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Help for Family, Friends and Neighbors

Eye-Link Foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides technology for residents of Minnesota and North Dakota who have visual impairments, who are not veterans, and who, for a variety of reasons, can not get technology through State Services for the Blind.

Kathaleen from Minnesota received a Ruby magnifier from Eye-LInk. She uses it for reading and home activities, and as an independence aid when she leaves her home. She said, “At the store, I take photos of bar codes or ingredients and the Ruby brings it up to my face, so I can read the type.” Her Ruby lets her zoom in and out on whatever she’s reading: labels, books, the newspaper and more.

Here is how the Eye-Link process works:

A person who has vision loss and needs adaptive technology applies to State Services for the Blind. If the state, for any number of reasons, can not fulfill the person’s request, a SSB representative can assist the person to fill out the grant application.

When the grant application is sent to Eye-Link, it is crucial that the person who applies includes proof from SSB stating that the state was unable to fulfill the person’s request.

Jim Justesen, Eye-Link founder, said, “Any grant application must be accompanied by a ‘denial’ note, fax, or letter from State Services for the Blind. The board will not review requests for adaptive technology unless a denial letter from SSB is attached.”   Eye-Link board members meet quarterly to review all pending grant applications.

The goal is to get the right technology to the visually impaired person. Each year Eye-Link, Minnesota receives between 35-45 adaptive equipment grant applications.

Eye-Link Minnesota and Eye-Link North Dakota do not look at the applicants ability to pay when granting requests for assistive technology. A majority of funding relies individual donations and a small percentage of corporate foundations.

Eye-Link and SSB’s collaboration does not end with the delivery of assistive devices. SSB provides people with the training they need to use the equipment provided by Eye-Link.

Life Changing Stories & Testimonials

We no longer wonder about the effectiveness, critical nature, and how your generosity drives vital adaptive equipment to people challenged by sight loss. Here is some of their feedback:

Dear Eye-Link Friends

Thank you for the Onyx Video magnifier. This is a gift of life for me!

I have been designing and creating needlework since the age of seven years. Therefore, my vision loss was painful. With the aid of this magnifier I have resumed many projects. One of my favorite’s charitable works is creating quilts for the Children’s Crisis Center here in Duluth. This service is for children from infancy to twelve years. These children have been legally removed from their homes. Quilts equal comfort. The Center tries to give one to each child when they return to their homes.

Much love from beautiful Duluth. Meredyne D.

Onyx Video Magnifier Recipient, Duluth, MN

Reading Assistance

After her desktop computer crashed and was no longer operable, Pheak was unable to use her Minnesota SSB-provided adaptive software. As a student at the University of Minnesota, she relies heavily on the software to assist in reading assignments and writing papers. Eye-Link was happy to provide her with a new, better equipped desktop computer so she can complete her degree.

Dear Eye-Link,

This letter is to express my appreciation for the Dell Inspiron 15-3000 series lap top, you provided to me. The lap top along with software and training from the State of Minnesota Services for the Blind has enabled me to read printed documents by way of a scanner. This has enabled me to read printed material I would otherwise never have access to. I can now read newspaper ads, articles, etc, do E-mail and hopefully much more as I continue to learn.

This gift has truly made a difference! Christine K.

Dell Laptop Recipient, MN

Quality of Life

When David needed to travel or run errands, such as getting groceries, he relied on a sighted companion to assist him getting to and from his destination. Eye-Link provided David with the Trekker Breeze, a GPS-enabled device which guides him by voice to and from his destination, which greatly increased his independence.

Wow!  That is all that I  can say.  Wow!  I  am blown away by your generosity, and I  want to make you aware of how life changing your help is.

Meredythe

Benefit Recipient

I wish to express my sincere appreciation for the Topaz desktop video magnifier you acquired for me. . . .

I recently had surgery on both eyes for cataracts and glaucoma and shots and other procedures for wet macular degeneration.

I can’t live without a CCTV. I use it for hours daily. I am treasurer of one group and head the finance committee here at our senior co-op.

I know CCTV’s are expensive and I have never been able to afford a new one, so your help is very much appreciated.

Donald H.

Topaz Magnifier Recipient

How You Can Help

Out of every dollar, 93 cents goes directly to helping your friends, family and neighbors who  live with vision loss on a daily basis.

Eye-Link Foundation is helping Minnesotans, North Dakotans, and soon will open doors in Wisconsin,  delivering badly needed adaptive technologies to residents challenged by uncorrectable sight loss.

We are an all-volunteer organization whose mission is to provide a wide array of vital, highly specialized adaptive technologies and training to family members, friends and neighbors who are struggling with severe visual impairments.  Adaptive or assistive technologies are hardware and software packages that give “voice” or Braille output to computers, smart phones, classroom note takers, document scanners, bar code and prescription readers, Braillers and more.

Approximately 3% of our population has uncorrectable sight loss!  The current estimate of Blind unemployment in the United States is approximately a whopping 70 percent! Receiving unique equipment from Eye-Link immediately begins to restore independence, develops self-sufficiency and can puts recipients on a path to employment!

Please visit mn.Eye-Link.org or nd.Eye-Link.org to learn more about us and how we fill adaptive equipment needs of children, teenagers, adults and seniors in both North Dakota and Minnesota dealing with the onset of blindness. Please make a donation today, to better the lives of people who live with vision loss.