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Vision Rehab in Focus at Masters in Ophthalmology Conference
Speakers on stage at the Masters in Ophthalmology 2018 conference.

In an attempt to better educate eye care professionals about the efficacy of low-vision rehabilitation, a panel discussion on the role of physician referral took place during the weekend of June 8th and featured prominently at the Florida Society of Ophthalmology’s annual meeting, Masters in Ophthalmology 2018. The conference was convened at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes.

Lighthouse Central Florida and Florida Agencies Serving the Blind worked with conference organizers with the Florida Society of Ophthalmology to facilitate a panel of experts to discuss vision-specific rehabilitation: its implications for improving quality of life and the importance of consistent physician referral.

The panel on vision rehab was the first ever convened at the Masters in Ophthalmology conference. “Vision rehabilitation is the term that describes specialized training activities that teach individuals, who live with blindness and vision loss, how they can adapt to doing activities of daily living in an independent, self-sufficient way,” said Lee Nasehi, President/CEO, Lighthouse Central Florida, a vision rehabilitation service provider affiliated with the Florida Agencies Serving the Blind.

“Since ophthalmologists are typically the first to formally diagnose eye conditions and vision loss, it only makes sense that this conversation be given a forum at the Masters in Ophthalmology annual conference and we cheer the Florida Society of Ophthalmology for facilitating it.”

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, advances in technology mean that modern vision rehabilitation can help most patients with any degree of vision loss. Provision of, or referral to vision rehabilitation is now the standard of care for all who experience vision loss.

“Vision is universally valuable – intrinsically and instrumentally – and what we do with it determines much of our life,” said Jaime H. Membreno, MD, FSO Board member. “We are very fortunate to collaborate with low vision rehabilitation services in achieving the most benefit for our patients, a very rewarding challenge for all of us.”

The conference also served as a forum to introduce participants to technology meant to better facilitate referral from doctors to vision rehab service providers. The Tech Services team at Lighthouse Works developed an easy to use statewide physician referral app for the Florida Agencies Serving the Blind and is currently developing a nationwide app that does the same thing for the Vision Serve Alliance.

The panel discussion is titled Vision Rehabilitation and the Role of Physician Referral, and will be moderated by Ms. Elly DuPre, President, Florida Agencies Serving the Blind. Panelists included:

• Josh Espinal: Chapter President, American Federation for the Blind; Founder, Martial Science Federation, Daytona Beach, FL
• Donald C. Fletcher, MD: Low Vision Rehabilitation Specialist, Retina Consultants of Southwest Florida, Fort Myers, FL

To watch a brief interview from the conference with the participating panelists please visit here: https://bit.ly/2tJgcKX