February is Low Vision Awareness month so I’d like to share some knowledge on this topic.

1.) Low vision is a vision loss that makes it difficult to accomplish visual tasks even with the best possible correction, but with the potential for use of available vision, with or without optical or non-optical compensatory visual strategies, devices and environmental modifications.
In other words, even with glasses, contacts, surgery, etc. the person does not have enough vision to do daily tasks. But with use of some tools/skills the person may be able to complete these tasks.

2.) People with low vision may label themselves as blind, legally blind, visually impaired, partially sighted or many other terms.
In order to be deemed legally blind by a doctor, the person’s vision when best corrected (wearing glasses, contacts, after surgery, using medication, etc.) is 20/200 or less or has a visual field of 20 degrees or less. 20/200 means that a person with 20/20 vision can see at 200 feet, that person can see at 20 feet. A visual field of 20 degrees or less can be demonstrated by putting your hand out in front of your face in a fist and only the area blocked by the fist would be visible.
People who are blind can be spilt into two groups – light perception and no light perception. Our society stereotypes that people who are blind only see darkness. This is not true; many can see light, different shades of color, shadows and or shapes.

3.) Low vision devices include everything from computer software, handheld magnifiers, video magnifiers, scanners, binoculars, monocular and many other items.
Most the time, when people think of devices that help people complete daily tasks, they think of high priced electronic equipment. That is not always the case. A rubber band can aid a person in detecting which can of food they are needing out of the cabinet. A raised bump can identify which medication the person needs to take in the morning. A piece of cardboard cut correctly can help a person with low vision fill out a check to pay their bills.
Some tasks people do by using mostly their vision, people with low vision have to unlearn using their vision and rely on other senses in order to complete these tasks. One example would be to use your hearing for the beeps while on the elevator instead of watching the number move above the elevator door.

4.) The term low vision is very broad and encompasses many people with many different types of vision loss. The most common causes for low vision in the United States included age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. Most of these diseases do not affect people until they are 45 years or older but that is not always true. There are forms of macular degeneration that affects children, infants can be born with cataracts, and if a person has been diagnosed with diabetes in their early years they can end up with Diabetic Retinopathy at an early age as well.

Please have your eyes checked annually especially if you are 45 years or older and make sure your eye doctor is checking your eyes for common diseases.

Kidzfest El Dorado

Categorized: RCIL Updates

Macy Collins, ILS in our El Dorado office, attended the Kidzfest on Saturday, January 5th.  This was held at Blackmore Elementary School and included fun activities, exhibits, and information about community resources.  If you’d like more information about Kidzfest you can follow them on Twitter @eldokidzfest or KIDZFEST El Dorado on Facebook.

If you or someone you know has a mobility limitation or chronic illness and wants to be more physically active in 2019, we have you covered!

The “14 Weeks to a Healthier You” program is a FREE online exercise and nutrition program for people with disabilities. Sign up now and start moving more this year!

To learn more and to register, visit our website http://ihdps.ku.edu/physical-activity and click on REGISTER FOR THE PROGRAM

 

All RCIL offices will be closed on December 24th and 25th for observance of Christmas.  They will also be closed on January 1st, 2019 for New Year’s Day.

 

Thank you and Happy Holidays to All!

Happy Thanksgiving

Categorized: RCIL Updates

RCIL would like to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!  All offices will be closed Thursday, November 22nd and Friday, November 23rd.  We will reopen Monday, November 26th at 8:00am.

 

How about them Chiefs!  If you missed your chance to see them with our fundraiser you’ll be happy to know three more games have been added for next month!  Tickets are $33.50 and RCIL will receive $10 of that!

https://www.chiefs.com/tickets/ticketfundraiser

Supplies are limited so get your tickets soon!  Thank you for supporting RCIL and Go Chiefs!

Fall seems like a busy time of the year for everyone and here are some more items for your list:

Register to vote!  Tomorrow, October 16th, is the last day to register to vote in the election on November 6th.  The disability population holds the largest amount of voters!  Don’t forget, if it’s difficult to get to the polls you can register for an absentee ballot to be sent to your home.

Celebrate National White Cane Day! Today, October 15th, is National White Cane Awareness Day which was signed 54 years ago by President Johnson.  Ways to celebrate: inform people on what a White Cane is and why it is important to travelers with vision loss, donate to the National Federation for the Blind who gives out free white canes, or look up some information on white canes to educate yourself if you are unfamiliar.

Check out our calendar! RCIL is hosting many events this month and next so check out our calendar to find an event close to you.  Also, look for our next blog coming out on our equipment drive.

Do you shop on Amazon? If so you can donate to RCIL without spending any extra money!

RCIL has registered with AmazonSmile Foundation which 0.5% of eligible purchases from Amazon are donated to a charity of the shopper’s choice.  All you have to do is when you go to www.amazon.com it will ask you to sign up for AmazonSmile or you can go to http://www.smile.amazon.com.  You will then search for your charity (Resource Center for Independent Living, Osage City), click on it and start shopping.  The only difference after you sign up, is to use www.smile.amazon.com instead of amazon.com.

AmazonSmile Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private foundation created by Amazon.

To know if an items is eligible look for the “Eligible for AmazonSmile Donation” logo near the price.  A screenshot of a product is provided below.

AmazonSmile

Screen shot of product off of Amazon. Text enlarged under price “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation.”

The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services also known as KDADS is seeking feedback from Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) stakeholders as they are planning waiver renewals.  KDADS will be hosting regional meetings along with two options to call in.  These forums are opportunities for KDADS to hear feedback on what you think is going well along with what could improve.  It is also a chance to hear of what changes could be coming in the future.  The Frail Elderly, Intellectual/Developmental Disability, Physical Disability, and Traumatic Brain Injury waivers will be renewing in 2019.  Below is the meeting dates and locations.  All meetings will be from 1:00-3:00pm and 6:00-8:00pm.

Monday, September 10th Johnson County Community College
RC 101 C&D 12345 College Blvd Overland Park

Tuesday, September 11th Memorial Building
Alliance Room 101 S. Lincoln Chanute

Wednesday, September 12th Wichita Marriott
Wichita Ballroom 9100 Corporate Hills Dr. Wichita

Friday, September 14th Sleep Inn
1931 E. Kansas Plaza Garden City

Monday, September 17th {Conference Call Only}
(877) 400- 9499  Conference Code 1769231304

All meeting times including conference call 1:00-3:00pm and again at 6:00-8:00pm.

For more information visit www.kdads.ks.gov or

www.kdads.ks.gov/commissions/home-community-based-services-(hcbs)

For accommodations contact Anita Flewelling at (785) 296-4983 or anita.flewelling@ks.gov

 

KanCare Program Updates

Categorized: Consumer Education

There will be changes made to the KanCare program but they will not affect your eligibility for the program.  The state will be hosting non-mandatory meetings next week including one in Olathe, Wichita, and a conference call.  State staff will be present at meetings to provide information on what is and what is not changing with KanCare.  Below is the information on meeting date, times, and locations.

Tuesday, Sept 4  6:00-8:00pm  9100 Corporate Hills Dr. Wichita

Wednesday, Sept 5  6:00-8:00pm 22201 W Innovation Dr. Olathe

Thursday, Sept 6 6:00-7:30pm  (833)795-0476 {Conference Call Only}

To learn more visit http://www.kancare.ks.gov

Contact Dawn Goertzen for accommodations (785) 291-3461 or dawn.goertzen@ks.gov