UofL ophthalmologist to provide training to staff of the Kentucky Office for the Blind
Oct. 25, 2010
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – John Randolph, MD, chief resident in the University of Louisville’s Department of Ophthalmology, will provide training on how to interpret vision reports to staff members of the Kentucky Office for the Blind on Wednesday, October 27. The objective of the training is to increase the skills of staff so that they might better serve Kentucky’s visually impaired population as they determine eligibility for, and implementation of, rehabilitation services. About 60 vocational rehabilitation and independent living staff members and 26 staff members from the residential Charles W. McDowell Center are expected to attend the training, which will take place at the McDowell Center.
“It is so important for the staff members at the Kentucky Office for the Blind to be well-trained and I hope that I will be able to help them in that mission,” Randolph said. “Thorough training will ensure that the visually impaired patients we are so fortunate to serve will receive the best care possible.”
Randolph’s audience will include staff members who work with patients on mobility, counseling, orientation and assistive technology. These staff members regularly look at vision reports from physicians to determine what kind of vision loss, such as central or peripheral, a patient might be facing; what kind of diagnosis they have, and whether there is a pressure situation that requires vigilant treatment.
“All of this information is reviewed in determining eligibility for special services, and impediments to employment,” said Cora McNabb, vocational rehabilitation administrator at the Kentucky Office for the Blind. “Impairments are key to skills such as self-care, communication, work skills, work tolerance and interpersonal skills. So it is very important that this process starts off right with the correct interpretation of a vision report. We’re thrilled that Dr. Randolph will be able to help our staff better understand and interpret these reports.”
The subjectivity of reports can sometimes confuse staff, McNabb said. “The eye report may show a certain level of vision loss but the individual may appear to function at a different level, so we would like to discuss the factors that come into play that cause these discrepancies.”
The staff is also interested in learning tips for helping individuals use remaining vision, McNabb said.
“If they have vision remaining in the upper left quadrant, for example, what can we do to maximize their function using this remaining vision?”
“A major challenge in evaluating those with visual impairment has to do with the fact that objective measurements of vision may not coincide with functional capabilities,” Randolph said. “My goal is to close that gap through educating staff members on the various ways ophthalmologists measure vision and visual potential.”
The Kentucky Office for the Blind is a state government rehabilitation agency that offers assistance to persons who are blind or visually impaired. The agency also provides services for employers interested in hiring or accommodating workers who have a vision loss. The agency has 11 offices throughout the state.