The Vision Rehab Podcast is a short monthly podcast about topics and issues related to vision rehabilitation therapists and vision rehab. You can also listen on your smart speaker, just ask for, “Vision Rehab Podcast.”
It happened again—I received a phone call from someone who said to me, “My eye doctor said there was nothing more that could be done…” This happens a lot. What the doctor means, I think, is that there is nothing more medically that can be done. You have a vision loss that can’t be corrected with glasses, contacts or a surgical procedure. This isn’t great news, of course. We’d rather hear about the glasses that will restore our vision, or the new procedure or vitamin that will get us back to where we were before the vision loss.
Take a breath. There’s plenty more you can do with whatever vision you have. There are resources available to support you, and some of them cost nothing to get started with.
Here are some next steps to consider:
Call your doctor, the one who told you nothing more could be done, and ask for a referral to a low vision doctor. The low vision doctor specializes in using your existing vision with magnifiers, telescopes, and other devices you probably didn’t know existed. The idea here is to use the vision you have to work, play, and do all the everyday activities you want to do.
Next, connect with your states vocational rehab service or Older blind program. Each state has these services and some are better than others. Don’t worry about blind being in the title. These services are designed for people with a vision loss, from low vision to blindness. And here’s the good news, these services often cost nothing or are available on a sliding scale. If you use the internet, you can find your state’s services on the VisionAware Directory of Services at visionaware.org/directory. If you prefer the phone, just call the ConnectCenter at 800-232-5463 and they’ll find the numbers for you.
Now, while you’re waiting for that appointment from your state services, call Hadley to register for their informational workshops, at no cost. You can sigh up over the phone for their workshops on daily living skills, braille, tech, and more.
Plus, they will help you fill out an
application for the free, Library of Congress Talking
Books program. Talking Books will send you an easy-to-use digital audio player to read books and magazines sent to you through postal mail. Many of the Hadley workshops can also be played on the Talking Book Player.
Hadley offers workshops on how to use your smartphone with less vision, label medications, stay at your job, and more. If you don’t know what to start with, just ask for the workshop on Adjusting to Vision Loss when you sign up. You’ll find Hadley on the web at HadleyHelps.org, or by phone at 800-323-4238.
Remember, the doctor meant there was nothing more that could be done medically, but there’s plenty more you can do, and resources you can reach out to for support.