Grants Support Tools to Promote Safety and Independence

A handheld magnifier being used to read a food can label

The Council serves a clientele that is diverse in every way, including economic status. This year, grants from four foundations are enabling the Council to provide adaptive products that enhance safety and assist with daily living tasks at no cost to clients who cannot afford to purchase them on their own. We’re grateful to the MG&E Foundation, the Courtier Foundation, the Walmart Foundation and the Frank G. & Frieda K. Brotz Family Foundation for providing funding for this program.

Fund Development Director Lori Werbeckes says, “These grants make it possible to customize what items clients receive according to their specific situation.”

“We cannot offset the cost of every product,” adds Education and Vision Services Director Amy Wurf. “We work with the client to help them decide what is most important for them.”

Examples of products this financial assistance provides include bump dots to mark controls on kitchen appliances; handheld magnifiers to read prescription labels, mail or package instructions; talking clocks or watches; sunglasses; and kitchen tools like large print measuring cups.

“Our clients are always very grateful for this assistance,” Amy continues. “Many times, they will offer to pay a portion of the cost when assistance is discussed, or they let us know that they will pass the generosity forward when able.”

In addition to assistance for adaptive items, the Council also uses gifts from generous donors to offer vision services, evaluations and training at reduced cost to those who express financial need.

“Thanks to our outstanding Fund Development team and our generous donors, we are able to offer a sliding fee scale to clients who express a need for financial assistance,” Amy says. “We don’t want cost to hold someone back from getting training that will help them regain independence and confidence.”

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