It has been determined through various scientific studies and research that many people experience low vision. Within this population, at least 85% have some residual vision and can benefit immensely from effective low vision rehabilitation activities. Due to impaired vision, affected individuals can feel emotionally lost, lonely, and isolated, and are unable to carry out basic everyday tasks. But with training and learned skills, individuals can improve their quality of life and attain some independence in their daily routine.
Low vision is usually caused due to age-related health conditions: diabetes, certain eye diseases— like glaucoma, eye injury, etc. People suffering from low vision restrict their mobility because they face issues with getting around on their own, recognizing faces, doing things in the house, and other challenges with day-to-day tasks.
Low vision rehabilitation provides affected people with an opportunity to adapt to life despite their limitation by maximizing their remaining vision. This kind of rehabilitation involves training and education on:
- Assistive and adaptive devices;
- Use of optical and non-optical aids;
- Daily living skills;
- Orientation and mobility;
- Ways to modify one’s home and receive information on available resources.
While the fundamental focus of rehabilitation activities is specifically with the low vision individual, it also involves the social circle of family, friends, and caregivers. These individuals can support and assist with how low vision rehabilitation can make their loved one’s life easier and better.
It is important that individuals who are affected by low vision seek help and are encouraged to visit a professional rehabilitation service center to acquire skills and learn how to make the most of their remaining vision. Professional rehabilitation centers will have occupational therapists, optometrists, ophthalmologists, mobility specialists, licensed therapists, social workers, and counsellors on their team to help those with visual impairments.
www.brailleinstitute.org 1-800-BRAILLE (272-4553)