Adults with Low Vision: Continuing Education for Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Students
Date of Award
Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)
Vision, Low -- rehabilitation
Low vision is a condition that occurs when an individual has "some amount of usable vision, but their visual functioning is impaired and interferes with their ability to carry out desired tasks" (Lampert & Lapolice, 1995, p. 885). Impairments in vision cause disruptions in areas of daily living including work and leisure, routines, habits, roles, and social participation. There is a great need for holistic and client-centered occupational therapy in low vision rehabilitation services to improve an individual's functional performance and overall quality of life.
A comprehensive literature review was conducted on low vision definitions and medical conditions, the variety of current low vision rehabilitation programs, low vision professionals, assistive technology, driving, and reimbursement. Various textbooks were obtained and provided useful background knowledge regarding occupational therapy for low vision. Credible internet sites were accessed for relevant clinical resources. Additional information was gained from attending a DriveSmart Symposium in Aberdeen, SD and completing an Assistive Technology II Practicum at the North Dakota School for the Blind. In addition, theories and models of occupational therapy practice were explored. It was determined that the Ecological Model of Occupation (Kramer, Hinojosa, & Royeen, 2003) and the Human Activity Assistive Technology Model (Cook & Hussey, 2002) would best guide occupational therapy practice for individuals with low vision.
Through this process, it was determined that occupational therapists must be informed about this growing area of service need and further educate themselves on various aspects of low vision and the role of occupational therapy. The educational product developed through this scholarly project process is a Microsoft® PowerPoint® presentation and supplemental lecture notes containing information regarding low vision disorders, the low vision rehabilitation process including occupational therapy's role in evaluation, treatment planning, and interventions, low vision and driving, and family and caregiver education. This educational presentation is intended for education of occupational therapy students and practitioners.
Berglund, Ashley and Hughes, Kelli, "Adults with Low Vision: Continuing Education for Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Students" (2006). Occupational Therapy Capstones. 173.