rss_2.0Vision Rehabilitation International FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Vision Rehabilitation International Rehabilitation International Feed intersection analysis to students with low vision<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>As municipal engineers attempt to reduce pedestrian and vehicular accidents, and promote active mobility, they have incorporated several new elements at intersections that potentially diminish the safety of pedestrians with visual impairments. Orientation and mobility (O&amp;M) specialists must adapt to these new situations and provide instruction that take into account the complexity at these intersections. This novel method allows individuals with low vision to develop a comprehensive risk assessment and analysis that is generalizable to nearly all intersections. This teaching strategy is modified accordingly if the individual is traveling at intersections controlled by stop signs or traffic lights. This strategy has been successfully applied to promote the safety and independence of numerous travellers with visual impairments.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue CVI Companion Guide – To the Developmental Guidelines for Infants with Vision Impairment: A guidebook for early intervention (2 ed.), Amanda Hall Lueck, Deborah Chen, Elizabeth S. Hartmann of optimal ambient lighting: Comparision of two methods<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Optimal lighting is an essential part of visual rehabilitation.</p> <p>Generally, lighting levels are assessed depending on the amount of light that is required to fulfil a task. However, it is equally important to assess tasks that rely on ambient lighting. This study compares two different methods to assess optimal ambient lighting levels for people with visual impairment.</p> <sec><title style='display:none'>Method</title><p>Two different methods were used. During the first method, the 3D Lightlab, subjects were seated on the side of a room and asked to describe which objects they detected and which objects they recognised in the room during increasing illumination levels. In the second method, subjects were asked the same question, but the room and the objects were projected on a screen with a beamer. Illumination levels were controlled using ND-filters.</p></sec> <sec><title style='display:none'>Results</title><p>Illumination levels for optimal lighting are comparable for both Lightlabs. However, patients have a higher confidence level in the outcome of a 3D Lightlab.</p></sec> <sec><title style='display:none'>Significance</title><p>Although the 3D Lightlab is generally preferred by people with visual impairment, the 2D Lightlab is suitable for implementation in visual rehabilitation for clients who need to know their illumination levels for optimal lighting.</p></sec> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and Mobility (O&M) specialist education: Reflecting on the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Graduate Diploma in O&M<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Orientation and Mobility (O&amp;M) is the practice of enabling and empowering people with low vision or blindness to know where they are (orientation), so they can navigate and move around their surroundings independently and safely (mobility) (<xref ref-type="bibr" rid="j_vri-2024-0004_ref_003">Deverell and Scott, 2014</xref>). O&amp;M specialists work with people of all ages, tailoring interventions to suit individual client needs. The first Australian trained O&amp;M specialists graduated in 1971 (<xref ref-type="bibr" rid="j_vri-2024-0004_ref_003">Deverell and Scott, 2014</xref>). Since then, programmes to train O&amp;M specialists in Australia have migrated between universities and between states. Traditionally, industry supported their O&amp;M workforce by selecting, managing, and supporting students financially during their training and in some cases providing in-house training. The introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) (rolled out from 2013–2020) has seen a shift in the O&amp;M profession, with more O&amp;M specialists moving to private practice or between organisations. This shift necessitated a change away from industry-driven training to independent student-initiated university training where the university is responsible for the selection, training, and competency of the graduate. Thus, the Graduate Diploma in Orientation and Mobility (Australian Qualifications Framework-8 level qualification), was established at UNSW, Sydney to create a sustainable programme to strengthen the Australian O&amp;M workforce. This manuscript, written from the perspective of the UNSW O&amp;M education team, which includes academic and professional staff with expertise in O&amp;M, Optometry and Vision Science, will describe the initiation of the Graduate Diploma in O&amp;M at the UNSW School of Optometry and Vision Science. It explores and describes the education agenda, including challenges, and innovative initiatives for teaching O&amp;M preservice specialists.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue playground access for children with vision impairment<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Play is critical to child development and children have the right to experienced meaningful and fun play. Playgrounds provide an environment where all children including those with vision impairment can experience joy, social interaction, physical challenges and stimulation. Participation in an accessible playground can also contribute to advancing specific developmental domains that can be impacted by childhood vision impairment. However, despite the importance of play being recognised by the United Nations and guidelines being legislated in Australia, access to inclusive playgrounds that meet the needs of people with vision impairment remains challenging. An urgent need exists to address the exclusion of children with VI and their families from playground participation. This paper aims to identify inherent benefits of play for all children and to investigate what is known about inclusive playground features, specifically those that meet the needs of children with vision impairment. The challenges of meaningful inclusion of children with vision impairment is explored, including those approaches that may progress design and facilitate inclusion. Playground features such as layout, pathways, equipment, sensory elements and use of technology are discussed, along with importance of consultation, listening and learning from the voice of users.