SPACERS Club Advocates for Blindness and Low Vision Professions
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SPACERS Club Advocates for Blindness and Low Vision Professions

BLVS OM Pic1In this podcast, we talk to Carolyn Pijanowski, '24MS VRT, '24O&M, who is also the president of SPACERS, a student organization that promotes the blindness and low vision profession. She talks to us about the organization's goals and projects for this upcoming school year.

Q: Can you explain what SPACERS is and what your goals are as a student group?

Pijanowski: SPACERS stands for Students Promoting Awareness in the Community about Education and Rehabilitation Services for people with visual impairments. Our goal is really just to promote blindness and low vision professions and what we do.

Q: What are some current activities or projects that SPACERS is working on at the moment?

Pijanowski: During the school year, we would go out to high schools or colleges and give presentations or visit in-classroom sessions and just talk about the field and what the needs are. Currently, school is not in session right now, but I know a few students are going to the Association of Vision Rehabilitation Therapists (AVRT) conference, and we're doing student poster boards trying to network and get involved with the profession that way. Hopefully during the school year we'll be able to visit more schools and local communities about the profession.

BLVS TVI Pic1Q: Why did you want to be a part of this group?

Pijanowski: I actually did not know this field was a thing until about two years ago. I went to school for international business, which is a total 360 of the blindness and low vision profession. I honestly think if someone came up to me in high school or even college and told me about this profession, I would not hesitate at all and I would immediately join. This relates to me because if someone did this to me [told me about the profession], I would've gone along with it. But yeah, just to promote and talk about it with other people and let them know that this exists and that we are in need of professionals.

Q: Why do you think this group is important to have at Salus?

Pijanowski: I think it's important because, like I said, there's not a lot of people who know about low vision or blind professions, and it's really important for our clients to know what resources are available. If optometrists don't even know that this exists, that's not as helpful as if they could refer us. I think it's really important that we just spread the word to everyone and even families and friends, if they hear about it, they can pass the word too. Because a lot of people don't know what resources are available, and the more we spread the word about ourselves as professionals, the more we can help other people.

Q: What are some goals for the future of SPACERS?

Pijanowski: I would really like to see a lot of more in-person conversations happening, just going to schools. It was hard with COVID but now that schools are more open, I'm sure they're more willing to bring us in. I'm really hoping we can go talk to students personally.

Q: How can others join this group?

Pijanowski: It's welcoming to anyone. You do not need to be in the blindness and low vision field, but you just email spacers@salus.edu and we'll get you signed up.

To learn more about the Blindness and Low Vision Studies Program and the SPACERS club at Salus, visit salus.edu/BLVS.

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