- Published on Monday, 27 October 2008 08:31
Much of our ability to navigate the world depends on our ability to see it. With loss of vision, the visual cues that a sighted person takes for granted are no longer accessible. The once-effortless act of walking across a room suddenly becomes perilous. Using a stove requires guidance. Crossing a street can seem impossible.
Luckily, many who have already successfully travelled this path have dedicated themselves to helping others. And there are many others willing to help, too. In fact, every therapist in our Rehab Department holds a Masters Degree in Vision Rehabilitation Therapy.
Our Rehabilitation Department is where blind or visually impaired individuals can conquer fear and reclaim life. Our goal through rehabilitation is to help clients live and function better at home, at work, and as active, contributing members of the community.
ASB’S comprehensive approach to rehabilitation considers all aspects of day to day living. For more information, just click on any of the links below:
PERSONAL ADJUSTMENT TO BLINDNESS (PAB) (Return to top)
This is the area of rehabilitation where we focus on the routine activities of daily living. Our facilities include a stocked and furnished training apartment, where clients can follow our tested model and learn to set up their own home environments for safety and ease of maneuverability. Here, depending on their personal needs and desires, clients can learn
Personal Grooming: Clients are given tips on how to bathe, shave, care for hair and nails, apply make-up and keep up oral health.
Clothing Care: Clients learn how to coordinate a wardrobe, understand laundry procedures, operate machine dials and iron safely.
Sewing: Clients are taught to thread a needle, tie a knot, sew on a button and repair hems & seams.
Cleaning: Basics include how to create “cleaning patterns,” clean kitchen and bath, wash dishes, make a bed and change linens.
Eating: Clients learn to locate items in a table setting, pour hot and cold liquids and cut foods safely using a fork and knife.
Meal Preparation: Clients learn how to set up and navigate their own kitchens, including adapting stoves and microwaves for successful use, following recipes, peeling vegetables, properly centering pans on a stove burner and draining liquids and grease.
Diabetic Management: Clients learn how to measure insulin and monitor their blood sugar.
ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY (Return to top)
For many who are blind or visually impaired, Orientation and Mobility Training are the first steps toward renewed independence. We take a comprehensive approach that includes a full evaluation of the client’s present abilities and future needs. Through consistent training with our Certified Mobility Instructors, clients learn how to navigate their homes, communities and workplaces…even the world. With proper training, their only limits are the ones they choose for themselves.
Indoor Mobility: Clients can learn to travel safely indoors, without a cane through proven techniques that include hand trailing, protective techniques and squaring off. They also learn techniques for room and building familiarization, how to use a compass and follow directions, how to locate dropped objects and how to use landmarks and sensory clues.
Cane Travel: Navigation using a White Cane is an irreplaceable skill…one that can take a blind or visually impaired person almost anywhere. Our Certified Trainers are adept in teaching essential techniques that consistently build self-confidence, and gives clients the ability to negotiate stairs, obstacles and much more. White Cane skills are essential to independence for anyone who’s blind or visually impaired.
Outdoor Travel: Using a White Cane, clients learn how to maintain straight line travel, how to negotiate irregular areas, how to detect alleys, driveways, special drop-off areas and more. They learn an understanding of basic orientation mobility concepts including spatial relationships, object perception, traffic flow, intersections and how to properly cross streets. Training can extend to planning travel routes, negotiating crowds, negotiating elevators, escalators and revolving doors and finding one’s way through a mall or department store.
Public Transportation: Without the visual cues that most sighted people take for granted, negotiating public transportation can be an intimidating undertaking. But with proper training, the blind and visually impaired can learn to maneuver and plan travel routes using busses, trains and subways.
Miscellaneous Travel: Inclement weather such as rain and snow…even walking with leaves on the ground…can cause additional problems for the blind and visually impaired. Our staff has the knowledge and resources to teach clients how to get around regardless of what the seasons bring.
COMMUNICATION SKILLS (Return to top)
The loss of self-confidence that often comes with blindness and visual impairment can extend to the most mundane activities like handwriting and making phone calls. Through training and use of special adaptive aids, clients re-learn how to handle the essentials of daily life. Our approach is two-fold, covering personal and interpersonal communications.
Personal Communications: For the blind and visually impaired, acquiring new methods of personal communications leads to personal independence. We offer courses in reading braille, and also teach clients how to use special, adaptive equipment including Library of Congress cassette players, time-telling watches, labeling techniques for groceries and medicines, and more. We also teach them how to tape record information, make tone-indexed recordings, operate “can-do” recorder and more.
Interpersonal Communications: Here is where clients regain confidence in such areas as handwriting, money management, telephone skills and keyboarding. Learning to use simple, adaptive aids makes writing envelopes, letters, checks and forms easier. Identifying money becomes less of a challenge, and learning how to use a calculator or abacus makes money management viable. Clients also learn to successfully handle regular and cell phones, organizing phone numbers and more.