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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 our cause this holiday season

YOU CAN SUPPORT people who are blind or visually impaired in a few ways this holiday season! 

  • Do your HOLIDAY SHOPPING anytime

Proceeds of all online shopping at over 100 stores will go towards The Iris Network at no additional cost to you! Simply start at: https://www.theiris.org/ or www.theiris.org and click the SHOP TO SUPPORT on the right or at bottom SUPPORT US then SHOP TO SUPPORT; then click on STORE of your choice; and then START SHOPPING. 

Note: To shop on Amazon through Amazon Smile, you can choose The Iris Network as your cause to support in your Amazon account profile. For all other merchants, the contribution from your purchases will go directly to The Iris Network as... Continue Reading

November is Diabetes and Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month

by Steven Kelley CRC, CVRT, CATIS

 

As many as 26 million people in the U.S. have diabetes (8.3% of the population), and the cost of treating diabetes may be as high as $245 billion annually! November is the designated awareness month for both diabetes and diabetic eye disease, one of the leading causes of blindness in the U.S. for working age adults. 

It is estimated that 20%-40% of those diagnosed with diabetes already have diabetic eye disease. One of the major reasons for this is that nearly 40% of the individuals newly diagnosed with diabetes were unaware, often for years, that they were diabetic. Evidence of diabetes may often be first detected through a routine eye examination... Continue Reading

Jim Phipps Awarded VisionServe Alliance’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017

Jim Phipps (left), Bernadette Kappen, VisionServe Vice Chair, and Mark Ackermann, VisionServe Board Chair (right) Photo by VisionServe Alliance
Jim Phipps (left), Bernadette Kappen, VisionServe Vice Chair,
and Mark Ackermann, VisionServe Board Chair (right)
Photo by VisionServe Alliance


(NEW ORLEANS—November 7, 2017) In 2013, VisionServe Alliance’s board of directors created a new award for Lifetime Achievement. The expectation was that there would not be specific rules created or that this award would be presented annually. Instead, board members would make recommendations based on their knowledge of VisionServe Alliance member leaders who have achieved professionally or personally throughout their lives and/or careers. On November 7, 2017, VisionServe Alliance was pleased to honor two such members: Jim Phipps and Gidget Hopf.... Continue Reading

Low Vision Technology Demo Day

Stu Flom from AdaptiVision came to The Iris Network for a Low Vision Technology Demo Day to demonstrate the latest assistive technology and video magnification devices to consumers. To come to the next one, contact The Iris Network at (207) 774-6273 to be notified of the next event.

Iris Park Apartments – License Renewed in 2017!

Iris Park Apartments is a State Licensed Level 1 Assisted Living Facility and the license is good for two years.  Every two years we have an inspection by the a state licensor to ensure that we are meeting guidelines. The licensor reviews resident charts to ensure all appropriate documentation is present and up to date, reviews employee records, interviews residents, inspects the kitchen, inspects our med management process including a review of Medication Administration Records, and medications, and inspects other aspects of our physical plant to ensure that we are meeting all the regulations, and safety standards. If anything is found wrong, we are given deficiencies and a time frame in... Continue Reading

MAINE POINTS RADIO SHOW FEATURED THE IRIS NETWORK

Maine Points, produced by the Portland Radio Group and hosted by Danny Martignetti, featured The Iris Network in a show that aired October 8, 2017 on WGAN. Here is a link to the podcast:

https://soundcloud.com/newsradio-wgan/10817-maine-points-iris-network

White Cane Walks in October

White Cane Walks in October

#ACBofMaine has a great listing of #WhiteCane Walks happening in Maine on Saturday, October 14, 2017 

http://acbmaine.org/2017/09/14/2017-white-cane-awareness-walks-information/

BE MY EYES app is launching on Android!

Be My Eyes - the free app that brings sight to thousands of blind and visually impaired people globally, is launching for Android today - October 5th, 2017.  

Since launching the iOS version of the app in 2015, more than 550,000 sighted volunteers have signed up to assist our over 38,000 blind or visually impaired users. The launch of the Android version is a milestone that will bring free and unlimited visual assistance to even more people around the world, further enabling the blind and visually impaired to lead more independent lives. 

With such a high volume of volunteers, we have the capacity to assist many more blind and visually impaired users than we do now. It would be... Continue Reading

Technology News for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Steve Kelley, Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist (CVRT)/CATIS/CRC, as a representative of The Iris Network, was recently interviewed as part of an article for Access World Magazine this past July, 2017. Click on the following link or read accessible text below:

http://www.afb.org/afbpress/pubnew.asp?DocID=aw180705 

Disclaimer: This information is not intended for redistribution. 

... Continue Reading

Access World Magazine

Technology News for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

July 2017 Issue

Accessing Quality Technology Assistance

Getting the Most out of Sighted Computer Assistance: How to Help the Helpers

Bill Holton

In the June issue of AccessWorld we published a letter

Seeing AI: Artificial Intelligence for Blind and Visually Impaired Users

By Steven Kelley, CVRT

Seeing AI: An Exciting New Release

Microsoft has released a new free app for Apple's iPhone, called Seeing AI, and it is generating a lot of interest in a short period of time. In less than a week, "techies" were giving glowing reviews to the app and podcasters were creating tutorials, which is all great news for consumers looking for an introduction to using the app.

I too have downloaded the app and tried it out with considerable interest, because it is a free app, and because it includes what many technology users with a vision impairment are seeking most in productivity tools: reading printed text; object or obstacle recognition; and labeling utilities, all... Continue Reading

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  • The Wells Support Group

    The Wells Support Group

    11/ 2/2017

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

  • Bangor Disability Peer Support Group

    Bangor Disability Peer Support Group

    11/ 2/2017 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

    11/ 3/2017 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/ 4/2017

    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/ 5/2017 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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  • VIP Group of Boothbay Harbor

    VIP Group of Boothbay Harbor

    11/ 6/2017

    Visually Impaired Persons (VIP) group has changed its meeting time in Boothbay Harbor from the first Tuesday of every month to the first Monday of every month from 1:00-2:30pm; and from St Andrews Village Retirement Community to the Saint Columbas Episcopal Church at 32 Emery Ln, Boothbay Harbor, Maine. For meeting times, contact Mollie Moore at (207) 633-3810. For more information, call Molly Moore at 663-3810 or Joan Stark at 633-2498.

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  • The Sunshine Club

    The Sunshine Club

    11/ 7/2017

    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.

  • Visually Impaired Support Team Alliance or VISTA

    Visually Impaired Support Team Alliance or VISTA

    11/ 7/2017

    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

    11/13/2017

    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

    11/13/2017

    A support group for clients with low vision in the Bangor area.  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 fourth Monday every month at 1-2:30pm.  Family and friends are also invited. Sessions are now led by DBVI, addressing participants’ areas of interest where members share their experiences and needs. For more information, contact Carrie Brooker at (207) 949-0843 or carrie.z.brooker@maine.gov.

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  • Behind Our Eyes Group

    Behind Our Eyes Group

    11/19/2017 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

    11/21/2017

    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

    11/21/2017 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

    11/27/2017 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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COME WALK WITH US on October 14, 2017!

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