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Support Groups

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      About 54,000 Iowans are blind or low vision. If you or someone you know is experiencing vision loss, there are several support groups throughout the state to help connect those with vision loss.

      Support groups generally meet once a month to network and share information on topics relating to vision loss.  For specific information on a group in your area, choose the town closest in proximity to your home.


      Name:            Altoona White Cane Community

      UPDATE:        The group is currently only meeting by phone until further notice.

      Date:              Third Thursday of the month 
      Time:              5:00 – 6:30 PM
      Location:         Church of the Cross
                            1701 8th Street SW
                            Altoona, IA
      Contact(s):      Carrie Chapman

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      Name:            Ames Low Vision Support Group
      Date:              Third Wednesday of each month 
      Time:              2:00 to 3:30 p.m.

      Location:       VIA telephone; 712-432-5610 ext. 782#
      Contact(s):     712-432-5610 ext. 782,  Don Wirth 515-451-3779 and Janet Anderson 515-292-8882

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      Name:            Lynn County Blindness Support Group
      Who's Invited:  Anyone who has loss of vision or has interest in this                       
      Date:              4th Wednesday of every month
      Time:              10:00 AM - noon
      Location:       First Lutheran Church (in narthex)
                            1000 3rd Ave SE
                            Cedar Rapids, IA  52403
      Contact(s):    Jonathan Ice



      Name:           Clinton VIP (Visually Impaired Persons)

      UPDATE:     The group is currently not meeting, will start up again after the pandemic. 

      Date:              4th Tuesday of the month  
      Time:              5:00 – 7:00 PM
      Location:        Sarah Harding Senior Living
                              308 South Bluff Blvd.
                              Clinton, IA 52732
      Contact(s):    Kathy Youmans Driscoll
                              612 5th St.
                              Camanche, IA 52730
                              (563)-219-6740 (c)

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      Name:            Blindness Empowerment Support Team (BEST) of Greater Des Moines

      Date: Meets by phone on the first, second, fourth, and fifth Thursday of each month at 1:00 p.m.
      Call 605-472-5428, then enter access code 837272 followed by the # sign
      Date: Meets in person on the third Thursday of each month at 11:00 a.m. at
      Iowa Department for the Blind, 524 4th Street, Des Moines, IA 50309
      Contact(s):Rosemary Russell, Ph. 515-802-0411 or Deborah Caldbeck, Ph. 515-664-5527

      Name:            Monthly Support Group for Visually Impaired Veterans and Families

      UPDATE:        The group is not currently meeting in person.

      Date:               4th Friday of the month
      Time:              10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
      Location:        VA Hospital 
                               3600 30th St.
                               Des Moines, IA
      Contact(s):         Wes Hodgson
                               VA Hospital
                               3600 30th Street
                               Des Moines, IA  50310

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      Name:            Tri-State Independent Blind Society
      Date:              Support group meetings are EVERY Tuesday at 1:30 P.M.
                             (We have crafts, games, socials, bowling, picnics, bus trips, and other events.)
                             NOTE: When meals or special events are scheduled, start time will be NOON.

                             Come make new friends! Everyone is welcome. We are here to help any low vision or
                             blind person with aids and devices in the Low-Vision Center or large print and
                             audio books from the Used Book Store.

                             Any questions, contact the number listed below.
      Location:        Tri-State Independent Blind Society
                             1068 Cedar Cross Road
                             Dubuque, IA   52003
                             M-F (9:00 a.m. -4:00 p.m.)
      Contact(s):      Debbie Gagne
                             3333 Asbury Rd.
                             Dubuque, IA   52002

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      Name:           EyeShare Low Vision/Blind Support Group

      UPDATE:       The group is currently not meeting, will start up again after the pandemic.

      Contact:       Carol Flickinger (co-chair)

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      Name:            Low Vision Support Group

      UPDATE:        The group is currently only meeting by phone until further notice. 

      Date:              2nd Wednesday in January, April, July, and September
      Time:             10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
      Location:        The Village
                             Maplecrest Building, Heritage Room
                            1203 N E Street
                             Indianola, IA  50125

      Contact(s):     Everett L. Laning 
                            805 Robin Glen
                            Indianola, IA   50125

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      Name:            Jones County Vision: A Support Group for the Blind and Visually Impaired
      Date:              3rd Thursday of the month for February, April, June, August, and October
      Time:              2:00  – 4:00 PM
      Location:        United Church of Monticello, Church Basement
                            123 N Chestnut St.
                            Monticello, IA 52310
      Contact(s):     Joy Adams,Group Leader

                            Ruth Harms, Membership

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      Name:            Muscatine Blind and Low Vision Support Group
      Date:              3rd Wednesday of the month 
                            Does not meet January and February
      Time:              11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
      Location:        Farmer's Diner
                            2300 Park Ave
                            Muscatine, IA 52761 
      Contact(s):  Gay Hindbaugh
                            3525 Hwy 22 E.
                             Muscatine, IA 52761
                             563-260-6989 (preferred)

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      Name:            Spencer Area Visually Impaired/Blind (SAVIB)

      UPDATE: The group is currently not meeting, will start up again after the pandemic. 

      Date:               1st Tuesday of the month
      Time:              1:30 PM
      Location:        Spencer Public Library
                               21 E. 3rd St.
                               Spencer , IA   51301
      Contact(s):     Alice Dalager
                            Judy Taylor

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      Name:            Louisa County Visual Support Group
      Date:              3rd Thursday of the month  (Group does not meet during the months of November, December, January)
      Time:             1 p.m.
      Location:        Corner Market
                            340 N. Second
                            Wapello, IA 52653
      Contact(s):     Lois Richers
                               424 S. 6th
                               Wapello , IA   52653
                               319-850-0848 (cell)

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