At first glance, you would never know that Dora is 101 years old. Her smile is bright; her gestures are full of energy and enthusiasm; and her eyes light up when you engage her in conversation—especially when the topic is her trusty iPad.
A gift from family members Maryann and Tom, the iPad has made it possible for Dora to continue to enjoy some pastimes that are precious to her-- reading the Bible daily and staying connected with the world through theWisconsin State Journal which she used to receive in print format until it became too difficult to read.
It all began when Maryann took a class to learn about the applications on her iPad. She was delighted to learn that she could change and enlarge font and print sizes, and she quickly saw its merit for Dora’s reading needs. Dora happily inherited Maryann’s iPad, and with assistance from the Council’s vision rehabilitation teacher Jean Kalscheur (one of Maryann’s former Occupational Therapy students by coincidence), she can now access the newspaper online. Dora commented, “It makes me feel so happy to be able to read the paper this way. In the past, I often read just the headlines because they were in larger print. Now, I’m reading the news more in depth and enjoying the greater connection with what’s going on. I’m very grateful to Jean for her help.”
Dora learned about Jean through Marshall Flax, Director of Vision Services at the Council. Marshall met with Dora for a low vision evaluation after her ophthalmologist told her “I’ve done all I can for you.” Marshall not only taught her how to maximize her remaining vision (she has dry macular degeneration), but he also registered her for the talking books program that has provided her with countless hours of reading pleasure. “Marshall,” Dora reflected, “has such empathy and patience. He took the time to understand my particular vision situation, and then he tried every technique and tool possible to help me see the best I can with the vision I have. I felt like he cared deeply for me as an individual.”
Like everyone else, Dora receives a lot of mail. The challenge was that her mailbox was located quite a distance from her house, making it tricky at times to access its contents. Jean helped Dora obtain a doctor’s permission needed to help authorize relocating her mailbox so it’s closer.
Jean told Dora about the hundreds of products available through the Council’s Sharper Vision Store, and she’s planning a trip soon to shop for a lamp. There’s no telling what else she might discover!
Discovering the Council is what Dora hopes people with vision loss will do, “…so they can learn about all the help that’s available there.”