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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.

      ALTOONA

      Name:            Altoona White Cane Community
      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
                             515-657-1461
                             c.chapman657@yahoo.com

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      CEDAR FALLS

      Name:            Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) - local support group for those with or interested in visual impairments
      Date:              2nd Sunday of Each Month 
      Time:              2 - 4 PM
      Location:        Covenant Hospital - Meeting Room 2
                              3421 W. Ninth St.
                              Waterloo, IA
      Contact(s):      Rebecca Barrionuevo
                              319-266-8511
                              rbarrionuevo@cfu.net

      Name:            Friendship Village Vision Group
      Date:              3rd Friday of every month
      Time:              2:00 PM
      Location:       Friendship Village Chapel
                              600 Park Lane
                              Waterloo , IA
      Contact(s):    Bonnie Tibbetts
                              319-291-8157

      Name:             Macular Degeneration Support Group - Download flyer (Adobe PDF)
      Date:                2nd Monday of every other month (on the odd months: January, March, May, and so on). 
      Time:               10:00 – 11:30 AM
      Location:         Kimball Ridge Center - Board Room
                                2101 Kimball Ave (Kimball and Ridgeway Avenues)
                                Waterloo, IA
      Contact(s):      Barb Lamfers
                               319-230-4499
                               Barb111482@hotmail.com

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      CEDAR RAPIDS

      Name:            Linn County Support Group  
      Date:              1st Wednesday of the month
      Time:              11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
      Location:        Tommy's West Restaurant
                              393 Edgewood Rd NW
                              Cedar Rapids, IA 52405
      Contact(s):      Shirley Wiggins 
                              1225 42nd St SE, #112
                              Cedar Rapids, IA 52403
                              319-362-7138
                              swiggins112@gmail.com

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      CLINTON

      Name:           Clinton VIP (Visually Impaired Persons)
      Date:              2nd Wednesday of the month  
      Time:              5:00 – 7:00 PM
      Location:        Gils Restaurant
                              2620 Manufacuring Drive
                              Clinton, IA   52732
      Contact(s):    Kathy Youmans Driscoll
                              612 5th St.
                              Camanche, IA 52730
                              (563)-259-8766
                              (563)-219-6740 (c)

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      CORALVILLE

      Name:           Johnson County Support Group
      Date:             2nd Wednesday of the Month (call Dan Fisher to verify meeting in advance, schedule sometimes varies)
      Time:             2:00 PM
      Location:        Coralville Public Library, Room B (Lower Level)
                           1401 5th Street, Coralville, IA 52241

      Contact(s):     Dan Fisher
                           PO Box 13
                           Wellman, IA 52356
                           319-321-1839

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      COUNCIL BLUFFS

      Name:           Visually Impaired Support Group
      Date:              2nd Wednesday of each month  
      Time:             10:00 AM
      Location:        Council Bluffs Public Library
                            400 Willow Avenue
                            Council Bluffs, IA   51503
      Contact(s):    Teresa Gregg
                           (402)-980-9980
                           tmgchjld@gmail.com

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      DENISON

      Name:            Support Group for the Visually Impaired
      Date:              2nd Thursday of the month
      Time:             2:00 PM
      Location:       Cronks Café
                            812 4th Ave S
                            Denison, IA 51442
                            View Map
      Contact(s):    John Hansen
                          1404 2nd Ave S. Apt 17B
                           Denison, IA 51442-2011
                          712-263-2851

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      DES MOINES

      Name:            Monthly Support Group for Visually Impaired Veterans and Families
      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
                               515-699-5410
                               wesley.hodgson@va.gov
       

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      DUBUQUE

      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. 
                             The 2nd & 4th Thursday of the month is Movie Day, scheduled at 1:30 P.M.
                             Come make new friends! Everyone is welcome. We are here to help any low vision or blind person with aids & 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
                             3333 Asbury Rd.
                             Dubuque, IA   52002
                             M-F (9:00 a.m. -4:00 p.m.)
      Contact(s):      Debbie Gagne
                             3333 Asbury Rd.
                             Dubuque, IA   52002
                             563-556-8746
                             tristateblind@qwestoffice.net
                             www.tristateblind.org

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      FAIRFIELD

      Name:            Support Group for Visually Impaired Individuals--serving Van Buren, Jefferson and surrounding counties
      Date:              2nd Wednesdays every month
      Time:              10 AM to Noon (If school is canceled in Fairfield, the meeting is canceled for the month will be held the following month)
      Location:         Fairfield First United Methodist Church, 201 N Court St., Fairfield, IA (Back Door East Access)
      Contact:          Bette Countryman, 319-498-4474 or 641-919-5642

      • Networking with other visually impaired individuals
      • Information and resources
      • Ongoing discussion of specific medical eye problems
      • Fun group activities including fishing, hunting, dining out, etc.

