What's Working: Clinic help for people with vision loss

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) - If you have problems with your vision, there's a non-profit group in Mobile that wants to help you. Community Services for Vision Rehabilitation, or CSVR, provides help for people losing their vision, whether the person has insurance or not. The patient is evaluated by a medical professional, then is shown what magnification devices might be of help.

CSVR was started by Dr. Joe Fontenot. He lost his vision to macular degeneration decades ago and opened CSVR to help others. He knew that even though he was going blind, there had to be devices that could help him preserve the small amount of vision he had left.

"Many people don't know what is available to them, to do the things they want and need to do," Dr. Fontenot said.

Patient, Beverly Whitehurst, suffers from macular degeneration. At CSVR, she is being fitted with a magnifying device that will help her resume her favorite activity, sewing.

"I wasn't aware of anything but magnifying glasses," Whitehurst said. Now she learned about another device that fits around her neck that will magnify whatever she puts under it.  

Whitehurst's daughter, Laurie Morales, says the most important thing her mother has received at CSVR is hope. She said her mother was devastated to learn that her vision would not return.

"They have shown her what she can see, instead of what she can't see. It's changed her outlook," Morales said.

CSVR has four locations: Mobile (251)476-4744, Montgomery (334)782-3557, Daphne (251)928-2888, and Gautier, Mississippi (228)760-0788. You can also find them on the web at http://www.csvrlowvision.org.

CSVR has a fundraiser coming up on March 8th, and you are invited. It's called "Casino Night. It's from 6:30-9PM at Byrne Hall on the campus of Spring Hill College. You can expect good food, a wine tasting, and a silent auction. Tickets are $50. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (251)476-4744.

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Northwest Florida