group?



if you are leading or participating in a support group for the visually impaired, VisionAware would like to learn more about your group. We can add it to our Support Group directory and write a feature article to highlight the group. Please contact me at: amdemmitt@gmail.com THANKS!


Re: Leading a Support Group?



Check out the recent Hadley Seminar in their archives entitled "Self-Help Groups:Resources and Strategies" to get tips and information that can help you start or refresh a support group. http://www.hadley.edu/PastSeminars.asp This seminar brings together a panel of 3 effective support group leaders who share their experiences and resources.


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