Joe Ahlquist|Visual Journalist | A Vision of Hope

A vision of hope

Photos and video by Joe Ahlquist

The story, written by Argus Leader Media reporter and columnist Jill Callison, can be read here.

 

 

Center for the BlindCenter for the BlindSioux Falls Rehabilitation Center for the Blind student, Trenton Rowland, 28, of Sheridan, Wyo., who has retinitis pigmentosa--a degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment and often blindness--adjusts the height of a table saw blade using his hands to make sure he's adjusting it enough while Bob Smith, an orientation and mobility and home mechanics and creative arts instructor at the Rehabilitation Center, holds onto the lumber while working in the wood shop on Thursday, April 10, 2014, at the South Dakota Rehabilitation Center for the Blind in Sioux Falls. Sioux Falls Rehabilitation Center for the Blind student, Trenton Rowland, 28, of Sheridan, Wyo., who has retinitis pigmentosa--a degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment and often blindness--adjusts the height of a table saw blade using his hands to make sure he's adjusting it enough while Bob Smith, an orientation and mobility and home mechanics and creative arts instructor at the Rehabilitation Center, holds onto the lumber while working in the wood shop on Thursday, April 10, 2014, at the South Dakota Rehabilitation Center for the Blind in Sioux Falls.

 

 

Dawn Backer, rehabilitation manger for the South Dakota Rehabilitation Center for the Blind, talks about helping people who have lost or are loosing their vision. The program helps students return to work.

 

 

Center for the BlindCenter for the BlindSouth Dakota Rehabilitation Center for the Blind student, Brandi Vissers, 20, of Sioux Falls, who has retinitis pigmentosa--a degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment and often blindness--types with a Perkins Smart Brailer during a communications class on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at the Rehabilition Center in Sioux Falls. One of the goals of the rehabilitation center is to give visually impaired people the skills to work, Dawn Backer, rehabilitation manager, said. South Dakota Rehabilitation Center for the Blind student, Brandi Vissers, 20, of Sioux Falls, who has retinitis pigmentosa--a degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment and often blindness--types with a Perkins Smart Brailer during a communications class on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at the Rehabilition Center in Sioux Falls. One of the goals of the rehabilitation center is to give visually impaired people the skills to work, Dawn Backer, rehabilitation manager, said.

 

 

Center for the BlindCenter for the BlindSouth Dakota Rehabilitation Center for the Blind student, Brandi Vissers, 20, of Sioux Falls, who has retinitis pigmentosa--a degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment and often blindness--works on her ability to find the edge of a curb and prepare to cross the street with Bob Smith, an orientation and mobility instructor at the Rehabilitation Center, on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at the corner of 28th Street and South Willow Avenue in Sioux Falls. Smith said that he can teach students how to use indicators, such as the terrain in Sioux Falls, to find their way around town. South Dakota Rehabilitation Center for the Blind student, Brandi Vissers, 20, of Sioux Falls, who has retinitis pigmentosa--a degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment and often blindness--works on her ability to find the edge of a curb and prepare to cross the street with Bob Smith, an orientation and mobility instructor at the Rehabilitation Center, on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at the corner of 28th Street and South Willow Avenue in Sioux Falls. Smith said that he can teach students how to use indicators, such as the terrain in Sioux Falls, to find their way around town.

 

 

Smith talks about the work done with students at the South Dakota Rehabilitation Center for the Blind.

 

 

Center for the BlindCenter for the BlindSouth Dakota Rehabilitation Center for the Blind student, Trenton Rowland, 28, of Sheridan, Wyo., who has retinitis pigmentosa--a degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment and often blindness--works on downloading a new clock application with larger characters with the help of communications instructor, Laurie Megard during a communications class on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at the Rehabilition Center in Sioux Falls. One of the goals of the rehabilitation center is to give visually impaired people the skills to work, Dawn Backer, rehabilitation manager, said. South Dakota Rehabilitation Center for the Blind student, Trenton Rowland, 28, of Sheridan, Wyo., who has retinitis pigmentosa--a degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment and often blindness--works on downloading a new clock application with larger characters with the help of communications instructor, Laurie Megard during a communications class on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at the Rehabilition Center in Sioux Falls. One of the goals of the rehabilitation center is to give visually impaired people the skills to work, Dawn Backer, rehabilitation manager, said.

 

 

Center for the BlindCenter for the BlindSouth Dakota Rehabilitation Center for the Blind student, Brandi Vissers, 20, of Sioux Falls, who has retinitis pigmentosa--a degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment and often blindness--works on her ability to find the edge of a curb and prepare to cross the street with Bob Smith, an orientation and mobility instructor at the Rehabilitation Center, on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at the corner of 28th Street and South Willow Avenue in Sioux Falls. Smith said that he can teach students how to use indicators, such as the terrain in Sioux Falls, to find their way around town. South Dakota Rehabilitation Center for the Blind student, Brandi Vissers, 20, of Sioux Falls, who has retinitis pigmentosa--a degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment and often blindness--works on her ability to find the edge of a curb and prepare to cross the street with Bob Smith, an orientation and mobility instructor at the Rehabilitation Center, on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at the corner of 28th Street and South Willow Avenue in Sioux Falls. Smith said that he can teach students how to use indicators, such as the terrain in Sioux Falls, to find their way around town.

 

 

 

Rowland talks about dealing with a deterioration of his retinas and preparing for work.

