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Vision Resources

Those who are blind or low vision can benefit from any of our Independent Living or Employment Services, as well as resources we offer specifically for those with vision needs.  

Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology (AT) devices and services are used by individuals with disabilities and/or chronic health conditions to complete tasks that might be otherwise difficult or impossible to do. Universal design is a term that refers to devices that were developed so they can be used by a wide variety of people with different abilities.

An individual with a vision loss may need an assistive technology solution from more than one category depending on their needs. Most individuals are interested in devices that help them read and write, but AT devices can help individuals organize their schedules, manage their medication, find a nearby restaurant in a new neighborhood, manage their money, and much more. Of course, individuals who are blind or have low vision do benefit from AT devices designed specifically for their needs.

Some examples of common AT solutions for vision loss and blindness include:

  • Reading – video magnifiers, screen magnification software, screen reader software, CCTVs, DAISY books and readers 

  • Writing – 20/20 pens, CCTVs, Braillers 

  • Cooking – hot shot pot, splatter guards, talking microwave 

  • Personal Care – talking blood pressure cuff, talking scales, talking glucometer 

  • Travel – Mobile GEO, Trekker Breeze, BrailleNote GPS 

  • Organization – BrailleNote, Pac Mate, Voice Sense 

  • Recreation – textured dominoes, Braille bingo cards, beep balls, partner scopes

Older Individuals Who Are Blind

Beyond Barriers provides independent living services for persons age 55 or older who experience blindness or visual impairments. These services are designed to teach the skills necessary to acquire, maintain, and increase independence.  
 
Some examples of these services include: 

  • Marking appliances for ease of use 

  • Identification and use of household products 

  • Household organization 

  • Evaluation of technology needs 

  • Obtaining funding for needed visual aids 

  • Training in use of equipment and software

Peer support and groups are also available from the following organizations:  

  • Kansas Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired – www.kabvi.com 

  • Northwest Kansas Low Vision Association Southwest Kansas Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired 

  • Topeka Association for the Visually Impaired 

National Associations

Low vision support groups in Kansas

  • Emporia – Ann Pearce, 629 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan
    785-776-4741 

     

  • Fort Scott – Shelia Marque, 320 S Broadway, Pittsburg
    620-231-5300 

     

  • Garden City – Western Kansas Low Vision
    620-275-7248

     

  • Great Bend – Paul Berscheidt CKAVI, 3600 Broadway, Great Bend
    620-792-1232 

     

  • Hays – NKAVI, 2502 Sherman Ave., Hays
     

  • Hutchinson – Tammy Fuhr, Beyond Barriers
    620-259-5624 

     

  • Independence – Shelia Marque, 320 S Broadway, Pittsburg
    620-231-5300 

     

  • Iola – Shelia Marque, 320 S Broadway, Pittsburg
    620-231-5300 

     

  • McPherson – 500 W Bluestem, North Newton
    316-284-2900 

     

  • Ottawa – East Central Kansas Area Agency on Aging
    785-242-7200 

     

  • Pittsburg – Shelia Marque, 320 S Broadway, Pittsburg
    620-231-5300 

     

  • Topeka – KABVI, 603 SW Topeka Blvd # 304, Topeka
    785-235-8990 

     

  • Wichita – Envision, 610 N Main Wichita
    316-440-1600 

     

  • Yates Center – Shelia Marque, 320 S Broadway, Pittsburg
    620-231-5300

Woman with long brown hair smiling, black labrador guide dog on her lap
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“I had to leave a career in radiology due to loss of my eyesight. I really didn’t know where to go or who could help, or what I could do with my life. Everyone here helped me realize what I could do.

Now I’m able to run my own business independently, especially with help from my Independent Living Specialist to help me with things like tax filing.”

- KELLY (and guide dog Emerald)

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