The Voice of Opportunity September 2011
The League’s In-Home Care Division keeps consumers happy and in their homes
Living independently Vision loss didn’t keep 92-year-old Betty from her love for music. Betty played cello for the Fort Wayne Philharmonic for 40 years, prior to getting macular degeneration which led to her vision loss. She still plays cello at home – and she continues to do many of the things she did before her vision loss, thanks to the League. Betty received equipment from the League that makes her life easier, things like a mail-reader, a device that tells her the color of her clothing and tactile dots for electronics. The Auburn resident attends a League support group in her hometown, led by Senior Blind Services Coordinator Linda Scribner. “Participating in the activities and services offered by the League definitely affects a visually impaired person’s ability to be independent,” she told the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel. “With gadgets and help from the League for the Blind and disabled, I manage successfully.”
The League for the Blind and Disabled’s In-Home Care is only three years old, but even as a young program, it has served more than 75 consumers total, keeping people out of assisted living and in their homes. Joe is 88 years old, and he’s lived in his apartment for longer than the In-Home Care program’s been around. Just recently, however, Joe was about to be kicked out of his home after not passing a yearly inspection. It wasn’t that his apartment was filthy, it just hadn’t seen the care it needed – and neither had Joe. The League’s In-Home Care division took Joe as a consumer and made his apartment up-to-code once more. In partnership with Mustard Seed and other local organizations, the League was able to get Joe new furniture. With help of the League’s Adaptive Equipment program, Joe got new glasses too. Joe isn’t a special case; all the time the In-Home Care division of the League sees consumers like him, people who don’t get the assistance they need because they are difficult cases. “We can’t give up on them,” said Juanita DeLeon, InHome Care Director, “because if we give up on them, they give up on themselves.” The League is happy to serve people like Joe, helping them to live independently in their own homes.
DeafLink participates in Three Rivers Festival parade by Hilary Myers, Interpreter Scheduler
As I make my way through the sea of people crowding the streets, the sun begins to peek through the buildings and trees. I navigate my way through the streets of the West Central district in downtown Fort Wayne, finally arriving to join other patrons who
would represent the Northeast Indiana Deaf Awareness Council, NIDAC, in the Three Rivers Festival Parade. DeafLink’s staff, among members of other Deaf community organizations in Fort Wayne, participated with pride, walking alongside one another hoping to provide the Fort Wayne Community with an organization they can depend on. Other organizations that participated in the parade were NIDAC, Interpreter Associates, Silent
Fun at Camp Potawatomi Every year the League signs youth up for summer camps. This year, about 65 went to one of eight camps: Camp Potawatomi, Camp Crosley, Science Central Day Camp, Salomon Farm Farmin’ Fun Day Camp, Salvation Army Day Camp, Renaissance Point YMCA Day Camp, Aldersgate Preschool Day Camp, and the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo Camp.
Wheels and Deaf Senior Citizens. Though we all came from different organizations, together we supported the greater cause of building awareness and strength among the Community at large. As we walked through the maze of streets, we passed out index cards which stated contact information about the local organizations involved. On the back of the card was the alphabet in sign language. As we turned corners and inched closer to the end of the parade, a common sign used in American Sign Language shot up in the air throughout the crowds of people – it was the sign for “I love you.”
The online newsletter will soon take a new format. Starting in September, the newsletter will be updated as a blog at blog.the-league.org.
Write-a-Will Event At the Write-a-Will Event, you will work with an attorney to draft your will – for FREE, with a donation to a nonprofit organization. The event will take place Nov. 17 from 9-11:30 a.m. and Nov.18 from 1-3:30 p.m. Call Cheryl at 441-0551 to schedule an appointment.
Kreager Park’s Boundless Playground opens Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation sponsored the June 10 opening of Fort Wayne’s first boundless playground at Kreager Park. The playground is designed so that all children – with or without disabilities – can play together. The Aero Glider, for instance, is a teeter-totter style ride designed for children in wheelchairs, and the Beta Pod is a multi-sensory play area. Representatives from the League for the Blind and Disabled were at the grand opening. “It’s great that the city recognized there was a need for this playground,” said Kevin Showalter, Youth Services Coordinator for the League, “and I’m very glad The League could play a small part in making this dream come true.”
Braille business cards
Want your business cards to POP? For a small fee, the League will braille your business cards. Call Nancy at the League for more details at 260-441-0551.
Independent Living Skills program helps consumer watch TV and write sermons by Laura Lindsay, Independent Living Skills
Jack is a 44-year-old man who is visually impaired. He had been losing his vision for some time, but then lost a significant amount of it in an accident, which left him with a brain injury and on a respirator for several months. Prior to contacting the League, he had been a resident of an area nursing facility, but with help from his mother, he was able to leave the nursing facility and get his own subsidized apartment in Huntington. Jack contacted the League to see if there was any assistance I could give to help him see his TV better. I told him
about the MAX TV glasses and offered to meet with him to do an evaluation of what other services may be useful to him. Upon meeting with him, I found out that he ministers at his church and struggles to see his Bible and the notes he writes. I told Jack about Vocational Rehabilitation and the services they offer. I explained that they can do an assessment and may assist him in getting useful tools so he can continue to work on his sermons. I also provided Jack with some 20/20 pens that I had brought along, and I let Jack borrow
the MAX Detail glasses since he really needed for his hands to be free while he researched and wrote his sermons. For all this, Jack was very appreciative. When I visited Jack a few months later, he had been provided with a Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) through Vocational Rehabilitation. He was doing much better with writing his sermons and has continued to order more 20/20 pens through the League. Jack is also currently working on orientation and mobility skills with the hopes of getting a service dog in the near future.
OUR MISSION To provide and promote opportunities that empower people with disabilities to achieve their potential.
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Board of Directors M. Frances Ganaway, Chair Susana Worth, Vice Chair Frank N. Moore, Secretary Jeffrey M. Sprinkle, Treasurer Michael A. McKay, AIA, Past Chair 5821 South Anthony Blvd Fort Wayne, IN 46816 260-441-0551 voice/TTY 800-889-3443 voice/TTY Fax: 260-441-7760 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit the League at: www.the-league.org Disability Information Site www.disabilityinfosite.com
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The September 2011 League newsletter I designed and wrote copy for