Blind and Low Vision

Living Life After Vision Loss: Riley County

By Mandy Smith | August 11, 2021

I will be hosting a two-day event, for people who have vision loss, at the Riley County Senior Center on August 12th and 19th. The event will last from 1:00pm to 3:00pm both days. Come learn everything from self-care to using assistive technology to help with traveling and reading. Riley County Senior Center is located…

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Low Vision Fair Marion County Senior Center

By Mandy Smith | July 22, 2021

RCIL will be hosting a low vision fair at the Marion County Senior Center on July 28th starting at 12:30pm. RCIL’s Mandy Smith, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist, along with Audio-Reader and Kansas Talking Books will be speaking about their free services and options for people with vison loss. Along with presentations,equipment will be presented…

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KABVI hosting online convention

By Mandy Smith | November 12, 2020

Kansas Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (KABVI) will be hosting with the assistance of American Counsel of the Blind (ACB) an online convention Friday, November 20th and Saturday, November 21st.  This is the ACB’s annual meeting but it is also a celebration of KABVI’s 100 year anniversary. Friday’s agenda is scheduled 10:00am-5:00pm and…

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White Cane Day

By Mandy Smith | October 15, 2020

October 15th is White Cane Safety Day also known as Blind Americans Equality Day.  Which is a day to celebrate and raise awareness about the white cane, that people who are blind or have low vision use to help with mobility.  A white cane’s purpose is to identify objects on a traveler’s route and to…

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5 Apps for People with Vision Loss

By Mandy Smith | June 15, 2020

I get questions many times about available apps for people who have vision loss. I thought I’d write a brief description of 5 apps that have great features for people who are blind or visually impaired. LookTel Money Reader – This app uses the camera on the back of the phone/tablet and then says out…

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Low vision events coming up

By Mandy Smith | March 4, 2020

RCIL’s Mandy Smith will be hosting the following events: Low vision fair April 7th at the Parsons Public Library from 1:00-3:00pm Low vision independent living classes April 23rd and 30th at the Riley County Senior Center in Manhattan from 1:00pm-3:00pm Low vision fair May 13th at the Marion Senior Center from 12:15pm-2:15pm Please look for more…

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National Braille Day

By Mandy Smith | January 23, 2020

I’m a few days late but National Braille Day is celebrated on January 4th, which is Louis Braille’s birthday.  As most know, Louis Braille created Braille at a young age after going blind from accidently poking his eye out and obtaining an infection that affected his second eye.  Louis created Braille after learning a form…

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Two Blind Brothers

By Mandy Smith | August 9, 2019

Bradford and Bryan Manning, were diagnosed with Stargardt’s  (a form of macular degeneration) at a young age.  They have since started a clothing company, “Two Blind Brothers” that profits help with finding a cure for blindness.  Something I thought was awesome, is they have Braille incorporated in all of their clothing. Here is a clip…

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Update from Mandy

By Mandy Smith | July 18, 2019

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…

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Older Blind Program: iKan-RCIL

By Mandy Smith | March 13, 2019

As I get ready to get in the car for today’s appointments, I thought I would take this rainy morning to remind everyone of iKan-RCIL.  iKan-RCIL is a program for those who are 55 years and older and have a vision loss caused by such conditions as Glaucoma, Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy, and many…

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February Low Vision Awareness Month

By Mandy Smith | February 1, 2019

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,…

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Low vision fairs: Baxter Springs & Garnett

By Mandy Smith | February 19, 2018

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…

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Small Adaptions Equal Big Difference

By Mandy Smith | January 30, 2018

So many things we do on a day to day basis we do using our sight.  So what do you do when your sight no longer helps with those daily activities? Recently, I was working with a 90 year old woman who has been married to a farmer for 70 years.  She loved cooking and…

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Independent Living Classes for those with Vision Loss

