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by Melody Bettenhausen
When I was little, I didn’t understand what vision loss meant. My great grandma had trouble seeing things like the outlet and dials on the stove, but that was just because she was old, right? No. My mother, 50 years younger than my great grandma was also having trouble seeing, but again, I had very little understanding. I couldn’t figure out why she couldn’t see to drive me to softball or ballet. She wouldn’t wave at my passing friends and their parents as they honked and waved while we walked along. She could however, tell when I hadn’t vacuumed and she could pick the lint off of my sweater. The whole thing made no sense.
The other thing I didn’t know was how hard my mom, who had a juvenile onset of Stargardt Disease, had to work at adapting her life to accommodate her vision loss. She went to school with magnifiers taped, she had a lady follow her around to take notes and then blow them up so she could read them. She used public transportation to get to campus, and she eventually graduated with her degree in Occupational Therapy. Since that day, my mother has worked to change the lives of those dealing with vision loss. In 2001, Denny Moyer, my mom, opened the doors to the Ensight Skills Center. Ensight’s mission was and still is to provide individuals with low vision the opportunity to enhance their life skills, independence, and self confidence in a safe environment through training and adaptive technology. Ensight is now in its 14th year, and is the only nationally accredited low vision rehab program in Colorado. Last year, Ensight’s highly qualified and professional team of occupational therapists and optometrists, worked with 433 people to reach goals, overcome barriers, and live a good quality of life.
One of the ways that Ensight supports the low vision program and community services is through fundraising. 2015 marks the third anniversary of Ensight’s Halloween Eye Ball presented by the Eye Center of Northern Colorado. All proceeds from the Eye Ball benefit Ensight and allow for an opportunity to reach out to our communities and provide education and increase support of our operations. This year’s Halloween Eye Ball will be held at the Agave Room at 149 W. Mountain Avenue, Friday October 23rd at 7:30pm. Join us…if you dare, for cocktails, costumes, and a whole lot of spooky fun! Tickets can be purchased for $50 through Ensightskills.org/Halloween-eye-ball or by calling Ensight at (970)407-9999.