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The Jewish Guild for the Blind’s National Tele-Support Network

Posted Jul 31 2009 9:34am

The only one of its kind in the country provides free, weekly telephone support groups facilitated by social workers and psychologists for families of blind, visually impaired or multi-disabled children and teens. The Guild is nonsectarian and one of the nation’s foremost not-for-profit vision health
agencies.

Created by The Guild’s Children’s Vision Health Initiative,
which seeks to eliminate preventable vision loss in children, the
Tele-Support Network responds to a national need for support and
facilitated interaction among these families. For many, The Guild’s
Tele-Support Network is the only opportunity for them to interact with
other families with a blind or visually impaired child and it meets a
critical need especially if participants live in small towns or rural
areas.

Families are encouraged to join The Guild’s Tele-Support Network. To
register or for more information, please call 1-800-915-0306 or visit
http://www.jgb.org/programs-parent-tele.asp.

The Guild’s Tele-Support Network includes:

*Parent Support Groups are organized around children’s eye conditions and
provide parents the opportunity to share their struggles and successes of
raising a child with blindness and/or multiple disabilities. The support
groups offer parents, many of whom are the only parents in their community
with a blind child, an outlet to no longer be in isolation from others
sharing similar experiences. The weekly sessions touch on a variety of
different topics including how to get services in their local communities,
education opportunities and question and answer segments with health and
education experts from The Guild.

*Fathers’ Support Group was recently added to help fathers of children with
vision impairment learn more about blindness and how to relate to their
children. The group meets every other week and covers subjects such as
engaging blind children through sports, financial planning for a child with
a disability and ways to be more involved in their child’s education
planning.

*Support Group for Teens provides an outlet for legally-blind college
students experiencing social isolation. The teens, many of whom are the
only blind student on their campus, discuss how to adapt to the challenges
of college including finding resources that are available on their campuses
and ways to meet other students.

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