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Chief of Low Vision Clinical Practice, Lighthouse International Adjunct Professor Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York, New York Distinguished Professor State University of New York. The Professional Perspective Bruce Rosenthal, OD, FAAO

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Chief of Low Vision Clinical Practice, Lighthouse International
  • Adjunct Professor Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York, New York
  • Distinguished Professor State University of New York

The Professional Perspective

Bruce Rosenthal, OD, FAAO

Chair, Low Vision Rehabilitation Section of the American Optometric Association


BVI 2008 Visionary Award Winnerand Clare Hood, MD developed the tertiary care vision rehabilitation model and team in the 60’s and ’70’s which consisted of the:

Eleanor Faye, M.D.

  • Ophthalmologist
  • Optometrist (’74)
  • Low vision instructor (only nurses)
  • Social worker
  • O&M instructor
  • Rehabilitation teacher (evolved into VRT, CLVT
  • Educator
  • Employment specialist
  • Audiologist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Internist (for children)
  • Diabetic nurse educator

The Milestone in Changing Vision RehabilitationLOW VISION: A Symposium Marking the Twentieth Anniversary of The Lighthouse Low Vision Service (1973)

  • Attempt to highlight new subjects
    • Optical and nonoptical aids
    • Vision rehabilitation from childhood to vocational years
    • Vision rehabilitation in the geriatric population
    • Advances in medical and surgical treatment of eye disease
    • Discussed controversial subjects such as driving with telescopes!
    • MODELS OF LOW VISION CLINICS: Jose, Faye, Kraut,Tallman
The American Optometric Association supports the interdisciplinary approach to rehabilitation of patients with low vision (legally blind and/or visually impaired). As part of the blind rehabilitation network, the optometrist plays an integral role through:
    • diagnosis and management of the low vision patient
    • and prescription of optical, non-optical and electronic devices
    • to provide this population with optimal use of remaining vision.
  • Optometrists who provide comprehensive low vision care establish clinical treatment plans, including, but not limited to prescription, training, education and interdisciplinary consultation.
Vision rehabilitation is the process of treatment and education that helps individuals who are visually disabled attain maximum function, a sense of well being, a personally satisfying level of independence, and optimum quality of life. Function is maximized by evaluation, diagnosis and treatment including, but not limited to, the prescription of optical, non-optical, electronic and/or other treatments. The rehabilitation process includes the development of an individual rehabilitation plan specifying clinical therapy and/or instruction in compensatory approaches.

Vision rehabilitation may be necessitated by any condition, disease, or injury that causes a visual impairment which results in functional limitation or disability. In addition to the evaluation, diagnosis and management of visual impairment by an eye care physician (optometrist or ophthalmologist), vision rehabilitation may include, but is not limited to, optometric, medical, allied health, social, educational and psychological services.

Definition of Vision RehabilitationApproved by the American Optometric Association Board of Trustees, June 2004
treatment plans
Treatment plans
  • Optometrists interact with colleagues in medicine, blind rehabilitation, social work, psychology, education and physical/occupational therapy to coordinate treatment plans to meet the immediate needs of low vision patients and their changing needs over time.
The A-Team: An interdisciplinary approach to standardize the continuum of low vision rehabilitation care
the aoa is committed to
The AOA is committed to:
  • working with associated professionals and consumer organizations to:
      • improve access to high caliber, comprehensive low vision services and blind rehabilitation programs by:
        • increasing public awareness and by contributing to the development of progressive public policies through advocacy.
aoa va announce 50 new low vision position openings www va gov optometry
AOA, VA Announce 50+ New Low Vision Position
  • The AOA and the Department of Veterans Affairs announced a new partnership leading to the building and implementing of the AOA-backed Continuum of Care:
    • --a $40 million, three-year expansion program for veterans needing blind rehabilitation and low vision care.
    • more than 50 part-time, low vision optometrist positions nationwide to provide rehabilitation services.
lvrs 2007 2008 council members
Bruce P. Rosenthal, O.D. ChairAdjunct Professor, Mt. Sinai School of Medical

Lori L. Grover, O.D. Chair-electAssistant Professor of Ophthalmology at the Johns Hopkins  

Mark E. Wilkinson, O.D. Vice ChairClinical Professor and Director of the Vision Rehabilitation Service in the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine  

Jerry P. Davidoff, O.D. SecretaryDirector of the Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Chester, Pa  

R. Tracy Williams, O.D. Immediate Past Chair: Associate professor of Ophthalmology, director of Low Vision Services, at Loyola University.

Dawn K. DeCarlo, O.D. Director of the University of Alabama’s Center for Vision Rehabilitation

Stephen W. Record, O.D.Director of the Low Vision Clinic at the University of Virginia’s Department of Ophthalmology

LVRS 2007-2008 Council Members
28 Affiliated State Association Low Vision Rehabilitation Committees and Programs: 1000 professional and students members
student educational awareness program
Student Educational Awareness Program
  • 2008-2009 marks the third renewal
  • Since its inception in 2004, this inspirational program has connected with optometric students at every optometric school in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada.

