“I just want to be able to crochet,” one of Julie Moses’s clients said.
People who have vision loss come to Vision Rehabilitation Services with all sorts of goals. For many, it’s learning how to re-enter the workforce. For others, it’s discovering new ways to take care of their households. But for a 92-yeaar old client of Julie’s, it was how to continue with her favorite activity.
“She came into our offices afraid that she had lost one of the real pleasures in her life as a result of vision impairment,” the assistive technology instructor said. “We were able to show her how she could use magnifying tools that would enable her to keep up with her hobby. By the end of our session, she was absolutely ecstatic.”
Julie’s initial experience with VRS was as a client. “When I started rehabilitation for my vision loss, a VRS counselor asked me why I was trying to use my eyes for everything when I had so many other senses. She helped me learn a valuable lesson – that we have lots of tools to use as we adapt to vision loss.”
Things went so well with Julie’s own rehabilitation that she decided to volunteer at VRS in 2015. “I found in my volunteer work that I could combine my love of technology with my passion to help people,” she said. “I had earned my degree in Computer Information Systems at Shorter University, and I was ready to put that to work. I sought out opportunities at VRS and was able to join the professional staff in 2017 as an Assistive Technology Instructor.”
Julie’s involvement with clients starts early. “I’m in close touch with our intake staff, and I often take a direct handoff once a client has been to our Low Vision Clinic for evaluation,” she commented. “As a result, I have a good idea of a client’s needs and possible paths to take before we even sit down. By the time we finish the first visit, we have a plan. And I stay connected with our clients to make sure their needs are being met and they’re aware of new tools as they become available.”