Clara Valley Blind Center is a place for ongoing 'support' and learning to
be independent. We fit into the greater community by allowing clients to
learn from each other and to apply the skills we tried to learn in the
formal classes at other places. Sitting in classes is only a 'step' on
the journey to independence.
I attended several local agencies - for an eye exam, an “adjusting to blindness’ course”, and
to review their magnifiers and CCTVs. I also attended a local blind employment agency for a technical assessment and took a computer course. I found these services
to be lacking.
I learned much more on how to be independent from SCVBC and
its clients and staff. I find it important to learn from other visually
impaired people - the support groups and informal gatherings, where I can
just talk and learn what others are doing and trying to do.
Seeing how others with vision problems are independent is
motivation to go try and do stuff.
My sighted spouse also needs to be with other visually
impaired people to see how they react, and the help they do and do not
need. It is very difficult for both of us to learn from each other
because we do not have the experience with vision problems. Learning that
clients are still doing housework, yard work, traveling, and much more
shows me that independence is just a frame of mind and encourages me to try to do