The Durbanville Low Vision Support Group has been formed locally to enable persons with low vision to offer each other support in order to lead as independant a life as possible. Currently expenses involved in running the Support Group are funded by The Helen Keller Society (A Not for Profit organization) and members at the monthly meetings. The group was formed in March 2009 when the Society became aware of a small number of people in Durbanville who might benefit from membership. Since then our group has grown to 20 members and we look forward to offering support to many more members in the future.

Our monthly meetings are held in central Durbanville, on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 10.00 a.m. Two qualified therapists from the Helen Keller Society in Pinelands, are always in attendance and lead the meetings, which are very informal, but provide an opportunity for people with low vision to learn more about their problems and how, not only to live with, but also how to overcome the difficulties and problems which they have to face on a day to day basis. Members are constantly being brought up to date with new developments in the treatment of and/or living with their vision problems. Refreshments are provided to keep the atmosphere very relaxed.

The Helen Keller Society also run a Low Vision Service in Pinelands where a large variety of visual aids can be obtained. These include Electronic Reading Aids and Low Vision Computer programs – as well as a large variety of magnifiers and other aids such as talking watches and liquid level indicators and U V Protection Glasses etc.

Appointments can be made by phoning 021 531 5311.

We, in Durbanville, have also agreed to serve as an action group to educate local municipal planners, businesses and society in general, of our difficulties and to try and gain support for furthering our aims. We have already achieved success in having illegal signs which were placed on sidewalks, being removed , hedges and trees obstructing sidewalks being trimmed back and having immediate remedial action taken to repair reported damaged man-hole covers on sidewalks. We have also been in close contact with the Municipal Authorities to re-introduce audio sounding bleepers at traffic light controlled intersections in the Central Business District – or where necessary elsewhere- to enable a safe crossing at intersections by people with low vision.

Anybody with eye conditions such as

  • Macular Degeneration

  • Glaucoma

  • Diabetic retinopathy

  • Retinitis Pigmentosa

will be most welcome to attend our meetings.

If you require any further information please contact the Low Vision Service at:

  • The Helen Keller Society on 021 531 5311

or phone one of our local members, either:

  • Jim Patrick at 021 975 8454

  • Jenny Webster at 021 976 9779

We look forward to Ophthalmologists, Optometrists and Opticians in the Durbanville and surrounding areas who are aware of anybody with low vision problems, to refer them and to encourage them to join our support group.

(Please note that this release has been prepared in large print for the benefit of those with low vision)