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and Initial Validation of the for Orientation and Mobility Specialists to Determine Service Intensity<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The purpose of this study was to provide initial validation of the Orientation &amp; Mobility Visual Impairment Scale of Service Intensity of Texas (O&amp;M VISSIT) intended for use by orientation and mobility (O&amp;M) specialists to determine a recommended type and amount of O&amp;M services for students on their caseloads based on each student’s identified needs. The validity and reliability of the scale were calculated using a mixed-methods survey research design, with purposive expert sampling. The O&amp;M VISSIT was found to be significantly valid in social and content validity and moderately valid in consequential validity. The O&amp;M VISSIT is a moderately reliable tool to assist determine the appropriate type and amount of O&amp;M services for all students on the O&amp;M specialist’s caseload.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue impact of functional vision changes on independent travel for individuals with adult-onset visual impairment<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This study explored experiences with functional vision changes resulting from adult-onset vision conditions. The impact of glare, light-to-dark adaptation, depth perception, night blindness, and contrast sensitivity are examined for the way participants perceive their effects on willingness to engage in independent travel.</p> <p>Two interviews were conducted with 13 participants. These consisted of structured and semi-structured, open-ended questions to determine the impact of functional vision changes on mobility and pedestrian travel. Qualitative, open and a priori coding was used to derive themes and categories for the most significant functional vision considerations among participants.</p> <p>This study revealed changes in functional vision impact participants’ perceived safety and were of concern when considering independent travel. Orientation and mobility (O&amp;M) services were denied to some participants who had surrendered driving privileges and were considered vision impaired, but not legally blind, even though issues with functional vision impacted safer travel.</p> <p>The impact of functional vision changes on individuals with adult-onset vision impairment was found to affect participant mobility. Agencies serving this population can provide clients with safer travel options when all functional vision changes are considered beyond acuity and field of vision loss.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of fall prevention strategies for older people with vision impairment<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Despite the high risk of falls for older people with vision impairment, adherence to exercise-based fall prevention programs is low. We investigated the attitudes of older people with vision impairment to fall prevention programs as well as home modifications. This was completed through focus group and semi-structured interviews with 19 community-dwelling people aged ≥63 years with vision impairment. The results indicated that participants did not attribute falls to vision impairment, nor consider themselves appropriate candidates for a fall prevention program. Participants also reported such barriers as competing priorities, transport issues and comorbidities. It is recommended that exercise-based fall prevention programs cater to the unique challenges of this population, such as delivery in home by Orientation and Mobility Specialists.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue O&M: A far north queensland innovation<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Transition programs for students with vision impairment require the facilitation of more than navigational orientation and mobility (O&amp;M) skills. Facilitating the student with vision impairment to interpret and gather information about the socio-cultural and learning spaces of the new school is a key component of regional O&amp;M specialist programs. Transition from a primary to a secondary school campus separated by approximately 800 km (490 miles) requires a re-imagining of O&amp;M. The authors discuss the development and trial of an innovative transition program for one student with low vision from Far North Queensland.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue’s more to a dog guide than meets the eye: A preliminary exploration of potential health benefits of dog guide use<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The value of dog guides in terms of mobility for people with severe vision impairment and blindness is well recognised. There has, however, been a paucity of research exploring the potential health benefits of working with dog guides. This article reports the initial stage of a research project, which aimed at redressing this dearth of research. The study used three focus groups to explore the experiences of 22 participants from three Australian states. The focus group meetings were the first of three components of a major research project into this important issue. The outcomes reflected a self-reported trend toward enhanced health and wellbeing for people who use dog guides as their primary mobility aid.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue study of personnel preparation of teachers of learners with vision impairment and O&M services<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>A review of the 50 US state education websites revealed wide variation among state O&amp;M credentials. Less than half of the states designated a qualified provider as a credentialed O&amp;M specialist and many identified a role for the Teachers of Learners with Vision Impairment (TVI) in providing Individualised Education Program (IEP)-driven O&amp;M-related services. A survey of US Personnel Preparation programs preparing TVIs asked respondents to select the O&amp;M curricular items they taught to TVI students and their purpose(s) for teaching them. Respondents taught TVIs in all 10 general areas of O&amp;M curriculum: Outdoor/Commercial, Outdoor/Residential, Cane Technique, Cane Skills with a Guide, Mobility Tools, O&amp;M Knowledge and Skills Protective Techniques, Non-Cane Techniques, Orientation Strategies, and Guide Techniques. Respondents indicated the reason (Skills Practice, Teach, Referral, and Evaluation) for teaching these skills to TVIs. Results suggested that TVI programs prepared TVIs to teach non-cane skills and to provide skills practice on more complex travel skills. Federal Statute, IDEA Part C (2004) stated O&amp;M begins in early intervention and named the O&amp;M specialist as the provider. Only O&amp;M specialists are professionally prepared to evaluate and teach O&amp;M. Personnel preparation programs in TVI might need to evaluate the purpose of educating TVIs to teach such a narrow aspect of O&amp;M content. Further, with only one TVI course offered in O&amp;M, TVIs are not adequately trained to teach O&amp;M and, therefore, should not be taught this role or be required by states to perform it.