Journal of Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology
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This presentation focusses on the disparity between the demonstrated effectiveness of low vision rehabilitation and the
significant barriers which still exist to referral for, and access to, low vision rehabilitation services. Some of these barriers are
societal and due to lack of information. But some are due to referral patterns of eye care professionals.
This talk covers the research which has demonstrated the effectiveness of low vision rehabilitation and the factors which
influence access to low vision services as well as those that influence eye care professional?s referral patterns. A new model is
proposed which changes the way that low vision is conceived and which eye care professionals would be involved in low vision.
Low vision care extends from the recognition of a potential low vision case to assessment of impairment, recognition of likely
disabilities, goal setting, triage through to basic low vision rehabilitation and finally to managing patients with complex goals
and multiple challenges. The levels of visual impairment at which low vision services are likely to be required is discussed. When
considered in this light, it is suggested that all eye care professionals should be involved in low vision care, but that the level at
which they are involved can be selected.
Susan Leat graduated in Optometry from the University of Manchester in the UK. She obtained her Ph.D. and undertook post-doctoral studies at
Cardiff University. She was founder of the Cardiff University Low Vision Clinic and instrumental in establishing the Special Assessment Clinic in
Cardiff University. In 1991, she took up a Faculty position in the University of Waterloo, Canada where she is now a Professor and a Clinician in the
Pediatric and Special Needs Clinic. She teaches and conducts research in psychophysics, low vision, paediatrics, visual development, special needs
and gerontology. She is a Fellow of the College of Optometrists (UK), a member of the College of Optometrists of Ontario, a Fellow of the American
Academy of Optometry, a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Optometry and Chair of the American Academy of Optometry SIG on Vision
ng. She has co-authored a book on Paediatric Optometry entitled ?Assessing Children?s Vision-A Handbook? Publ. Butterworth-Heinemann 1999.
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