Low vision resources and rehabilitation for retinal degeneration patients: A webinar to discuss critical needs and opportunities
The Foundation Fighting Blindness, the world’s leading organization committed to finding treatments and cures for blinding retinal diseases, is hosting a low vision webinar to inform eye care professionals about the many opportunities to greatly enhance the quality of life, and provide hope, for their retinal disease patients.
The interactive webinar is appropriate for all eye care professionals including: retinal specialists, ophthalmologists, optometrists, rehabilitation professionals, occupational therapists, and orientation and mobility instructors.
“A diagnosis of a condition like retinitis pigmentosa, Stargardt disease, or age-related macular degeneration is often devastating. But by referring these patients for low vision resources, doctors can provide tremendous hope and a path forward,” said Rebecca Kammer, OD, University of California, Irvine, and webinar moderator. “We will reference patient case studies to highlight the opportunities eye care professionals have to help their patients be more independent and enjoy their favorite activities.”
“Low vision services and resources can significantly enhance the quality of life for people without clinical treatment options. However, the lack of awareness about the existence of low vision providers and limited understanding of potential benefits are barriers to connecting patients to life-changing services,” said Lee Nasehi, chief executive officer of VisionServe Alliance. “We applaud the Foundation for hosting an event that will provide insights from leading experts in low vision to help all eye care professionals better help their retinal degeneration patients.”
Webinar presenters and panelists
- Donald Fletcher, MD is a clinician and researcher in the field of retinal diseases and low vision rehabilitation. For the last 34 years, he has devoted himself to rehabilitation of the visually impaired and has cared for more than 30,000 low vision patients and taught many others how to perform this work. He sees patients at California Pacific Medical Center, Department of Ophthalmology in San Francisco; Envision in Wichita, Kansas, where he is medical director; the University of Kansas Medical Center, Department of Ophthalmology in Kansas City; and Retina Consultants of Southwest Florida in Fort Myers, where he is director of the Low Vision Rehabilitation Center.
- Wayne Heidle was an assistant professor at Southern California College of Optometry (retired). He is currently the manager at the Kathryn T. McCarty Adaptive Technology Center and a member of the National Speakers Association and Global Speakers Federation. He received an honorary doctorate (LHD) from Marshall B. Ketchum University.
- Rebecca Kammer, OD, PhD, University of California, Irvine, has been a low vision specialist for 20 years with the majority of that time serving as head of low vision clinical programs at institutions or for international rural outreach. Dr. Kammer currently spends most of her time conducting research with inherited retinal disease trials. She is also part-time clinical faculty at UC Irvine department of ophthalmology where she founded a low vision service in 2018.
- Denny Moyer, BS, COTA/L, SCALV is a founding member and current chief executive officer of the Ensight Skills Center for Low Vision Rehabilitation in Fort Collins, Colorado, and the Curtis Strong Center for the Visually Impaired in Greeley, Colorado. Denny has been visually impaired from Stargardt disease since age 19.
- Monica Perlmutter, OTD, OTR/L, SCLV, FAOTA is an associate professor at the Washington University Program in Occupational Therapy in St. Louis. She has 39 years of clinical experience that includes adult neurology and working with adults with vision loss and chronic conditions. She is the lead OT for the Low Vision Community Practice program at Washington University.
The webinar is being organized by the Foundation’s Professional Outreach Department which was created to educate eye care professionals throughout the U.S. about the many resources available to retinal degeneration patients including no-cost genetic testing and counseling, and the My Retina
Tracker® Registry patient database. For more information about the Foundation’s resources for eye care professionals, contact Michelle Glaze at [email protected] or (251) 654-9758.
About the Foundation Fighting Blindness Established in 1971, the Foundation Fighting Blindness is the world’s leading private funding source for retinal degenerative disease research. The Foundation has raised more than $800 million toward its mission of accelerating research for preventing, treating, and curing blindness caused by the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases including: retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular degeneration, Usher syndrome, and Stargardt disease. Visit FightingBlindness.org for more information.