Factors That Must Be Considered When Accommodating For Low Vision
When accommodating for low vision, several factors must be considered. Firstly, I believe that the degree of vision impairment should be considered. People with low vision impairment experience different levels of vision functionalities. For some individuals, the impairment can be too chronic to allow them to conduct activities of daily living independently, whereas some can manage these activities on their own. Understanding the degree of impairment of an individual helps in designing and applying proper sensory aid. There are cases in which individuals’ primary sensory system that requires aid, has sufficient residual functioning, thus augmentation can be applied to achieve full functionality; for instance, the spectacles can be used to magnify objects. Conversely, in the case of individuals whose residual sensory is insufficient, there is an application of an alternative sensory pathway in designing the sensory aid.
Secondly, I am certain that knowing the underlying cause of low vision is equally an important factor when accommodating for low vision, since it helps in identifying the correct assistive technology or treatment that can aid the vision functionality. Low vision is an impairment caused by a wide range of diseases or conditions. For instance, age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is a vision impairment that is commonly associated with aging. The ARMD disease is treated by anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) therapy. On the other hand, cataract, which is caused by the clouding of the lens, is treated surgically by replacing the damaged lens with an artificial one. Consequently, it is crucial to identify the cause of vision impairment.
Thirdly, I believe that it is relevant to consider whether the visual impairment is congenital or acquired. People with congenital visual impairment lack visual functionality thus require a comprehensive assistive sensory aid. On the other hand, people with acquired visual impairment may be having sufficient residual visual functionality, which requires less powerful assistive sensory aids like magnification or increase in lighting. Therefore, it is important to consider if an individual has acquired visual impairment or congenital impairment for appropriate accommodation.
How the Accommodating Factors are dealt with in Access Software
Based on my understanding, individuals with low vision can effectively access computers for their daily activities, including education, business, and recreation. Cook & Miller (2015) argue that computers have in-built accessibility features like the graphical user interface, which enable people with visual impairment to access information easily. Computers used by people with low vision have screen magnifying software that enables individuals to read effectively (Cook & Miller, 2015). This magnifying software allows the user to zoom in or out information by clicking either on the (+) or (-) icons accordingly. Similarly, the magnifier allows inversion of colors according to an individual’s desire, thus enhancing visibility. Additionally, the access software has a high contrast feature that enables the visual impaired person to read clearly due to the sharpness and distinctiveness of characters and texts. Speech recognition is another feature in access software that I find important for people with visual impairment. The speech recognition feature enables an individual to input data in the computer through speech instead of using a keyboard. It executes tasks like sending email, searching and opening of websites, including calculations, by translating the spoken word into on-screen actions. Similarly, I believe that the provision of the GPS-mobility tool and electronic travel aids helps an individual to move around safely and easily by alerting him or her of his/her current geographical position and helping in the detection of obstacles.
I find this topic important because it illustrates how people with visual impairment can still execute their daily activities using sensory aids. Their visual incapacities do not limit them. For instance, a businessman with low vision impairment can successfully find his way to work using an electronic cane and GPS and track his business accounts from the computer using a screen magnifying software and the graphical user interface. I am, therefore, convinced that the visual impaired could utilize sensory aids to read, access information on the internet, and move around safely. Similarly, this topic is vital to occupational therapists since it helps them to recommend the best sensory aids according to the needs of the person with low vision and train them on how to use the equipment.
Cook, M. A. & Miller, J. P. (2015). Assistive Technologies: Sensory Aids for Persons with Visual Impairments. Mosby. Retrieved from http://authorized.access.carescorp.org/templates/?pg=om&download=258472&ts=1582298242&source=authorsglobal.com