WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Vision loss is a common side effect of several health issues. It includes diabetes, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration.

One nonprofit is helping people keep their independence in a visual world without any sight.

Seeing help as a hand-up instead of a handout can be hard.

“I’m getting by, maybe it’s not great, but I don’t need that,” said Randy Stalcup, Envision client.

Moving through adversity has been a common theme for Stalcup since childhood.

“I didn’t have any problems until, I don’t know, 8 or 9 when we would play hide and seek, and I would run into a tree at night, and I was the only one running into trees,” said Stalcup.

He has retinitis pigmentosa, or RP. It’s a genetic disorder causing gradual vision loss.

“Independence is great, to a point, but then it blocked my attitude seeking help,” Stalcup said.

Stalcup managed for years, getting married, having kids and practicing law.

But a few months ago, he came to Envision.

“I finally got to the age where, hey, let’s check it out, and I’m grateful that I did because of the technological advances,” Stalcup said.

Technology and simple solutions are making life easier.

“Many of our patients can’t see the buttons on the microwave to feel where the buttons are, but we can put these little raised dots so we can feel where the buttons are,” said Karen Kendrick, Envision occupational and certified low vision therapist.

“Even just using like the little laundry pods instead of having to measure out the laundry soap,” said Kendrick.

Smart home technology plays a massive role in keeping people in their homes and independent.

“The really neat thing about a lot of the smart home technology is that it’s all voice-activated, so a lot of it has no visual component at all,” Kendrick said.

Not everyone gets the answer they’re looking for

“A lot of people are hoping that they can just come in and get a new pair of glasses, and that is not always a possibility,” said Kendrick.

At Envision, the focus is independence and opportunity

“I don’t want you struggling with being able to see to take your medicine or being able to cook yourself or being able to walk safely,” Kendrick added.

“If you want to go out and go for a walk and feel safe doing that, we want you to be able to do that.”

Stalcup is walking through that process

He’s losing his eyesight but gaining a new perspective, spreading the message of accepting help instead of the opposite.

“It makes life tougher than it has to be. It can be a heck of a lot better,” said Stalcup.

Envision is referral-based. If you think you’re having an issue, the first step is to make an appointment with your ophthalmologist and talk about getting a referral.

For general questions about Envision, call 316-440-1500.