American Foundation for the Blind Invites You to the 21st Century Agenda on Aging and Vision Loss National Teleseminar: Medicare Coverage of Low Vision Devices

On Wednesday, October 4, 2017, at 3:00pm Eastern Standard Time, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) and the 21st Century Agenda on Aging and Vision Loss will host RESOLVED—Medicare Should Pay for Low Vision Devices: Views Through Different Lenses. This 90-minute teleseminar will discuss the pros, cons, and range of concerns about permanent Medicare … Continued

New Research: Using Virtual Reality Environments to Help with Wayfinding Problems Related to Glaucoma

Glaucoma often is called “the sneak thief of sight” for good reason: Many people are unaware that glaucoma has few symptoms or warning signs in its early stages. Early treatment for glaucoma can sometimes (but not always) slow the progression of the disease. However, as of yet, there is no cure for glaucoma and its … Continued

Aira: A New and Exciting Access Service for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Aira (pronounced “EYE-rah”) has made quite a debut on the access technology scene recently. It has impressed the likes of CSUN2017, Assistive Media, Inc., and won “Best in Show” honors at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. I learned about Aira at this year’s American Foundation for the Blind Leadership Conference, and it wowed me … Continued

H.R.2050: The Medicare Demonstration of Coverage of Low Vision Devices Act of 2017 Needs Your Advocacy and Support

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) Public Policy Center has announced the reintroduction of federal legislation that seeks to establish a nationwide Medicare demonstration project to evaluate the fiscal impact of a permanent change in Medicare coverage that would, for the first time, provide reimbursement for low vision devices. The AFB Public Policy Center, … Continued

During Vision Rehabilitation Therapy Awareness Week: Considering the Increasing Role of Technology

By Steve Kelley, CVRT, CRC Celebrating Vision Rehabilitation Therapy Awareness Week The week of April 9-15, 2017 is Vision Rehabilitation Therapist Awareness Week. The week commemorates the birthday of Anne Sullivan, who was Helen Keller’s teacher (both pictured at left). With this celebration comes the question of “How has the role of a Vision Rehabilitation … Continued

Do the Brains of Blind Persons “Rewire” or Adjust to Significantly Enhance the Other Senses? New Research Says Yes

An age-old question that surfaces regularly in my work is this one: “Is it true that blind people develop super senses, like extra-sensitive hearing or touch, to compensate for not being able to see?” A variation of the “super senses” question asks this: “Are the other senses truly enhanced, or do people without the sense … Continued

What Is It Like to Have Low Vision? A New Sight Simulator Can Help You Understand

A query I receive frequently from readers is how to describe their low vision or vision loss to fully sighted family members and friends, who may find it difficult to understand how functional vision can vary significantly from one day to the next, or from daytime to nighttime. While some basic explanations do exist (cataracts … Continued

During Low Vision Awareness Month: Learn More About Helpful Non-Optical Devices for Low Vision

As we age, our eyes change too. In most cases, regular eyeglasses or contact lenses can correct many of these vision changes. However, if your eye doctor tells you that your vision cannot be fully corrected with ordinary prescription glasses, medication, or surgery and you still have some usable vision, you have what is called … Continued

New Glaucoma Research: Will Patients and Family Members Pay for a Glaucoma-Specific App? Not Likely, Results Say

New – and highly relevant – research from the Wills Eye Glaucoma Research Center, in collaboration with Drexel University, sought to “evaluate the interest of glaucoma patients and their caregivers in a smartphone-based and tablet-based glaucoma application” (app) that contained a range of features (explained below) designed to (a) increase patients’ level of knowledge about … Continued

New Research from Google Labs: Using Machine Learning to Detect Diabetic Eye Disease

The highly regarded Research Labs at Google are charged with “tackling the most challenging problems in computer science and related fields,” including eye care and ophthalmology. A groundbreaking project, announced in 2014 and still in development, was the creation of a prototype “smart” contact lens to monitor blood glucose levels continuously for people with diabetes. … Continued