The Council works with people to do the things they love by training them on how to use adaptive products. Here, Council client Carol uses a high-contrast cutting board and safe slicing technique to slice onions in her apartment.
Ros Zeltins of Portage always loved music. As a member of her high school’s marching band, she was asked by the band director why she kept moving in a different direction from the rest of the group when they were in formation. Little did she know that several years later, she would be diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) – an eye condition that causes loss of peripheral vision.
“The thought of losing my independence, little by little, was so daunting at first,” says Ros. “I was confronted with a great deal of loss.”
Thanks to the support of her husband John and wonderful friends, Ros was able to continue her job as pharmacy director at Divine Savior Hospital in Portage.
Later, to simplify her life and accommodate her vision loss, she began working at a pharmacy closer to home where she worked for 23 years. When she retired, Ros says she was, “determined to embrace my vision loss and learn how to live my best life.”
Discovering the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired was “like opening the door to new independence and possibilities.” Ros received a mobility cane that helps her walk safely. In the Council’s Sharper Vision Store, she found raised dots to identify things in her home, lined paper, 20/20 pens and a reversible cutting board.
“I chop and John cooks,” she jokes. A lighted magnifier helps her read menus and music, “so I don’t have to give up one of my favorite pastimes.”
Ros and John are grateful to the Council for introducing them to a range of adaptive products and for helping her feel that she is very capable and able to do more things than she ever imagined.
Ros is amazed at how much technology has advanced for individuals with vision loss and the quality of resources available online. She loves her e-reader and has attended several of the Council’s free webinars to learn about resources, adaptive products and strategies for thriving with vision loss.
As a couple, Ros and John were inspired to give their first gift in 2002 because they saw how frightening vision loss can be and they wanted as many people as possible to seek and receive help. Years later, they became monthly donors. “We feel that our gifts are used in ways that benefit people with vision loss,” Ros says.
Referring to an online low vision support group the Council began hosting during the pandemic, Ros says, “The new online support group is great and can help folks to seek powerful help without fear. Fear is truly a cruel adversary. That is harder than it sounds, nobody wants to feel lacking, but there is only one recourse – ask questions and participate! Nothing feels better than solving an issue that is driving you crazy. It may take some work but it sure feels great to succeed! And I find success breeds success. If I can do that, then why not the next challenge.”
Well said, Ros!
Make a gift in support of the Council’s work and you will be helping more people like Ros overcome their fears and conquer their next challenge. Giving is convenient at WCBlind.org/Donate. Thank you!