You’ve heard it said, "Where there’s a will, there’s a way."
When it comes to life after vision loss, let it be heard ’round the world, I say, "Where there’s vision rehabilitation services and a will, there’s a way."
From a young child born with no eyesight to an older adult who is adjusting to blindness, there is life- quality life- on the other side of the "door". The "door" being services which teach individuals with visual impairments to lead independent lives (more accurately "interdependent", as healthy individuals with and without disabilities attain and offer assistance.)
With the guidance of parents, a teacher for students with visual impairments (TVI), and a certified orientation and mobility specialist (COMS), a child who is blind or visually impaired will learn, from the start, to eat, play, work, and travel using limited or no visual input.
Teens and adults who lose vision charter a different course. Having relied on vision for many years, which is now deficient or nonexistent, these individuals are caught in turbulence. Not only are they initially unable to complete their daily and work-related tasks, they are also emotionally devastated. It’s easy for one who falls in this category to feel they are on a sinking ship.
But life doesn’t end there. The ship is not sinking. Instead, the ship captain has been issued a new vessel and must learn to master it.
To do so, the captain must first determine to charter the waters instead of spend each day docked; secondly, he or she must learn strategies and tools to navigate the ship. Only then will the captain be able to enjoy the freedom of the open seas once again.
Sometimes I get carried away by illustrations. Forgive me. What I mean to say is, vision rehabilitation services are vital to men and women with vision loss who are eager to once again pursue life.
While there is tremendous fear that vision loss will permanently steal the joy of life and the ability to work, these fears do not have to be substantiated. Thanks to your will and vision rehabilitation services (which we recognize annually on September 21), there is, in fact, life after vision loss. It begins with coping with vision loss and progresses to the pursuit of blindness-related services which teach use of accommodations, strategies, and assistive technology.
You can once again sail the open seas—feel the ocean spray across your back and the warm sun on your neck.
Make no mistake, reduced vision is not equivalent to a reduced quality of life.