May is Healthy Vision Month. To celebrate and help raise awareness of vision health, a low-vision panel discussion was held at the Ann Arbor District Library (AADL) on May 18th and on May 22nd, a healthy vision fair was held on the 4th floor of the downtown branch of AADL. These outreach events occurred in collaboration with the AADL, the Ann Arbor Lions Club, the Michigan Eye Bank, Washtenaw Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled, and the University of Michigan Taubman Health Sciences Library.
Low-Vision Panel Discussion (May 18th)
On Wednesday evening there was a panel of experts from Kellogg Eye Center (Sherry Day; Karen Murphy) and the VA Ann Arbor Hospital (Gerald Rickert) describing various eye problems and their treatment; there was also a private citizen (LuAnne Bullington) who very dynamically and even humorously described her gradual loss of sight and how she copes with it on a daily basis.
Healthy Vision Fair (May 22nd)
The second event, on Sunday afternoon, consisted of vision screenings provided by the Lions Club and a series of presentations. The first presentation was from Dr. Barletta, a local ophthalmologist, who discussed information on eye diseases, particularly in children, and answered a great number of questions from the audience.
Another aspect of this event involved a reading and personal history narrative by a pair of twins from Kalamazoo, blind at birth, who are now aged 12 and who, thanks to a number of corneal transplants beginning at the age of four months, today can see and perform activities of daily living. They have written a book “The Blind Porcupine,” which they read to the audience.
Finally, there was Gayle Beutler, a volunteer for Paws with a Cause, and her dog-in-training Lady, a 5 month old Lab-pointer mix that she is socializing and obedience training. Gayle explained in detail how Paws operates, the rules about service dogs, and how she feels about her puppy.
(View photos from both events)