We saw 836 new clients last year and provided 3,400 follow up services to blind and visually impaired individuals. We provide services, instruction and support to help people retain their independence. We did 55 trainings and presentations for service providers, health care workers and consumers to educate about the causes of vision loss, what resources are available and some of the issues that people face. VLR provides an average of 25 support groups each month for blind and visually impaired at locations throughout the Metro area. Over 200 people attend support groups each year to share their experiences, hear about new developments, and learn about techniques and devices that can assist them. Our volunteer program helped almost 200 clients to maintain their independence by providing assistance with shopping, reading and other errands. Our trained peer counselors provided over 1,500 hours of volunteer peer support to new clients and our community center provided educational, cultural and recreational opportunities for over 1,800 blind, visually impaired and hearing-impaired people in the greater metropolitan area.
-Increase our outreach to underserved communities. Vision loss due to glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy is especially present in minority communities. We are working with our community partners to start a support group for Spanish speakers and have plans to expand staff to meet this goal.
-We will increase our educational outreach to service providers, consumers, family members. We are targeting our presentations to the specific needs or our audience.
-We will increase our teaching opportunities in the community by reaching assisted living facility classes, technology classes, and community center classes.
Community or Constituency Served
Vision Loss Resources serves people of all ages expereincing vision loss, Deafblindness, combined vision and hearing loss.
Geographic Area Served
The Community Services program serves the 11-county Twin City Metropolitan area (Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne, Washington and Wright). The Rehabilitation Center serves the State of Minnesota, and Deafblind Services Minnesota's programs serve children and adults in the State of Minnesota.
Impact and Programs