Visual Impairment

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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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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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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RCIL Expands Coverage Area for Older Blind Program

By Mandy Smith | August 9, 2017

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…

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Amazing Technology for People who are Blind

By Mandy Smith | March 30, 2016

Technology, you have to love it!  Below is a link to a YouTube video from Microsoft about their new Seeing AI (artificial intelligence) app and glasses.  I am truly amazed at the information this is able to give those without sight.  The doors it could open are unlimited! Seeing AI Video

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September Events

By Mandy Smith | September 14, 2015

If you are looking for something to do this month here is a list of events around our service area: September 15th – Manhattan Senior Center from 1:00pm-3:00pm Low Vision Information and Device demonstration – NanoPac, Assistive Technology for Kansans and RCIL will present on low vision devices and helpful information September 16th – Topeka/Shawnee…

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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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Save the Date: September 12-14 ATK Expo/KSHA Conference

By Mandy Smith | August 12, 2013

Please keep September 12-14 open to join the Assistive Technology (AT) Expo at the Topeka Expo Center.  More than 20 AT sessions will be given ranging from independent living, community, employment, education and recreation.  There will also be around 200 booths set up in the Expo hall.  The AT Expo is free to the public!  The AT…

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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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AT Expo 2012 – Wichita

By Mandy Smith | September 27, 2012

RCIL is hosting a booth at the Assistive Technology Expo this year in Wichita. I am “manning” the booth to share with the participants my newly offered service, orientation and mobility.  I have spoken to approximately 30 participants this far and explained some of the services RCIL has to offer. Remember, assistive technology does  not…

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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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Diabetic Retinopathy

By Mandy Smith | May 14, 2012

Diabetes is a complicated condition that is able to affect many aspects of your health, including your eye sight… Diabetes is when your body does not produce or use insulin and you end up with high levels of blood glucose. This condition causes complications in the rest of the body which can result in heart…

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Dealing with change

By Mandy Smith | March 30, 2012

Who really enjoys change?  Maybe you enjoy a change of scenery or you enjoy the change of seasons?  These are nice changes because you know they aren’t permanent and they are planned. Unplanned changes usually aren’t enjoyable and are usually permanent (at least until the next change).  But change always happens!  There is nothing we…

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Thank you dog guide trainers

By Mandy Smith | March 16, 2012

Who doesn’t love a cute face? What about a cute face that has puppy breathe? I’m sure many of you are familiar with dog guides, but did you know that people/families raise dog guides from puppies to about a year old? Dog guide facilities such as The Seeing Eye, KSDS Inc., Leader Dogs for the…

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Low Vision Awareness Month

By Mandy Smith | February 16, 2012

Last month I posted about January being Glaucoma Awareness month.  Well, 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…

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Low Vision Fair Coming Soon!

By Mandy Smith | September 16, 2011

Do you have questions about low vision? Have you noticed you don’t see like you used to? Have you been diagnosed with low vision and want to see what’s out there to help? Come to our low vision fair to hear Dr. David Nelson explain low vision and low vision exams, find out what assistive…

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First week of Cane class

By Mandy Smith | June 3, 2011

  As I’ve said before I am studying to become an Orientation and Mobility Specialist.  This requires nine 3 hour courses through Texas Tech Univeristy (where I’m at right now) and two of those classes are white cane technique classes. My first class started on June 1st and we didn’t touch the canes much at…

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Thought you were blind?

By Mandy Smith | May 24, 2011

How many times have you heard someone who is not blind say “I’m blind as a bat” or “I can’t see anything without my glasses.” We know this isn’t true, but to that person, it may feel like he or she has little vision without their correction (eye glasses, contacts). Blindness is a functional defect…

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That’s my job

By Mandy Smith | April 6, 2011

I met with someone who was recently diagnosed with the eye condition, Age-Related Macular Degeneration.  I asked her if it was the wet or dry type.  She responded, “I don’t know.”  I explained to her that with wet macular degeneration, the macula on the back wall of your eye swells up and causes your acute,…

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