Ali Lambert, a COTA who has been with Society since January of 2020, is providing services across the river into St. Charles, making home visits and helping clients stay independent in their own homes. She has worked with several clients already and Mr. Frank Brooks is one of them. Mr. Brooks has macular degeneration and a retinal hemorrhage and was struggling immensely with simple tasks. Ali has helped with lighting and magnification. Brooks said, “St. Louis Society for the Blind and Visually Impaired has changed our lives! Occupational therapy gave me my independence back. My wife and I are both learning invaluable skills and techniques on how to accomplish tasks independently here at home. What a difference a magnifier and light has made.

Society is also crossing the Mississippi to server Western IL. Historically, the agency has many clients utilizing our services who live in Madison and St. Clair counties. Thanks for funding by the Lutheran Foundation, we are forging ahead to begin in-home services to people living in this area. Gina Cusac has joined Society on a part-time basis to serve as a COTA to Illinoisians. Like Ali, Gina lives in the community she will serve. She has 28 years of experience as a COTA, working in pediatrics, geriatrics, and early intervention, but this is her first foray into low vision. “This is new territory for me, but I’m really looking forward to helping people get their life back. I’m looking forward to one-on-one interaction and building that trust.” Gina is pretty impressed with Society. “The one thing that stands out to me is the hope we bring to people with low vison. Hope means a lot.” This program will be bolstered by partnerships with IL organizations such as MindsEye and Impact who have offered use of their space as needed.