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On Sight: September 2015

Get Active during “Healthy Aging Month!”


As we honor “Healthy Aging Month,” we’re reminded that aging is an opportunity for us to reinvent ourselves, from life-changing moments like becoming a grandparent, heading back to school or even routine lifestyle changes such as beginning a new exercise program. Just because you’re getting older, it doesn’t mean you should miss out on these exciting opportunities.


Vision impairment or loss doesn’t have to mean an end to physical activity. Before you start a new exercise routine, however, it’s important to follow several guidelines, provided by VisionAware, to keep exercise safe and fun.

Read more…


Dining in the Dark Provides Another Amazing Experience


John Zeltins (right) feels his way around the table to navigate where is glass and utensils are thanks to tips from wife Ros, (left).

For one evening, Ros Zeltins’ friends experienced what she deals with everyday when she sits down to enjoy a meal.

Zeltins and her husband, John, along with six of her friends, attended this year’s Dining in the Dark event on August 27 at GingeRoots Asian Grille in Appleton. Those who sat down for dinner feasted on a five-course meal, with one major caveat – they were blindfolded throughout the entire meal.

Read more…


National Guardian Life proudly sponsors Dining in the Dark


National Guardian Life Insurance Company (NGL) located in Madison, Wisconsin, was honored to be a part of the 2015 Dining in the Dark event by the Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired.  We applaud WCBVI for its hard work and service to people throughout the state who may have unique visual abilities. 

The Council provides many people with rehabilitation assistance, technology assistance and adaptive products.  WCBVI also gives webinars and workshops to educate the general public on eye health.  NGL is grateful to WCBVI for shedding light on this important area of health and opening doors to independence for many who cannot see.

The Council would like to thank NGL for helping make Dining in the Dark a success and values its continued support in helping the blind and visually impaired community.



Fox Valley Low Vision Fair Brings Praise and Positive Feedback


On Friday, August 29, the Council hosted its first ever “Fox Valley Low Vision Fair” at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton. Over 100 attendees were able to connect with 18 vendors and participate in 5 break-out sessions throughout the course of the day. A few parting comments included:

“It was good to connect with others who have similar eye problems.”

“Hope you do it again.”

“It was very interesting. I’ve seen some items I want to order.”

Make sure to pick up the Fall Edition of our “Friends” newsletter for a more detailed article about the results of this event.


Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the

Americans with Disabilities Act: Personal Reflections

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

By Katherine Schneider


I’m celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act like it was the Fourth of July! For the 19% of us who have disabilities, it is.

As John Locke said: “The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom.” The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is an amazing piece of civil rights legislation that has immeasurably increased freedom of access to the good things of life for the 19% of us who have disabilities.

Read more…

Council Events Coming Up This Fall:

Sunday, September 20

OccuPaws 10th Anniversary

11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Wisconsin Brewing Company Bier Garten

1079 American Way, Verona

Come celebrate OccuPaws 10th Anniversary with a doggie costume contest and parade, dog activities, kids' games, silent auction, commercial vendors, music, food and beverages.

The Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired is proud to sponsor this exciting event.

For more information, go to


Friday, October 2
Fall Gallery Night with the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art 

5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired

754 Williamson Street, Madison

Join us as we help celebrate Madison’s vibrant arts community, featuring breathtaking artwork from blind and visually-impaired artists. On Gallery Night, galleries, businesses and non-profit organizations showcase some of the best local artwork.

Gallery Night offers art lovers and art novices alike an opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of exhibitions, opening receptions, special events, demonstrations, and refreshments at venues throughout Madison. This year, the Council will feature photographer Mike Morris and a local Madison high school student. 

For more information, contact Gale Hellpap, Director of Community Relations and Marketing, at 608-237-8113

Monday, October 19

Upcoming Webinar - Benefits and Support for Veterans with Low Vision

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Click here to register

Kurt Brunner, VIST Coordinator at the William S. Middleton Memorial VA Hospital in Madison, and Amy Wurf, Low Vision Therapist at the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired, will discuss services available for veterans through the VA health care system. The audience will learn about eligibility for VA care for veterans, health care services offered by the VA Hospital, and benefits provided by the Veteran Benefits Administration. Information will highlight specific services for legally blind and low vision veterans, VA Blind Rehabilitation, and the range of low vision programs through the VA, as well as WCBVI services. A veteran with recent blind rehabilitation experience will join the conversation.

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. Click here to register or call 1-800-783-5213 for assistance. Attending the webinar is FREE.


2014 Annual Report Now Available


The Council experienced another active and fulfilling year in 2014. Whether it was educating the general public about what we do, advocating for vital legislation, engaging with others for outreach and collaboration or acknowledging the importance of our valuable donors, the Council accomplished many things.

To review our 2014 Annual Report, go to


Help the Council by shopping on Amazon


If you shop on Amazon, you can designate the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired to receive .5% of your purchases-- and it costs you nothing!  It’s part of the AmazonSmile program.  Millions of products on AmazonSmile are eligible for these donations.

To shop at AmazonSmile, simply go to  from your web browser on your computer or mobile device. Before you begin shopping, select the “Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired” to receive donations from eligible purchases.  The system will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make will result in a donation to the Council when shopping on Amazon.