1: Adults with Blindness or Low Vision (OPTIONAL)
There are many resources on the World Wide Web for individuals with visual impairment. The following resources can be useful to life care planners as they provide information related to blindness and low vision. You should become familiar with these sources, as they may be beneficial to you in your life care planning practice. You may want to bookmark these sites for future reference.
- Visit: The National Federation of the Blind: https://nfb.org//
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) is the largest organization in the United States for individuals who are blind. The NFB strives to improve the lives of individuals who are blind through advocacy, education, research, technology and various programs that are designed to teach independence. At their website, life care planners can find useful information about vision loss by clicking the link “Info About Vision Loss….”. You may also find the “Resources” and “Products & Technology” sections valuable.
- Visit: The National Eye Institute at: http://www.nei.nih.gov/
The National Eye Institute was established in 1968 by Congress to protect and prolong the vision of Americans. The National Eye Institute is part of the Federal government’s National Institute of Health and conducts research that is focused on the prevention and treatment of various eye conditions. At this site, you can view statistics and data on the various causes of visual impairment, vision problems in the U.S., and the estimates of the economic costs of visual disorders and disabilities.
- Visit: Blindness- Related Resources on the Web and Beyond at: http://www.deafblind.com/blind.html
This site is an extremely useful tool for life care planners in need of easy access to resources on the Internet. This site contains links to several different websites on general blindness, low vision, deaf-blind, blindness organizations, as well as a wealth of information on assistive technology, adaptive products and employment.
- Visit: The Blindness Resource Center at: http://www.nyise.org/blind.htm
The Blindness Resource Center provides information about universal access, resources for individuals who are deaf-blind, and various eye conditions. This site has additional useful information so feel free to browse it at your convenience.
- Visit: The Foundation Fighting Blindness at: http://www.blindness.org/
The Foundation Fighting Blindness funds research to provide prevention, treatment, and cures to individuals with retinal diseases. At their website, you can find interesting information about macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, Usher Syndrome, Stargardt, and other retinal diseases. You can also view treatments for the conditions and research articles related to each condition.
- Additional Resources:
The Glaucoma Research Foundation: http://www.glaucoma.org/
The Braille Institute: http://www.brailleinstitute.org/
Prevent Blindness America: http://www.preventblindness.org/
The National Foundation for the Blind: http://www.afb.org/
All About Vision: http://www.allaboutvision.com/lowvision/
Low Vision.com: http://www.lowvision.com/
2: Children with Blindness or Low Vision (OPTIONAL)
As you learned in your readings, children with blindness or low vision can experience many difficulties related to learning and independent living. The following websites are intended to give you additional information relevant to children with blindness or low vision.
- Visit: The American Optometric Association at: http://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/good-vision-throughout-life?sso=y
At this site, by clicking the links in the middle of the page, you can read additional information on the vision of infants, pre-schoolers, and school-aged children. You can access clinical practice guidelines for pediatric eye and vision exams. After reading these selections, browse the rest of the site.
- Visit: Lighthouse International at: http://www.lighthouse.org/
This website contains valuable information for life care planners who are working on plans for children with visual impairments. Explore this site at your leisure. The link for “Information & Resources” can be especially useful to learn more.
- Visit: The American Foundation for The Blind at: http://www.afb.org/Section.asp?SectionID=58&DocumentID=1243
This page contains information related to the special education needs of children who are blind or visually impaired. Read the article and click related links located on the right hand side of the page for additional information.
The Association of Retinopathy of Prematurity and Related Disorders: http://www.ropard.org/
The Blind Children’s Center: http://www.blindchildrenscenter.org/
The Blind Children’s Fund: http://www.blindchildrensfund.org/
Blind Children’s Learning Center: http://www.blindkids.org/
Prevent Blindness America: http://www.preventblindness.org/children/
3: Orientation and Mobility (REQUIRED)
Orientation (knowing where you are and where you want to go) and mobility (knowing how to complete a plan to get where you want to go) are very important to individuals with visual impairment. The following websites will give you additional information on orientation and mobility training, as well as provide information on electronic aids for orientation and mobility.
- View the Power Point Presentation “Foundations of Developmentally Appropriate Orientation and Mobility, Session 1” provided by The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill- Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers with Visual Impairments: FPG Child Development Institute, 2004 at: http://www.powershow.com/view1/1773c4-ZDc1Z/Foundations_of_Developmentally_Appropriate_Orientation_and_Mobility_Session_1_powerpoint_ppt_presentation
- Download and view the power point presentation
- This presentation is intended to give you a brief overview of orientation and mobility.
Sources of Additional Information:
- Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired: https://www.tsbvi.edu/
- Blind Children’s Resource Center: http://www.blindchildren.org/infoabout/
4: Information on Guide Dogs (OPTIONAL)
For some individuals with visual impairment or blindness, a guide dog may be a useful tool to enhance independence. If you choose to recommend a guide in your life care plan, be sure to include the associated expenses for care of the animal including: grooming, veterinary care, food, harness replacement, etc. The following websites will provide you with additional information regarding guide dogs.
- Assistance Dogs International, Inc.: http://www.assistancedogsinternational.org/
- Guide Dogs of America: http://www.guidedogsofamerica.org/
- The Guide Dog Foundation for The Blind: http://www.guidedog.org/
- Guide Dogs of the Desert International: http://www.guidedogsofthedesert.comhttp://guidedogsofthedesert.org/
- Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc.: http://www.guidedogs.org/
- Guiding Eyes for the Blind: http://www.guidingeyes.org/site/PageServer
- Leader Dogs for the Blind: http://www.leaderdog.org/index.php
- The Seeing Eye: http://www.seeingeye.org/
5: Aids for Independent Function (OPTIONAL)
As you have learned in lessons 2 and 3, aids for independent function are extremely important to individuals with visual impairment and blindness. These aids can have an enormous impact on independent living for an individual with visual impairment. It is essential that the life care planner be aware of the equipment and assistive devices available to individuals with blindness and visual impairments.
When creating a life care plan for an individual with visual impairment or blindness, it may be best to consult an assistive technology specialist to make recommendations and provide training on equipment use. You can locate an assistive technology specialist at: RESNA (Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Specialist of North America) at: http://www.resna.org/
Visit the following assistive technology resources on the Internet:
- Freedom Scientific: http://www.freedomscientific.com/
- Low Vision Aids: http://www.lowvision.org/low_vision_aids.htm
- Universal Low Vision Aids, Inc.: http://www.ulva.com/
- HumanWare: http://www.humanware.com/
- Beyond Sight: http://www.beyondsight.com/
- L S & S (Learning, sight, & sound made easier): www.lssgroup.com
- MaxiAids.com: Products for Independent Living: www.maxiaids.com
- National Federation of the Blind: https://nfb.org//
- American Printing House for the Blind: www.aph.org
- National Public Website on Assistive Technology: www.assistivetech.net
- The Magnifying Center: www.magnifyingcenter.com
Additional Canadian Resources
6: Canadian National Institute for the Blind (OPTIONAL)
Visit Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) at http://www.cnib.ca/ The CNIB supports and oversees research to advance knowledge in the field of vision health. Their research funding supports projects that focus on ways to cure, treat and prevent eye disease, and improve the quality of life for people living with vision loss.Review the following areas at this website to familiarize yourself with what the CNIB has to offer.
- Vision Support Services
- Request for Service
- CNIB Library
- Consumer Products & Assistive Technologies
- Accessibility Expertise