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.