I am a firm believer that students that enroll in an optometry program should also be active outside the classroom. I am lucky enough to be an officer for our school’s Low Vision and Rehabilitation (LVR) club. Every month I send out information about low vision diseases and our role, as optometrists, in treatment and management of the diseases. We also host many events, including trips to the San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind, 5k walks, etc. This month, in honor of Low Vision Awareness Month, LVR Club decided to help out our library in making Valentine’s Day Cards for employees of the San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind.
At the beginning of the meeting, our club’s president, Candice Jones, explained the upcoming events that LVR will have. This includes (and make sure you watch out for the blogs about these!): Volunteer events such as vision screenings, San Antonio Low Vision Club monthly meetings, Low Vision Expo, as well as “Low Vision with a Twist.” Coordinating events such as these is a great way to network and learn a lot more about optometry, even outside of school. Food for this meeting was graciously donated by one of the RSO faculty, Dr. Matt Valdes.
Then the fun making the Valentine’s Day cards began! Because many of the employees of the San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind are visually impaired, students, faculty, and staff used tactile stickers, glitter glue, beads, felt, and dark markers so it is easier for them to read the cards once they receive them. You don’t really know how much you take for granted until you realize little things like this: that people need things like tactile words/stickers in order to “see” what you wrote. It was very humbling.
During the meeting, we were able to make a lot of cards! Our school library is actually keeping the card station open so that all students can get involved whenever they have time. I am excited to hear about these employees opening their cards. I hope that reading something like this will brighten their day, even if it is just a little bit. I am grateful to have the opportunity to make a difference in someone else’s life, and I wouldn’t have known about it unless I joined UIWRSO’s LVR Club!