There are an estimated 20,000 people who are blind or visually impaired living in Salt Lake, Davis, Tooele and Summit Counties. The loss of sight restricts their ability to function independently and freely access their community. People who are blind or who are losing their sight find they can no longer walk safely, cook their own food, wash their own clothing etc. Without their sight they cannot pay their bills, drive a car, read the newspaper, go shopping. Family and friends see them as being helpless. For some, the home becomes a prison, for others, a nursing home appears to be the only solution. Neither of these life sentences are necessary. With the proper training and the use of some adaptive technology, people with sight loss can be given back their independence. The majority of these people live on low or fixed incomes and cannot afford to pay for help.
Here we meet Cordie, a member of the Utah Council of the Blind. In this video Cordie discusses her deaf-blindness, challenges she's faced, and how she's found success throughout her life.
For five years, the UCB has provided in-home training in blindness skills by teams of a blind and sighted individual. These teams are available to you in Logan, Ogden, Davis County, Salt Lake City and surrounding areas, Provo area, Manti area, Price area and Kanab and surrounding towns. These teams visit homes and bring information and help with skills such as cane travel, braille, safety in the kitchen, organization and more. They can connect you with other services, such as the Library for the Blind, senior services, Meals on Wheels, Medicaid, and other community services. Many of them can help you find adaptive technology to assist you be more independent. These teams also teach basic Orientation and Mobility skills which provides necessary training to use a white cane and orientation to and around your neighborhood. For those with hearing and sight loss, there are special programs which offer support service providers to help you access your community as well as special adaptive technology to assist with both sensory losses. They can also connect you with transportation resources and help people with the UCB programs which provide special services for members.
It was a great pleasure to read accounts these teams provide of individuals in the community to have reached the great age of 100 or more. In the Manti area there is a lovely lady who is now 105, and in the Kanab area there is a great lady celebrating with her community as she turns 102. The UCB offers these individuals and all those members who have or will soon turn 100 or more during the year happy birthday wishes. At least three members are 100 or more and are still part of the UCB. We congratulate you and send our love to all of you. You are marvelous examples to all of us.
If you would like a teacher/trainer team to visit you, please contact the Utah Connection and leave your name and phone number. Someone will call you to discuss your needs and determine if there is a team in your area. Remember, also, there is a great training center in Salt Lake if you wish extensive training in blindness skills.
Would you like to Volunteer?
If you want to be a volunteer, please contact us at: (801) 299-0670
You can also download and print the Volunteer form but you must contact us before you can volunteer. All volunteers must be screened and approved before they can participate.