Our staff shares how COVID-19 has created new challenges, opportunities
How has COVID-19 affected your clients’ daily lives?
April: For some clients, their only interaction with others was to come to ACBVI. They have expressed a lot of fear. A phone call every now and then tends to lift their spirits – and it helps to lift mine also.
Betsy: Some clients do not have any choices about taking public transportation. These folks also may not be able to afford delivery service or feel safe going into a store due to pre-existing conditions. But staying home may increase their sense of isolation.
How has ACBVI adapted to the challenges created by COVID-19?
Betsy: Some instruction, like public transportation training, cannot be done right now. Other skills, such as learning a new route and practicing cane skills, have been taught using an in-person trainer, masks and social distancing.
Ned: Our sessions are now done via Zoom ... It has become obvious that lots of the work can still be done remotely, saving the clients and the staff in travel time and expenses. Thus, some programs might end up modified to be provided through virtual sessions, even over the long term.
What keeps you motivated?
Toni: My motivation comes from helping people. We make periodic phone calls just to make sure the clients are ok. I also get calls from other visually impaired people that are in crisis because of the new environment. It is very satisfying to be able to help these people through the tough times.