I thought I would switch things up a bit and instead of posting about what other places were doing or events going on, I’d talk about myself.  This week I celebrated 10 years at RCIL.  Crazy to think how far I’ve come in those 10 years professionally and personally.  The older blind program that I run has also grown so much (in 9 years) from 15 counties to 32 counties. Recently, I have been working on becoming more efficient with Braille.  I passed the first course (Hadley) with flying colors and just starting the next course. (Any Braille users out there with tips let me know!) I also recently took a beginning JAWS class.  So, though I’ve had this job for many years I know I’ll never know it all or enough.  I’ll always be looking forward to learning that next thing to help my consumers.

Be on the lookout for updates coming soon about independent living classes for persons with vison loss and low vision fairs.  If you have any questions about Braille, JAWS, or the older blind program feel free to email me at amanda.smith@rcilinc.org

RCIL will be hosting two low vision fairs in March.  The fairs will be on March 6th in Baxter Springs and March 7th in Garnett.  Both fairs will be located at the town’s library and will be from 1:00-3:00pm.

During that time Mandy Smith, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist, will present on iKan-RCIL’s program and services and will introduce representatives from other agencies that serve the low vision/blind population.  In Baxter Springs, the agencies will include: Assistive Technology for Kansans (ATK), Audio Reader, and Kansas Talking Books.  Garnett’s line up will be NanoPac, Audio Reader, and Kansas Talking Books.  Along with presenting on available resources, agencies will also have demonstrations of equipment for hands-on opportunities.

If you have questions feel free to call Mandy Smith (785) 528-3105 or email her at Amanda.smith@rcilinc.org

Fliers are located below with the address of both locations.

Baxter Springs LV Fair 2018Baxter Springs LV Fair 2018

The iKan-RCIL program started in August of 2010 and its purpose is to teach people who are blind/have low vision and are 55 years or older how to live as independently as possible. IKan-RCIL has been possible with contracts awarded from Kansas Rehabilitation Services (KRS) that allows funding for orientation and mobility training, assistive technology aids and devices, and independent living training. RCIL recently received its third contract which will last through 2020.

Since inception, iKan-RCIL has more than doubled in size from 15 counties in 2010, to 32 counties beginning in July 2017. The coverage area includes the following counties: Allen, Anderson, Bourbon, Brown, Chase, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Clay, Coffey, Crawford, Dickinson, Doniphan, Elk, Geary, Greenwood, Jackson, Labette, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, Montgomery, Morris, Nemaha, Neosho, Osage, Pottawatomie, Riley, Shawnee, Wabaunsee, Washington, Wilson, and Woodson. This is including the nine counties RCIL began covering in July (Chautauqua, Cherokee, Crawford, Elk, Labette, Montgomery, Neosho, Wilson, and Woodson.)

iKan-RCIL map 2017

To be eligible for this program you must live in one of the above mentioned counties, be 55 years or older and have a vision loss that affects your daily living. Mandy Smith, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist, who is based out of the Osage City office provides the services for this program. She travels to individuals’ homes to teach the skills and/or give items that will allow individuals to be as independent as possible. This program is free to the individual and can be provided in any home setting. Mandy also does presentations to promote services and educate the public. Mandy will also be hosting independent living classes through the next three years throughout the 32 counties. Look for more information on these classes in the near future.

ikan-RCIL Flier