Each year as part of our effort to provide educational programming across Wisconsin, the Council hosts a Low Vision Fair, open to anyone with vision impairment, friends and family members, and professionals. The COVID-19 pandemic ruled out an in-person fair this year, so the 2021 edition was a virtual event.
Despite the challenges of taking the whole thing online, the 2021 Low Vision Fair was a huge success. Ninety-six people attended over the seven weeks of the fair—more than in a typical in-person year—and many more have viewed the archived presentations since then. Council Education Program Specialist Jean Kalscheur believes presenting the fair online actually made it more accessible to some participants.
“The virtual aspect has been helpful for people living in rural areas, as they can access the information without the hassle of finding a driver or attending on a certain day or time,” she said.
Response from participants has been fantastic.
“The Low Vision Fair will be my favorite Council experience for many years,” says Carol, a 2021 participant. “I was pleased to be able to contact the Council with suggestions and questions, or just share my joy as I found the Low Vision Fair exciting and a wonderful idea!”
The 2021 Low Vision Fair consisted of seven online sessions, which took place each Tuesday from July 13 through August 24. Each session featured a new topic, with advice on resources, services and access technology. This year’s topics were:
- Getting Help When Experiencing Vision Loss
- I Used to Love to Read
- Maximize Usable Sight with Video Magnifiers
- I Want to See, No…I want to Hear the Computer
- I Want My Hands Free of Magnifiers
- Valuing Braille
- A Peak Under the Hood at Mental Health
All seven 2021 Low Vision Fair sessions were recorded and can be viewed on our YouTube channel, which you can access via our website.