Rehabilitation Teachers or Vision Rehabilitation Therapists instruct persons with vision impairments in the use of compensatory skills and assistive technology to enable them to live safe, productive, and independent lives. Skills evaluation and instruction occurs in the home, assisted living facilities, long term care facilities and on job sites. Specialized teaching services, including some fairly simple devices and techniques, can improve an individual who is legally blind's quality of life. Services are planned and provided on an individual based on the person's needs, interests and aptitudes. Specific areas of instruction taught by Vision Rehabilitation Therapists include:
Activities of Daily Living
- Use of contrast as well as tactile markings for appliances and household items
- Cooking, kitchen organization, safety and appliance use
- Self-care (grooming, clothing organization and care)
- Recreational activity assessment (crafts, cards, games)
- Orientation to time
- Budget and record keeping
- Telephone use
- Handwriting and Braille skills
Maximization of the Use of Residual Vision
- Effective use of low vision devices
- Magnification assessment
- Optical and non-optical device use
Assessment of Assistive Technology
- Keyboarding skills
- Use of screen magnification software
- Use of screen reading software
- Have a place for everything, and keep everything in its place.
- Place a tactile or colored marking on the ON button of a television remote or microwave to differentiate it from others.
- Use contrast whenever possible. For example, use a black pen on white paper or black measuring cups when measuring milk, sugar, flour, etc.
- Organize from small to large or using an alphabetical system. This can be used for phone numbers, medications, as well as spices or items such as canned goods in a cabinet. For example, if you are taking four different medications, line them up in alphabetical order.
- Print using large letters and a broad felt-tipped pen.
- When pouring cold liquids, put the tip of your index finger in the glass to feel as the liquid rises towards the top.
- When using the stove, keep the handle of the pot on the side, not out in front of the stove.
- Place a pot on the burner before turning the burner ON and turn the burner OFF before removing the pot.
- To locate a keyhole when unlocking the door, place your finger over the keyhole, then slide the key down your finger into the hole.
- For many people who are bothered by glare, wearing a brimmed cap or baseball cap can improve outdoor vision and comfort.
- When reading, place a ruler below the line you're reading to isolate that line and make it easier to focus on that line.
This information is provided by the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind.
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