An Innovative Vision Rehabilitation eLearning Program

Vision rehabilitation is the standard of care for patients who are losing their vision and ophthalmologists are key to improving access to care for these patients. Recognizing this, Lighthouse Guild provides eyecare professionals with free access to an eLearning program.

The eLearning program is designed to provide an introduction to vision rehabilitation and a basic understanding of strategies and devices that help patients with low vision to maximize residual vision and improve functioning in daily activities. It is self-paced, divided into ten modules, and can be completed in approximately two hours.

Dr. Alan R. Morse, President and CEO of Lighthouse Guild, said, “Low vision is a public health issue that affects the health, economic well-being and productivity of individuals as well as society as a whole. It is important that eyecare professionals understand how vision rehabilitation can help their patients avoid the negative impacts of vision loss, such as depression, falls, higher utilization of healthcare resources and social isolation. Providing patients with information about vision rehabilitation options and initiating referral to services as early as possible in the treatment process is crucial to improving a patient’s quality of life.”

The program reviews basic terminology, demonstrates the impact of vision loss on daily activities, and discusses vision rehabilitation services, including low vision evaluation and devices, the range of rehabilitative services that help patients integrate adaptive techniques and devices into daily activities, and the role of behavioral health and support services. It also provides the ophthalmologist with approaches for identifying and referring patients who need vision rehabilitation, and tips for discussing low vision diagnoses and driving cessation. Optical principles and use of low vision devices are also discussed.

The program is accessible from the Lighthouse Guild eLearning website or on the One Network of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) website.

Dr. Morse said, “Orthopedic specialists, neurologists and cardiologists routinely refer their patients for rehabilitation to address physical health issues. However, patients with low vision are too often not referred for rehabilitation, use of vision assistive equipment (adaptive devices), training in daily activities and support services they need to live full and productive lives.”