April is Occupational Therapy Month!

April is Occupational Therapy Month!

Posted under Low Vision Info

What is Occupational Therapy? According to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), occupational therapy helps people participate in everyday activities. “Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.” Occupational therapists often visit children and adults at school, home, or work to make recommendations on assistive technology, adaptive equipment, and adjustments that can be made to meet the needs of the individuals.

What can occupational therapy do for those with vision loss? An Occupational Therapist can teach someone with a vision impairment how they can fully utilize their remaining vision, improve mobility and find new ways to accomplish daily tasks, reading, and writing.

Three simple adjustments that can be made at home, work, or school:

  1. Add tactile or color-coded markers to items so they are easily identifiable
  2. Update or increase lighting to illuminate areas and decrease tripping hazards
  3. Use assistive technology to improve reading and writing

How to qualify for occupational therapy services? Students attending a public school will need to qualify for special education services. An Individual Education Plan (IEP) will be developed, and a referral is sent to have an occupational therapist evaluate the student’s abilities to see if their services would be helpful. Adults with low vision can talk to your eye care professional, low vision specialist, or primary care doctor to request an evaluation by an occupational therapist.

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