Occupational Therapy for Low Vision Services

  • Visual Aid Training

    Maintaining Independence

    Our Occupational Therapists will work with you to find solutions to help maintain your maximum independence.

  • Therapist assisting with laundry

    Comprehensive Training

    Therapists provide environmental adaptations and advice on lighting, managing glare, enhancing contrast and improving home safety.

  • Eye exam

    Dr. Johnson, who specializes in low vision, conducts an eye examination.

The Western Michigan University Unified Clinics offer many services for individuals with low vision. Diagnostics and equipment purchases take place in the Vision Clinic while training and assistance take place in the Occupational Therapy clinic. Occupational therapy for individuals with low vision can benefit those with:

  • Macular Degeneration

  • Glaucoma

  • Diabetic Retinopathy

  • Visual field loss caused by neurological insult (ex., stroke, head injury)

  • Retinitis Pigmentosa

  • Other difficulties associated with low vision

What is low vision?

Low Vision is the term used to describe significant visual impairment that cannot be corrected fully with glasses, contact lenses, medication or eye surgery.

Approximately 80 to 90% of people classified as legally blind have some degree of usable vision.

ARE you in need a Low Vision Exam?

The Western Michigan University Vision Clinic is a premier eye care facility located on WMU's east campus, on the fourth floor of the University Medical and Health Sciences Center. Our licensed and credentialed optometrists provide high quality comprehensive vision care for a wide variety of visual needs. In addition to providing general optometric services, the clinics also provides the following low vision services:

  • Vision assessments (including visual field measurement) and consultation
  • Lighting and glare evaluation
  • Eyeglass fittings/adjustments and repair
  • Low vision store and assistance with equipment purchasing

Why would someone seek services?

Individuals may benefit from Low Vision Occupational Therapy if they experience difficulty with: 

  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Glare
  • Home or cell phone use
  • Seeing appliance dials or controls

  • Safely managing steps or curbs

  • Crafts or hobbies

  • Managing medications

  • Managing finances

  • Computer use

  • Locating household items

  • Understanding your low vision diagnosis

  • Home safety

  • Safe mobility

  • Transportation alternatives

  • Magnification tools

  • Shopping

  • Adequate lighting

Occupational Therapy Low Vision Services will help you:

  • Continue your daily activities safely

  • Maximize your independence

  • Maintain your quality of life

What do Low Vision Occupational Therapists do?

  • Teach strategies to maximize use of residual or remaining vision
  • Introduce community resources
  • Provide environmental adaptations and advice on lighting, managing glare, enhancing contrast and improving home safety
  • Technology training to include magnification devices, computers, smart phones and tablets
  • Caregiver training


Low vision services may be covered by your insurance company if the following criteria has been met:

  • Visual acuity of 20/70 or less in the better seeing eye, with correction
  • A visual field of 20 degrees or smaller
  • Bilateral field defects
  • Central field blind spots (scotomas)

In addition to one of the above: determination that a patient’s vision loss has resulted in a functional limitation in ADLs or unsafe performance of ADLs or both.

Get Referred

If you or someone you know is interested in receiving Low Vision Occupational Therapy services, patients are typically referred to the clinic via two pathways:

1. Referral from optometrist or ophthalmologist

2. The patient can call the clinic to request treatment at (269) 387-7074