A promotional poster created by the Department of Veterans Affairs features an artists’ rendering of five different service men and women, representing the five different branches of the US Military. At the top reads: “Honoring All Who Served.” In the background is the American flag.
The Council is proud to present its second Visually Impaired Veterans Support Group starting April 27. This support group is made possible through a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs. Meetings will be held the fourth Thursday of each month from April through November in Madison.
“The purpose of the group is to offer a place for visually impaired veterans to meet with each other, find resources available and discuss issues related to vision loss,” says Amy Wurf, Certified Low Vision Therapist at the Council.
“For all visually impaired people, losing your vision invokes a feeling of isolation. The support group will serve as a place where veterans can get together and share their experiences of vision loss. They’ll all have a common background, having served in the military.”
Meetings will be held at 10 A.M. for one hour, at a location on the near West side of Madison.
There is no cost to attend, and refreshments will be provided. The topics of discussion will ultimately be decided by the participants. Some ideas include coping strategies for dealing with the challenges of vision loss, local resources available, guest speakers and product demonstrations.
The first Visually Impaired Veterans Support Group met in Janesville in 2015. Four to six people participated at each meeting, on average.
“Amy was very outgoing and helpful,” says Jack Allord, a veteran who participated in the Janesville support group. “By participating, I met Kurt Brunner of the VA, and he was able to help me with benefits. I had been trying to work with the VA on my own for ten years.”
Amy said the group is important because it reflects the Council’s mission of outreach to people in the community by educating the public about services available.
It is not necessary to be enrolled in the VA to participate in this support group. Veterans do not have to be legally blind—veterans with any degree of vision loss are welcome to participate. The vision loss does not need to be service-related. Spouses and other family members are welcome to attend as well.
“Spouses often came to the support group in Rock County, and they had unique questions and issues as well,” Amy says. “We were able to provide support and information for them.”
“It’s well worth it because of the contacts you make,” says Jack. “Several other veterans were there, and it was great to talk to people who were going through the same issues.”
A variety of different services and products will be available for attendees to learn more about. Store manager Brent Perzentka models how to use the Pebble Magnifier while reading a newspaper.
The Council will host the Coulee Region Low Vision Fair on Thursday, May 4 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Lunda Center, located on the Western Technical College Campus at 319 7th Street North, in La Crosse.
The Coulee Region Low Vision Fair will include breakout sessions featuring three scheduled speakers. Cathryn Scott, a specialist in independent living and assistive technology with Independent Living Resources, will discuss personal and legislative advocacy. Linda Palmer from the Office for the Blind and Visually Impaired will provide information on organizing and labeling your home and personal space. Council Board Member Steve Johnson with the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Western Wisconsin will discuss outdoor recreation for persons with low or no vision.
“We will also have a session where people from western Wisconsin can share ideas with the Council about making Main Street friendly for those with vision impairment ,” said WCBVI Education and Vision Services Director Jean Kalscheur.
The fair will also feature services and businesses that assist people with disabilities and seniors in the greater La Crosse area, as well as vendors from companies that sell low and high tech products for persons with low vision.
There is no cost to attend and door prizes are available.
This event is sponsored by Ho-Chunk Gaming – Black River Falls and Associated Bank.
A special edition event logo for the Lions Centennial reads: “Where there’s a need, there’s a Lion.” An enlarged “100” features a Lions International logo in the center. Off to the side of the numbers reads: “Since 1917.”
The La Crosse and Onalaska Lions will host the State Lions Convention where the Lions Centennial will be celebrated. Each Lions Club member is encouraged to attend May 4 -7, 2017 at the La Crosse Center.
This special event will be honored by hosting the Lions International Centennial Torch during the opening of the convention. Only a few districts in the United States have this honor.
On the afternoon of Friday, May 5, the community will be invited to join in the celebration and to learn what the Lions Club is all about during an ice cream social thanks to Ranison Ice Cream Shop.
The Centennial project this year is to collect one million pairs of glasses. Each district will be recognized for the number of glasses they have collected during the year. The district with the most glasses collected will receive special recognition.
This convention will offer a special collector’s item program book. The book includes submitted stories about each Lions Club in the state, as well as Lions International and Wisconsin Lion history.
Along with sessions and voting items, there will be a special Centennial Celebration on Saturday afternoon and an Anniversary Ball on Saturday night. Plan to be there to dance to the music of the West Salem Jazz Band! For those who will stay overnight there will be a special church service on Sunday morning, a riverboat ride and some additional tours.
The Council is excited to participate in this milestone event and will be in attendance with an exhibition table. Please plan to stop by and say hello!
For more information or to register, go to: http://wisconsinlions.org/state-convention/.
April Backyard Hero Award from Community Shares of Wisconsin
Council Board Member Annika Konrad poses for a headshot. The photo is focused on her face, where she is smiley warmly. The background is out of focus, with tones of green and beige.
We are excited to announce that WCBVI Board Member Annika Konrad has been recognized as one of this month’s “Backyard Heros” by Community Shares of Wisconsin.
“Each month, Community Shares and their sponsors, Budget Signs and Specialties, Isthmus, and 105.5 Triple M Radio, recognize two outstanding member agency volunteers who have given their time to our member groups and to our community. These volunteers are seldom in the news but are always on the front lines of critical issues that make our community a better place to live,” states Community Shares on their website.
To learn more about Annika and others honored with this award, go to: http://www.communityshares.com/whats-new/backyard-heroes/.
Keys U See Keyboard
This keyboard has been specifically designed for people with low vision, featuring the largest print available on keycaps and one touch internet and email buttons for easy access. This USB keyboard features white keys with black print, or Black keys with white print.
- 8 Media Keys for one touch music and video control Keyboard Dimensions
- 8 Internet Keys for one touch internet and email
- Enhanced 104-key layout
- USB plug
Item # CA200 - $50.00