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Low Vision Assessment and Rehabilitation


Dr. Cole was asked, "how would you improve the vision rehabilitation system?" He responded that while he was pleased with the overall quality of services, the timeline of service delivery was frustrating. Despite rapid response by Rehabilitation Services for the Blind, the time from referral to full implementation of interventions spanned many months.

Comprehensive physical, psychosocial, and environmental assessments by multiple professionals and/or multiple agencies are time-consuming even under optimal conditions. Schedule modifications necessitated by the chiropractic practice compounded the already slow assessment planning and training process. When one is in urgent need of assistance, even a few days seem lengthy.

Vision rehabilitation is not a "quick fix." It is an educational process. It requires patience, practice, flexibility, and motivation from the patients, combined with the contributions of creative and dedicated professionals. The rehabilitation team addresses the challenges created by vision impairment to allow motivated patients to regain independence, as demonstrated in this case. Non-visual solutions are needed for patients with severe vision loss or total blindness.

The potential solutions are usually multiple, each directed to accomplishing specific visual tasks. Nothing comes easy, and training, patience, and considerable practice is required to use low vision aids. Mobility training, living skills, counseling, and vocational training may all be required. Patterns of visual loss vary with each patient, as does their visual rehabilitation and problems encountered.

Prevention is best. Successful management of diabetes can in many cases prevent or minimize long-term complications; careful monitoring, diet, and exercise are essential.

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Last Update: Nov 29 2012