Program to help visually impaired elderly loses funding - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Program to help visually impaired elderly loses funding

Posted: Updated:

CARBONDALE -- The Southern Illinois Center for Independent Living is losing a vital program that helps more than 60 people with visual impairments.

"We were notified by the Department of Human Services that our Elderly Blind Grant will no longer be funded," said executive director Bonnie Vaughn.  

Vaughn said she was shocked to learn that a federal grant her office has received for more than 20 years would not be making it to her facility this year. In fact, no facility for the visually impaired south of Belleville received the grant this year, and they didn't receive an explanation as to why. 

Beth Miller, the program director, fears many in the program won't be able to maintain their independent lifestyle without that grant money.

"I worry a lot about them. I mean, there is going to be some that are going to be going to nursing homes because they can't do for themselves," said Miller. 

Marilyn Sanders has been part of the program for more than 15 years, and says it's helped her live a normal life despite having poor vision. The program provided her with a special magnifier to help her read, something she calls "life changing." 

"I carry it with me all the time. It has a light on it and it magnifies where I can ready everything. So it's just like my right arm," said Sanders. 

Vaughn says the center is gathering petitions trying to get the grant money so they can maintain services, because if not, these folks will be left without any help with their day to day routine.  

"There are no options. There are no blind services in southern Illinois," said Vaughn.  

  • More NewsMore>>

  • Warming centers open to help those in need

    Warming centers open to help those in need

    Wednesday, January 17 2018 12:29 AM EST2018-01-17 05:29:39 GMT

    CARBONDALE -- Buildings around the region are available as warming centers to help protect people from the cold weather.

    CARBONDALE -- Buildings around the region are available as warming centers to help protect people from the cold weather.

  • Harrisburg man arrested for burning wood

    Harrisburg man arrested for burning wood

    Wednesday, January 17 2018 12:23 AM EST2018-01-17 05:23:31 GMT

    SALINE COUNTY --  A Harrisburg man Mike Crank gets arrested twice in two weeks for burning tree limbs on his own property.

    SALINE COUNTY --  A Harrisburg man Mike Crank gets arrested twice in two weeks for burning tree limbs on his own property.

  • How damaging is salt to your vehicle?

    How damaging is salt to your vehicle?

    Tuesday, January 16 2018 11:54 PM EST2018-01-17 04:54:36 GMT

    MARION -- Road salt is essential for safe winter driving but it can also lead to numerous car troubles. 

    MARION -- Road salt is essential for safe winter driving but it can also lead to numerous car troubles. 

Most Popular

Stories
Videos
Slideshows
loading...
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WSIL. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.