Updated Resources

AIRA Accessibility Update!

AIRA (a service that connects someone who is blind or visually impaired to a real person instantly to simplify daily life) has just made a portion of their service free for everyone with the AIRA app on their phone! Any user or guest can make a daily call, under five minutes entirely free of charge. This is great news and an incredible step forward for the blindness community. For more details, here is a link to an AIRA news update: https://aira.io/aira-is-free or go to their website: https://aira.io/ to the news room section, first article.

Speak! Free AI App for Android phones

Speak! and Envision AI, Two Text and Object Recognition Apps for Android
Steven Kelley, CRC, CVRT, CATIS
August, 2019 

Here is a link to an article about free tools that Android phone users may want to consider using: https://www.afb.org/aw/20/8/16738 

DISCLAIMER: This article posted on the American Foundation for the Blind website does not represent the views of the staff at The Iris Network – we are just sharing the information with our constituents who may benefit from its content.

Hadley Get Up and Go!

Get Up and Go!

Fitness Ideas for People who are Blind or Visually Impaired 

Steven Kelley CVRT, CATIS, CRC, Learning Expert 

Hadley discussion group with some resources on how to get started again with fitness. Listen at: https://hadley.edu/discussions/GetUpAndGo.asp

A Guide to Rehab: How to Get Started with Vision Rehabilitation Services

An interview with Kendra Farrow at the National Research and Training Center (NRTC) at Mississippi State University interviewed by Steve Kelley, CVRT, CATIS, CRC explaining how to get started with vision rehabilitation services. In addition, Hadley Presents, "Guide to Rehab." Listen at: https://p9i3r6r2.ssl.hwcdn.net/k4w2w6y8/cds/HadleyPresents/AudioTrack/2019-06-04.mp3 or stream it (listen) and download the transcript at: https://hadley.edu/HadleyPresents/episode.asp?episode=A_Guide_to_Rehab.



Here is a helpful Family and Caregivers Guide for the Disabled. It contains an overview of the ways a family caregiver can make the caretaking process easier and more convenient for the people who have care and support needs and their caregivers.

For more information contact:

Rilee Chester
Community Relations Manager
(877) 405-7516

Encouragement Video

Live Accessible
Published on Jun 3, 2019

A You Tube video with a message of encouragement has been produced for those losing sight, are blind, legally blind, visually impaired, or low vision. It can be a struggle, but with encouragement, support, technology, and resources, you can live a great, fulfilling, happy life.

To watch video, click on the following link: https://youtu.be/imGC0Tg8Vro


To celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day #GAAD (in mid-May), here is the most commonly needed accessibility support contact information: http://www.lowvisiontech.com/global-accessibility-day/ on the Low Vision Tech website.


Based on conversations with community leaders across the US, many seniors are unaware of the available care options and programs that can help maintain their independence and quality of life. A group of senior advocates from Caring.com, a senior care organization that supports family caregivers and their loved ones, put together a free resource that provides comprehensive information on topics like financial support, organizations, and available care options that are in every city (in Maine) that can help senior citizens stay connected with their community. Call (800) 973-1540 or find out more on their website at the following link: ... Continue Reading

New Support Group!


The first meeting of the Cumberland County Support Group will take place on Wednesday, June 19, 2019 from 10:00AM-noon at The Iris Network, 189 Park Avenue, Portland. We invite any who are blind or have low vision and their family members. Come make friends and share resources. At this the first meeting, we ask that you please bring your ideas and goals for the group that you would like to see. FMI please contact Randy Bellavance at (207) 212-8613 or rbellavance@theiris.org.

Alternative Wellness Services on 207

The Iris Network was mentioned on the 207 show on News Center Maine this past week. The feature highlights Amber Elliott and her award winning business, Alternative Wellness Services, providing mental health support and personal adjustment counseling to our clients who are blind or visually impaired. 

Alternative Wellness Services

Amber Elliott started Alternative Wellness Services with those struggling with addiction and homelessness in mind. She's expanding her services to provide help to those like her, who are losing their vision. 

Updated: 10:51 AM EDT May 13, 2019 

Click Here to access the short video segment

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