PCB’s peer network provides the S-P-A-R-K: Self-Confidence, Peer Support, Accessibility, Resources, and Knowledge vital to gaining and maintaining independence for people who experience vision loss.
Believing in yourself, your abilities, and your dreams is crucial to overcoming the challenges of vision loss. PCB offers an array of opportunities that build self-confidence and fuel future success. By attending our annual conference weekend, you will have the chance to hone your orientation and mobility, daily living, and social skills in a friendly, accessible environment. As you volunteer alongside your peers on PCB’s teams and projects, you will develop practical and leadership skills that will boost your work confidence and employability. When you join your peers in speaking out on societal and systemic issues, you strengthen your own voice and become empowered to strive toward your goals.
Being able to find a community of supporters who truly understand life with vision loss is essential in gaining and maintaining life-long independence. PCB offers a variety of opportunities for peers who have experienced vision loss first-hand to provide support to one another. We can connect you with a peer mentor who will offer guidance, friendship and encouragement. Support is offered in group settings through in-person chapter meetings throughout the state and our on-going calendar of topical discussion calls. Regardless of which support opportunities you use, you are guaranteed to find a judgement-free zone with peers who truly get what it’s like to live with vision loss.
Leading an active, independent life with vision loss is possible when you have equal access to all aspects of work, family, and community. PCB peers promote accessibility initiatives on statewide transportation, education, vocational rehabilitation, and voting committees. In concert with the American Council of the Blind (ACB), PCB advocates for and has achieved accessibility for you including talking voting machines; audio described movies, television, and streamed content; audible pedestrian signals; talking prescription labels; accessible government websites; and tactile currency redesign. Through TheReImage.net website, PCB strives to make the world more accessible and accepting of people with vision loss through stories that demonstrate our abilities and experiences of everyday life as parents, workers, students, etc.
Utilizing all your available resources will give you greater opportunities for independence. Each year PCB provides financial scholarships for individuals to experience our conference weekend. By maintaining a database of services and opportunities for people with vision loss, PCB can refer you to rehabilitation, vocational, and educational resources in your community and beyond. Through the iDevices for Independence initiative, PCB recycles donated iDevices and loads them with apps that can provide greater independence for individuals who cannot afford this technology. PCB’s most valued resource is our network of peers who can provide insight and advice on any topic related to living a successful life despite vision loss.
Becoming informed and staying aware will provide you with the knowledge necessary to maintain and enhance your independence. PCB peers regularly post interesting and useful articles to the PCB-L listserv that highlight new products, research break-throughs, job postings, and advocacy issues. Our discussion calls are always a fountain of knowledge as we talk about our favorite independence gadgets, chat about upcoming events, and share news we’ve learned through other vision loss resources. In our quarterly newsletter, The PCB Advocate, which is provided in your preferred accessible format, you will learn of myriad opportunities, events, activities, resource materials, and personal experiences. For individuals more comfortable using a phone than a computer, the PCB Announce Line, 773-572-6314, includes much of the same listserv and newsletter information.
Ignite your independence and fuel your future by becoming a member of the PCB peer network. Free annual memberships are available for a limited time. Visit pcb1.org/membership, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 877-617-7407. Follow us on Facebook: PACounciloftheBlind or on Twitter: PCB_Advocate.