For Immediate Release - 10/26/11
Contact: Cheryl Lawyer, (518) 463-1211,


Saugerties, NY – A unique, regionally-based nonprofit organization is helping people with vision loss, and those who care for them, find the resources and support they need to stay active and independent.  Based on research by Lighthouse International, the prevalence of chronic vision loss increases significantly with age -15% of those between the ages of 45 and 64, to 17% of 65-74 year-olds, and 26% of people aged 75 and older. Research also indicates that as the American “senior” population grows, so too will the number of people reporting vision difficulties.
Founded in 2009 and based in Saugerties, New York, the Mid-Hudson Valley Low Vision Network (MHVLVN) is a recently formed, nonprofit organization (501 3c pending) comprised of collaborating vision organizations, community partners and health care providers. The mission of the Network is to facilitate knowledge of and access to low vision and vision rehabilitation services through education, advocacy and outreach throughout the eight county mid-Hudson Valley region.
  The Network is coalition of various state, county and private agencies including the NYS Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped, Ulster County Office for the Aging, Northeast Association for the Blind at Albany, Catholic Guild for the Blind, Lighthouse International and local chapters of Lions Club International. Joan Hyde, Ph. D., owner of Family Lodge in Saugerties, founded MHVLVN.  Individual local members include Dr. James Cayea, a low vision specialist practicing in Dutchess county and Nancy Ryan, MS, a low vision and occupational therapist in Dutchess and Ulster counties.
“Low Vision” is defined as a visual impairment that cannot be corrected by standard eyeglasses, contact lenses, medication, or surgery; that interferes with the ability to perform everyday activities. Many Americans with low vision have difficulty reading mail, shopping, cooking, watching TV and even reading this article. Challenges associated with vision loss can seem overwhelming at times.
Vision rehabilitation combines training, counseling and adaptive devices, teaching skills that can give people with low vision the confidence to function as independently as possible by optimizing their remaining sight. Low vision technology and aids along with vision rehabilitation services help people adapt to their environments and learn new ways of doing things to improve their safety, independence and confidence.  Most importantly, these technologies can help people of all ages with low vision maintain their everyday activities and to continue to enjoy life.
Members of the MHVLVN are available to speak to groups, organizations and at events.  For more information, contact Wendy Buckler, NYS Commission for the Blind at (914) 993-5370.


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