Older blind people--Services for; Blind--Care


In the U.S. the number of adults age 40 and older who are blind or have low vision is 3.3 million (National Eye Institute, 2004) and it is expected to reach 5.5 million by the year 2020 (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). The background and training occupational therapists receive on disability and aging puts them in a position to serve this population of individuals with low vision concerns. This study described the level of knowledge, confidence and practices of occupational therapists in the U.S. who work in physical disability settings with regard to the assessment and treatment of adult clients with low vision. A survey was mailed to 250 currently practicing occupational therapists with 58 of those returned meeting the inclusion criteria. Overall, respondents reported reasonable knowledge and confidence related to evaluating and treating adult clients with low vision. However, thirty-two respondents indicated that they felt additional education or training was needed to provide effective low vision treatment for their clients. This is despite the fact that most had entry-level education and continuing education that addressed low vision rehabilitation. It is essential that occupational therapists have the basic knowledge, tools and resources to effectively and confidently assess and treat the millions of Americans with low vision.

First Advisor

Lucretia Berg

Second Advisor

George S. Tomlin

Date of Completion

Spring 2012

Degree Type







Degree Name

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT)

Date of Award



Occupational Therapy


University of Puget Sound

A_Chonsky.pdf (169 kB)
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