Thanks to the “unrestricted educational grant” and ongoing support from Optelec and,

the fifth annual state low vision rehabilitation committees symposium
The Fifth Annual State Low Vision Rehabilitation Committees' Symposium
  • What's New in Low Vision Devices, Training, and Rehabilitation
  • Models of Care in Low Vision Rehabilitation
  • Getting your State Low Vision Rehabilitation Committee Up and Running
low vision university
Low Vision University
  • Low Vision University™ (LVU), is an educational program developed by the AOA LVRS
  • From 2006 - 2007 LVU was presented at 11 state optometric association meetings.

Supported by an unrestricted grant from Kemin Health

in conjunction with luv learn watch do a mentoring program
In conjunction with LUV: Learn, Watch & Do: A Mentoring Program
  • It is intended to match doctors just starting out in the field of low vision rehabilitation with experienced low vision rehabilitation practitioners. 
  • This program is a voluntary mentoring program designed to help practitioners who are interested in beginning to provide low vision rehabilitation care in their practices with a mentor who will assist them in the process. 
  • It is available to LVRS members at no cost. 
Low Vision Rehabilitation Section: Continuing Education Focuses on Diversity and Timeliness: AOA Congress Seattle June 28th
  • Vision Impairment and Rehabilitation Grand Rounds I: Vision Rehabilitation of the AMD Patient; and Both Halves of Hemianopsia: Neurological Disorder and Vision RehabilitationLecturers: E. Kollbaum, O.D., N. Patterson, O.D., J. Pizzimenti, O.D.
  • Vision Impairment and Rehabilitation Grand Rounds II: A Beginner's Guide to Vision Rehabilitation Care in Private Practice; and Documentation and Coding Considerations for Vision RehabilitationLecturers: K. Krug, O.D., H. Richman, O.D.
  • Overcoming the Barriers to Treating Vision Impairment: The Team, Outcomes, and Funding Lecturers: J. Coan, M.S., L. Grover, O.D., R. Massof, PhD, J. Stelmack, O.D.
medicare low vision rehabilitation demonstration lvrd
Medicare Low Vision Rehabilitation Demonstration (LVRD)

How to Participate:

A Guide for the Eye Care Physician

This presentation was developed in collaboration with the following organizations: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP), American Optometric Association (AOA), Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER), and the National Council of Private Agencies for the Blind and Visually Impaired (NCPABVI).


Why Learn About the LVRD?

  • Low vision patients can benefit from vision rehabilitation.
  • You can make a difference in the quality of a patient’s life by recommending vision rehabilitation services.
  • Medicare is ready to cover these rehabilitation services now under the low vision rehabilitation demonstration!
  • As a leader in the eye care field, you can spread the word to your colleagues.
lvrd general overview
LVRD General Overview
  • The LVRD runs from April 1, 2006 through March 31, 2011.
  • There are 6 demonstration sites nationally:
  • Success of the LVRD is dependent upon the participation of:
    • Eye care physicians
    • Vision rehabilitation specialists
  • Both consumer need for these services and the availability of rehabilitation specialists to provide these services is necessary.
  • Washington
  • Kansas
  • Greater Atlanta
  • Metropolitan
  • Area

New Hampshire

Greater New York

City Metropolitan


North Carolina

lvrd eligibility
LVRD Eligibility

Who are the eligible beneficiaries?

  • Covered under Medicare Part B fee-for-service, and not participating in a Medicare managed care plan
  • Residing in 1 of the 6 demonstration locales
  • Have a medical diagnosis of moderate to severe vision impairment that cannot be corrected by glasses or surgery

Who are the eligible providers?

  • Any qualified ophthalmologists and optometrists
  • ACVREP certified low vision rehabilitation professionals
  • Qualified occupational therapists
  • Qualified rehabilitation facilities
  • Must be practicing in 1 of the 6 demonstration locales
low vision rehabilitation section annual awards friday evening june 27 2008 in seattle wash
Low Vision Rehabilitation Section Annual AwardsFriday evening, June 27, 2008, in Seattle, Wash.
  • Distinguished Service Award:
  • Vision Care Award:


Lylas Mogk, M.D.

Susan Gormezano, O.D.

Eleanor E. Faye, M.D.: From the Preface of the 30th Anniversary Lighthouse Low Vision Service proceedings in l989
  • The trend in the field of Low Vision is cooperation on a clinical and academic level among the ophthalmologists, optometrists, rehab counselors, social workers, nurses, and optical designers for the sake of the patient with low vision.
  • And now add to that list the new rehabilitation members for the THE NEW TEAM FOR THE 21ST CENTURY