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News & Events

Click Here for our Calendar of Events

The Iris Network is always looking for new information and events in support of the blind and visually impaired. If you have some, send information to Regal Naseef, Director of Communication at rnaseef@theiris.org.


SUPPORT GROUP MEETING

What: Cumberland County Support Group

Where: The Iris Network - 189 Park Avenue - Portland

When: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 from 10am-noon

Who: People who are visually impaired and loved ones 

This month’s topic: Open Discussion
 
FMI: Randy Bellavance at (207) 212-8613 or  rbellavance@theiris.org
 
To Teleconference, call (515) 603-4910 PIN: 719394

 

VOTE for AOEC!

Please take a moment to VOTE for our recreation partner, the Adaptive Outdoor Education Center … if they win $10,000 they will use it in part to help our clients and residents of Iris Park Apartments! To vote, click on the following link, then click on “VOTE”, a green button, in upper left corner of pop-up, then click on “I’m not a robot” and enter email – that’s it.

https://mygivingstory.givingtuesday.org/fbcontests/profiletab/MyGivingStory2019/3268429

DEMO DAY!

Check out the latest in low-vision adaptive devices

Monday, November 4

9am-2pm

Sponsored by Adaptivision

Register now!

THE IRIS NETWORK

Brick building under blue awning in the back of the Iris parking lot

189 Park Ave – Portland, Maine 

Call Diane at (207) 774-6273 

Devices available Include: desktop video magnifiers, handheld magnifiers, and wearables.

 

 

Interview on Vision Loss and Life in Perspective

 Hadley
September 19, 2019

NYT Columnist Frank Bruni on Vision Loss and Life in Perspective

In this episode, Ricky Enger speaks with New York Times columnist Frank Bruni, who shares the story of his sudden vision loss from NAION. Bruni speaks candidly on his adjustment to the change, maintaining a realistic attitude towards his vision loss, and the failure of medical professionals to provide resources after diagnosis.

Click Here is the link to listen 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this podcast are not associated with The Iris Network; we are just sharing this post with our constituents.

 

 

REGISTER FOR White Cane Walk THIS SATURDAY!

THE IRIS NETWORK – White Cane Walk for Independence

Saturday, October 12th – 9:00am-noon 

  • It’s time to register for this year’s White Cane Walk for Independence! 
  • All staff are given the Columbus Day holiday that week and in return, they are required to attend unless they are part-time and no schedule to work on a Saturday, but if you can’t full-time staff can request time off (personal/vacation) or flex time within the pay period. 
  • If you pay the individual fee ($25) or family fee ($40) you receive a t-shirt, or get one for free if you volunteer and donuts/coffee and lunch will be available. 
  • If you want to support/donate for a specific team, then simply
  • ... Continue Reading

Maine Points: Iris Network Radio Interview

WGAN News Radio

Maine Points: Iris Network

Posted on October 4, 2019 by dmartignetti 

Chuck Igo spoke with Regal Naseef who is the Director of Development And Communication for The Iris Network. The Iris Network is a community-based, Maine nonprofit 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation. The Iris Network recognizes the diverse aspirations and abilities of people who are visually impaired or blind. They also go over the 24th Iris Network White Cane Walk for Independence on Saturday, October 12th at the Iris Network, 189 Park Avenue in Portland!

This program focuses on how the Iris Network is helping to build a world where no person is limited by visual impairment or blindness. The... Continue Reading

Free Accessible Restaurant Menu Service


My name is Stephanie Jones and 13 years ago when I lost my sight, I did not realize all the small things in my life that would change. Even though I completed my rehabilitation services and began to work in the field of vision rehab, there are some things that are still problematic, such as reading a restaurant menu independently. 

Yes, I can use OCR apps to capture the text and have it read back to me. But by the time I do this, my colleagues are already ready to order. I can get someone to read me the menu, but the waitress has to come back several times and by the third time I'm ready to order anything to stop this ordeal. I don’t trust asking for a braille menu as many people do... Continue Reading

INSIGHT - THE IRIS NETWORK'S NEWSLETTER FOR ALL - FALL 2019

Click Here for the complete newsletter in PDF Format

Iris Network
Vision with no limits
Insight Newsletter
Fall 2019

Thanks to you, my vision loss doesn’t limit me!

Sara Nichols proudly holding a certificate for completing rehabilitation!
Sara Nichols proudly
holding a certificate for
completing rehabilitation!

I am a mother, a wife, and a student at UMASS Boston. I also lost most of my vision 5 years ago to a hereditary disease.

Thanks to you and my time at The Iris Network’s Rehabilitation Center, I am now a professional on the career path of my dreams—I’m studying to be a Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist (CVRT) while working right here at The Iris Network.

