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Second Sense - Beyond Vision Loss

What is Vision Rehabilitation Training?

Vision Rehabilitation is the training that can restore independence after vision loss.  It does not mean that the vision itself is rehabilitated, but rather the person with vision loss receives the services and training that teach the skills to regain or remain independence.

A Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist teaches the client to use a variety of tools — common household items and specialized items — and techniques to safely and independently complete everyday tasks.

What Skills are Included in Vision Rehabilitation Training?

  • Adjustment Counseling: Counseling can be in the form of individual sessions, support groups or built into other areas of training. The goal of this counseling is to help the individual adjust to life as a person with vision loss.
  • Communications Skills: Communicating can be notes to yourself or others. It includes a wide range of purposes, from a simple shopping list to a research paper. Skills taught include braille, handwriting, recording skills, electronic reading systems, assistive technology and computer access technology.
  • Personal Management Skills: Maintaining your personal appearance and health: grooming, clothing organization, medical needs, leisure activities and dining
  • Home Management Skills: Maintaining your home and making it a safe and efficient place for your to live requires a variety of skills including organization and labeling, repair and home maintenance, and budgeting and record keeping. It also requires daily living skills such as cooking, cleaning and shopping.
  • Independent Movement and Travel Skills: Orienting to indoor and outdoor environments, moving about safely indoors and using Human Guide Technique. More advanced mobility training is provided by a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist.
  • Assistive Technology: Using PCs and smart devices (phones, tablets, speakers)
  • Low Vision Devices: Assisting in the purchase of and training in the use of hand-held magnifiers, special reading glasses, telescopes, high intensity lamps, and other optical and non-optical devices that can make the best use of remaining vision

Who Teaches Vision Rehabilitation?

Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapists (CVRT) have either a bachelor’s or master’s degree in vision rehabilitation training.  Their coursework includes understanding the functions of the eye and how various diseases or disorders affect vision.  They learn how these diseases can affect a person’s ability to accomplish daily living skills and travel independently.  A CVRT has training in blindness, low vision and physical development.

In order to earn their certification, candidates must complete 350 hours of discipline-specific practice under the supervision of a Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist.  They must also pass the certification exam.  It is only after all of these requirements have been met, that an individuals is certified to provide vision rehabilitation training to someone with vision loss.

Contact Kathy Austin by email or at 312-236-8569 for information about Second Sense’s vision rehabilitation training.