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On Sight: August 2015

Make Sure a Vision Check is on Your Back-to-School “To-Do” list

During “Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month”

August finds parents and grandparents checking off important activities before their children and grandchildren start a new school year. Enrollment form? Check! Orientation schedule? Check! Immunizations? Check! How about their eyes?? We hope you said, “Check!” because good vision is key to a child’s physical development, success in school, and overall well-being. Most children have healthy eyes; however, there are conditions that can threaten good vision. Some symptoms are external and easy to spot, while others require the expertise of a medical professional.

What should you look for in children?

• Wandering or crossed eyes

• Squinting at objects that are near or far away

• Frequent rubbing of eyes

• Tilting or turning the head to look at objects

• Prolonged crusting or tearing of the eyes

• Droopy eyelid

• Family history of childhood problems

Many of these conditions, if diagnosed early, can be treated, and vision can be restored. August is also a great time to discuss the importance of eye safety with your children or grandchildren. Eye injuries are one of the leading causes of vision loss in children, and many of these are sports related.

Here are a few vision safety tips to help prevent injury:

• Wear the appropriate eyewear when participating in sports or recreational activities.

• Play with toys that are age appropriate.

• Avoid toys with sharp or protruding parts or edges.

To learn more about eye protectors by sport and to get tips for buying them, visit www.preventblindness.org and put “sports” in the search box. There are many options.

One of the best ways you can ensure that your loved one maintains good vision throughout life is to set a good example yourself.

You can find lots of good information on children’s vision health and safety at www.preventblindness.org, www.geteyesmart.org, and www.friendsforsight.org.

The Golden Slipper

This month’s featured article from the Outlook from Here blog

By Michelle Roach

When imagining the typical bowler, you probably think of a middle-aged to older gentlemen with a beer belly. At 25 years old, female, and actively trying to avoid a beer belly, I am definitely a standout on my bowling league. Another time I stood out on the lanes was when I went bowling with 18 people with blindness or vision loss at Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired’s recreational event in Eau Claire.

The event was from noon to 4pm and we all had a blast. Some of the people at the event had never bowled before and others were captains of their blind bowling league. New and seasoned bowlers approached the lanes using adaptive railings that led straight up to the line. We ate pizza, joked with one another, met new people, and bowled for a few solid hours. You could hear each person’s “yes!” as they heard the ball hit the pins and each person’s sigh, yelp, or “shucks!” when they heard the ball hit the gutter from anywhere in the alley. We were definitely the life of the party!

When it was time to pack up, while everyone was getting their things together and bundling back up to go out into the cold February afternoon, I was making sure we had all of the Council’s stuff put away, that the lanes were cleaned up, and that my passengers were all ready to go. When we had everything set, I took my stuff outside and led Gene, Joe, and Lee (who were all visually impaired) to our Subaru. All of us were pooped from a fun day; Gene and Joe even took a snooze on our way back to Madison. While they slept, Lee and I had great conversation about bowling, the Capitol building, employment, clothes and shopping, and much more. While Lee was talking about her favorite old dresses, I was fidgeting with the heat, and reached down to pull off my stuffy boot. When my hand met my heel, I realized that I wasn’t wearing my boots at all; I was halfway home with my bowling shoes still on my feet!

I casually mentioned to Lee when she ended her story, “So…I still have my bowling shoes on…” and after a few seconds of silence, we both started laughing. We both recounted what everyone was doing for the last ten minutes at the alley and realized that I hadn’t stopped for a minute to put my shoes back on. Lee then made the appropriate, obvious, and tacky joke: “Well, no one could see that you still had them on!” and we laughed some more. In all the years I have been bowling, I couldn’t think of the last time I had forgotten to trade back my bowling shoes for street shoes. However, I could remember hundreds of times when I was on my way out the door and a friend pointed down at my feet, laughing, “Leave your bowling shoes here, Michelle!” and all of the times I teased my friends after I noticed that they were also trying to go home with theirs.

This particular moment, many others of laughter, and even others of discomfort that I experience while spending time with folks who are blind strengthen my understanding of what it is to “see” and be aware. I believe that most people with vision loss are more self-aware than I am in a number of ways, and I appreciate learning from my blind and visually impaired peers how I can become better at noticing all parts of each experience. And, rest assured, I won’t forget to look down at my own two feet before I leave the bowling alley next time!

Upcoming Webinar: Benefits and Support for Veterans with Low Vision

Join us for our 60 minute webinar, “Benefits and Support for Veterans with Low Vision,” on Thursday, September 10, 2015 from 11 AM to 12 Noon. To attend the webinar, you will need a personal computer with Internet access or belong to an organization that can provide access to this online event. Register online at www.wcblind.org under the “Events” tab or call 1-800-783-5213 for assistance. Attending the webinar is FREE.

Help support non-profit organizations that are near and dear to you!

If you are an eligible member of Thrivent Financial, you can recommend charities to receive funds given by Thrivent Financial through their Thrivent Choice Dollars program. Choice Dollars® can be directed to the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired or other 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations nationwide.

Choice Dollars is a charitable grant program from Thrivent Financial. To learn more, visit www.thrivent.com/thriventchoice.

Sharper Vision Store Product Feature: Folding Lighted 2x Magnifier

The Folding Lighted 2x Magnifier features a unique handle that swings in and out for convenient use and easy storage in your pocket, purse, briefcase or glove compartment box. The built-in light and 2X lens make reading in low-light conditions a lot easier. You’ll also appreciate the compact size: 2” X 4”.

Item #MLP 415 $25.00

To learn more about this and other related products, call the Sharper Vision Store at 608-237-8100 or visit www.wcblind.org/shopping.

The time is here!

Make sure to plan to attend these great events in August:

Thursday, August 27th:

6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

GingeRootz Asian Grille

$65/person; $80 with wine pairing

Make sure to set your reservation today! Email Lori Werbeckes at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to ensure you receive the lastest updates.

Friday, August 28th:

Fox Valley Low Vision Fair

10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Fox Valley Technichal College

1825 N. Bluemound Drive, Appleton

• 18 vendors available to answer your questions available services and adaptive devices

• 5 break-out sessions including subjects on Reading Options and Services at the Appleton Public Libraries, Getting Around Safely in the Community, Being you Own Best Advocate, and Identify Issues and Concerns of People with Low Vision and Home Safety. Sessions are 30 minutes long and occur throughout the day - attendees can come and go as time allows.

• Learn how to have a more comfortable and independent life when living with low vision.

For questions or more details, contact Jean Kalscheur at 608-237-8106. You can also join our Facebook event page by clicking here: http://tinyurl.com/lowvisionfair