Outreach Lessons for Macular Degeneration - Part 1 Video

Macular degeneration is a major cause of vision loss in the United States. In the first part of the video, Modie Risher, who lost his eyesight due to this disease, talks about lessons he learned with the outreach program.
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The first place I went was to the Commission for the Blind. I had a wonderful instructor. In Outreach, they taught me how to cook; they taught me how to use the telephone. I'm not boasting, but I'm pretty sure that I can dial a telephone right now as fast as the average person with sight. Now another thing that the Outreach teaches, and I learned, they teach you braille and you tend to go first grade, second grade. The two other things that -- well, I was really concerned about in the learning braille was to get the elevator to learn first floor, second floor, how to operate the elevator and the other thing, to find the ladies and the men restroom, because they have braille on it and if you don't know, you can find yourself going into the wrong restroom. That's another think that helped by what they teach is the braille. They taught us in Outreach how to cook, they taught us how to -- they even came to my house, came here and they put the braille on the stove to helping you to cook. They even put braille on your drawers, your dresser drawers, like men's dresser drawer. They put it there and my blue socks are in this drawer and my brown are here. They put the braille, so you can feel it. That way, you are able to distinguish which is blue, which is brown. The other thing that they have helped us and Jenia (ph), that's her name, she is my instructor and she taught me how to -- if I'm in a room, in a hallway, in a building, how to follow the wall and how to go around if I want to get to -- just like here in the house. I just follow the way that she taught me. I pick up things, certain things, just like if you're driving and you want to get a marker. Another thing that they did that was really helpful is without glasses the medical you send, the doctors over to the Commission of the Blind and they would check our eyes, work with this even though we have been there at their medical to work on your eyes. But another thing to it is that, in the Outreach program, they would do something that most people would wonder, it's tense. They would take you in the middle of the block, and cars are coming down and they will let you stand there and listen to use your ear -- for instance, right now, I use my ears, I see with my ears. I've lost the sense of sight, but my ears are sharp. I can hear, I can hear very good now. But as I was saying, across the street, they put you in the middle of the block. Now they are right there with you. But, I'll tell you, you don't know that it's the beginning. They say, now just listen, you can hear the cars, listen to the car this way, listen to the car and then when they get passed, you can cross, if it's okay. So it takes your time and you do it two or three days, somebody is right there with you. In that way you get a sense, because there are times when you may find yourself across roadway, you've got to cross the street. If no one is there, you've got a problem and you've got to go across. I did it pretty good. I did it pretty good even if I must say so.

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