The Department of Blindness and Low Vision Studies at Western Michigan University has won two Rehabilitation Services Administration grants totaling nearly $1.5 million to strengthen recruiting efforts and increase the number of highly qualified vision rehabilitation therapists and orientation and mobility specialists over the next five years.
Vision Rehabilitation Therapy
Vision rehabilitation therapists offer adults who are blind or visually impaired information and resources they need to lead successful, productive and independent lives. They provide specialized methods or adaptive techniques for communication and coping with the demands of daily living.
The broad sphere of communication includes Braille, computers, handwriting, listening and recording technology, low-vision technology, mathematical calculation and keyboarding. Instruction in daily living skills includes food preparation, personal management, home management, home mechanics, leisure and recreation activities, and orientation and movement in familiar indoor environments.
Services are primarily provided in two major settings: rehabilitation centers designed to serve groups of people and in people's homes. Therapists work with individual students or small groups.
Vision rehabilitation therapists also work with other rehabilitation team members to help students identify the services they need. Because they establish close working relationships, therapists often help students adjust and adapt successfully to blindness.