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In pursuit of enjoyment, discovery and community.

Vision Loss Connections is an organization of people who are blind and low vision who live in the Puget Sound Region. We have come together to address the unmet needs of our visually impaired community by organizing groups in the areas of:
Arts & Culture
Sports & Recreation
Support & Education
We strongly encourage the involvement of family and friends in all our activities.

 

Calendar of Activities for Fall 2018!

October

1 Monday
Touch of Braille Class 11:00AM - 1:00PM
Sight Connection
Contact KNamekata@sightconnection.org

3 Wednesday
Seattle Low Vision Support Group
12:00PM - 2:00PM New Location
Community Meeting Room
Capitol Hill Branch - Seattle Public Library
425 Harvard Ave. E Seattle WA 98102
Contact Camille Jassny (206) 363-8166

9 Tuesday
VIP Readers Book Group 11:30AM - 1:00PM
Central Seattle Public Library
Contact Cleo.Brooks@spl.org

13 Saturday
Tacoma Goalball Tournament
Tacoma Boys & Girls Clubs 3875 S. 66th St. Tacoma 98409
Contact SGibbins@nwaba.org

27 Saturday
Audio Described "Come from Away" 2:00PM
5th Ave. Theater
Box Office (206) 625-1900

 

 

Let’s Get the Ball Rolling!
Seattle Goalball Starts Again
Twice a Week Practice Sessions!

October Tuesdays
4:30PM - 6:30PM
At The Rainier Community Center
4600 38th Ave S Seattle 98118

On Nov. 6th Tue, the Cobras will return to their usual location at the Nisei Veterans Committee Gym
1212 S King St Seattle WA 98144

Every Saturday
Time: 5:00PM - 7:00PM
The Rainier Community Center
4600 38th Ave S, (Columbia City)
Seattle Wa 98118 (with free parking)
Contact info@visionlossconnections.org

Special Thanks to Seattle Parks & Recreation for funding King Cobras Goalball Team

Go Cobras!

A Special Thank You, to Seattle Arts & Culture for awarding Vision Loss Connections It’s 5th Consecutive Civic Partners Grant. This Financial Support made it possible to organize an Audio Described Theater Group of 63 People with Affordable Tickets to attend the Matinee Performance of The Hunchback of Notre Dame at the 5th Ave. Theater. Vision Loss Connections also coordinated a Pre-Show Luncheon at the Palomino Restaurant for 50 People in the Blind Community to Meet & Greet! The Hunchback of Notre Dame has a very special resonance for Vision Loss Connections. Quasimodo, the Main Character and Hero of the story, is Blind in one eye, has a Curved Spine and is Deaf. Like Many People with disAbilities, he is kept hidden from view high up in the Towers of the Cathedral. He is isolated,with only the Stone Gargoyles for company and in his lonely parapet, he rings the Bells bringing all, in the City of Paris to prayer.

In the 5th Ave. Theater’s Production, Quasimodo is played by Joshua Castille, an extremely talented and animated actor who is Deaf. Joshua artfully communicates using American Sign Language in his role as Quasimodo. EJ Cardona, who sings like a Rock Star and is  costumed as a Gargoyle is the Voice of Quasimodo. The 5th Ave Theater has created such a Wonderful & Meaningful Staging of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Seattle Audiences so loved this Musical that they rose as one at each performance applauding the cast with multiple standing ovations. Vision Loss Connections is so proud to Bring Seattle’s Blind Community to experience the retelling of this Victor Hugo Classic Story. Through beautiful lyrics and melodies it showcases the Importance of Equal Rights for People with disAbilities.

Victor Hugo’s Classic Novel set in 1482, is a timely illustration of the Discrimination in Paris towards the Roma People (Gypsies). Like many of Shakespeare’s Greatest Dramas, this story could be translated into so many other Current Political Settings of Prejudice & Discrimination.

The show’s closing hit song wishes that:
Someday
When we are wiser
When the world's older
When we have learned
I pray
Someday we may yet live
To live and let live

Vision Loss Connections had its First Support Group Meeting on the 3rd of March 2004. We celebrate our 14th Birthday this year and as befits a Developing Teen, we are making some Changes as to what we want to be "When We Grow Up". So far, we have been an All Volunteer Program, and now need to move into the Next Stage of Development with the ability to pay Goalball Coaches, Audio Described Theater Group Coordinator & Tactile Art Instructors. The Focus will be on Capacity Building and Development of New Funding Sources for Programs.