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      FORT DODGE

      Name:           EyeShare Low Vision/Blind Support Group
      Date:             2nd Tuesday of the month
      Time:             1:30-3:00 PM
      Location:       Northridge Apartments
                            2805 6th ave.
                            N. Building 1
                            Fort Dodge, Iowa 50501
      Contact:         Bonnie Kennedy
                            515-571-0142
                            Carol Flickinger
                            712-887-1109

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      FORT MADISON

      Date:            2nd Monday of the month
      Time:           9:30 AM
      Location:      Sunnybrook Assisted Living 
                           5025 River Valley Rd.
                           Fort Madison, IA

      Contact:        Sarah Martin
                           Sunnybrook Assisted Living 
                           5025 River Valley Rd.
                           Fort Madison, IA 52627
                           319-470-8611 (o)
                           319-470-9286 (c)

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      INDIANOLA

      Name:            Sightly Impaired
      Date:              2nd Wednesday in January, April, July, and October
      Time:             9:30 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
                            515-962-4766, 515-554-4546
                            elandmt@gmail.com

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      MASON CITY

      Name:      Vision Support of North Iowa
      Date:        Next meeting will be Thursday, September 17, 2015. Attendance is open to all interested persons.
      Time:       9:30 AM
      Location: The Masonic Temple
                      304 1st Street, S.E.
                       Mason City, IA 50401
       Contact:   Gene Kleinow
                       (641) 422-0296
                       eugene.kleinow@gmail.com

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      MONTICELLO

      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
                           319-480-0898

                            Ruth Harms, Membership
                            319-465-3990 

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      MUSCATINE

      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
                             563-263-4889
                             563-260-6989 (preferred)

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      OSKALOOSA

      This is a newly formed mutual support group, all ages and communities are invited to attend (not just those in Oskaloosa or Mahaska county)
      Name:            Low Vision Support Group
      Date:              Second Wednesday of the month
      Time:              1:00 – 3:00 PM
      Location:        Oskaloosa Senior Center
                               715 B Ave E,
                               Oskaloosa, IA 52577
      Contact(s):     For more information, contact Bob Barnhart, 641-672-2602.

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      OTTUMWA

      Name:            Ottumwa Support Group for Blind and Visually Impaired
      Date:              Third Thursday of each month
      Time:              10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
      Location:       1 Pennsylvania Place
                           Pennsylvania Place in the Winger Room
                           Ottumwa  52501
      Contact(s):     Susan Howard
                           515-681-3902

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      SIOUX CITY

      Name:          Siouxland Informational Group for the Blind
      Date:            2nd Tuesday of the month
      Time:            2:00 – 5:00 PM
      Location:       Northern Hills Assisted Living - Country Store Room
                          4002 Teton Trace
                          Sioux City , IA  
      Contact(s):    Greg Hanson 
                          721 Noltze Dr. Apt. 3
                          Sioux City, IA   51103-3750
                          712-258-1311
                          blinddragon@earthlink.net

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      SPENCER

      Name:            Spencer Area Visually Impaired/Blind (SAVIB)
      Date:               1st Tuesday of the month
      Time:              1:30 PM
      Location:        Spencer Public Library
                               21 E. 3rd St.
                               Spencer , IA   51301
      Contact(s):     Kay Monkelien 
                              1907 W. 10th St.
                              Spencer, IA   51301
                              712-264-8911                  

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      URBANDALE

      Name:            Urbandale Support Group
      Date:              Second Tuesday of each month
      Time:             4:30 - 6:00 pm
      Location:        Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
                             8301 Aurora Avenue
                             Urbandale, IA 50322
      Contact(s):       Lori Trujillo Roush
                              515-402-3508
                              ltrujilloroush@yahoo.com
       
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      WAPELLO

      Name:            Louisa County Visual Support Group
      Date:              3rd Thursday of the month  (Group does not meet during the winter months of November, December, January, February, and March)
      Time:             1 p.m.
      Location:        Corner Market
                            340 N. Second
                            Wapello, IA 52653
                            319-527-6328
      Contact(s):     Lois Richers
                               424 S. 6th
                               Wapello , IA   52653
                               319-527-2630
                               319-850-0848 (cell)
                               lerichers@louisacomm.net    

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      WATERLOO

      Name:            Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) -- local support group for those with or interested in visual impairments
      Date:               2nd Sunday of each month 
      Time:               2:00 - 4:00 PM
      Location:        Covenant Hospital - Meeting Room 2
                               3421 W. Ninth St.
                               Waterloo , IA
      Contact(s):     Rebecca Barrionuevo
                               319-266-8511
                               rbarrionuevo@cfu.net

      Name:            Friendship Village Vision Group
      Date:              3rd Friday of every month
      Time:             2:00 PM
      Location:        Friendship Village Chapel
                            600 Park Lane
                            Waterloo , IA
      Contact(s):      Bonnie Tibbetts
                            319-291-8157

      Name:             Macular Degeneration Support Group - Download flyer (Adobe PDF)
      Date:                2nd Monday of every other month (on the odd months: January, March, May, and so on). 
      Time:               10:00 – 11:30 AM
      Location:         Kimball Ridge Center - Board Room
                                Kimball and Ridgeway Avenues in Waterloo
      Contact(s):      Barb Lamfers
                                2541 W 9th St.
                               Waterloo, IA   50702 
                               319-230-4499
                               Barb111482@hotmail.com

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