Embracing skills and technology for Independence with Vision Loss

In 2005, Wayne began his supportive journey with the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI). He was looking for help with essential activities such as grocery shopping, independent and confident travel and financial budgeting help.

ABVI’s professional staff encouraged him to join a local, monthly Support Group that meets in his area. As good fortune would have it, he also met his future wife, Yvonne in this group. Wayne discovered resources that provided helpful ideas and solutions for him and his wife to “live and move about safely and confidently”.

Wayne, with the help of ABVI, is now able to keep abreast of the new sight impaired technology and devices that are available today. To date, these devices have been a Braille computer display, Braille embosser, a print reading scanner and special software innovations. Another device that is very valuable is having a computer screen reading program called “JAWS” (Job Access With Speech) for his computer. JAWS helps computer users whose vision loss prevents them from seeing screen content or navigating with a mouse. It provides speech output for many PC applications. Wayne also acquired additional software and training from ABVI.

ABVI’s Vision Rehabilitation professionals provided in-home training, which helped Wayne to better master the computer and “took his fear of using the computer away”. He finds a compact digital recorder for note taking, names, addresses and phone numbers very helpful.

In order to continue writing and signing checks, as well as keeping track of his bank balances, Wayne began using “Money Talks”, an accessible software banking program and is able to sign his checks with a signature guide.

Wayne and Yvonne are very happy with ABVI’s resources and support. They appreciate our help suggesting and purchasing devices economically. And they value the “helpful and encouraging” in-home training we provide.

Wayne pointed out that “ABVI’s fee for service is definitely affordable”. And Yvonne also was complimentary of ABVI’s “Store” at the Grand Rapids office from which they can order by telephone. The wide selection of devices for visually impaired individuals was one other reason she noted her “appreciation for ABVI”.