Our Commitment is Strong to Providing Accessible & Affordable Sports and Arts & Cultural Programming to Puget Sound’s Blind and Low Vision Community. In 2016, we won the NW Access Fund’s Award for Recreational Engagement. We've organized Groups for Access Tours at Multiple Museums, Music Events & Audio Described Performances at most of Seattle’s Major Theaters. We have highlighted the Importance of Braille Literacy through our Tactile Art Group Creating The Braille Faces Mural on the Mt. Baker Artspace Building, which is one of our Proudest Achievements. We thank Seattle Arts & Culture for Helping to Fund our Youth Arts Access Program. Vision Loss Connections was Awarded a WA State Jefferson Award for Community Service and Presented at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London at the International "In Touch with Art Conference". We started Programs with a Can Do Spirit and Readily Obtained Federal Non-Profit Organization Status. Now we turn to a Focus on Funding and Grant Writing and Partnering to Proceed Seamlessly into a Secure & Sustainable Future for Vision Loss Connections!

A double Thank You to Arts WA for their generous first time Cooperative Partnership Grant to Vision Loss Connections which enabled us to offer Families with Children in the Blind Community 42 Free Tickets to the Audio Described Performance of Little Mermaid at the 5th Ave. Theater. We also offered subsidized $25.00 Tickets to Little Mermaid to Visually Impaired Adults. Altogether we had 94 People in the Blind Community Attend the show along with 68 People who came to Lunch before the show at the Rock Bottom Restaurant. Vision Loss Connections was the last Private Group to be served at the Rock Bottom Restaurant prior to their closing for major restructuring of the building.

The Braille Faces Mural created by Hjyli Mar Hinn and the Vision Loss Connections Tactile Art Group is now complete and installed. The Group received a Commission from the Artspace Mt. Baker Lofts Architects to create a Mural that will decorate the exterior of the new Artspace Building at 2915 Rainier Avenue S. Seattle WA 98144. The 3 Panel Mural spells the word ART in Giant Braille. The new building is adjacent to the Mount Baker Light Rail Station and will provide affordable housing and studio space for working artists.

Nine different Artists who are Blind and Low Vision have each constructed a large Braille dot out of clay and carved and sculpted a face on each Dot to reflect the diversity of Faces & People in the North Rainier Community. The 9 Dots in the Braille lettering are very large - each dot is twenty one inches, 53 cm, in diameter and six inches, 15 cm, high. Each Braille Dot weighs over a hundred pounds, 50 kg, in clay. This is perhaps the largest Braille Installation in the world, The 3 Panel Mural spelling ART can be easily seen by the passengers on the Light Rail Trains as they leave the Mount Baker Station.

The Award Winning - City Stream Program on the Seattle Channel #21 created a film about Vision Loss Connections!
Here is the link

Our mission is to promote and involve people who are visually impaired in support, education and recreation groups throughout the the Puget Sound Region.

Our goal is to bring individuals together to build bridges of activities and shared interests that connects people living with impaired vision.

Our activities are open to people with all levels of vision loss and those experiencing the challenge of living with eye problems. Family members and friends are also a vital part of our group activities. Volunteer involvement is also welcomed!

Our aim is to promote easy and affordable access to the rich cultural and recreation opportunities that are available to people living in the Puget Sound area.

Seattle King Cobras Goalball Team on Community Stories

In the episode on the 31st of January Community Stories profiled the Seattle King Cobras Goalball Team, the first goalball team in the Seattle area in over 30 years. Described as "soccer for the blind", goalball provides a team sport outlet for the blind and visually impaired community. It was created by World War II veterans who wanted to continue to play sports after becoming visually impaired. Teams of three stand on either side of a court marked with rope so players can feel the boundary lines Players serve a ball with bells inside of it to the opposite side of the court in effort to get it past defenders and score a goal. Today, a dedicated group of new players and advocates have started Seattle's first goalball team in over 30 years.

Patt Copeland is the program manager for Vision Loss Connections, a non-profit group that serves as an organizer for and link between the blind /visually impaired community and various recreational activities. She met lifelong athlete Telea Noriega, who as a youth played football and competed as a goalball player on a national level, and they both expressed an interest in starting a team in Seattle. Copeland and Noriega found a number of people who had played goalball in the past and then began to recruit new players, who have found a passion for their new sport and teammates. "The feeling of fully participating in something is a confidence builder," says Nancy Lopez Swaney. Twelve-year-old Su Park, the youngest member of the Seattle King Cobras, had never played a sport before. "I personally felt a little left out in the sighted society. But that sense of being left out is totally gone when it comes to this team," she says.