Enrichment Audio Resource Services, Inc.
Disabilities, Health, Human Services, Seniors
1202 Lexington Avenue #316
1. OUR MISSION: Enrichment Audio Resource Services, Inc. (E.A.R.S.) is a 501(c)(3) organization. Our E.A.R.S. for Eyes program exists to provide free blind rehabilitation training to vision impaired older individuals so they can continue to live independently. The major elements of the program are: 1) an extensive ongoing community outreach effort which primarily utilizes direct-to-senior presentations at senior centers, housing facilities, etc., 2) the use of audio taped lessons designed to retrain seniors to perform the normal daily living activities that have become extremely difficult due to vision loss, and 3) our toll free client support telephone center which does initial client intake and provides continuous client support.
2. HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS: The process is simple and unintimidating. An individual hears of our program through our community outreach efforts, places a toll free call to our client support telephone center, a telephone interview is conducted by a vision counselor, and appropriate lessons are sent to the individual, free of charge. Clients then receive follow-up telephone contact after receipt of lessons. No face-to-face instruction is utilized in the training program. This use of communication technology, combined with an extensive community outreach effort, is an innovative, effective, and cost-efficient way to provide blind rehabilitation training to a vast number of older individuals with vision impairments.
3. THE NEED: It is conservatively estimated by the National Center for Health Statistics that in the United States more than 7,840,000 individuals over the age of 55 suffer from severe vision impairment and blindness. The most recent analysis by the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired estimates that less than 4% of vision impaired seniors who need blind rehabilitation training actually receive such training. Therefore, only 300,000 of the almost 8 million vision impaired seniors in the U.S. are receiving blind rehabilitation training, leaving more than 96% or, 7,540,000 seniors without the benefit of training.
4. THE AUDIO TAPED LESSONS: There are twelve lessons which cover basic daily living skills such as cooking, eating without embarrassment, safely getting around your home, managing your medications, personal grooming and bathroom safety, using the telephone, etc. The audio taped lessons are designed to be used in the home with the aid of a sighted helper, like a family member, neighbor or community volunteer. There is no designation of legal blindness required, and all of our services are free.