As of May 5th, 10 new audio lessons offering tips and techniques for living well with low vision are now available as part of the newly-launched Low Vision Focus @ Hadley (LVF). These low vision online courses offer practical knowledge to make life easier.
Low vision is defined by having significant difficulty seeing even after one’s vision is corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, surgery or medicine. Some typical symptoms of low vision include dimness, haziness, and having difficulty recognizing faces, reading labels and safely moving around. Low vision can make everyday tasks like reading the mail, shopping, cooking and paying the bills difficult. According to 2010 research by the National Eye Institute, the number of Americans with low vision will continue to grow dramatically, from 2.9 million in 2010, to 5 million in 2030, to 8.9 million in 2050, as our population ages. One out of every six older adults will experience age-related vision loss due to conditions such as macular degeneration, glaucoma or diabetes.
As the largest provider of distance education for people who are blind and visually impaired worldwide, The Hadley School for the Blind (www.hadley.edu) is building on its history and expertise with this new program. The LVF is designed to help those living with low vision maintain their independence by sharing practical ways to address daily living skills made difficult by vision loss. Most low vision assistance focuses on a device that is meant to correct the vision problem. The LVF, however, offers ways for older adults to educate themselves on their condition as well as learn adaptive techniques to continue the tasks of daily living. The LVF is unique in that it offers those living with low vision the opportunity to learn and take advantage of our resources from the comfort of their own homes, at a time that is convenient for them, with the benefit of one-on-one counseling and support, at no cost to them.
A newly-revised series of 10 audio lessons is the core component of the LVF. Each lesson is approximately 30 minutes long and is available on a CD that is mailed to the client. The CDs are free for the client to keep. When a new client comes to the LVF, he or she speaks with an intake coordinator to determine which lesson(s) best meet their needs based on their challenges with low vision. Clients will be limited in their requests to two lessons initially. Additional titles may be requested once the client has had the opportunity to listen to these initial lessons and determine future need. The audio lessons include:
|Making the Kitchen User Friendly||Getting Around in the House|
|Basic Tactile Marking||Going Out with a Friend|
|Doing Simple Kitchen Tasks||Keeping Prescriptions in Order|
|Low Vision Cooking||Looking Your Best|
|Going Out for a Meal||Simple Home Modifications|
While the LVF is geared primarily toward seniors, adult children of seniors living with low vision are encouraged to take advantage of the resources offered by the LVF to aid their parents in the adjustment process. Additionally, while many of the people who are living with low vision are seniors, the program is open to any individual who is experiencing sight loss. Clients and professionals also are encouraged to utilize the programming of the LVF in either the development of new low vision support groups in local communities or to sustain existing support group networks.
In the future, Hadley will provide free, educational videos and webinars as part of the Low Vision Focus and the program will soon reference popular Hadley courses that may be of interest to individuals with low vision.
“We are so excited to offer the Low Vision Focus @ Hadley and enable this growing population to retain their independence and live with confidence,” says the dean of Educational Programs and Instruction and interim Director of the Low Vision Focus @ Hadley Doug Anzlovar.
For more information or to begin taking advantage of the LVF, please visit www.lowvisionfocus.org or call toll-free at 1-855-830-5355.
Media and Marketing Specialist
The Hadley School for the Blind