In Home Training

VISION REHABILITATION SERVICES

When someone loses his/her vision there are many day-to-day activities that become challenging. These challenges require training and adaptations to improve someone's overall safety and independence.

VISIONS has a team approach utilizing:

  • Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapists (CVRT),
  • Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialists (COMS),
  • Registered Licensed Occupational Therapists (OTR/L) and
  • Licensed Social Workers or certified Rehabilitation Counselors and Mental Health Counselors.

The team will help you and your family learn the techniques to live with vision loss and remain active at school, home, work and in the community.

Coping with vision loss can be difficult. The challenges it poses can seem overwhelming at times and may result in feelings of anxiety, frustration, sadness, anger or depression.

ALL VISIONS services are provided in English, Spanish, Russian, Mandarin/Cantonese, Haitian Creole, and ASL and other languages as needed by bilingual staff or trained interpreters.

For children under 10 or children up to 21 with multiple impairments VISIONS team will receive authorization from the NY State Commission for the Blind (NYSCB) to come to your home.  Once we start services your child will be assessed for age appropriate skill levels.  VISIONS professional will discuss where your child meets age expected skills and where your child needs training to meet age appropriate skills. The professional will seek input from the family on which skills are important to the family and work with you and your child to meet those goals.  These services are authorized on an hourly basis by the NYS Commission for the Blind for children that meet the legal blindness definition.

Youth services are for children who are at age appropriate developmental level ages 10-21.  Services must be authorized and referred by the NYS Commission for the Blind for youth that are legally blind.  Youth services focus on school age goals.  Service can include vision rehabilitation therapy, orientation and mobility, social work and/or referral to the after-school program, pre-college programs and pre-vocational programs at VISIONS.

Adult services are for adults 18 and above planning to enter or re-enter employment.  Services include training to ensure adults have necessary skills in place to manage themselves and homes while seeking or employed in the job market.  Authorization and referrals are made by the  NYS Commission for the Blind for legally blind adults and services include vision rehabilitation therapy, orientation and mobility or social work and/or referral to the workforce department for work readiness and job placement help.

An assessment will be conducted to determine where you are experiencing challenges due to your vision loss and what training would be beneficial.   This is a collaborative process with your full input in determining which challenges and safety issues that you are experiencing should be addressed.

For legally blind individuals 55 and over and who are not working, VISIONS can start  services with you directly. Once we receive your medical eye report verifying legal blindness and eligibility for services funded by the NYS Commission for the Blind, VISIONS will conduct an intake via the phone.  Participants can chose which services they need including vision rehabilitation therapy (skills to manage at home with vision loss),  orientation and mobility (skills to move around your environment safely in your neighborhood and city wide) or social work service to determine possible benefits and/or counseling to address adjusting to your vision loss. You may choose any one service or all three service.  However, social work is only in conjunction with vision rehabilitation therapy and/or orientation and mobility. You may also be referred to VISIONS Center on Aging senior center or VISIONS Center on Blindness in Spring Valley, Rockland County for social, arts, physical fitness and other activities.

CVRT

CVRT's are vision specialists with a Masters Degree who provide instruction in the use of compensatory skills and assistive devices for communication and coping with daily living. This includes learning Braille, adapted computers with speech or magnification, handwriting/signature, listening and recording technology, and keyboarding. Instruction in daily living skills includes cooking, personal care, taking care of your home, childcare and leisure activities. Where appropriate, use of optical aids prescribed by an optometrist is reinforced to enable a person to use remaining vision to manage their daily tasks.

COMS

COMS are vision specialists with a Masters Degree who provide instruction in how to navigate or travel safely within the home, neighborhood, school and community.  The skills include how to identify where you are and where you want to go, street crossing, traveling on public transportation, safely using a prescribed long red and white cane and using optical devices prescribed by an optometrist that use remaining vision for moving around one's environment safely and efficiently.

OT

Licensed Occupational Therapists (OT) work with the VRT/COMS and may help when there is additional sensory, physical and/or age-related issues or conditions that make daily activities difficult when combined with vision loss.

LMSW

Licensed Masters level social workers (LMSW) provide emotional support, guidance and counseling to help in the process of adjusting to vision loss.  LMSW's and caseworkers may also assist individuals with determining what benefits they are eligible for and how to apply for these benefits.

Contact

Iman Hanafi

Administrative Assistant

Phone: (212) 625-1616 Ext. 147

Email: ihanafi@visionsvcb.org

Carmen Rivera

Intake Manager

Phone: (212) 625-1616 Ext. 134

Email: crivera@visionsvcb.org

Bill Hixson

Senior Director of Rehab

Phone: (212) 625-1616 Ext. 145

Email: whixson@visionsvcb.org

 
 
 
 
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