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Braille Institute Addresses Growing Community Need with Public Education Campaign


  • Published: 2010-01-21 : Author: Braille Institute of America
  • Synopsis: Keeping seniors with vision loss active and independent is becoming an ever more urgent public health concern.

Although there is controversy over almost every detail of health reform legislation, no one disputes the inescapable fact underlying the deepening the health care crisis: the US population is aging. Over the next 20 years, the number of Americans aged 65 and older will double, rising every year until they account for 1 in every 5 people in the nation.

One of the most common and feared challenges that accompanies aging is fading vision, which is now becoming a reality for hundreds of thousands of people. Keeping seniors who experience vision loss active and independent for as long as possible is becoming an ever more urgent public health concern.

In response to this emerging crisis, Braille Institute is launching Solutions in Sight, the most ambitious public education campaign in the organization's 90-year history. The campaign aims to break through stereotypes and get the word out to seniors, their families and caregivers about free resources that are available through Braille Institute and other community service organizations. The knowledge they gain will help them remain active and find fulfillment in different aspects of life - from cooking and handling personal business affairs to getting around town, staying connected with others, and engaging in their favorite cultural and recreational pastimes.

A centerpiece of the campaign is the new online community, Solutionsinsight.org. Launching on January 21, 2010, the site will serve as a virtual gathering place for people interested in vision-related topics. They will be able to connect with others and share their personal experiences, find volunteer opportunities and become a part of a true online community of people dedicated to helping visually impaired people live fulfilling lives.

As the campaign gets under way, hundreds of Braille Institute volunteers are preparing to join in coordinated outreach efforts in communities across Southern California, providing tips, practical resources, and information about the many free classes, programs and services being offered at Braille Institute's five regional centers and numerous community locations. The first lifestyle themes to be addressed by the campaign are "Kitchen Confidence" and "Getting Around Town." Both will be highlighted by special events and programs supported by such community partners as the American Diabetes Association, Gelson's Markets, Bristol Farms, the Automobile Association of Southern California, the California Highway Patrol, and others.

About Solutions in Sight and Braille Institute - Solutions in Sight is a public education program of Braille Institute of America, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate barriers to a fulfilling life caused by blindness and severe sight loss. Braille Institute provides an environment of hope and encouragement for people who are blind or visually impaired through integrated educational, social and recreational programs and service. Thanks to generous donations, Braille Institute services are available free of charge. More information can be found at www.solutionsinsight.org and www.brailleinstitute.org.

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