Vision Rehabilitation Week

Join us to Celebrate and commemorate Vision Rehabilitation Week - June 10-16 - to help spread the word about these crucial programs.

Vision Rehabilitation Week is June 10 – 16

Almost 20 million people in the US live with blindness, low vision, and visual impairment*, which often creates significant challenges with everyday activities. Vision Rehabilitation services and training can dramatically increase confidence, safety, and independence. Join us in commemorating Vision Rehabilitation Week from June 10-16 to help spread the word about these crucial programs.

People experiencing blindness and low vision report increased health issues and disability conditions, with some groups citing more than double the number of days of poor mental health and more than double the rate of depression. Vision Rehabilitation can help adults continue the activities they love most, positively impact their ability to access medical and mental health services and reduce isolation and depression.

Vision Rehabilitation Week celebrates all life-changing Vision Rehabilitation services for people living with blindness and low vision and the compassionate and highly trained individuals who provide these services. Vision Rehabilitation training can start during the early stages of vision loss, after all vision correction (including glasses/contacts) and other medical interventions (such as surgery) have been exhausted. Even when a doctor tells a patient that nothing else can be done medically, Vision Rehabilitation offers vital hope and can significantly improve independence and quality of life at any age. Vision Rehabilitation can help those with vision loss from genetic factors, and common and rare eye diseases, including Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, and refraction errors & other eye changes.

Although a broad range of Vision Rehabilitation programs are available across the US– tragically, less than 5% of those who could benefit from these services are receiving them.

A vision rehabilitation agency uses the results of a general or low vision eye exam and added information to create a customized vision rehabilitation plan that may include:

  • Orientation & Mobility training helps individuals with vision loss navigate their environment safely and confidently. Training may include using a white cane, GPS, other apps, or mobility aids. Training hones auditory and tactile cues to detect surface changes and audible cues to cross intersections safely. Training can include local public transportation and other tools to enhance orientation, mobility, and safety. Some may go on to acquire the use of a dog guide through dog guide Training Schools.
  • Independent living skills training helps us use remaining vision most effectively and develop compensatory strategies for performing daily activities. Training may include home labeling, specialized training for cooking, cleaning, and much more such as the next 7 bullets.
  • Meal preparation and food safety: Training can emphasize how to safely use kitchen tools and appliances, including the microwave, toaster, stove, and oven. Tactile marking and labeling, including adhesive bump dots and braille labels, can be used on kitchen surfaces and appliances, measuring cups and spoons, and pantry items to help identify canned foods, spices, and other ingredients. Food safety training can help with grocery shopping, food storage, and meal preparation.
  • Personal care and prescription medications: Vision loss can impact the ease of bathing, dressing, and other personal care activities. Magnifiers and other assistive aids can help with personal grooming, shaving, or applying makeup. Training can also teach the safe use of sharp objects such as razors and scissors. Labeling or magnification devices can increase safety for adults taking one or more prescription medications. Did you know that CVS Pharmacy offers Spoken RX? This smart-tagged prescription label works with a CVS app to read prescription information aloud in English or Spanish.
  • Cleaning: Tactile labeling helps identify cleaning products and settings on appliances, such as washers and dryers, for safer use. Accessible cleaning tools and appliances can also enhance the home cleaning process.
  • Time Management: Access technology and accessible software help create and maintain your calendar and effectively manage day-to-day and longer-term activities.
  • Finances & Money Management: Training helps you maintain independence with budgeting, money identification, and a broad range of financial transactions. Assistive technology facilitates online banking, other digital financial tools, and the reading of crucial financial documents. The use of apps and assistive aids includes screen readers and magnifiers.
  • Home Organization & Modification: Home modifications, accommodations, and training are tailored for each person and their unique living environment. In addition to more significant home modifications, floor plans can adapt to streamline furniture placement, and color contrast can help differentiate floors, furniture, walls, and doorways. Contrast can also help adults with low vision identify light switches, outlets, surface changes, steps, stairs, and more. Lighting changes may also enhance orientation. Vision rehabilitation agencies can provide guidance and support.
  • Emergency Plans & Preparedness: We may think about this infrequently, yet everyone should have an emergency preparedness plan and understand how best to communicate with emergency responders, family, and neighbors in the case of a crisis. For those living with vision loss, tactile labeling can be used on emergency equipment, and mobile phone settings can be programmed to quickly contact emergency services or emergency contacts using accessible touch.
  • Assistive technology helps to access information and more easily perform tasks and may optimize the use of mobile devices, access technology, and other assistive devices and aids to remain connected. Screen readers, voice assistants, smart speakers, voice recognition software (e.g., voice-to-text and text-to-voice), and other adaptive technology are essential for calling, texting, emailing, and accessing essential information online.
  • Adaptive devices and specialized low-vision aids include magnifiers, specialized glasses, talking devices (e.g., clocks), and more.
  • Braille training helps people of all ages learn to use Braille forreading and writing.
  • Employment Services includes a broad range of training and support for people with vision loss to prepare for, secure, and maintain employment. Services may include counseling, job readiness training such as resume writing, job search, and interview preparation, job placement services, work-based orientation & mobility training, and extended on-the-job coaching and support. 
  • Youth Programs offer programs for babies, children, and teens, including early intervention programs, specialized K-12 education, youth and teen camps, teen transition school-to-work programs, and more.
  • Maintaining vital connections: Staying socially connected and participating in the activities you enjoy can significantly reduce the risk of social isolation, loneliness, and depression. In addition to training with all the access technology and devices listed above, many vision rehabilitation agencies offer support groups or can connect you with support groups and consumer organizations to share experiences with others facing blindness and vision loss and discuss challenges and solutions for everyday activities.
  • Enjoy stories of lives transformed by Vision Rehabilitation programs and support services!
  • Host a special in-person or virtual event or offer special activities that support people living with blindness and vision loss.
  • Are you a non-profit organization offering Vision Rehabilitation Services? Use social media to spotlight your compassionate, highly trained staff that provides these crucial services. Share success your stories with local media. Host a party, special event or. fundraiser.

Please help us spread the word – now through June 16th!

Johnson & Johnson offers important information on inherited retinal diseases, related genetic testing, and more

A career in the field can be incredibly rewarding, and there are a broad range of positions and specializations. We need many more talented professionals to support the increasing number of people with vision loss. Visit ACVREP and AER to learn more about a career working with people living with blindness and vision loss, and access vital professional information, training, and certification information, education programs, and resources. Visit the Mississippi State University National Research and Training Center and the Older Individuals who are Blind – Technical Assistance Center for additional resources, courses and training resources for those serving older individuals who are blind or have low vision.

Click here to access the Vision Rehabilitation Week Toolkit with content and images to help spread the word!

Provider Toolkit & Accompanying National Council on Aging Article

A provider toolkit from the Aging and Vision Loss National Coalition gives professionals information and resources to help clients living with blindness or vision loss. This National Council on Aging article features the toolkit and provides a greater understanding of the unique needs faced by clients with blindness and low vision so professionals can provide vital support, enhance client interactions, relationships, and care:

Special thanks to the National Council on Aging for continued support:

The Big Data Project reports provide comprehensive descriptions of people with vision impairment at the national, state, and county levels in two age groups: Working-Age Adults (18-64) and Adults 65+. Data sets included in the project are the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and the American Community Survey (ACS). National and state reports were developed through a partnership between VisionServe Alliance, the Aging and Vision Loss National Coalition (AVLNC), The Ohio State University College of Optometry and the VanNasdale Group. Learn more and access National and state reports for both age groups at:

*Source – Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, Visual Impairments