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Visually Handicapped Services at Detroit Receiving Hospital

 

Visually Handicapped Services
Phone: (313) 745-4510
Fax: (313) 745-4120

Detroit Receiving Hospital
4201 St. Antoine
Detroit, MI 48201

If Blindness Strikes...

If blindness strikes, causing loss of some or all sight, a personís world literally falls apart. Visually Handicapped Services at Detroit Receiving Hospital and University Health Center helps to restore order to a personís life. Staff members teach new skills, modify old methods and answer questions arising from the uncertainty that accompanies sight loss.

The Michigan Commission for the Blind, the state agency that makes referrals for rehabilitation, sponsors most of our consumers and pays fees for this service. To contact the Commission, call (313) 256-1524. Services are provided at no charge. To meet the requirements, a client must be legally blind, which doesnít necessarily mean totally blind. Legal blindness is 20/200 in the best eye with correction. (What the normal eye sees at 200 feet, the impaired eye sees at 20 feet or less with glasses or contact lenses, or the eye has visual fields restricted to 20 degrees or less.) The length of the program depends on the individualís needs. By living at home during rehabilitation, a person can share victories and disappointments daily with family and friends.

If you know someone who is legally blind and have questions about this form of rehabilitation, call Visually Handicapped Services at (313) 745-4510. For some people, such as children or the homebound, this program is not the answer. Staff can give you information about other resources.

Visually Handicapped Services
Phone: (313) 745-4510
Fax: (313) 745-4120

Detroit Receiving Hospital
4201 St. Antoine
Detroit, MI 48201

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Mobility

Mobility meets the challenge of moving about safely and as independently as possible. People with low vision learn to look for landmarks they can recognize. When their sight is not enough, such as when crossing busy streets or reading signs, they are taught how to adapt. Totally blind consumers master swinging the long cane in an arc in front of them to avoid hard knocks to shins and stumbling upon curbs and unexpected stairways. They develop safe techniques for crossing streets, locating unfamiliar places and seeking help from the public.

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White Cane Distribution

Visually Handicapped Services, through the generosity of the Sylvia and Erwin Harvith Fund, can provide a white cane to any legally blind person who asks for one. Applicants must have proof of legal blindness and may receive one cane free every 12 months. Canes must be picked up personally and cannot be mailed. Please call in advance.

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Activities of Daily Living

The consumer may have to adapt self care methods such as identifying clothing, shaving, sorting money and modifying eating habits. Cooking, house cleaning, sewing and laundry are other topics covered. Dining in public as well as solving the mysteries of threading a needle without sight and experimenting with talking clocks and calculators are included. Many diabetics learn to measure and administer their own insulin.

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Communications

Consumers may be given the opportunity to learn to read and write using print and braille. Training in the use of optical scanners and other electronic technology is available. Consumers may be introduced to computers with speech or magnetification. They also may benefit from using hand-held magnifiers and closed circuit TVs for reading and writing. Consumers are also assisted in applying for services such as Talking Books.

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Goal Setting

Vocational counseling is part of this comprehensive rehabilitation program. Those interested in attending college or vocational school receive information that makes the role of a visually impaired student easier. Counseling also includes such matters as recreation, volunteerism, and rights and privileges to which blind people are entitled.

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Also Available

Consumers also may benefit from other specialties within The Detroit Medical Center: social services, psychological counseling, speech and audiology, diabetes counseling, as well as medical and dental services. Partially sighted consumers usually visit a low vision clinic for evaluation to determine if low vision aids can improve reading or distance vision.

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