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Transcript: "Prevent Vision Loss with Early Diagnosis"

Announcer: Frances has partial sight as a result of her diabetes, but she didn't let that slow her down. She still begins each morning with a basketball game at the senior center.

Frances: You know, I'm not going to sit home and cry about it. I didn't know that the diabetes would cause problems with my eyes. That was my biggest mistake -- not seeing a diabetes specialist. I didn't know about that. My vision is really limited. I went to the ophthalmologist. I had two different opinions, and they concurred that surgery was the way to go.

Announcer: Frances was referred by a health counselor to a vision rehab agency. They gave her the confidence to cross streets and travel independently in spite of her limited vision.

Frances: The cane I use mostly for the drivers to see me, especially the bus driver, and I cross the street with it and then I take out my telescope, because I can't see the sign on the bus, to make sure I get on the right bus. The Adapt-a-Skills program was a great big help to me. I mean, it's amazing, just little things. They gave me a little thing that you put over your check, because, you know, I start writing, and before I know it, I'm going up in the air. With this, I can use that as a guide. In fact, I have it on my checkbook.

Announcer: The Vision Rehab Center also told Frances where to get large-print books for addresses and recipes, and phones with large numbers.

Frances: They also helped me with -- they have a buzzer. When you fill your glass with water or hot tea, when it comes to a certain level, the buzzer rings and you stop. Otherwise you keep pouring. I think I have a glass full and it's not full, and otherwise it's overflowing, so it's a big help, these little gadgets. The special pot is wonderful because I can, you know, pour out the water with both hands and the lid doesn't come out. I have the talking book machine and it's wonderful. You know, it's loud, it's clear, I can do other things while I'm listening to it.

[clock: It's 1:08 PM] The talking clock is my best little gadget because I use it as an alarm clock.

I organize my closet because I can't see too well, so no, I can't tell the difference between navy and black or brown. I use the special tape recorder because I put away clothes into bags or boxes and then I can put the tape right on the lid and I can take down the tape and put it through and I know exactly what's inside the box without having to look into it.

[tape recorder: . . . the leopard skin, gray, black and gold. . . ]

Announcer: Because of her training, Frances has the confidence to win at basketball and to be able to go to college.

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