Reading in Patients with Low Vision

you should Paraphrasing the paper review

Major changes have occurred in our
understanding of low vision and its
assessment, particularly over the past
40–50 years. The era in which people with
low vision were assisted to use their vision,
rather than being considered blind, began
in the 1920s and 1930s but the first lowvision clinics did not commence until
1953 in America.1 Much of the early
history of low vision was driven by developments in optics with clinical services
evolving from organisations of and for
people who were blind. Multidisciplinary
rehabilitation services came later and
clinical low vision and rehabilitation
research came later still and is ongoing.
In Australia, clinical low vision practice
followed a similar pattern, with optometrists very much in the forefront. In 1954,
Josef Lederer2 published the development
of a series of single high plus lenses of
powers +10.75 D, +16.00 D and +24.00 D
for reading with ‘sub-normal’ vision.
These lenses were the first simple (as
opposed to compound) reading lenses to
reduce aberrations sufficiently to be used
as spectacle magnifiers for people with low
vision. In the early 1970s, Professor
Lederer (Sydney), Ian Bailey (Melbourne)
and Noel Verney (Queensland) led the
establishment of the first multidisciplinary
low vision clinics in Australia. Optometry’s
role in low vision services in Australia
was very much dependent on these few
individuals, who were in effect
‘learning on the job’ (Bailey IL, personal
communication, 1979).
Now low vision care is seen as an important speciality in optometry and students
receive many hours of lectures and practical instruction on the assessment of vision,
optometric care and rehabilitation services for people with low vision. Multidisciplinary vision rehabilitation services are
* Abbreviated versions of this paper were presented at both Queensland Vision 2007, the
annual conference of Optometrists Association
Australia, Queensland and Northern Territory
Division (Noel Verney Memorial Lecture) and
Vision 2008, the 9th International Conference

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