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CVI client Kristen J.’s favorite part of summer is attending concerts and festivals. But as her vision declined, she worried she’d no longer be able to navigate these large social events without relying on assistance from a loved one. She teetered on the brink of deciding to come to CVI. She worried that she wouldn’t benefit from our services because of her remaining vision. Ultimately, she took the leap and made an appointment for a low-vision evaluation.

At her low-vision evaluation, our vision rehabilitation therapist Abby suggested orientation and mobility (O&M) training. Kristen worked with O&M specialist Ashleigh to learn how to navigate with a white cane. Together, they simulated crowds and darkness to mimic the environment of a concert or festival. “Ashleigh assured me that with my cane, I would be able to navigate those spaces safely and comfortably without the anxiety of hurting myself or running into others,” says Kristen.

Since completing her training this past winter, Kristen has already attended two concerts, a festival, and a convention. “The difference has been night and day,” she said. “With my cane, I have been able to attend these events easily and even by myself. It’s been really freeing to do these things independently.”

CVI’s O&M specialists can work with anyone in how to use a white cane, cross streets safely, and access public transportation. They can also share many tips and adaptive tricks that add confidence. You may be looking forward to fun summer activities like attending concerts and festivals, riding on a boat on the lake, or toasting marshmallows over a campfire, and CVI can help!

If you or your loved one are on the fence about seeking help, take Kristen’s advice: “Just do it. It’s so helpful to have my cane. It’s like a support network I can carry with me at all times.” CVI offers O&M and other services to people with any degree of vision loss. Visit https://cviga.org/services/ to learn more.