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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.


Helen Keller’s Connection to The Iris Network

Sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind (NFB)

As a result of this presentation delivered in June of 2018, many of the attendees (including staff and board members, consumers, and residents of Iris Park Apartments) felt that the Greater Portland Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and Herb Adams, a Maine historian who researched and led the presentation, had given The Iris Network one of its greatest gifts … a deeper understanding of the historical connection between The Iris Network and Helen Keller. 

The video recorded by the Portland Media Center (PMC), formerly the Community Television Network will air on the cable channel, but not on a regular schedule,... Continue Reading

LOCAL MUSICIAN RECEIVES THE GIFT OF SIGHT

Throughout his life, little things like facial expressions, the beauty of nature and much more remained unseen by Mike Biasin of Wells who was born legally blind due to an undeveloped optic nerve. This summer, the 49 year old  musician who is a vocalist and keyboard player for the award winning gospel band The Greatest Gift, was given a gift he never thought he would receive-clear vision. More

Podcasts on Vision Loss, Macular Degeneration, and GoGo Grandparent

Here is a link to the Eyes on Success interview with Dan Roberts, founder of Macular Degeneration (MD) Support Group: http://www.eyesonsuccess.net/show%20notes/show%20notes%201824.htm

This podcast contains a recording of “Your Amazing Eyes” by Dan Roberts which is great for clients new to vision loss or macular degeneration. Roberts offers a monthly “tele-support”  group: http://www.mdsupport.org/support/telesupport/ at no charge in the United States. Also he provides monthly materials free to anyone wishing to create an affiliate  support group. 

Tek Talk offered a podcast on GoGo Grandparent service that allows people to schedule rides with Uber and Lyft WITHOUT being a... Continue Reading

Team Sea to See

A team of cyclists—4 blind and 4 sighted, started the Race Across America yesterday in CA. They will be riding tandem bikes nonstop for 9 days (June, 2018) to Maryland over 3000 miles, in what is considered one of the toughest cycling events in the world! AND their message is about employment and opportunities for folks with vision loss! So here are some links to follow them and provide support as they make their way across the country.

Here’s a link to their website: http://teamseatosee.com/ 

Here’s a link to an additional article about the race:
http://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/2018/06/07/sports/blind-cyclists-taking-toughest-race-america.html

 

 

Andy Valley Senior Expo in Auburn June 20, 2018

Join us Wednesday, June 20, 2018, for the free Andy Valley Senior Expo. We'll be at the beautiful Hilton Riverwatch (14 Great Falls Plaza in Auburn) from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Here's a list of exhibitors, plus we have five great speakers, and music by Memory Lane. Ask Dan Buck of Daniel Buck Auctions & Appraisals (a former Antiques Roadshow appraiser) to look at your small antiques! Get information from experts in senior housing, home care, estate planning and insurance. It's fun and free, no registration required! Stay for an hour or stay all day. Free coffee, and lunch available for purchase at the hotel's cafe.  See you there, and invite a ... Continue Reading

Guide to Flying with Disabilities

Guide to Flying with Disabilities

A guide that provides travel tips and airport considerations for each type of disability was created by creditcard.com, as well as information on rights and accommodations as a disabled traveler. The following article was published in conformance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines to allow easy interpretation for readers with disabilities.

You can view the guide here: https://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/fully-accessible-guide-flying-people-disabilities.php

Blind Abilities Podcast: Geoff Eden, A Pioneer in Canadian Disability Advocacy

Brought to our attention by Steve Kelley, Geoff Eden had some interesting insights on raising awareness of blindness and employment—the whole 40 minute interview is interesting, and from 15 minutes on, he has specific suggestions for agencies and professionals in the field.

http://blindabilities.com/bapresents/introducing-geoff-eden-a-pioneer-in-canadian-disability-advocacy/

Online Auction Supporting The Iris Network

Starting in June, an online auction based in New England, called Geno's World's 2018 Fundraiser For The Blind, is raising money for The Iris Network from generous business sponsors and donors from across the country. In just one day, almost $1,000 has been raised. Both rehabilitation and our Low Vision Clinic are mentioned on their site with pictures of early graduates from the Rehabilitation Center. Check it out and pass on to friends and family! 

https://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/genocarter/maine2018 

New Standards for Braille Accessibility on Mainstream Tech

New USB Standard adopted by major manufacturers may have a positive impact on braille users. According to a recent blog post on AppleVis https://applevis.com/blog/apple-assistive-technology-braille-news/new-usb-standard-aims-make-it-easier-use-braille, a recent press release from the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) received support form companies such as Microsoft and Apple. This standard may enable braille display users a more uniform experience when connecting braille displays to a variety of different platforms and operating systems. In a comment posted by Scott Davert, a member of the AppleVis editorial team, this standard may offer a greater level of reliability for connecting braille... Continue Reading

Enjoy Listening to Talking Books this Summer!

A reminder to readers around the state with a vision loss that they may qualify for the National Library Service Talking Books program, at no cost, through the Maine State Library. Talking Books provides narrated books and magazines through the postal mail on digital cartridges and an easy–to-use player. For more info the Maine State Library toll free number is 1-800-762-7106 and website is https://www.maine.gov/msl/outreach/lbph/talkingbooks.

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  • Behind Our Eyes Group

    Behind Our Eyes Group

    07/ 1/2018 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

    07/ 3/2018

    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

    07/ 3/2018 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

    07/ 3/2018

    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 Wells Support Group

    The Wells Support Group

    07/ 5/2018

    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

    07/ 5/2018 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

    07/ 6/2018 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

    07/ 7/2018

    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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  • The Rainbow Club

    The Rainbow Club

    07/ 9/2018

    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

    07/ 9/2018 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

    07/15/2018 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

    07/17/2018

    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

    07/17/2018 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

    07/23/2018 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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  • Visual Impairment Service Team (VIST) Education and Support Group

    Visual Impairment Service Team (VIST) Education and Support Group

    07/26/2018 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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COME WALK WITH US on October 13, 2018!

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