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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Enrichment Audio Resource Services, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Blind & Visually Impaired Centers, Disabilities, Eye Diseases, Blindness & Vision Impairments, Health, Human Services, Senior Centers, Seniors, Voluntary Health Associations & Medical Disciplines

Mission: 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.

Programs: Provide vision rehabilition to seniors. In fiscal 2013/2014 e. A. Rs. Inc distributed, at no charge to the user 3,492 compact disc lessons teaching adaptive skills to 776 clients who have low vision, most of whom are over the age of 65. E. A. R. S.

Community Stories

14 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization provides adequate information for individuals who are struggling with their lost of vision especially veterans. Working with representatives of this organization were a big help and answered all questions with clarity and were pleasant and patient with the clients seeking help.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great Organization! My Father was able to maintain his independence for quite some time after he started to lose his vision. Being the proud man he was and a Veteran, I know this little bit of freedom helped him maintain some bit of dignity during his decline. Thank you.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

They have helped my mother many times as she has batteled wet macular degeneration. Never asking for even a penny. They are great.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

My dad is a Veteran and he has had bad cataracts for many years and they can't be operated on. My wife and I were worried about his living alone but he did not want to move in with us. We found EARS FOR EYES on the web and ordered some of the tapes. He listened to them and after a few weeks he was able to acclimate better with his situation and was again able to prepare some meals. He also liked the tape on bathroom safety. He told us that after listened to the tapes he was not as worry about falling in the shower. We listened to the tapes with him and we all agreed they are very clear and easy to follow. We are very happy we found them.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am writing this for my mother who is a diabetic. Several years ago she began to have serious problems with her vision and was becoming increasingly fearful of doing things around the house. Especially cutting things,using any sharp tool and going up and down the stairs. She use to be an army nurse so she knew how serious a cut or accident can be for a diabetic. She called this outfit for some help and they sent her tapes that told her how to do cooking things and get around the house safely. They also told her where to get some good magnifying glasses that are very useful. She was very happy with the information and service she got from them.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

My wife got maculer degeneration and could not see anymore to cook dinner. We listened to all tapes and she cooks again and I like helping. Very nice people on the phone at ears. Just want to say thank you again.

7

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

Seven years ago, I completed a Master's course in Blindness and Low Vision Services and have been working as a Rehab Teacher in the Independent Living Older Blind program of washington State. EARS has been a helpful resource for me. Many times I have reviewed the informational tapes to refresh my memory before going out to work with a client. And I have suggested this resource to at least 30 people over the past 4 years. Some people seem more comfortable working on skills privately. The tapes are lively and fun. They address issues that are of concern to blind people such as using the telephone, getting around safely and eating without embarrassment. I appreciate that an EARS representative checks back with my clients to offer additional information and support.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

MY HUSBAND IS A AIR FORCE VETERAN AND HIS EYESIGHT HAS GOTTEN WORSE OVER THE PASS FEW YEARS. A FRIEND FROM THE VA IN TAMPA, FL. KNEW ABOUT E.A.R.S. FOR EYES. WE CONTACTED THEM AND THEY WERE REALLY HELPFUL. THEY SENT US CASSETTE TAPES THAT WE LISTEN TO TOGETHER. WE BOTH LEARNED ALOT FROM THEM AND CAN'T "THANK" THEM ENOUGH.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

After my dad retired from the navy he found out that he had glaucoma and could go blind. It kept getting worse and he was afraid that he would have to move in to some kind of retirement home. I found these tapes on the internet and got them for him. He really likes them and says that he can stay home now because he can take care of himself. These tapes really helped him out.

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I'm a social worker working with visually impaired people - many of whom are veterans. I always recommend these tapes to my clients and have consistently gotten rave reviews and very positive feedback. The techniques are easy to use and quickly bolster independence. I cannot recommend EARS enough. My clients often report back that a fostered sense of independence leads to less feelings of depression. This is a truly excellent service.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband has macular degeneration and it got to the point where he could not see enough to read even with a magnifying glass. We found out about getting these tapes when we went to buy a CCTV. They mentioned that we could get all kinds of helpful information from this organization and he gave us their number. We called and the person we talked to was very understanding of our siituation. She told us that everything was free and sent us several cassettes. They showed my husband all kids of tricks and techniques to do things that he was having trouble doing due to his vision loss. One of the tapes we got told him how to use the stove by putting marks on the dials and other safety tips. He can now fix soup and warm things up by himself. My husband is an Army Veteran and has always had alot of trouble doing things on his own. The information we got from the EARS program has helped him to get back to doing some things he likes despite his bad eye condition.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been living alone since my wife died 11 years ago. When I found out that I was loosing my vision due to macular degeneration I was so worried! I thought I was going to have to go live with one of my children. A friend of mine who goes to the VA told me he heard about a program that gives tapes that will help me to continue to live on my own. He gave the the phone number for the EARS program. I called and talked with one of the staff who were very encouraging. They then sent me cassettes that taught me how to house clean and organize my things. It was great! They then sent me some others that told me how to use proper lighting and ways to keep my pills in order. I can now do many things that I thought I would never be able to do with the vision loss. I am still living alone and am doing very well. This is a wonderful service they provide and most of all, It is free of charge.

6

Board Member

Rating: 5

EARS for EYES provides low cost, high efficiency vision rehabilitation services for veterans (and others) who have lost or are losing their vision. The service is free to the client. The two founders are highly motivated individuals with a tremendous sense of purpose. The service they provide enables people from all over the U.S. to access vision rehab services, (daily living skills instruction) enabling the individual to remain living independently despite vision loss.

3

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

EARS is a top notch, very efficiently run organization. The staff really is very caring and concerned for all they assist. There tapes are very professionally done and do the job they were created for. Their website is very easy to use and has a database of thousands of resources for their clients. I hope they stay around for many years to come. Its not easy to do what they are doing, it requires lots of knowledge and continuing education. EARS is an incredible feat. I am sure there are many people who feel the same way.