The Talking information Center in Marshfield has formed the area's first collaborative low vision group with the Marshfield Council on Aging, Duxbury Senior Center, the Kingston Council on Aging, and the Plymouth Center for Active Living. It meets on April 9.

MARSHFIELD – The Talking Information Center has teamed up with four area councils on aging and senior centers to host the first collaborative low vision group on the South Shore.

The Marshfield Council on Aging, Duxbury Senior Center, the Kingston Council on Aging, and Plymouth Center for Active Living are working with the center on the new information and support group.

Anna Dunbar, assistant executive director at the Talking Information Center, said the group will be open to the public and residents of any South Shore town.

"There have been a few different groups in our towns, but each has been a little different, and some have not lasted," Dunbar said. "We felt there is a need on the South Shore, and the beauty is that we can broadcast the group meetings and then have them available as podcasts on our website."

The first meeting will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, April 9 at the Talking Information Center at 130 Enterprise Drive.

Jim Bunnell, executive director of center said, “The goal of this collaborative support group is to share  information that will help individuals with vision loss to continue to live healthy and independent lives.”

The topic of discussion for the first meeting will be transportation. Kerry MacDonald will facilitate; MacDonald works with other low vision support groups and helps young people with low vision develop their vocational skills. MacDonald has been totally blind since birth, because of  complications of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). She is a therapist with a master’s degree in social work from Simmons College and  works at Interfaith Social Services in Quincy.

"There will be a good mix of ages," Dunbar said. Many who deal with vision loss are older people because of conditions like macular degeneration that strike people in later years, but many younger people are also affected. The expectation is that they will be able to help each other.

"The need for more transportation is huge," Dunbar said. "There is almost a complete lack of transportation on the South Shore for people with vision loss – unless someone lives in a city or large town, it is very hard to get around."

The Hingham Senior Center also has a low vision support group that meets monthly.

Individuals with low vision and those who know someone with low vision are invited to join the collaborative meetings.

Anyone who is unable to attend the support group may tune in to TIC’s live broadcast of the low vision group at noon on that day. Visit the center's website at ticnetwork.org or call 781-834-4400 to learn more about how to listen to TIC.

The group meetings will be posted on the center's website as podcasts on the special programs page.

To reserve a seat at the low vision group or to arrange transportation,  contact your local senior center or council on aging. A light lunch will be provided.

The Talking Information Center is a nonprofit reading service that broadcasts 24 hours a day to visually impaired listeners across the state.