The American Council of the Blind of Colorado, also known as A3, is a nonprofit that provides education, training and other support systems for seniors who have severe loss of vision.
Volunteers with A3, which stands for “adapt, adjust and achieve”, provide an independent lifestyle to seniors losing their vision. Because of the stigma surrounding vision loss, many in need of help never ask for it.
A3 executive director Barbara Boyer finds that vision loss is something that people often try to hide.
“Very often people who lose their vision, who have been sighted all their life, hide the fact that they’re losing -- they don’t want to admit that,” said Boyer. “We are here strictly to help seniors. Ninety-eight percent of our clients are 60 and over, and we provide them training, education so they really can continue to function independently.”
A3’s partnership program makes helping those in need of assistance easy, says volunteer and community outreach director Martina Torres.
“You actually have your own client,” said Torres. “And you are seeing your client 1 to 4 times a month -- reading mail, light organization, and we have some matches that do gardening together.”
A3 also provides support groups for those with vision loss to know that they are not alone.
The programs and support offered through A3 allow more than 90 percent of their clients to remain in their home.
Boyer says their ability to continue to provide this service is dependent on volunteers.
“It’s our grandparents, it’s our dads, it’s our uncles, it’s our neighbors, and if we’re going to continue to provide this service for free we need as much help as we can from the community in the form of their volunteer time,” said Boyer.
If you are interested in lending your time to A3 to support local community members, you can apply to volunteer here.
Get Involved Colorado is a series that highlights nonprofit organizations across the state that are looking for volunteers. If you know of an organization that needs an extra set of hands and volunteers with passionate hearts, contact host/producer Karlie Huckels at firstname.lastname@example.org .