Eye-Link North Dakota is excited to announce the addition of new board members Lisa Crosby, Amy Osvold and Laurie Westling. Amy and Laurie are both with North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind and Lisa comes to us as director of Lake Region Heritage Center and Lake Region Arts Center. Welcome Lisa, Amy and Laurie. We greatly appreciate their knowledge and enthusiasm for assisting blind and low vision North Dakotans and look forward to a wondrous 2024 for Eye-Link North Dakota.
The joy of receiving assistive equipment spreads to family members and caregivers! The daughter of a recent grant recipients expresses the critical need for hardware/software packages that have extended or expanded her mother’s remaining vision.
Dear Eye-Link Board,
I am writing to thank you for the use of the LyriQ text to speech reader for my mother. She loves it, and has given her so much freedom. She can now read mail, daily devotions, and other literature without help. Our vision counselor Gena helped us set up the machine, and it is now a permanent fixture on Mom’s side table.
We sincerely appreciate your generosity and compassion.
Putting assistive equipment into the hands of visually impaired people is Eye-Link’s daily mission, sharing the joy our recipients feel is our reward.
March 27, 2022
FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) – A Fargo woman struggling with macular degeneration is looking for devices to make her life easier.
Roberta LeClerc was diagnosed with macular degeneration in 2019 and simple tasks have become impossible as her vision progressively becomes clouded through time.
“It’s a tough thing to accept because first of all, you lose the ability to drive a car which takes away a lot of your freedom. You have to depend on other people to take you whenever you wanna go and during COVID that was bad. Because you weren’t supposed to be with other people, so I never could just jump in the car and go off by myself,” says Leclerc.
Those who have low vision emphasize taking care of your eyes and if you have a condition, to be aware of your current process.
“For families of people with macular, I can’t stress enough the importance of watching their progression and making sure that you’re there to help, you’re there to take any burden off of them because it’s so frustrating to first of all age and then age and not be able to do simple tasks,” says Roberta’s daughter, Ann.
Sanford Health is allowing patients to use a new device to help those with low vision see things more clearly. The IrisVision arrived at Sanford Health last week and is already making an impact for the ones using them who have certain degenerative eye conditions.
The National Herald has reported that Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL-12), have reintroduced the Medicare Demonstration of Coverage for Low Vision Act. This legislation would help vision-impaired Medicare beneficiaries live safe and independent lives by creating a five-year national demonstration project to evaluate the economic impact of allowing reimbursement for low vision devices, which are currently excluded from Medicare coverage.
The legislation was first introduced in the 116th Congress in 2019 and had 25 original co-sponsors in the House of Representatives.
Medicare coverage for assistive equipment would offer more choice to visually impaired Americans who are Medicare eligible.
Representative Bilirakis, a visually impaired American himself, believes the legislation is a preventative measure that will help seniors stay healthy, active, and self-sufficient for a longer period of time as they access low vision assistive devices that have previously been out of reach for seniors on a fixed income.
Eye-Link presented its first grant in 2001, and continues to provide a wide range of specialized assistive equipment and adaptive technologies to visually impaired and blind residents in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin, many who are Seniors challenged by substantial and uncorrectable sight loss.