Posted Monday, October 7th, 2019

Public Invited to Vision Loss Alliance’s “Dining in the Dark” Event on October 24

The Morris County Board of Freeholders has proclaimed October as Blindness Awareness Month 2019 in Morris County, and has recognized Denville-based Vision Loss Alliance of New Jersey, in its 76th year, as a statewide leader in offering programs and services for persons who have vision issues.

Freeholders Proclaim October 2019 as Blindness Awareness Month in Morris County

Vision Loss Alliance’s Peggy Kane, a participant and volunteer, and Jennifer Singer, director of development, are applauded by freeholders, from left, Stephen Shaw, Deputy Director Heather Darling, Deb Smith and John Krickus.

“There are many people in Morris County who have to deal with vision loss, who live with sight disabilities every day,’’ said Freeholder Deputy Director Heather Darling, who made the proclamation at the freeholder’s Oct. 7 work session in Morristown. “Most of us take our sight for granted until we or a loved one are affected by vision loss and may not know where to turn for help. That’s where Vision Loss Alliance can make a big difference to you.”

The proclamation recognized the work of Vision Loss Alliance of New Jersey, which has been headquartered  in Denville for more than 60 years, and which provides the only comprehensive, nonresidential vision rehabilitation program for adults in the state.

Freeholders Proclaim October 2019 as Blindness Awareness Month in Morris CountyVision Loss Alliance Director of Development Jennifer Singer and Alliance student Peggy Kane of Rockaway Township accepted the proclamation.

The organization is hosting Dining in the Dark, an event that will give guests a glimpse of what it’s like to live without sight while they enjoy a gourmet meal. Dining in the Dark will be held Thursday, Oct. 24 at the Meadow Wood Manor in Randolph.

Vision Loss started out as a social club in Newark and relocated to Denville in 1955 as a summer camp for women with blindness, under the name New Jersey Foundation for the Blind. In the late 1990s, it began to offer year-round independent skills training.

Vision Los Alliance of NJ logo

The nonprofit changed its name to Vision Loss Alliance of New Jersey in January of 2016 to reflect what it is: an alliance of individuals, organizations and communities dedicated to helping adults who lose their sight learn to adapt and regain confidence.

“Blindness Awareness Month reminds us all that people who lose their vision can enjoy fulfilling lives, as they learn to adapt to new circumstances and thrive,” VLANJ Executive Director Kris Marino said. “Vision Loss Alliance is proud to be on the forefront of that effort, teaching people techniques to overcome the challenges of vision loss, and promoting their emotional and physical wellness in a supportive environment.”

Vision Loss Alliance has recently expanded services to provide low vision occupational therapy, which teaches individuals techniques to make the best use of their remaining vision. Its programs deliver substantial, measurable benefits, including fall and accident prevention, greater overall physical and mental health, and the use of tools, resources, and strategies to enrich lives and promote socialization.

The National Eye Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, projects a three-fold increase in cases of blindness alone by 2050.

For more information on Vision Loss Alliance, visit https://www.vlanj.org/