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Low Vision Blog

Decreased Contrast Sensitivity

Decreased contrast sensitivity is typically secondary to many low vision eye diseases. The ability to see a white bar of soap on a white shower shelf or the ability to identify mashed potatoes on a white plate requires contrast sensitivity. People need to distinguish changes in contrast in order to carry out activities of daily living; activities that most of us don’t even have to think about. However, someone with low vision may feel apprehensive towards tasks such as seeing the edge of a step, filling a glass full of liquid, or signing a check or credit card receipt. All of these activities require perception of contrast.

 

Treatment may include very simple instructions in how to increase contrast in daily activities, such as using a black bold marker to write with instead of pencil or blue/ black ink, using a light colored cutting board for dark food items, and vice versa, or simply using the correct kind of lighting. Adaptive aids are also available to increase contrast in one’s environment, such as yellow glare filters, and/ or natural-spectrum task lighting.

 

If you are struggling with decreased contrast sensitivity due to cataracts, macular degeneration, or another low vision-causing eye disease, please call me to schedule an appointment for an assessment that can identify helpful strategies, and adaptive aids.

 

Jennifer C. Zack, M.S., CLVT

Clinical Director & Certified Low Vision Therapist

Reader Glasses

High power readers, or magnifying spectacles, can be a great alternative for reading if you have low vision.  We have readers in higher powers than what you will find at the drugstore, Wal-Mart, or over the counter at local retailers.  Typically, you can find up to a +3.50 at a local retail store.  ForSight Vision carries up to +6.00 readers, and can special order up to as high add as +12.00 readers.  The benefits of using high power readers as opposed to magnifiers are hands-free ability and the use of prisms to assist with converging when holding reading material close.  Keep in mind that readers will not work for everyone. However, I do encourage you to set up an appointment to come in and give them a try.  I would be happy to assist you with selecting the correct strength.

Jennifer C. Zack, M.S., CLVT

Clinical Director / Certified Low Vision Therapist

Talking Prescription Labels

This information is courtesy of visionaware.org. Please visit their website at www.visionaware.org

 

CVS/pharmacy Now Offers "Talking" Prescription Labels for Individuals with Vision Impairments Through its Online Pharmacy

Date Posted: 03/18/2014

New service on CVS.com is the result of a collaboration with state and national organizations for the blind

Woonsocket, Rhode Island (March 18, 2014) — CVS/pharmacy announced today that it now provides ScripTalk talking prescription labels for prescriptions ordered for home delivery through its online pharmacy, CVS.com. The ScripTalk labels provide a safe and convenient way to access information on prescription labels for individuals who cannot read standard print. The ScripTalk labels are free to CVS.com pharmacy customers who are blind or visually impaired. Customers can also obtain a free ScripTalk reader from Envision America that will enable them to listen to the information on the ScripTalk label.

"We are pleased to offer the ScripTalk service to our online pharmacy customers who are visually impaired," said Josh Flum, Senior Vice President of Retail Pharmacy at CVS Caremark. "Enhancing access to important information about prescriptions is in keeping with our purpose of helping people on their path to better health."

Today's announcement is the result of collaboration between CVS/pharmacy, the American Foundation for the Blind, American Council of the Blind and California Council of the Blind. These groups applauded CVS/pharmacy's actions.

"The lack of accessible labels on prescription drug containers puts people with vision loss at serious risk of medication mishaps,” said Paul Schroeder, Vice President of Programs & Policy at the American Foundation for the Blind. "We applaud CVS/pharmacy for taking steps to provide speech access to label information for customers with vision loss along with its willingness to evaluate methods to improve large print labels."

"This agreement is a positive step that allows for a greater level of privacy, safety, and independence for blind and visually impaired Americans of all ages who take prescription medications," said Kim Charlson, president of the American Council of the Blind.

"The California Council of the Blind applauds CVS's willingness to offer access to the information on prescription medication labels. As a result of this initiative, persons who are blind or visually impaired who use CVS mail order to fill their prescription needs will have the same direct, and independent access to label information as do sighted customers," stated Donna Pomerantz, President, California Council of the Blind.

About CVS/pharmacy

CVS/pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS), is America's leading retail pharmacy with more than 7,600 CVS/pharmacy and Longs Drug stores. CVS/pharmacy is reinventing pharmacy to help people on their path to better health by providing the most accessible and personalized expertise, both in its stores and online at CVS.com. General information about CVS/pharmacy and CVS Caremark is available at http://info.cvscaremark.com.

Cell Phone Service for Blind & Visually Impaired

I'm passing along what seems to be some helpful information for those of you interested in accessible cell phone service.  Please see below:

 

Odin Mobile is proud to announce a cell phone service dedicated to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. We make available accessible cell phones, including the ODIN VI, a basic cell phone that is one hundred percent accessible to individuals who are blind. The ODIN VI speaks everything that is on the screen, speaks the keys that you press and prompts you to perform functions. The ODIN VI is incredibly easy to use and is ideal for seniors and others for whom a smart phone is "too much phone" or too expensive. Please listen to a great podcast demonstrating the ODIN VI, created by one of our customers.


Odin Mobile also offers the Nexus from Google, which has the latest in Android accessibility. Our customers are provided tutorials on the Nexus from our expert in android accessibility.Learn more about our phones and service at www.odinmobile.com. The ODIN VI is also available at www.perkinsproducts.org. Articles in the media regarding Odin Mobile can be read here.


New Electronic Magnifier Ideal for Check-Writing

Smartlux Digital for Check-Writing

 

Do you have trouble writing out your checks to pay bills? Are the lines on the check becoming faint? Do you write up hill or in a downward slant? Living with macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, or any eye disease that causes low vision, can often complicate routine everyday activities, such as check-writing.

 

The new Smartlux Digital portable electronic magnifier is a great tool to assist with such activities. What I love about this device is that it is simple to use! The Smartlux Digital is ideal to use for check-writing as it has 3 areas of application; hand-held for mobile use, with stand in fully extended position for reading, and with stand in half-extended position for writing.

 

The Smartlux Digital and other optical and non-optical devices for check-writing are available for demonstration at ForSight Vision by appointment.

 

Jennifer C. Zack, M.S., CLVT

Clinical Director & Certified Low Vision Therapist

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