By Mandy Smith | October 26, 2017

RCIL will host two independent living classes for people with vision loss in Pittsburg next month.  The first class with be November 1st and will cover self-care, transportation, cooking and shopping.  November 8th is the second class and reading, writing and over all assistive technology will be covered.  Both classes will run 1:00pm-3:00pm and will…

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Information for better communication with people with vision loss

By Mandy Smith | May 17, 2017

Disclaimer: I am not speaking on behalf of anyone I am just paraphrasing a few conversations I have had with some consumers and friends with vision loss. Blindness and low vision are not that common (thank goodness).  But there are still many people who have vision loss.  I’ve said in a blog before unless you’ve known…

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Dr. Herder to present on May 24th

By Mandy Smith | May 9, 2017

Q&A with Dr. Herder Flier (PDF file)

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January – Glaucoma Awareness Month

By Mandy Smith | January 30, 2017

Though January is almost over there is still time to learn about Glaucoma. Currently over 3 million people in the United States have Glaucoma It is estimated that half of those people don’t know they have it There is no symptoms and once vision is lost it is permanent Glaucoma is the leading cause of…

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Losing more than just a game

By Mandy Smith | October 6, 2014

It’s October and the Royals are still playing baseball!  I think a lot of us are happy about that!  How old were you when the Royals were playing in their last Post Season game (1985)?  I was 1 year old 🙂 Well, I thought since many of us are excited about baseball and football (Go…

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iKan-RCIL Presentation in Chase County

By Mandy Smith | April 15, 2014

Mandy Smith, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist, will be presenting at the Chase County Health Department on May 1st.  The presentation will begin at 1:00pm and last approximately an hour.  Mandy will be explaining what the iKan-RCIL program does and the services it provides along with showing pieces of assistive technology.  Anyone who has a vision…

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Low Vision Fair: Fort Scott

By Mandy Smith | March 25, 2014

iKan-RCIL will be hosting a low vision fair in Fort Scott on April 2nd.  The fair will consist of Dr. Mitchell and Dr. Foulk speaking about eye health, diseases and conditions along with Audio Reader, Talking Books, Assistive Technology for Kansans (ATK), and iKan-RCIL speaking about their program and services.  Assistive technology equipment will be available for hands-on demonstrations.…

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Low Vision Support Groups: Wamego & Council Grove

By Mandy Smith | January 17, 2014

Low vision support group –  a group of people who have some type of vision loss that gather and talk about strategies, stories, equipment, etc.  A support group can be very beneficial especially if a person has a new vision loss or is having a hard time handling their new way of life. iKan-RCIL will…

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Going Places

By Mandy Smith | October 30, 2013

I read a story by Dr. Chris Kuell this week and I pulled this quote from it… “My cane does announce to the world that I’m blind, but I’m okay with that. It only symbolizes inferiority in the hands of those who don’t have the skills and confidence to use it properly. When I’m walking…

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iKan-RCIL Older Blind Project

By Mandy Smith | April 23, 2013

RCIL was awarded part of the grant from Kansas Rehabilitation and Services (KRS) to serve individuals who are 55 years and older and are blind or have low vision.  RCIL has been serving this population since August of 2010 with the PILR/RCIL/SKIL consortium that was also funded by a grant from KRS.  This time, however,…

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Vision Awareness Days

By Mandy Smith | January 29, 2013

Assistive Technology for Kansans, RCIL and Freedom Scientific are hosting Vision Awareness Days where individuals can learn more about living with vision loss.  The event will be held on February 6th from 10:00am-4:00pm at the Topeka Public Library Aud. 101 B. This event will include free learning sessions, free lunch and hands-on demonstrations.  The learning…

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From start to finish! Pictures of Mandy achieving her COMS

By Mandy Smith | September 6, 2012

I thought what better way to celebrate achieving my orientation and mobility certification than to look at pictures over the last two years.   (Click on each picture for a more detailed description.)  A lot has changed in the last two years and I’m thankful for it all.  I’d like to thank all of my iKan…

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