Group supports those with low vision

Low vision support group members, front from left, Betty Nix, Sue Schulgin, Michelle Creamer, Gwen Brown, and back row from left, Greg Bunn, Jim Czeskleba, Johnny Blake, Bernice Wilkinson, Jim Wilkinson and Cindy Blake. (Contributed)

Low vision support group members, front from left, Betty Nix, Sue Schulgin, Michelle Creamer, Gwen Brown, and back row from left, Greg Bunn, Jim Czeskleba, Johnny Blake, Bernice Wilkinson, Jim Wilkinson and Cindy Blake. (Contributed)

By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist

There is a small but energetic support group that meets once a month at First Presbyterian Church on Alabama 119 in Alabaster.
The group originally started years ago in the Thompson High School cafeteria.
“Low vision” can be the result of problems caused by accidents, cone dystrophy, macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa (which is night blindness), optic atrophy, albinism, diabetic retinopathy and others too numerous to mention. Each person’s problem is as different as the individual.
This motivated group of friends share not only their disability problems but the bond of friendship. They have programs and speakers, but really like to share each others’ progress or disappointments with each other.
One of the regulars is an artist, one is a teacher in rehab service, but all are active vital people.
To face problems of cooking, money management, telephone usage, shopping, housekeeping and grooming takes many adjustments and sharing helpful ideas goes a long way.
Gwen Brown, who heads up Disability Rights and Resources in Alabaster, can provide more information.
Programs in the future include adaptive bingo, a picnic at Orr Park, a teaching symposium in Talledega, humorous tapes, a dulcimer musical, a visit to an Amish bakery in Cullman and their November Thanksgiving meal trip. Books on tape and other resources are also available.
“This support group wants everyone to know about us so they can come and share their knowledge with us, their experiences and frustrations and triumphs,” said Sue Schulgin, who is the very capable “head honcho” of this organization.
You can reach her for more information at 290-4447 or sue.schulgin@rehab.alabama.org.
Community columnist Sandra Thames can be reached  by e–mail at bobthames1942@yahoo.com.