Low Vision News

AUGUST 12, 2015:

Penn State Prepares Visually Impaired Students For College Life










Photo Courtesy of: StateCollege.com

“Elizabeth McKay was born legally blind, but her visual impairment isn’t stopping her from attending college in the fall.

McKay, along with 23 other high school students who are blind or visually impaired, spent three weeks at Penn State as part of the Summer Academy program.

The program, which began on July 13 and ran to the end of the month, is an intensive program designed to help blind and visually impaired high school students who are interested in attending college or a technical or trade school improve their independence and self-advocacy skills.

“When they go to college, all the responsibility goes to them. They have to identify that they have a disability and talk with their teachers,” said Stan Swaintek, the director of field operations at the Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. 

McKay, who graduated high school this year, is among the older students in the program and is enrolled in Duquesne University for the fall. But, most of the program’s students are still high school students.

It’s the first time many of them have had to do their own laundry, clean their own rooms and live independently.

“For some of them, it’s the first time they’ve been away from home,” Swaintek said.”

To read more of Alexa Lewis’ article click here: StateCollege.com

AUGUST 11, 2015:

Freedom of the Open Road Still Possible Despite Low Vision


Photo Courtesy of PRNewsWire.com


“In our culture, driving is a symbol of independence,” says Dr. Richard J. Shuldiner, low vision optometrist and founder of the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists (IALVS). “Sadly, low vision often results in people either losing their license or being unable to renew their license. Older individuals are especially vulnerable, as the loss of independence can lead to depression and poor health outcomes. We want everyone with low vision to know there is hope – and there are options.”

According to published research, nearly two-and-a-half million Americans older than 40 don’t meet the vision requirements for holding an operator’s license. The same research reported that as of 2004, perhaps as many as 5,000 people were driving legally with the help of bioptic telescopic lenses.

Bioptic telescopic glasses have two distinct pairs of lenses. The telescopic lens rests above the normal sight line. Drivers can shift their heads down to look through the telescopic lenses and read street signs, see traffic lights or spot dangerous situations. Below the telescopic lenses are the driver’s normal prescription lenses.

Today, 43 states allow for the use of bioptic telescopic lenses by motor vehicle operators. Each state has its own guidelines for allowable magnification levels, fields of vision and baseline visual acuity. Some states may have other limitations, such as prohibiting night driving or interstate highway driving. IALVS maintains resources and contacts to help eligible people can earn or keep their license by virtue of having the right kind of corrective optics.”

To read more of Tracy LeRoux’s article click here: PRNewsWire.com