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June10–16

Vision Rehabilitation Week – June 10-16, 2024

Almost 20 million people in the U.S. live with blindness, low vision, and visual impairment*, which often creates significant challenges with everyday activities. Vision Rehabilitation services and training can dramatically increase confidence, safety, and independence. Join us in commemorating Vision Rehabilitation Week from June 10-16 to help spread the word about these crucial programs.

Did you know? 

People experiencing blindness and low vision report increased health issues and disability conditions, with some groups citing more than double the number of days of poor mental health and more than double the rate of depression. Vision Rehabilitation can help adults continue the activities they love most, positively impact their ability to access medical and mental health services, and reduce isolation and depression. 

Vision Rehabilitation Week celebrates all life-changing Vision Rehabilitation services for people living with blindness and low vision and the compassionate and highly trained individuals who provide these services. Vision Rehabilitation training can start during the early stages of vision loss, after all vision correction (including glasses/contacts) and other medical interventions (such as surgery) have been exhausted. Even when a doctor tells a patient that nothing else can be done medically, Vision Rehabilitation offers vital hope and can significantly improve independence and quality of life at any age. Vision Rehabilitation can help those with vision loss from genetic factors, and common and rare eye diseases, including Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, and refraction errors and other eye changes.

Although a broad range of Vision Rehabilitation programs are available — tragically, less than 5% of those who could benefit from these services are receiving them. 

Vision Rehabilitation Week seeks to change this — and you can help! Visit VisionServe Alliance’s website to learn more and access a Toolkit with content and images to help spread the word about Vision Rehabilitation! The Toolkit includes text for emails, newsletters, social media posts, images, and a press release.

*Source – Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, Visual Impairments https://hpi.georgetown.edu/visual/

How to Observe Vision Rehabilitation Week

  • Spread the word through Social Media, from late-May through Vision Rehabilitation Week from June 10 – June 16. Download the Vision Rehabilitation Week Toolkit to get started.
  • Let anyone you care for with vision loss know about Vision Rehabilitation and help connect them with local services: Visit the Time to Be Bold State Directory, Email the APH Connect Center at connectcenter@aph.org, Call the APH hotline to speak with someone who can help, and access practical coping strategies for everyday tasks, find a support group, and access free online resources at APH Connect Center and VisionAware.
  • Host a special in-person or virtual event or offer special activities that support people living with blindness and vision loss. Click here for ideas and virtual activities.
  • Are you a non-profit organization offering Vision Rehabilitation Services? Host a party or special event for your clients, host a fundraiser, or share success stories with the local media!

Please help us spread the word — now through June 16

Learn More About Life-Changing Vision Rehabilitation Programs & Services

A vision rehabilitation agency uses the results of a general or low vision eye exam and added information to create a customized vision rehabilitation plan that may include: 

  • Orientation & Mobility training helps individuals with vision loss navigate their environment safely and confidently. Training may include using a white cane, GPS, other apps, or mobility aids. Training hones auditory and tactile cues to detect surface changes and audible cues to cross intersections safely. Training can include local public transportation and other tools to enhance orientation, mobility, and safety. Some may go on to acquire the use of a dog guide through dog guide Training Schools.
  • Independent living skills training helps us use remaining vision most effectively and develop compensatory strategies for performing daily activities. Training may include home labeling, specialized training for cooking, cleaning, and much more such as the next seven bullets.
  • Meal preparation and food safety: Training can emphasize how to safely use kitchen tools and appliances, including the microwave, toaster, stove, and oven. Tactile marking and labeling, including adhesive bump dots and braille labels, can be used on kitchen surfaces and appliances, measuring cups and spoons, and pantry items to help identify canned foods, spices, and other ingredients. Food safety training can help with grocery shopping, food storage, and meal preparation.
  • Personal care and prescription medications: Vision loss can impact the ease of bathing, dressing, and other personal care activities. Magnifiers and other assistive aids can help with personal grooming, shaving, or applying makeup. Training can also teach the safe use of sharp objects such as razors and scissors. Labeling or magnification devices can increase safety for adults taking one or more prescription medications. Did you know that CVS Pharmacy offers Spoken RX? This smart-tagged prescription label works with a CVS app to read prescription information aloud in English or Spanish.
  • Cleaning: Tactile labeling helps identify cleaning products and settings on appliances, such as washers and dryers, for safer use. Accessible cleaning tools and appliances can also enhance the home cleaning process.
  • Time Management: Access technology and accessible software help create and maintain your calendar and effectively manage day-to-day and longer-term activities.
  • Finances & Money Management: Training helps you maintain independence with budgeting, money identification, and a broad range of financial transactions. Assistive technology facilitates online banking, other digital financial tools, and the reading of crucial financial documents. The use of apps and assistive aids includes screen readers and magnifiers.
  • Home Organization & Modification: Home modifications, accommodations, and training are tailored for each person and their unique living environment. In addition to more significant home modifications, floor plans can adapt to streamline furniture placement, and color contrast can help differentiate floors, furniture, walls, and doorways. Contrast can also help adults with low vision identify light switches, outlets, surface changes, steps, stairs, and more. Lighting changes may also enhance orientation. Vision rehabilitation agencies can provide guidance and support.
  • Emergency Plans & Preparedness: We may think about this infrequently, yet everyone should have an emergency preparedness plan and understand how best to communicate with emergency responders, family, and neighbors in the case of a crisis. For those living with vision loss, tactile labeling can be used on emergency equipment, and mobile phone settings can be programmed to quickly contact emergency services or emergency contacts using accessible touch.
  • Assistive technology helps to access information and more easily perform tasks and may optimize the use of mobile devices, access technology, and other assistive devices and aids to remain connected. Screen readers, voice assistants, smart speakers, voice recognition software (e.g., voice-to-text and text-to-voice), and other adaptive technology are essential for calling, texting, emailing, and accessing essential information online.
  • Adaptive devices and specialized low-vision aids include magnifiers, specialized glasses, talking devices (e.g., clocks), and more.
  • Braille training helps people of all ages learn to use Braille for reading and writing.
  • Employment Services include a broad range of training and support for people with vision loss to prepare for, secure, and maintain employment. Services may include counseling, job readiness training such as resume writing, job search, and interview preparation, job placement services, work-based orientation & mobility training, and extended on-the-job coaching and support.
  • Youth Programs offer programs for babies, children, and teens, including early intervention programs, specialized K-12 education, youth and teen camps, teen transition school-to-work programs, and more.
  • Maintaining vital connections: Staying socially connected and participating in the activities you enjoy can significantly reduce the risk of social isolation, loneliness, and depression. In addition to training with all the access technology and devices listed above, many vision rehabilitation agencies offer support groups or can connect you with support groups and consumer organizations to share experiences with others facing blindness and vision loss and discuss challenges and solutions for everyday activities.

Sign up to receive news and updates on Vision Rehabilitation, resources, articles and information from VisionServe Alliance. 

Vision Rehabilitation Week is graciously sponsored by:

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR PEOPLE LIVING WITH BLINDNESS AND LOW VISION, THEIR FAMILIES, AND CAREGIVERS!

Enjoy these recent articles about vision loss, vision rehabilitation, and other important topics:

Locate Vision Rehabilitation Services Near You!

Vision Rehabilitation Week dates

YearDateDay
2024June 10Monday
2025June 10Tuesday
2026June 10Wednesday
2027June 10Thursday
2028June 10Saturday

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