By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Oklahoma’s Department of Human Services Aging Services has recognized NewView Oklahoma’s Older Blind Vision Rehabilitation Program as its Program of the Year.
The award was presented at the 2015 annual Achievement in Aging Awards luncheon held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Norman in May.
Founded in 1949, NewView is a private, not-for-profit with a mission to empower people who are blind and visually impaired to achieve their maximum level of independence through employment, rehabilitation, and community outreach.
The Older Blind Vision Rehabilitation Program provides low vision examinations, occupational therapy, safe travel, exercise and other therapies that empower blind older adults with the tools and training needed to accomplish normal daily tasks and to remain living safely and independently.
Daily living skills and mobility training, combined with exercise and other therapies have been proven successful in helping more than 85% of clients maintain a greater degree of independence. They have the ability to use appliances and tools that enable them to cook and eat healthier meals, maintain their medication regimen and to minimize their risk of being injured due to fall.
Less depressed and isolated, older clients resume cherished hobbies and reconnect with family and friends because they can now cope with their vision loss. The ultimate goal of the program is to enable seniors to live independently in their home environments for as long as possible.
“We are proud, honored and humbled to receive this award from DHS Aging Services,” said Lauren Branch, NewView Oklahoma president and CEO.
“With more than 50,000 Oklahomans currently living with vision loss, we know this award will help to shed a light on the challenges they face on a daily basis,” Branch added. “It’s our goal and our mission, to empower all Oklahomans with vision loss to achieve their maximum potential.”
NewView Oklahoma serves patients statewide from their facilities in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
The organization’s Oklahoma City clinic, located in the Chesapeake Community Plaza at 710 W. Wilshire Blvd. Suite 102, is the state’s only full-service low vision clinic.
Located at 5986 S. Yale Avenue in KingsPointe Plaza in Tulsa, the Low Vision Center partners with the Lesley L. Walls Vision Center through NSU Broken Arrow’s Oklahoma College of Optometry to provide rehabilitation services to residents in the northeastern portions of the state.
NewView is the leading employer of the blind and visually impaired individuals in Oklahoma generating a positive economic impact of more than $25 million annually for Oklahoma County.
The organization currently provides more than 100 jobs to blind and visually-impaired individuals through in-house manufacturing and a growing number of service contracts with major employers at the local, state and federal levels.
The organization also maintains a Vision Rehabilitation Department and administrative staff in both Oklahoma City and Tulsa, OK.
To learn more about NewView Oklahoma’s programs or clinical services, call 405-232-4644 or visit www.newviewoklahoma.org.