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Bosma Enterprises - 5/1/2020 4:09:01 PM

In our latest blog, we speak with Ray and Justine about how our assistive technology and resource lines helped answer some of their assistive technology questions and helped them stay connected through these challenging times.

Although our Center for Visionary Solutions for the Blind is temporarily closed due to COVID-19, our programs team is still hard at work assisting people who are blind or visually impaired obtain the resources needed during these uncertain times. We have established virtual resources, aimed to help those in the blind community stay connected. It is crucial for us to stay engaged with our clients, so we have been reaching out to our clients and doing some wellness checks and one on one phone calls. We recently spoke with Raymond Westmoreland and Justine Horlander about how they are taking advantage of our resource and support lines and our assistive technology helpline to keep their skills fresh.

One year ago, Raymond Westmoreland suffered a stroke that left him with limited vision in his right eye. Devasted, mad and upset was his initial reaction. Raymond had just adopted two sons and was worried about how he was going to be as a parent. "How was I going to take care of myself and my wife," he thought.
However, he knew God had a plan for his life. So, he stopped feeling sorry for himself and started looking for things to keep him busy. Fortunately for Raymond, his wife was also doing her own research to help her husband bounce back.

While doing some online research, she found Bosma Enterprises. They wasted no time coming in for a tour and learning about our life-changing comprehensive rehabilitation programs. After the tour, Raymond was anxious to get started but had to wait a few weeks before he could start his program.

Raymond was only in his fifth week of training when all in-person programs stopped due to COVID-19, and admits he misses interacting with clients and staff. Currently, our rehabilitation staff is meeting with clients virtually, doing as many activities as they can via phone or through Zoom meetings.

Raymond has been taking full advantage of our assistive technology instructors and learning short cut commands that make him more efficient on his iPhone and iPad and allowing him to access some of his favorite books. Raymond admits, having access to the virtual resources have kept him engaged, and is anticipating the day he can return to our rehabilitation center.

Justine Horlander is also utilizing our assistive technology and resource lines. Twenty-five years ago, Justine Horlander visited her eye doctor for her annual eye exam.  During that checkup, Justine discovered she had Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), a degenerative eye disease that eventually causes a person to go blind. Despite the diagnosis, Justine's vision remained steady for many years.

Justine would go on to enroll at Herron School of Art, located on the campus of Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), where she majored in graphic design, eventually earning her Bachelor of Arts degree.

Recently Justine's vision began to diminish, causing her to think about her future. As an Indianapolis resident, she was familiar with Bosma Enterprises and the services we provide to people experiencing vision loss. She began to take the proper steps to get herself enrolled in our comprehensive rehabilitation program in order to obtain the necessary training needed to live with a visual impairment.

Justine was only in her third week of rehabilitation training at our Center for Visionary Solutions for the Blind before our services were interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Justine has not let the fact our physical location is closed slow her down. She still calls in every day to participate in the virtual assistive technology meetings. Justine enjoys participating in different breakout sessions. "You can choose what is best for you," said Justine.

Raymond and Justine are very appreciative of Brian and Mendi for assisting them and answering any of their assistive technology questions. With the assistance they have received, Raymond and Justine have a better grasp of adaptive technology, and learning new commands with each meeting.

Despite having access to our resource and assistive technology lines, Raymond and Justine are both ready to get back in the classroom and interact with other people. If you or someone you know is blind or visually impaired and in need of resources, please call our toll-free line at 888.567.3422. Our programs team is still hard at work, providing resources and assistance to Hoosiers living with vision loss. You can support emergency relief programs we have developed due to COVID-19. Donate now at https://donate.bosma.org/covid-19.