A Practical Guide to Low Vision Rehabilitation: An Online Tutorial 

Syllabus for all courses in the series.

Stephen Whittaker, Ph.D., FAAO, OTR/L, CLVT

Theresa Smith, Ph.D., OT, CLVT

Amber Boyd, CLVT

Suggested Audience:

This course is designed for students, therapists, or specialists (occupational, speech, recreational, and vision rehabilitation therapists, and orientation and mobility specialists, and gerontology specialists) who work with adults. The text and quizzes are suited for anyone preparing for ACVREP certification as a Low Vision Therapist (CLVT).

 VisionEdSeminars, the provider of this continuing education, is an approved provider of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), and the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation & Education Professionals (ACVREP).

Course  Overview:

The course teaches how to provide low vision therapy for adults under a trans-disciplinary model of care.

Under our model of care, rather than just maximize vision or use of visual devices, the Low Vision Therapist focuses on performance, getting a job done using visual or  non-visual strategies, whatever works.

Topics include;

1) an understanding of more common causes of vision impairments,

2) functional vision evaluation,

3) evaluations of performance,  

 4) identification of visual and possible psychosocial barriers to performance, and

5) treatment focused on the removal of identified visual, non-visual and psychosocial barriers to successful performance.  

Treatments include the following:  

1) Recommend and teach the use of optical and electronic devices, including smartphones and tablet computers.   

2) Teach adaptive techniques that maximize performance, including living and vocational skills, using both visual “low vision” and non-visual “blindness” techniques. And

3) Evaluation and treatments for visual dysfunction due to brain injury from stroke or trauma.

Under our model of care, we equip a low vision therapist with the know-how to collaborate with general optometrists, ophthalmologists as an independent service provider.  Under the trans-disciplinary model of care, Low Vision Therapists and each blind rehabilitation specialist provide overlapping services to enable a person to keep functioning while waiting for specialty services.

We organized the Webinar/Tutorial into 21-weeks.  Each week begins with an assigned chapter from Whittaker, SG, Scheiman, M, Sokol-McKay, D.  Low Vision Rehabilitation: A Practical Guide for Occupational Therapists. Slack;  Thorofare, NJ, 2016.

We provide independent online (asynchronous) chapter tests, and supplemental presentations.  

Finally,  the participants apply the material to real clients from our “virtual clinic”.  We invite participants to submit their written assignments for individualized review.  We then discuss the cases during a scheduled, small group webinar that includes lively discussions, demonstrations, and sometimes a little theater.

Mentors who are certified low vision professionals may participate at no cost and report an enriching educational experience as well.

The tests provide feedback that directs the student to the pages containing the relevant information.  When a test is completed with 80% correct answers, a certificate of completion becomes available.  The chapter tests can be retaken at no additional cost.