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News & Events

The Iris Network is successful in its appeal for lost contract

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

REV UP VOTER REGISTRATION EVENT

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

Summer 2016 Newsletter

A pdf of this newsletter is available by clicking here

... Continue Reading

Working with Vision Loss

Shirley Featherson’s work is essential to operate ROOFA

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.

The

The Annual Report is Ready!

Please dive into our annual report. It covers the fiscal year October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015. Thank you for all of your support. Without you we could not do what we do. 

Click HERE

They Broke the Record for Benefit Bingo!


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 and You

... Continue Reading




Our central, or “straight-ahead”, vision is provided by the macula. Macula in Latin means spot or area. Our maculae are oval shaped areas in our eyes. They provide our sharp, detailed vision. Macular degeneration is the term given to a decline in these areas which results in the loss of central vision. This makes daily tasks such as reading, shopping, and watching television difficult.

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

Prestigious Award Given to Steve Kelley, Iris Network Vision Rehabilitation Therapist

 





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Congratulations to Newest Graduate!

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. 

Sean Baker graduate!


Happy Birthday Louis!

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

Trail Blazers for Themselves and for Maine

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

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  • Bangor Disability Peer Support Group

    Bangor Disability Peer Support Group

    09/ 1/2016 05:30 PM to 07:30 PM

    Bangor Disability Peer Support Group 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m at Advanced Modifications in Hermon; the number is 848-8226 This group meets on the first Thursday of each month. FMI: contact Alpha One in Bangor at 207-941-6553, TTY 877-229-8954

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  • DOVER LOW VISION GROUP

    DOVER LOW VISION GROUP

    09/ 2/2016 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM

    Who are we?

    We are a support group.  We provide connection to others who are blind or visually impaired as well as their spouses, partners, friends etc.

    Employees of the Division of the Blind and Visually Impaired (DBVI) also attend to provide information and access to services to anyone experiencing visual impairment or blindness.

    MEETING TIME AND PLACE

    We meet on the FIRST FRIDAY of each month.  We meet from 10:00 A.M. to 11:30 A.M. in the community center at Thayer Parkway, Dover-Foxcroft.

    PLEASE JOIN US!  Any questions, contact:

    Nancy, 564-0036 OR  Marlana, 564-0332.

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  • The Lewiston Auburn Support Group

    The Lewiston Auburn Support Group

    09/ 3/2016

    The Lewiston Auburn Support Group meets from 12-1 the first Saturday of the month at George’s Pizza in Auburn. FMI please call Leon Proctor at 212-1455.

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  • Behind Our Eyes Group

    Behind Our Eyes Group

    09/ 4/2016 08:00 PM to 09:00 PM

    April 3rd, 2011: Behind Our Eyes 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. This group meets through phone calls to discuss writings, listen to speakers and network with fellow writers. Meetings are held the first and third Sunday of each month. Contact Elisa Busch at 571-257-7355 or glbusch@comcast.net for more information.

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  • The Sunshine Club

    The Sunshine Club

    09/ 6/2016

    The Sunshine Club, Meets the 1st Tuesday of each month from 11:00 to 1:00 at the Lobster Trap on 25 Bay St. Winslow.  Contact Betty Soule for more information about the Sunshine Club or to participate at (207) 872-2967 or (207) 557-5181. Click here for more information.

  • VIP Group of Boothbay Harbor

    VIP Group of Boothbay Harbor

    09/ 6/2016 01:00 PM to 02:30 PM

    St. Andrews Village Gregory Conference Room on Emery Lane. 1st Tuesday of the month from 1:00 – 2:30.  FMI call Molly Moore at 663-3810 or Joan Stark at 633-2498.

  • Visually Impaired Support Team Alliance or VISTA

    Visually Impaired Support Team Alliance or VISTA

    09/ 6/2016

    Originated in the Augusta area, allowing people with a vision impairment to meet in an informal environment to talk about our challenges and how we overcome those challenges.  We mentor and support one another by listening to one another, offering encouragement, and praising one another for overcoming and achieving.  No achievement is ever too small!  We meet on the First and Third Tuesdays of each month.  The time is 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm EST.  We welcome you!  for more information, please call or write: Leona McKenna 207-333-7087

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  • The Rainbow Club

    The Rainbow Club

    09/12/2016

    The Rainbow Club, Meets the 2nd Monday of each monthat the American Legion Post 205, 396 Eastern Ave. in Augusta Lunch cost is $7.00. Please contact Barbara Potter for more information and to R.S.V.P. at (207) 622-3512 Click here for more information

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  • Behind Our Eyes Group

    Behind Our Eyes Group

    09/18/2016 08:00 PM to 09:00 PM

    April 3rd, 2011: Behind Our Eyes 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. This group meets through phone calls to discuss writings, listen to speakers and network with fellow writers. Meetings are held the first and third Sunday of each month. Contact Elisa Busch at 571-257-7355 or glbusch@comcast.net for more information.

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  • Visually Impaired Support Team Alliance or VISTA

    Visually Impaired Support Team Alliance or VISTA

    09/20/2016

    Originated in the Augusta area, allowing people with a vision impairment to meet in an informal environment to talk about our challenges and how we overcome those challenges.  We mentor and support one another by listening to one another, offering encouragement, and praising one another for overcoming and achieving.  No achievement is ever too small!  We meet on the First and Third Tuesdays of each month.  The time is 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm EST.  We welcome you!  for more information, please call or write: Leona McKenna 207-333-7087

  • Waterville Disability Peer Support Group

    Waterville Disability Peer Support Group

    09/20/2016 06:00 PM to 07:30 PM

    Waterville Disability Peer Support Group 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Pleasant Street
    United Methodist Church. This group meets each month on the third Tuesday of the month. For more information, contact Alpha One in Bangor at (207) 941-6553 or TTY (877) 229-8954.

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COME WALK WITH US on October 15, 2016!

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