Looking Ahead is a group for those getting accustomed to their vision loss but need a little extra motivation to venture forward with life. Each week we pick a topic around a barrier typically faced while adjusting to vision loss and offer constructive conversation to help put it into perspective.
Week 1: Orientation
Winter/Spril 2012 Session: February 8
This first session's goal is to get to know each other, get comfortable with the environment and set an overall tone for the group.
Week 2: Eye Can – 10 Steps Toward Greater Independence
Winter/Spring 2012 Session: February 15
How has vision loss affected how you manage everyday life? Do you feel you've been given sufficient resources toward your rehabilitation? This session offers ten things you can do RIGHT NOW to get on track toward greater independence.
Week 3: Stick Stigma – To Use a Cane or Not to Use a Cane
Winter/Spring 2012 Session: February 22
Why would someone want to use something in public that screams to the world "I'M BLIND?" Actually, the white cane is the best safety device you can have and communicates to the world "I'm confident and can do this on my own!" We welcome a certified orientation and mobility specialist (COMS) to discuss the benefits of using a cane and how to get started on that path toward a more mobile you.
Week 4: The Blind Person That Could – Overcoming the Fear and Doubt that Gets in the Way of Reaching our Goals
Winter/Spring 2012 Session: February 29
If you weren't visually impaired, how would your life be different? This session focuses on common barriers we put up due to our vision.
Week 5: See & Say – Discussing the Types of Conditions that Affect the Eye
Winter/Spring 2012 Session: March 7
No two people have the same experience with vision loss. The conditions have names, but the visual impact and the adjustment process is different for everyone. This week we put our unique vision loss experiences into perspective.
Week 6: Getting Outside of the Box – Preparing to Go Out and About by Yourself
Winter/Spring 2012 Session: March 14
For some, getting out is easy. For others, it's downright exasperating. Many feel self-conscious for fear of being stared at or "being on display." This session offers tips on feeling confident about the way you look in public.
Week 7: Positive and Negative Coping Strategies – What's the Difference and Why Does It Matter?
Winter/Spring 2012 Session: March 21
How are your friends and family handling your vision loss? Does their support help or hinder your self-confidence? Here, we examine differences between positive and negative support and how to effectively cope in difficult situations.
Week 8: Depression Awareness – When to Seek Help
Winter/Spring 2012 Session: March 28
Do you find yourself crying a lot? Have your eating habits changed? Do you feel disconnected from friends, family or your community? This session reviews the warning signs of clinical depression and offers ways to cope and seek help if necessary.
Week 9: Reality – Getting Beyond Glorified and Negative Stereotypes
Winter/Spring 2012 Session: April 4
Although they mean well, it's hard not to recoil when people exclaim how amazed they are at what "blind people can do." When will being blind be just as "normal" as apple pie? This session examines the misperceptions among mainstream society and what we can do to advocate for ourselves.
Week 10: I Might Have Fallen, But I Can Get Up! Gracefully Managing Anger and Frustration When Accepting or Turning Away Help
Winter/Spring 2012 Session: April 11
The sighted community doesn't "get it." People will sometimes grab or pull your arm when crossing the street or exclaim "it's over there." This session will focus on the frustrations we face when those who are sighted mean well, but miss the mark!
Week 11: Blind as a Social Butterfly – Vision Loss Doesn't Need to Hamper Your Social Life
Winter/Spring 2012 Session: April 18
No longer want to feel like a wallflower? Want to begin to give back? This session offers information on ways to get out more and get involved.
Week 12: Show and Tell – Products That Make Life Easier
Winter/Spring 2012 Session: April 25
What products have made life with vision loss easier? What tips do you have to share? This session examines practical ways to use simple household items to eliminate common frustrations.
Week 13: Stepping Ahead
Winter/Spring 2012 Session: May 2
Today we say goodbye and empower ourselves to live life to the fullest.