The Benefits of Vision Rehabilitation
Though lost vision cannot be restored, a combination of vision training, rehabilitation and low vision devices can return something almost as important — independence and an increased quality of life.
The key is working in tandem with a low vision specialist. Other professionals, such as social workers, instructors, technicians and therapists, can also play a part in restoring independence.
Vision rehabilitation helps patients maximize their remaining vision and develop strategies that will lead them to a more independent lifestyle.
Most people use multiple low vision devices because each is designed to serve a very specific purpose. It’s not unusual for someone to have five or more vision aids around the house. With proper training, some people can learn to drive while wearing their low vision devices.
There are a number of interventions and assistive devices that can improve the quality of life and independence of those with low vision.
Low Vision Devices (LVDs) and Aids
One aspect of the low vision services we provide is the provision of low vision aids that are suitable for a particular patient. These devices help people to read. Patients find them helpful and beneficial because the ability to read is often the number one complaint of patients with low vision.
New orientation and mobility skills can be learned by visually impaired people in order to maintain travel independence. Orientation and mobility instruction is a component of vision rehabilitation. Its goal is to teach visually impaired patients to move around their environment safely and independently.
The commonly used mobility devices are long and support canes. The traditional, straight long cane is the most widely used mobility aid for the visually impaired.
Education, Vocational and Awareness Programs
There are health education programs that aim to assist clients with developing daily living skills and coping with tasks associated with everyday life.
There are a large number of advanced technology options available to assist visually impaired people. Some examples include the following:
- Braille displays, embossers, and translation software;
- DOS speech computer access;
- electronic magnifiers CCTVs;
- electronic note takers;
- electronic reading devices;
- orientation and mobility devices/software;
- scanning and reading software OCR and OBR;
- screen magnification software;
- screen reading software;
- speech synthesizers;
- stand alone electronic reading systems;
- tactile graphics;
- oice recognition organizers; and
- Web access software.