Blind help

Cancer has a way of trying to rob us of the things we love. I know a man who has battled a brain tumor. He defeated the tumor. But it left him blind. He had always loved to read and watch sports on TV. But now that he is blind he can only listen to his favorite sports.

I recently inquired with the Alabama Institute for Deaf & Blind about getting him a watch. I had heard that his 14 year old grandson was visiting for about a week.

One night in the middle of the night just past midnight. He awoke and called out. What time is it? From the pull out bed in the living room, his grandson answered 12:30, just after midnight.

The man was thankful to have a grandson who would answer when he called out. But it got me thinking. Imagine not knowing when it is day and when it is night. To wake up and not know if you are waking up from a nap in the middle of the day, or waking up in the middle of the night.

I started searching on-line for a watch for the blind. They do exist and there are a number of options. Some watches talk when a button is pushed, others are similar to braille. Some have the sweep hands exposed so the person can feel what time it is. But the ones with the sweep hands often brake after so many uses.

But I was delighted to find that there are options. With further investigation I found the Alabama Institute for Deaf & Blind is a great resource for information.

If you know someone who is blind in Alabama, you can probably find them watches, timers for coffee pots, people who can teach braille and talking books, calculators as well. The services are available through Vocational Rehab. There is also a number that can be dials to hear any newspaper you want to hear and catch up on all the news. Yes there are also specially designed phones.

In Jefferson County you can contact 205 328-3989 to find out more.

You can also contact the Liz Moore Low Vision Center at St. Vincent's East. That number is 205 838-3162.