Society for the Blind recently received $25,000 from M&M Whitmire Family Foundation in Granite Bay to provide classes and training for seniors with vision loss and blindness. The grant will fund the group’s Senior IMPACT Project that empowers people age 55 and older with alternative, non-visual techniques and skills that enable them to perform day-to-day tasks and activities so they can maintain or increase independence.
“Our Senior IMPACT Project is life-changing for the growing number of seniors in the Sacramento region who find themselves losing their vision and are unsure of how to continue living independently,” said Shari Roeseler, executive director, Society for the Blind. “Increasingly, more seniors are still working and need to learn how to do their jobs using non-visual techniques. Thanks to this funding from the M&M Whitmire Family Foundation, hundreds of seniors with vision loss can live life to the fullest.”
The Senior IMPACT Project includes an eight-day retreat offered monthly at Society for the Blind that gives seniors an immersion experience where they learn alternative techniques and skills to travel safely, efficiently and independently. They practice alternative techniques and use adapted tools to perform tasks of daily living including cooking, cleaning, shopping, home maintenance, organization, personal finance and more. They learn how to use the latest in assistive technology to operate computers and mobile devices for home, school and work, and they learn Braille. Participants receive individualized attention from instructors and mentors who are blind or low vision, and they have the opportunity to join in discussion groups with peers on issues around vision loss and participate in community activities. For those unable to attend retreats, Society for the Blind sends instructors to their homes to teach skills and offer resources. The Senior IMPACT Project includes monthly peer support groups for English and Spanish speakers and workshops throughout the year.
“On behalf of the M&M Whitmire Family Foundation, I would like to thank Society for the Blind for letting our foundation be a part of such a great organization,” said Jessika Cano, director of senior outreach at the foundation. “Blindness comes in various degrees and knows no discrimination. It is something that all can experience in some degree, and something we can adapt to and still have productive and great lives. Society for the Blind makes this possible by having amazing programs and a wide range of tools with great employees and volunteers willing to teach. Thanks again to Society for the Blind for continuing their support and care within our community now and in the years to come.”
For 66 years, Society for the Blind has created innovative ways to empower individuals living with low vision or blindness to discover, develop and achieve their full potential. Society for the Blind has grown from a dedicated group of volunteers to a nationally recognized agency and the only comprehensive rehabilitative teaching center that provides services for a 27-county region of northern California. The nonprofit provides low-vision eye care, life and job skills training, mentorship, and access to tools to maintain independence for nearly 6,000 youth, working-age adults and seniors experiencing vision loss each year. For more information or to make a donation, visit SocietyfortheBlind.org.
M&M Whitmire Family Foundation’s mission is to assist children in need and senior care within the Sacramento area.