News & Events
On September 20, 2016, the State of Maine announced that The Iris Network’s procurement appeal was successful in invalidating a 5-year contract for $1.1 million per year for community-based blindness rehabilitation services. This decision reverses a June 1st, 2016, award by Maine’s Department of Labor to Catholic Charities Maine (“CCM”).
The Appeal Panel invalidated the award on two grounds: (1) that the recent economic impact section of the request for proposals (“RFP”) bears no relationship to best value and thus violates Maine’s competitive bidding statute and (2) that the award was arbitrary and capricious because it gave both bidders the same number of points for... Continue Reading
Disability Rights Maine is holding a voter registration event in Portland and Bangor on Tuesday, September 27th, co-sponsored by the Portland Disability Advisory Committee.
People with disabilities represent 15% of the voting-age population. Yet, during the 2012 elections:
- 30% of people with disabilities said they wanted to vote but were unable to;
- 72% of polling places were not accessible; and
- 57.2% of people with disabilities did not vote.
This year, help us make sure that people with disabilities are heard at the polls. All are welcome to stop by our event to register, learn about absentee/early voting or request... Continue Reading
A pdf of this newsletter is available by clicking here.
Working with Vision Loss
Shirley Featherson’s work is essential to operate ROOFA
“My father and my brother both lost their vision to retinitis pigmentosa,” said Shirley Featherson of Westbrook, Maine. “But when my vision started going, I was a little stubborn.” Coming to grips with the prospect of losing one’s vision is not easy. “Thank God my son doesn’t have it,” she said.
But Shirley eventually did come to grips with it. That was 25 years ago, when The Iris Network was still known as the Maine Center for the Blind. She received vocational training and learned techniques for independent living.
3/7/2016 Biddeford, ME. - Over 110 people appeared at the Rochambeau Club yesterday to play Bingo for the benefit of The Iris Network. This was more than the Club’s standing record of 90! The Knights of Columbus, Council 2266, Old Orchard Beach were the hosts and masterminds behind the fun afternoon.
Diane Fecteau, whose husband Jean-Luc was an event co-chair said, “My mom received services from The Iris Network for her macular degeneration. They are wonderful. It made sense to suggest the organization to the Knights of Columbus when they were identifying their charity for this year.”
Roger Worthley, President of the Rochambeau Club was delighted to be able to offer the Club for the... Continue Reading
Macular degeneration is a common disease in people over 65. The single most important thing a person can do to get ahead of macular degeneration is to have an eye exam at the ophthalmologist’s regularly. The condition develops as the eye ages and its onset may not have any symptoms. When
Sean Baker of Bangor graduated from The Iris Network Rehabilitation Center in Portland, Maine. A 12-week intensive, immersive, individualized program in vision rehabilitation, the demanding curriculum prepares participants who are blind or visually impaired to be competitive in the job market. Sean’s abilities with technology and braille were singled out for praise as was his positive approach to problem-solving.
Sean is flanked by his daughters while his sister and niece look over his shoulder.
12/30/2016 Portland, ME. - Louis Braille's birthday is coming up - January 4! Imagine a code written by a teenager, who was blind, almost 200 years ago, that is still being used today – and will be in the future. Braille is not a language, it is a code. The basis for braille was a “night code” written by Captain Charles Barbier de la Serre in Napoleon’s army. Napoleon wanted a code that could be read silently and without a light at night. Barbier’s code, based on a cell with 12 dots in varying combinations for each letter or sound, could not be read easily and Napoleon abandoned it. It was difficult to read because a finger’s pad could not read all 12 dots at once.
In 1821,... Continue Reading
12/23/2015 – Portland, ME. - The Iris Network Rehabilitation Center (Center) proudly graduated four students this morning. An intensive, individualized, immersive program in vision rehabilitation was completed by Pauline Hoffman of Casco, Jeffrey Nadeau of Washburn, Robert Hartford of Oxford, and Sudeep Stauble of Portland.
The transformative three month program is designed to impart both independent living skills and pre-vocational training for individuals with vision impairment or blindness. The graduation marked a powerful milestone in the career trajectory of each participant. Center director, Rabih Dow, noted, “It takes grit and patience to go through a vision rehabilitation... Continue Reading
COME WALK WITH US on October 15, 2016!
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