One state department that doesn't get a lot of attention - but should - is the Iowa Department for the Blind.
Liz Soenen, rehabilitation teacher for the department, met with a group of people Tuesday afternoon at Friendship Terrace on the Estherville Good Samaritan Society campus. Soenen pointed out that department services are free and anyone may make a referral of a person who may benefit from the department's services.
Those services include providing audio books, helping people access free directory assistance, magnifiers so people can read (even those whose vision is 20/200 and legally blind can benefit from the machine) and help people continue to live independently in their own homes.
This is a great investment of taxpayer money. For one, it allows people to remain in their own homes. It also relieves the strain on family members who might otherwise have to care for a loved one with a visual disability. And, probably most important, it gives the visually impaired a sense of independence.
If you have a loved one who could benefit from their services, contact Liz Soenen at the Iowa Department for the Blind at 800-362-2587 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org