New Low Vision Tool

New Low Vision Tool!

I am so excited to share that I will be receiving a new low vision tool! I will be getting a pair of telescope mounted spectacles. This is a 6x telescope mounted on a pair of glasses. This allows me to have a hands free way of using a monocular to increase my distance viewing! The company who makes these is Ocutech Inc. I am excited to have these for both work and use in the community. It will make me more efficient for doing observations in a variety of school environments. It will make me faster at my job. These will also be helpful in the community for reading signs, walk signals,  and for concerts and reading menus.

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Once neat fact about these telescope mounted spectacles is that individuals with low vision in Oregon can be licensed to drive if they meet specific requirements using these devices. They must go through specific training and take a special test to prove competency.

I am not intending to use these glasses for driving, just for general distance viewing.

As an occupational therapist with a strong interest in low vision rehabilitation, if I work as a low vision OT, part of my job would be to train clients in efficient use of these glasses in preparation for driver training.

A basic training protocol to teach in preparation for driver training would consist of task analysis and grading, such as:

  • Demonstrate basic understanding of the bioptic function
  • Demonstrate the ability to spot through the bioptic by aligning the bioptic with the target and spotting through it.
  • Demonstrate the ability to return gaze from the bioptic to carrier lens in a smooth and efficient fashion.
  • Demonstrate good horizontal and vertical scanning technique.
  • Spot and identify the characteristics of stationary targets of varying size and
  • distance from a stationary position
  • Spot, identify, and track moving targets of varying size and distance from a stationary position.
  • Spot and identify stationary targets of varying size and distance while moving.
  • Spot and track moving targets of varying size and distance while moving as a passenger in a car, bus, or other vehicle.

The important thing is that you start with easier to harder tasks, such as start with user stationary, target stationary; user stationary, target moving; user moving as passenger, then driver; target stationary; and user moving as passenger, then driver; target moving.

I am so fascinated by low vision OT and hope to be able to practice in this setting one day!

Here is a link to the website for Ocutech Inc if you want to learn more about their various products. https://www.ocutech.com

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Nevada Day Classic!

I had a wonderful weekend in Reno, NV this past weekend. I was asked by Guide Dog’s for the Blind’s Reno and Carson City puppy raising clubs to speak at their annual fundraiser for Guide Dogs for the Blind at the Nevada Day Classic 8k run and 2k walk/run. The event took place on Saturday and I spoke at the packet pick up on Friday evening. They did a wonderful job putting on this event and I loved getting to share my story as a guide dog user.

I was so proud of myself for accepting the offer to speak and getting on a plane, flying to Nevada all by myself where I didn’t even know anyone. I had a wonderful family host me for the weekend and play tour guide. I was so impressed with Nabisco and his ability to navigate the busy airports and he did a fantastic job on his first flight! He slept the whole time, even when it got bumpy. He is the best guide dog ever!

Nabisco and I participated in the 2k walk and we finished in about 27 minutes!! He was so good and we had so much fun. We even made it into the local Carson City paper!

I had a wonderful weekend in Reno, NV from October 28-30. I was asked by Guide Dog’s for the Blind’s Reno and Carson City puppy raising clubs to speak at their annual fundraiser for Guide Dogs for the Blind at the Nevada Day Classic 8k run and 2k walk/run. The event took place on Saturday and I spoke at the packet pick up on Friday evening. They did a wonderful job putting on this event and I loved getting to share my story as a guide dog user with the puppy raising and Reno/Carson City communities.

As a visually impaired person, going on a trip like this would have normally been very nerve wracking for me. At one point, navigating the airport and a brand new environment would have been worrisome and I would have been very anxious. But I have grown and learned so much over the years and traveling with Nabisco has decreased this stress by so much! With the use of Nabisco and an airport escort decreased the stress of navigating the airport and putting myself out there and challenging myself and by putting myself in new experiences has helped me to be more comfortable in new situations.

It is through these experiences that I gain even more confidence to do it again.