I used to believe that my vision loss limited my potential. I felt like I was living in... Continue Reading

Blind Man Develops Smart Cane That Uses Google Maps and Sensors to Identify One’s Surroundings

Photo by WeWalk
Photo by WeWalk

This electronic walking stick is revolutionizing the way that blind people can navigate the world.

As a means of protecting people from low-hanging objects and obstacles above chest level, the WeWalk smart cane uses ultrasonic sensors to warn the user of nearby hindrances through vibrations in the handle.

The cane can be paired with a smartphone’s Bluetooth system for easy control. Since it is also integrated with Voice Assistant and Google Maps software, it can use built-in speakers to inform the user of nearby stores and infrastructural details that they may not be able to see.

WeWalk CEO and co-founder Kursat Ceylan, who is also blind, told CNN that he helped to... Continue Reading

Maine Seniors audible magazine article

Maine Seniors
November, 2018 

Making a difference for Mainers with vision issues
by Shelagh Talbot 

Upon request, the following is a link to an accessible, audible, recorded reading of an article featuring The Iris Network in the November, 2018 issue of Maine Seniors magazine for your listening pleasure or to share with others: http://maineairs.theiris.org:82/MSM-Aug19.mp3. Note, most electronic devices should be able to play the audio automatically or with a press of a play button, as it is in .mp3 format.

Disclaimer: The views, headline, or language expressed in this article were not written by staff of The Iris Network; we are just sharing this published information with our ... Continue Reading

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  • DOVER LOW VISION GROUP

    DOVER LOW VISION GROUP

    11/ 1/2019 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

    11/ 2/2019

    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

    11/ 3/2019 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

    11/ 5/2019

    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

    11/ 5/2019 01:00 PM to 02:30 PM

    Visually Impaired Persons (VIP) group in Boothbay Harbor meets the first Tuesday of every month from 1:00-2:30pm at the Community Center located in the Meadow Mall, 185 Townsend Ave, Boothbay Harbor, Maine. There is no meeting in July. For more information, contact Mollie Moore at 207-633-3810 or Joan Stark at 207-633-2498.

  • Visually Impaired Support Team Alliance or VISTA

    Visually Impaired Support Team Alliance or VISTA

    11/ 5/2019

    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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  • Bangor Disability Peer Support Group

    Bangor Disability Peer Support Group

    11/ 7/2019 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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  • The Rainbow Club

    The Rainbow Club

    11/11/2019

    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

  • A support group for clients with low vision is available in the Bangor area

    A support group for clients with low vision is available in the Bangor area

    11/11/2019 01:00 PM to 02:30 PM

    In collaboration with Maine’s Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DBVI) and The Iris Network, a support group for clients with low vision in the Bangor area has formed with an initial six members and is open for new members to join. They meet at the Career Center on the second and forth Monday every month at 1-2:30pm.  Family and friends are also invited. Sessions are now led by DBVI or The Iris Network staff, addressing participants’ areas of interest where members share their experiences and needs. For more information, contact Sue Summers at ssummers@theiris.org.

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  • Behind Our Eyes Group

    Behind Our Eyes Group

    11/17/2019 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

    11/19/2019

    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

    11/19/2019 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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  • A support group for clients with low vision is available in the Bangor area

    A support group for clients with low vision is available in the Bangor area

    11/25/2019 01:00 PM to 02:30 PM

    In collaboration with Maine’s Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DBVI) and The Iris Network, a support group for clients with low vision in the Bangor area has formed with an initial six members and is open for new members to join. They meet at the Career Center on the second and forth Monday every month at 1-2:30pm.  Family and friends are also invited. Sessions are now led by DBVI or The Iris Network staff, addressing participants’ areas of interest where members share their experiences and needs. For more information, contact Sue Summers at ssummers@theiris.org.

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  • The Wells Support Group

    The Wells Support Group

    11/27/2019

    The Wells Support Group, For people with vision impairments and their significant others, Wells Congregational Church, Post Road (US Route 1) last Wednesday of the month from September until June (except July and August), from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. FMI call Brenda Bacon 207-646-7079.

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  • Visual Impairment Service Team (VIST) Education and Support Group

    Visual Impairment Service Team (VIST) Education and Support Group

    11/28/2019 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM

    Education and Support group hosted by the Visual Impairment Services Team at VA Maine: 4th Thursday of the month from 10-11:30am (except Nov. and Dec. when it occurs the 3rd Thursday).  This is a closed group for veterans enrolled in the VA Maine Visual Impairment Services Team (VIST) program.  Contact Amy Tague at 1-877-421-8263, ext. 5944 for more information on how to participate.

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