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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Vision Expo focused on options, opportunities for visually impaired

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Those experiencing vision loss, or dealing with the challenges of limited vision on a daily basis may want to carve a little time out of their schedule on Wednesday to attend the Vision Expo, sponsored by the Iowa Department for the Blind, from noon to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at Hope Reformed Church in Spencer.

More than a dozen vendors will join eye care specialists and staff from the Iowa Department for the Blind to provide answers and resources to those contending with vision challenges, either personally, or with a friend of family member.

"We're always trying to let Iowans know of services we provide to persons experiencing vision loss," Rick Dressler, with the Iowa Department for the Blind, said. "It's kind of a semi-regular part of our outreach. We want people to know we're here to help them."

In addition to the representatives and vendors associated with the vision industry, three speakers will be featured in seminar settings.

Dr. Stephen P. Fox, M.D., of the Wolfe Eye Clinic; Curtis Chong, with the IDB; and Bob Farmer, a blind business owner, will each address those in attendance.

"Dr. Fox will speak about eye diseases and their treatment, Curtis is kind of our technology expert here and will be talking about different kinds of technology available to help people," Dressler said.

Bob Farmer, owner of The Shooting Shop in Kingsley, will offer a special perspective.

"He is one of our success stories," Dressler explained. "He had a career and a normal working life, then was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa. He turned to our department and through the help we were able to give him, he was able to open up his own gun-smithing shop."

Dressler added, "It was a long-time dream of his to own his own business."

The event is free and open to public and Dressler is hoping those within driving range of Spencer will take the opportunity to visit.

"I believe we've done one in the area (northwest Iowa) before. We feel we're due for another visit," Dressler said.

He continued, "Depending on what you're diagnosed with, there is bound to be a period of adjustment where you have to accept circumstances are changing. But your life is not over because you're experiencing vision loss. There are a lot tools and technologies to help people."

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