A Testimony from Teresa
While I was at Blindness Support Services,I had the opportunity to learn about and apply for Guide Dog School at Guide Dogs of the Desert . I was accepted and did not have a long wait time. Soon after I finished my learning time at Blindness Support Services, I was ready to make my mark in advocacy, I just wasn't sure where or how to do it just yet. That was until I received my first phone call from Guide Dogs of the Desert, asking me to share my journey at a local Lion's Club Meeting. From there, my work took off. I have become a Volunteer Ambassador for Guide Dogs of the Desert since then and going strong. My Guide Dog, a four year old black Labrador named Chuck, and I go on several presentations per month. One day we may be at a local elementary school teaching children about how to and how not to approach helper dogs. Another day, we may be talking to a retired group of people, or somewhere in between. Blindness Support Services gave me the start. First by introducing me to the guide dog school, by teaching me how to use the tools such as my white cane and my iPhone to navigate, and by teaching me to believe in myself. I have also completed my High School Graduation through Hadley School for the Blind, since leaving Blindness Support Services. This is another thing that would not have been possible if not for the skills that I learned there. Sincerely, Teresa A. Carter- Mealer
Teresa A. Carter- Mealer: former student at Blindness Support Services
A Testimony from Mary Luthy
While I do have a fair amount of sight, I am legally blind due to very poor peripheral vision and night blindness. My husband, who is now in a nursing home, was my eyes when I needed it. He also drove me wherever I needed to be. Often to UCLA for my eye appointments. With his admission, I lost my rides and my "eyes". At first I was frantic, how was I going to get to UCLA, to the store and to just get around town when I needed to? I decided it was time to get a white cane. Hesitant, and skeptical, I went ahead and called the Blindness Support group. Brenda came to the house to train me. She was patient, kind and a good listener. I tested the cane locally and found that it made things easier, it was even more reliable than my hubby's eyes. Then the big test came, to UCLA all by myself!!! I had done it once before and it was scary. I have to take a train, a subway and a bus. There were stairs, not well lit and the subway had steep stairs, also not well lit for my vision. The halls were undulating and my progress was slow. I was always looking down so I would not fall over a step or stumble with the up and down flooring. With my new cane, it was a breeze. I could look up, walk faster, and not be afraid. It made the trip so much easier, and I am much more independent with my cane. I am now planning to do things I never would have even thought of before. It has set me free to do things on my own and not to have to depend on others. Thank you so much, Brenda, you are an angel!!