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Low Vision Assessment and Rehabilitation


A few ophthalmologists (eye MDs) and greater numbers of optometrists have special training in low vision rehabilitation. Their numbers are inadequate because the low financial remuneration available contrasts with the complexity and significant time requirements of good visual rehabilitation.

The management of low vision is best undertaken as a multidisciplinary approach, using a team-based program and using the skills, where appropriate, of such professionals as occupational therapists (when trained in visual rehabilitation), vocational rehabilitation counselors and vision rehabilitation teachers, orientation and mobility specialists, psychologists, assistive technology computer specialists and others, as well as of ophthalmologists and optometrists.

Comprehensive visual rehabilitation teams exist in some university centers and in some large private practice groups. In many regions, charitable organizations provide low vision rehabilitation services and devices. Lighthouse Inc., Alphapointe Association for the Blind (Kansas City), and the St. Louis Society for the Blind are three such organizations. The Veterans Administration also has an excellent regional rehabilitation service.

The state agencies for blindness can tell you about local individual professionals providing low vision services, and advise about regional comprehensive centers. State agencies will often fund visual rehabilitation assessments and training, and may help provide low vision aids. The services provided by the various state agencies, called either Rehabilitation Services for the Blind or Commissions for the Blind, vary from state to state.

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Last Update: Nov 29 2012