How to Use This Guide

If you are in the intermediate to late stage of vision loss, you may be considering making the transition from visual to nonvisual practices in some of your daily activities. Low vision rehabilitation is designed to address those challenges, but if such services are unavailable to you, this guide may be helpful.

Twenty-one categories of daily activities are recognized as important to independent living. They are listed in the following self-evaluation, along with activities specific to them and the nonvisual senses (touch, hearing, smell, and taste) that can be enlisted to accomplish each activity. To show how those senses can be used, links will take you to brief lessons introducing helpful devices, technology, software, and assistive procedures.

You may want to use the self-evaluation solely for determining your needs and goals and learning about some options. You are encouraged, however, to go through it with a trained low vision rehabilitation therapist if available in your area. Professional support can be invaluable for putting your options into practice and keeping your motivation high.

The self-evaluation and lessons are the main purpose of the guide. Before beginning, it might benefit you to familiarize yourself with the concept of low vision rehabilitation by reading “Jim’s Story”. After doing so, turn to the evaluation and find the activities that could benefit from you learning about alternatives to sight. Note which senses can substitute for sight in each instance, then click the activity title to read the corresponding lesson. That is where you will learn how those senses can be utilized. And remember to consider seeking professional support from a qualified low vision rehabilitation agency or clinic for help in reaching your desired level of achievement.

As many who have gone before will tell you, learning new ways of doing things requires tenacity and adaptability. Maintaining a high quality of life, however, is worth every effort. Congratulations on taking this important step.

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