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Providing Services for People with Vision Loss: A Multidisciplinary Perspective.

Providing Services for People with Vision Loss: A Multidisciplina Perspective. Susan L. Greenblatt (Editor), 1989, Resources for Rehabilitation, Lexington, Massachusetts, 129 pages, paperback.

In the introduction of the book Susan L. Greenblatt, Ph.D. mentions that the magnitude of the problem that vision loss creates for-individuals and for society is increasing, with nearly 13 million Americans age 15 or older having difficulty performing daily activities as a result of vision loss. With the ever increasing population of people with vision loss it is very important that appropriate services be provided.

The book discusses various topics including the patient's perspective on vision loss, the ophthalmologist's perspective, and the need for coordinated care. It also talks about operating a low vision aid service and how to make appropriate referrals for rehabilitation services. Further discussed are mental health services and self help groups for people with vision loss.

Stanley Wainapel, M.D., MPH addresses the patient's perspective on vision loss. In this chapter he discusses stigmas and stereotypes attached to those with vision loss as well as the coping strategies. Also discussed is vision loss from the ophthalmologist's perspective and the role of the ophthalmologist in the patient's care.

In assessing the need for coordinated care Dr. Greenblatt discusses the need for the ophthalmologist to be aware of other services and devices available to the individual which will allow them to continue functioning and can make a significant difference to the individual's self concept and willingness to accept the services. Dr. Greenblatt notes that the receipt of information about rehabilitation programs makes a difference in both quantity and quality of referrals made by ophthalmologists. Further she states data obtained from practicing ophthalmologists suggests most rehabilitation agencies do not make a regular practice of providing information about their services to ophthalmologists. This as a result effects referrals they receive from ophthalmologists. This chapter analyzes some of the reasons why many individuals with vision loss have not received information or services which can allow them to remain independent.

The section regarding operation of a low vision aids service is discussed including the steps involved in a low vision screening, as well as, the aids and appliances available to those with low vision problems. The authors provide a thorough explanation regarding description of the rehabilitation service system for low vision and blind individuals and how health care providers may work with both patients and rehabilitation professionals to ensure that each patient receives coordinated delivery of services. This chapter basically serves as a guide to the rehabilitation system for health care professionals.

Probably the most important section in the book discusses mental health services addressing trauma and stress due to vision loss. This chapter discusses themes related to the psychological needs of visually impaired and blind individuals. Psychotherapy, and readiness assessment are two topics discussed as playing a significant part in successful rehabilitation and adjustment planning.

Self help groups for people with vision impairments is discussed with emphasis on how they evolved, what services they provide to individuals, and how to form a self-help group. Several important factors such as the sighted guide technique, guide dogs, the office environment, and various optical aids are mentioned in the appendices, as well as the state agencies providing services to blind and visually impaired persons.

Because each of the authors is drawing from many of their own personal experiences in working with people with vision loss they are able to provide a clearer understanding of these services and resources that are available and how they can be implemented to best serve the people that need them.

The book touches on all of the important matters concerning vision loss and is an excellent guide for professionals new in the area of rehabilitation. It can also be an extremely helpful and valuable tool for the visually impaired individual who is seeking information and guidance as to the services that are available.

In the eight chapters the authors provide a well defined explanation of the services available for people with vision loss. Each chapter discusses its topic using clear and concise terminology and a short summary is provided with references cited at the end of each chapter. James R. Green, Rehabilitation Counselor, Division of Rehabilitation Services, Dothan, Alabama.
COPYRIGHT 1991 National Rehabilitation Association
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Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Author:Green, James R.
Publication:The Journal of Rehabilitation
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jul 1, 1991
Words:705
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