Having a visual impairment has a major impact on everyday functioning. Individuals with low vision experience more difficulties in almost all aspects of their life. Therefore, they are more restricted in their participation and interaction within society. Low vision is associated with depression, emotional distress and a lower quality of life. Since most persons with low vision are elderly, co-morbidity is common.
The goal of low vision rehabilitation is to enhance the ability of the patient’s remaining vision or even those without vision. In the Netherlands, several options can be offered. Both optometric (mono-disci¬plinary) and multidisciplinary services are available throughout the country within half an hour’s drive of every patient; and are covered by national insurance legislation called the Exceptional Medical Expenses Act. For children with a visual impairment, additional attention during the school period can be offered and special education is available without extra costs
- Epidemiology: what are the numbers?
- Availability: how big are the problems?
- Affordability: what can countries achieve and pay for themselves?
- Effectiveness: which rehabilitation programs are proven to be “evidence-based”?
- Participation: rehabilitation outcome measures from an ICF perspective
- Quality: not only quality of life but also quality of rehabilitation services
- Children: the numbers may be low, but it is a lifelong disability
- Work: how can rehabilitation services help an individual to find or maintain a paid job?
- Technology: the 21st Century solution?