Pilot story and photos by Marjorie Woodfin

The Low Vision Equipment Faire Nov. 2 at the Chetco Community Public Library was a success, according to planner Carol Mallard.

The event was scheduled from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., but guests started arriving at 12:30 p.m., Mallard said, and continued to come until after 4 p.m.

Sponsored by the South Coast Chapter of the American Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired, the event featured new and adaptive equipment from Vision Matters demonstrated by Cynthia Simpson from Vancouver, Wash.

The equipment from Vision Matters included the Flipper, the Jordy, the Merlin, and QuickLook - screens and headsets that magnify and help those who are visually impaired to read and write.

Mallard demonstrated a reader that scans bar codes and describes the item, to aid in shopping. A television set played a current movie, adapted to provide descriptions of action taking place for those unable to see clearly. Movies with the descriptive sound adaptation are available at the Library of the Blind.

Mallard said she is trying to make contacts to have Mel Gibson's andquot;Passion of the Christandquot; adapted to provide action descriptions for the visually impaired.

Brookings-Harbor apparently has its share of the 16 million Americans who suffer from uncorrectable vision loss from glaucoma, cataracts, diabetes, and macular degeneration.

andquot;There were at least 90 people who showed up for demonstrations,andquot; Mallard said.

Mallard, who is the president of the South Coast Chapter, emphasizes the importance of a support group and encourages anyone with visual impairment to join the group. She told of the help she received in planning and executing the vision fair from other members of the group.

andquot;I want to thank Joanne Massa for al of her help, and Hazel Ogan for her help,andquot; Mallard said. andquot;And Cynthia (Simpson) for bringing the equipment to us.andquot;

Anyone who would like additional information about the equipment can phone Simpson at (888) 216-1912. For information about the support group, phone Mallard at (541) 412-3023.