Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

Peer Support Program for Vision Loss: Building Resilience Through Peer Connection

Losing vision, whether suddenly or gradually, can be highly stressful and sometimes traumatic, with many unknowns and new challenges to navigate. The process and accompanying emotions affect not only those facing vision loss, but also families and other loved ones who have their own adjustment needs. Although the need for emotional support services to help individuals and their families adjust to vision loss is substantial, relatively few such targeted services exist. Eye2Eye, a free, phone-based peer support program for individuals and families coping with vision loss, was developed in response to this pressing gap in services. The program currently resides within the Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Counseling Professions at Rutgers University School of Health Professions. Since first taking peer-to-peer calls in October 2019, the program has served nearly 500 clients from 40 states across the country and is growing steadily. Eye2Eye focuses on the shared experience of vision loss as a powerful tool for connection, coping, and personal growth. Callers are paired with partners who have varied backgrounds and degrees of vision loss. The program provides critical emotional support, key information and referrals, and helpful community linkages. Eye2Eye also offers virtual peer support groups, a workshop for individuals new to vision loss, and a new group for spouses and partners. Anyone interested in Eye2Eye’s peer support services can call (833) 932-3931 or email [email protected]. More information about the program can also be found on the website for the Eye2Eye Peer Support Program for Vision Loss.