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue ROAM Project Part 1: Exploring new frontiers in video conferencing to expand the delivery of remote O&M services in regional Western Australia<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Twenty-five trials were conducted over a three-month period to investigate the potential for delivering O&amp;M services remotely via video conferencing. Participants varied in age, geographical location, level of functional vision, and O&amp;M goals. The video conferencing connection was made using the Vidyo software platform. Eleven participants (located remotely) were required to wear a chest harness that had been adapted to connect with an iPhone 6+, and were accompanied by a support person. An office-based O&amp;M specialist provided instruction, guidance, and training as required throughout the sessions. The trials appeared to demonstrate that a range of O&amp;M services can be successfully delivered via video conferencing.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue the Validity of Texas 2 STEPS<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The Texas 2 STEPS Evaluation Tool was assessed for face validity. Thirty Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists (COMS) piloted the tool while evaluating children under the age of five years. Each participant was asked to evaluate their comfort level working with this population and report the number of years’ experience they have working as a COMS. The majority of participants found the tool useful for assessing orientation and mobility (O&amp;M) skills in children. The Texas 2 STEPS was also found to be user friendly regardless of the COMS years of experience. Together these findings indicate that the Texas 2 STEPS has the potential to be a valid and reliable tool for assessing O&amp;M skills in children with vision impairment.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue that influence drivers’ yielding behaviour: Effects of pedestrian gaze and head movements<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>These studies examined the effects of various types of pedestrian gazing toward vehicles and drivers at traffic signal-controlled intersections and a roundabout, measuring driver delays (seconds) and yielding behaviours. No statistical or practical differences were found between any of the gaze conditions and no-gaze conditions. These findings might have practical application for orientation and mobility (O&amp;M) specialists and students. Pedestrians who are blind or vision impaired who benefit from a forward-facing head position to align, or who must turn their heads to visually monitor potential threats from turning vehicles, need not be apprehensive that their head movements or gazing will likely reduce the drivers’ yielding.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and Mobility Client Evaluation Tool (CET) Adult<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>A project team at Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, Australia designed, tested, and statistically validated over a five-year period, a client evaluation tool to assess the progress or achievement of adult clients (18+ years) who participate in orientation and mobility (O&amp;M) programs (including Guide Dog programs). The tool is administered at the commencement of the client’s mobility program and again at its conclusion to provide a pre/post measure. The tool comprises two parts. Part 1, completed by the O&amp;M specialist, measures the degree of vision impairment; client complexity, and the environmental complexity in which the training is being conducted. Part 2 includes the mobility specialist’s rating of the client’s skill and confidence level; and the client’s rating of their own skill and confidence as well as a rationale for their ratings. The tool appears effective in measuring client outcomes for all types of O&amp;M program in any environment; is quick and easy to use, and non-invasive. The paper includes the results of the tool applied by 57 O&amp;M specialists to 361 clients from July 2014 to July 2015 revealing significant improvements in skill and confidence post-program.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue spatial parameters analysis of the gait in children with vision impairment<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This study compared the linear parameters between children who are blind and children with low vision. Six children who are blind and five children with low vision, aged between five and seven years (mean = 5.9 years old) were analysed by three-dimensional gait analysis and linear parameters of gait: velocity, cadence, stride length, and step width from 12 gait cycles. The comparison of the numerical variable was made using the Mann-Whitney Test. The only significant difference was found in stride length. The results suggested that an adapted gait provided stability which, in turn, improved balance. This finding seems to indicate the importance of commencing orientation and mobility (O&amp;M) training as soon as possible to improve gait, balance, and movement with children who are blind or have low vision.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue’s attitudes to dogs in service: A pilot study of a new 15-point scale<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Interference with and discrimination against service dogs is a significant difficulty for people with disabilities. This research was designed to test a new measure of attitudes to service dogs: The People’s Attitudes to Dogs in Service Scale (PADS) to determine whether or not problematic behaviour might be related to tendencies toward dogmatism. An online survey was completed by 34 male and 50 female participants. Participants answered questions about dogmatism and their attitudes to service dogs. Results were statistically significant indicating people with less favourable attitudes towards service dogs were more dogmatic in their attitudes. This suggests that strategies other than public awareness campaigns might need to be considered to change public opinion and behaviour toward service dogs.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Dogs Queensland Volunteer Peer Support Program<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This pilot study conducted between January 2010 and December 2014, investigated whether or not a structured peer support program would benefit people with vision impairment. The program was designed to provide support and information to clients over the telephone about mobility and vision conditions. Fourteen volunteers with vision impairment who provided the telephone support were matched with 71 clients with vision impairment. On completion of each client’s support program an evaluation was completed by the client to determine their satisfaction with the program. The evaluation revealed that 86% of clients were extremely satisfied with the information they received and 89% of clients were extremely satisfied with the support they received.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue