Creative possibilities for living with low vision

Victoria Tasmania ConferenceLast month VisAbility’s Occupational therapist Naomi Gilson represented Tasmania and spoke at the Vic-Tas Regional Conference in Melbourne for Occupational Therapists.

Naomi’s topic ‘Creative possibilities for living with low vision’, touched on why occupational therapists are ideally positioned to take up the challenge.

Diminished capacity and loss of confidence due to vision impairment often trigger a number of serious health and social consequences. The importance of the role of optometrists and ophthalmologists in providing specialist medical expertise for people with low vision is well known. The role performed by occupational therapists is this area is not as well understood. Ophthalmologists and optometrists work in silos, providing high quality medical care and vision aids often without knowing how this translates into functional outcomes.

An occupational therapist can contribute significantly to how well people live with low vision. They are a key link to providing integrated care in the management of functional vision and enhancement of occupational performance.

Occupational Therapy provides a link between vision impairment and daily living. Occupational Therapists are trained to deal with the complexity of multi co-morbidities and the debilitating psychological and social effects of vision loss. They provide evidence based therapy that assists people to find practical solutions for living.

Our community based model places us in people’s homes and everyday environments giving us the unique opportunity to see firsthand the challenges of our clients.

People need ophthalmologists for diagnosis and treatment. They need optometrists to provide glasses to drive or read, and they need occupational therapists to assist them to maximise their functional vision. All aspects of the chain are needed to assist a person to live safely and independently with optimal quality of life.

If you live with vision impairment, we have a range of services designed to offer support to live independently including Orientation and Mobility (O & M), Assistive Technology and more. Contact us for more information.