Vision Rehabilitation Therapists Change Lives

Lenore Dillon standing outside, white cane in hand

Life Not Over After Vision Loss

At the onset of a vision loss a person often feels helpless and hopeless. This helpless feeling is normal as vision loss impacts every part of life. Even the simplest task, learned as a young child, often seem impossible. More challenging tasks such as using a computer, appear to be exclusively for the sighted. Even beyond basic everyday living, greater fears such as loss of income and independence may be overwhelming. It is easy to understand why many feel life is over. Actually, Life as they know it is over! What that person does not know yet, is that there is life after vision loss. A wide array of opportunities are available to those who are willing to rise to the challenge.

VRTs Are on the Front Line

A Vision Rehabilitation Therapist (VRT) is the service provider who is often the first person to introduce creative strategies to meet the many challenges presented by vision loss. The first meeting with a VRT consists of an assessment of the individuals current skills. This assessment will outline training needs, and will result in a teaching plan.

VRTs Help Create Teaching Plan

The teaching plan is indeed a plan of action. It outlines goals agreed by both the learner and the VRT. The focus of the training, and the extent and depth of training depends upon the individual’s needs. A young mother who is caring for small children will have goals directed towards independent living,and child care. The family bread winner will want to develop skills which will enable him/her to return to gainful employment. senior sewers may want to learn a new way to thread their sewing machines, so they can continue time honored traditions. Whatever obstacle a person with a vision loss may face, the VRT is armed with techniques and resources to rise to the challenge.

Action Begins, Goals Are Accomplished

Picture of service provider holding hands with older woman

Once the teaching plan has been developed action can begin and helplessness is soon replaced by accomplishment. As training progresses each goal is addressed individually. Each lesson builds on the one before. Skills mastered, lead to accomplishments and each goal accomplished builds confidence. The young mother with small children may start out by attaching bells to her toddler’s shoes to better locate them. But may well end her training learning computer skills to better run her household or even secure employment. The family bread winner’s job readiness skills may lead to a position with a salary requiring superb money identifying skills. After training, senior sewers may find themselves threading everyone’s needles—both blind and sighted. In each case a VRT was available to provide adaptive skills training, and resources. Knowledge equals power. In each life helplessness and uncertainty, with the help of a VRTs, were replaced by a new vision and hope. Have you worked with a VRT before? If so, how did that VRT help change your life? What skills did they assist you in mastering?Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

VRTs Have Three Main Tools

A good VRT has three tools to use which enable them to change lives (head, hands and heart). The head of a VRT is brimmed-full of techniques, resources and strategies for overcoming challenges presented by vision loss. The hands of a VRT are skillful, precise and strong allowing them to provide hands-on training. The heart of a VRT is big, warm and filled with compassion. When the head, hands and heart work together as a team, the lives which are touched are changed.