Lifeline for the Homebound
As a Braille Institute In-Home and Field instructor, Maribel Spell is always on the go—traveling to students’ homes, senior centers, or assisted living facilities. Having a grandmother with glaucoma, Maribel understands the fears that can accompany sight loss. With her cheery voice and passion for helping people with vision loss, she teaches her students to learn new ways to do daily tasks.
Maribel starts each visit by assessing a person’s capabilities and what their needs are—is it figuring out the microwave keypad or buttons on the washing machine, going grocery shopping, getting dressed, or preparing food? When conducting an in-home training, Maribel also looks for safety hazards, like throw rugs that can cause a fall or problematic furniture arrangement. “We find the right solution for each individual,” says Maribel.
A few years ago when centenarian Eleanor R. lost much of her vision due to macular degeneration, Braille Institute was the first place she called for help. “Maribel brought me some very helpful tools that have allowed me to do things around my home, despite my limited vision. She also helped me continue doing what I like best—reading—by signing me up for Braille Institute’s Library. And, she always checks in with me!” says Eleanor.