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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.


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

How people who are blind or visually impaired can enjoy next week’s solar eclipse

An overview of the Eclipse Soundscapes Project, a Cambridge, MA based initiative of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and NASA's Heliophysics Education Consortium by Kelsey Perrett. 

Our project uses sound to bring a multi-sensory experience of the August 21, 2017 eclipse to the blind and visually impaired community. With illustrative audio descriptions of the eclipse delivered in real time and an interactive "Rumble Map" which will allow users to hear and feel the physical qualities of the eclipse, the Eclipse Soundscapes app aims to increase scientific engagement by bringing this astronomical event to a larger, more diverse audience. 

Rehabilitation Center Student Appears on the Community Television Network

Sabryna Keebler is 17 years old and lives with her family in Jeffersonville, New York. She participated in a three week assessment at The Iris Network’s Rehabilitation Center in August, 2017. As an athlete, she throws the discus for her track team and is also very musical. She is interested in a career in special education.  

Click here to listen to an impressive interview on Community Television Network (CTN).

Remodeling for Seniors & Vision Impaired

Maine Properties, LLC Blog: http://mainepropertiesllc.com/home-lighting-improvements-seniors-visually-impaired/

Posted By Ron Haskell on Aug 2, 2017
http://mainepropertiesllc.com/home-lighting-improvements-seniors-visually-impaired/ 

Simple Home Modifications for Safety & Comfort

Vision issues can seem to take center stage as we get older. As we age, we require 2 – 3 times as much light in order to see as well as we did in our younger years. Deteriorating vision affects our comfort, our ability to perform tasks, and our safety. Fortunately, home lighting makeovers and remodels can incorporate simple modifications that improve the lives of seniors and the visually impaired. 

Here... Continue Reading

SHARED VISION QUEST RIDERS TO ARRIVE IN PORTLAND

August 3, 2017
Steven Kelley, CVRT, CATIS, CRC
Vision Rehab Therapist 

Maine natives Mike Robertson and Hans Breaux are expected to arrive in Portland Maine Friday, August 3 in the afternoon, after completing nearly 4000 miles on their bicycles from the Pacific Coast in Washington, where they departed June 26, headed back to West Quoddy Head. Mike Robertson is legally blind from cone-rod dystrophy and this ride to raise money for retinal research, and awareness for the abilities of individuals with low vision. I understand they will be riding the Eastern Maine Gateway (Eastern Maine Trail) which will take them through Wells, Kennebunk, Biddeford, Saco, Old Orchard Beach, to South Portland... Continue Reading

Shared Vision Quest Diary

Mike and Hans of Shared Vision Quest are in Eastern Michigan, passing the halfway mark heading to Buffalo this weekend. Here is an audio interview by Steve Kelley, CVRT, CRC, Vision Rehab Therapist at The Iris Network. July 28, 2017.

https://sharedvisionquest.org/blog/2017/7/28/shared-vision-quest-shuffles-off-to-buffalo

Blind woman told she couldn't join a travel tour without a companion - The Boston Globe

The following appeared on BostonGlobe.com:
Date: Jul 25, 2017

A Boston-based travel company wants a blind prospective tourist to find a traveling companion before they allow her on their trip, a requirement the traveler says is unfair.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2017/07/24/blind-traveler-tour-company-dispute/R0i3tc1yAfFcF7Yr6c8zML/story.html?s_campaign=8315

News Alert: DBVI Conditional Contract Awarded

Portland, Maine – July 17, 2017:  Last Thursday, The Iris Network was notified that it is the successful bidder for Maine’s 5-year contract for community-based blindness rehabilitation services.  While The Iris Network has held this contract for over 35 years, the new contract award comes after an expensive, 16 month government procurement process.  

Stephen J. Trabold, Acting Executive Director of The Iris Network said, “Congratulations to all of the members of our team who put this winning proposal together.  This award validates the dedication and hard-work of our highly experienced professional staff who travel throughout the state to provide vision rehabilitation and... Continue Reading

The Adaptive Outdoor Education Center (AOEC) partners with The Iris Network

The Adaptive Outdoor Education Center (AOEC) partners with The Iris Network – particularly with Iris Park Apartments by offering various recreational opportunities. Below are some upcoming seasonal events, such as sailing through SailMaine on the Portland Harbor. Anyone in our community can book a stay at the lodge at Sugarloaf any season for only about $20/night or could host a family/friends reunion there as well with a total of 26 single beds. 

UPCOMING EVENTS... 

ENTREPRENEURS CONNECT
MAY 11 / 4pm - 7pm
Fairbanks School Meeting House
Farmington, ME

Bruce will be speaking on the entrepreneur panel! Get inspired to think big, be bold and take risks. Challenge yourself to grow your ... Continue Reading

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  • DOVER LOW VISION GROUP

    DOVER LOW VISION GROUP

    09/ 1/2017 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

    09/ 2/2017

    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

    09/ 3/2017 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

    09/ 4/2017

    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

    09/ 5/2017

    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

    09/ 5/2017

    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 Wells Support Group

    The Wells Support Group

    09/ 7/2017

    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

    09/ 7/2017 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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  • The Rainbow Club

    The Rainbow Club

    09/11/2017

    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

    09/11/2017 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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  • Behind Our Eyes Group

    Behind Our Eyes Group

    09/17/2017 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

    09/19/2017

    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

    09/19/2017 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

    09/25/2017 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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