 

 

Center for the BlindCenter for the BlindSioux Falls Rehabilitation Center for the Blind student, Trenton Rowland, 28, of Sheridan, Wyo., who has retinitis pigmentosa--a degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment and often blindness--puts on a blindfold before making a grilled cheese sandwhich in a home management class on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at the Rehabilition Center in Sioux Falls. Rowland, who just started classes at the rehabilitation center on Monday, April 7, 2014, hopes to go back to college after his time at the Rehabilitation Center for human services so he can one day help visually impaired veterans, he said. Sioux Falls Rehabilitation Center for the Blind student, Trenton Rowland, 28, of Sheridan, Wyo., who has retinitis pigmentosa--a degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment and often blindness--puts on a blindfold before making a grilled cheese sandwhich in a home management class on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at the Rehabilition Center in Sioux Falls. Rowland, who just started classes at the rehabilitation center on Monday, April 7, 2014, hopes to go back to college after his time at the Rehabilitation Center for human services so he can one day help visually impaired veterans, he said.

 

 

Center for the BlindCenter for the BlindSioux Falls Rehabilitation Center for the Blind student, Trenton Rowland, 28, of Sheridan, Wyo., who has retinitis pigmentosa--a degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment and often blindness--works using an iPhone with JoMarie Laughlin, computers with assistive technology instructor at the Rehabilitation Center who is also visually impaired herself, during a computers with assistive technology class on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at the Rehabilition Center in Sioux Falls. Laughlin said that Apple products are more accessible for the visually impaired. Rowland, who just started classes at the rehabilitation center on Monday, April 7, 2014, hopes to go back to college after his time at the Rehabilitation Center for human services so he can one day help visually impaired veterans, he said. Sioux Falls Rehabilitation Center for the Blind student, Trenton Rowland, 28, of Sheridan, Wyo., who has retinitis pigmentosa--a degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment and often blindness--works using an iPhone with JoMarie Laughlin, computers with assistive technology instructor at the Rehabilitation Center who is also visually impaired herself, during a computers with assistive technology class on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at the Rehabilition Center in Sioux Falls. Laughlin said that Apple products are more accessible for the visually impaired. Rowland, who just started classes at the rehabilitation center on Monday, April 7, 2014, hopes to go back to college after his time at the Rehabilitation Center for human services so he can one day help visually impaired veterans, he said.

 

 

Center for the BlindCenter for the BlindBob Smith, an orientation and mobility and home mechanics and creative arts instructor at the South Dakota Rehabilitation Center for the Blind, laughs while talking to, Trenton Rowland, 28, of Sheridan, Wyo., a student at the center who has retinitis pigmentosa--a degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment and often blindness--while working on a table in the wood shop on Thursday, April 10, 2014, at the South Dakota Rehabilitation Center for the Blind in Sioux Falls. Bob Smith, an orientation and mobility and home mechanics and creative arts instructor at the South Dakota Rehabilitation Center for the Blind, laughs while talking to, Trenton Rowland, 28, of Sheridan, Wyo., a student at the center who has retinitis pigmentosa--a degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment and often blindness--while working on a table in the wood shop on Thursday, April 10, 2014, at the South Dakota Rehabilitation Center for the Blind in Sioux Falls.

 

 

Center for the BlindCenter for the BlindSioux Falls Rehabilitation Center for the Blind student, Trenton Rowland, 28, of Sheridan, Wyo., who has retinitis pigmentosa--a degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment and often blindness--and Bob Smith, an orientation and mobility and home mechanics and creative arts instructor at the Rehabilitation Center, work on a table in the wood shop on Thursday, April 10, 2014, at the South Dakota Rehabilitation Center for the Blind in Sioux Falls. Sioux Falls Rehabilitation Center for the Blind student, Trenton Rowland, 28, of Sheridan, Wyo., who has retinitis pigmentosa--a degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment and often blindness--and Bob Smith, an orientation and mobility and home mechanics and creative arts instructor at the Rehabilitation Center, work on a table in the wood shop on Thursday, April 10, 2014, at the South Dakota Rehabilitation Center for the Blind in Sioux Falls.

 

 

Center for the BlindCenter for the BlindSioux Falls Rehabilitation Center for the Blind student, Trenton Rowland, 28, of Sheridan, Wyo., who has retinitis pigmentosa--a degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment and often blindness--works using an iPhone with JoMarie Laughlin, computers with assistive technology instructor at the Rehabilitation Center who is also visually impaired herself, during a computers with assistive technology class on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at the Rehabilition Center in Sioux Falls. Laughlin said that Apple products are more accessible for the visually impaired. Rowland, who just started classes at the rehabilitation center on Monday, April 7, 2014, hopes to go back to college after his time at the Rehabilitation Center for human services so he can one day help visually impaired veterans, he said. Sioux Falls Rehabilitation Center for the Blind student, Trenton Rowland, 28, of Sheridan, Wyo., who has retinitis pigmentosa--a degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment and often blindness--works using an iPhone with JoMarie Laughlin, computers with assistive technology instructor at the Rehabilitation Center who is also visually impaired herself, during a computers with assistive technology class on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at the Rehabilition Center in Sioux Falls. Laughlin said that Apple products are more accessible for the visually impaired. Rowland, who just started classes at the rehabilitation center on Monday, April 7, 2014, hopes to go back to college after his time at the Rehabilitation Center for human services so he can one day help visually impaired veterans, he said.