Tyler, age 14, reading from his Braille Haggadah Rochelle, who lost her vision later in life, enjoys JBI Talking Books A young child named Lotem is able to see the printed page thanks to customized lenses created by the team at the JBI Low Vision Clinic in Tel Aviv
Photo Caption: Volunteer clowns entertain children in the waiting room of the JBI Low Vision Clinic Children's Clinic in Tel Aviv.

JBI in Israel

In 1983, JBI established Israel's first Low Vision Clinic at Ichilov Hospital—now the Sourasky Medical Center—in Tel Aviv and has supported it ever since. Severely visually impaired children and adults, including veterans of the Israel Defense Forces, are treated by a unique staff of highly trained specialists in the field of Low Vision, i.e, the maximization of an individual's residual sight. Led by Sourasky's renowned Chief of Ophthalmology, Dr. Anat Loewenstein, the collaborative team of ophthalmologists, optometrists and social workers at JBI's Low Vision Clinic is the best in Israel. The Clinic is also a training site for graduate students in optometry from all of Israel. The JBI Low Vision Clinic serves close to 6,000 individuals each year, including very young children. A dedicated Children's Clinic offers a friendly waiting room, as well as examination stations outfitted with special equipment for the treatment of severely visually impaired young children. All of us at JBI may say with pride that the JBI Low Vision Clinic at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center remains the premier facility in the Middle East and the one best equipped to help those struggling with low vision, whether the condition is the result of congenital disease, aging or injury.

To assure quality eye care to the many Israelis who are restricted by age, location or other circumstance from accessing the Clinic on their own, we have established the JBI Mobile Diagnostic, Treatment and Referral Clinic. JBI's Mobile Clinic brings our exceptional team directly to the elderly, particularly to the homebound and those in old age homes and senior centers. Many of the people the JBI Mobile Clinic treats are elderly Russian immigrants who have suffered a lifetime of poor medical care. Some clients may simply be fitted for new glasses; others may need more complicated interventions. A visit by the JBI Mobile Clinic makes all the difference between an independent, enriched life and one of isolation and loneliness.

In addition, the recording facility at Israel's Central Library for the Blind in Netanya was equipped and designed under JBI's leadership. The Suzanne K. and Nathan L. Wolfson Recording Studios at the Tel Aviv branch of the Central Library records books and magazines in many of the languages today's Israelis speak. The studios were named for the generous JBI Board members who made them possible.

There are also JBI sponsored sound studios at Hebrew University, where textbooks and scholarly articles for blind university students throughout Israel are recorded. The Jane Evans Talking Book Library for Children provides audio books for Israel's visually impaired youth at the Central Library for the Blind.

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Photo Caption: An elderly man in Russia reads from a JBI Large Print prayerbook.

The JBI Library Worldwide

In over thirty countries the cornerstone of our work is The JBI Library. JBI's vast and growing collection includes over 13,000 Talking Books, as well as thousands of Braille titles and Large Print publications. JBI Talking Books are available in English, Russian, Yiddish, Hebrew, Hungarian, Romanian, Polish and, most recently, Spanish. The depth and breadth of our collection notwithstanding, we always honor special requests.

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