CONTACT: TOM MOORE
8798 John Pappajohn Pavilion
Iowa City IA 52242
Release: Sept. 12, 2000
UI center promotes awareness of low vision issues
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Center for Macular
Degenerations Low Vision Rehabilitation program is supporting
a major public health campaign to create greater awareness of how people who
are blind or partially sighted can overcome vision impairment through counseling,
specialized training and instruction in adaptive skills. The sixth annual
campaign kicks off on National Vision Rehabilitation Day, Wednesday, Sept.
Centers offering low vision rehabilitation, such as the
UI Center for Macular Degeneration, are available to help people who are visually
impaired, as well as their family and friends, learn more about vision
rehabilitation services. Traditional products such as prescription magnifying
glasses, filters to reduce glare and increase contrast, and hand or stand
magnifiers can be combined with other aids such as illumination devices, audio
books and bold-tipped pens to allow people to manage everyday tasks safely
More than 10 million Americans have a significant vision
impairment that cannot be further improved by corrective lenses, surgery or
Mark Wilkinson, optometrist and director of low vision
rehabilitation at the UI Center for Macular Degeneration said, "Low vision
rehabilitation services are designed to restore safe and independent functioning
to individuals diagnosed with vision impairment. Low vision rehabilitation
services restore quality of life by helping individuals with a visual impairment
function more efficiently for educational, vocational and avocational activities."
Barbara Silverstone, president and CEO of Lighthouse International,
a worldwide leader in vision impairment and vision rehabilitation said, "We
know from first-hand experience that vision rehabilitation can really help
people who are blind or partially sighted to take charge of their lives. The
rehabilitation process equips them with the skills and confidence they need
to function independently."
The National Vision Rehabilitation Day website can be
reached at: www.lighthouse.org/nvrd.html. and the UI Center for Macular Degeneration
website can be reached at: www.ophth.uiowa.edu/CMD.
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership
between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the
patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.