Stan Mosser, low-vision specialist, has begun a Low Vision Care center at The View in Minot.
Mosser provides equipment and training to help people with low vision regain their independence and continue to live in their communities.
"The equipment can be there to make sure they are able to continue with their doctor's appointments, their education, or their employment, and maintain their personal care and personal lives," Mosser said.
Katina Tengesdal/MDN - - Stan Mosser, low vision specialist, is pictured with a magnification device used for reading print.
Katina Tengesdal/MDN - - CLOCKWISE from above, left: A machine that magnifies print for people with low vision. People can read a variety of materials as well as write underneath the magnified screen. NEXT: A magnification device placed at a sewing machine helps people with low vision to see their work. NEXT: A portable magnification device allows users to view menus, bulletin boards, or other print media.
Mosser tailors his services to suit individual needs, whether the individual is interested in continuing with a quilt making hobby, for example, or woodworking.
"The biggest thing for them, at first, is getting them to be able to read their mail and do their own banking," Mosser said. "Then, we'll talk about their interests and the things that they would like to do."
"Not being able to see changes your life," he said. "It's nice for people to have some place to go to talk to somebody, and figure out what to do. Losing vision can be a tremendous adjustment."
Mosser explained that one in four adults age 50 and older suffers from moderate to severe vision impairment. Vision loss can be caused by macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, albinism, retinitis pigmentosa, cataracts, glaucoma, injury and stroke, among other causes.
When meeting with clients, Mosser provides assessment to evaluate their individual needs and goals, then develops rehabilitation plans with them. He also selects equipment that could help and trains clients on its use.
"With the setup I have here at The View, I can show them a number of things -- how to label a stove so they are able to continue cooking, how to use magnification at the sewing machine, or how to use a machine to enlarge print so they can continue reading," he said.
"Starting at when their vision is 20/60 is a good time to start working with them," he said. "Then, they get used to using the equipment, and their reading skills don't deteriorate as their vision deteriorates."
Mosser has worked in the low-vision field for 20 years, but just began his private program in January. Through his program, he plans to travel statewide to provide services.
"There is a large number of individuals with vision loss, and I thought this would be the best way to provide services for them," he said. "It's really hard to find equipment out there. You could get a catalog showing products, but you don't get a good idea of what you're buying."
"I have a good idea of the things that will work for them, and the things that won't, so they don't waste extra money on things they can't use," he said.
Mosser keeps updated on the latest equipment available through attending national workshops and seminars, and working with a number of companies. He also stays up to date on the latest research.
"There is a large variety of equipment available compared to 10 years ago," he said. "Now, you've got portable equipment that allows you to read menus, newspapers, bulletin boards -- anything that's in print."
Mosser explained that insurance won't cover the equipment, so items are purchased privately. He hopes to set up an endowment fund to help those who can't afford equipment, as well as collect donated equipment to pass on.
"The reason I started up a private program was so that I could serve anybody, of all ages," Mosser said. "My goal is for all people to have access to low-vision services, whether they can afford it or not."