From the Vision Rehab Podcast: Getting Started with Vision Rehabilitation.
Hello, and thank you for joining me today on Low Vision Tech Topics. My name is Steve Kelley and I’m a certified vision rehabilitation therapist based in Maine.
Today’s topic is getting started with vision rehab. You may have recently gotten a diagnosis from your eye doctor of a vision loss from macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy or another eye disease. You may be wondering how this will affect some of the activities you do every day. The vision rehabilitation therapist is a professional who may work with you on getting back to those daily living activities with a vision loss. The vision rehab therapist, or VRT is usually a nationally certified professional with a Masters Degree in Vision Rehabilitation. Most often, the VRT works for a local or state agency. The VRT is a rehabilitation specialist, not a medical specialist, so you usually do not need a referral from your doctor to see a vision rehab therapist.
Very often the VRT can meet with you at home or work and offer suggestions for lighting, magnification, environmental changes, and technology that may help you return to daily or work activities with reduced vision.
So, how do you find a vision rehabilitation therapist? If you’re a computer user, one of the easiest ways is the VisionAware Directory of Services. This is a great place to get started. The web address is visionaware.org/directory or just put Vision Aware Directory of Services into a search engine like Google or DuckDuckGo. If you’re not a computer user, try calling the APH Connect Center at 800-232-5463. And let me repeat that for you 800-232-5463. They’re available during business hours and will return your call if you leave a message. Another great place to look for services is your state’s Bureau of Employment Services or Department of. Education.
Because vision rehab therapists often work for local or state agencies, you may also find that there is no charge for these services, or that they are provided at a reduced rate or on a sliding scale, based on your income.
For even more information about getting started with Vision Rehabilitation Services check out my interview with Kendra Farrow, another vision rehabilitation therapist and researcher from MS State University on Hadley Presents. To find it on the computer type in www.hadley.edu/hadley presents and look for episode 3, A Guide to Vision Rehab. You can also call Hadley directly at 800-323-4238 and just ask for a copy. The number again for Hadley is 800-323-4238.
Thanks for joining me today on this episode of Low Vision Tech Topics. Again, my name is Steve Kelley and you can find me at lowvisiontech.com. I look forward to seeing you again on the next episode of low vision tech topics. Have a wonderful day!