Visually Impaired People---RESEARCH

Short description:

1-3 percent of the population is estimated to be visually impaired. As elderly people increase in number, this estimated percentage is likely to increase. The prognosis is that up to 30 percent of EU-residents will suffer from some kind of functional disorder in the future related to the eye. The burden of visual impairment is not distributed uniformly throughout the world: the least developed regions have the largest share in visual impairments. Visual impairment is not equally distributed across age groups either, being largely confined to adults 50 years of age and older. An imbalance in distribution is also found with regard to gender allacross the world: females are more at risk than males in acquiring visual impairments. Although there is intense progress in surgical interventions that have been used in many countries in the past few decades, cataract remains the most important cause of visual impairment in all regions of the world, except in the most developed countries. This alone shows us that visual impairments will be with us for a long time to come. Other major causes of visual impairment are, in order of importance, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and trachoma (Bull World Health Organ. 2004 Nov ;82:844-51 15640920 (P,S,E,B) )

Type of publication:

Tools

Date of publication:

10/30/2013

Author(s):

ERUÇAR, İLKSEN OBEN

Publishing organization:

Bolu MEM

Publication file(s):

Long description:

1-3 percent of the population is estimated to be visually impaired. As elderly people increase in number, this estimated percentage is likely to increase. The prognosis is that up to 30 percent of EU-residents will suffer from some kind of functional disorder in the future related to the eye. The burden of visual impairment is not distributed uniformly throughout the

 world: the least developed regions have the largest share in visual impairments. Visual

 impairment is not equally distributed across age groups either, being largely confined to adults

 50 years of age and older. An imbalance in distribution is also found with regard to gender all

 across the world: females are more at risk than males in acquiring visual impairments. Although

 there is intense progress in surgical interventions that have been used in many countries in the

 past few decades, cataract remains the most important cause of visual impairment in all regions

 of the world, except in the most developed countries. This alone shows us that visual

 impairments will be with us for a long time to come. Other major causes of visual impairment

 are, in order of importance, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy

 and trachoma (Bull World Health Organ. 2004 Nov ;82:844-51 15640920 (P,S,E,B) )

 A visually impaired person usually experiences one or several of the following

 symptoms: impaired accuracy of sight, inability to tell contrasts and colours, incomplete visual

 field, impaired and insufficient eye adaptation to changes in light levels and dazzle. These

 symptoms and the problems they create vary from person to person according to the nature of

 the visual impairment. These problems debilitate the person with visual impairment and prevent

 him/her from fully doing his/her share in society, oftentimes pushing the individual to isolation

 or more secluded and dependent lives.

 To prevent vision loss and support rehabilitative services for people with low vision, it

 is imperative for the public health community and interested parties to address the issue through

 surveillance, public education, and coordination of screening, examination, and treatment.

 In addition to the role of health care professionals and social services to ease the

 discomfort and barriers that the visual impairment creates, the families and relatives of these

 individuals also have a determining role in their future. The role of families and relatives is

 crucial in the life of the visually impaired person since his/her functional disorder will deem it

 necessary for him/her to get some help at least in the beginning. This help and support need to

 be in many fields, covering his/her psychological well-being, safety, education, access to

 technology, employment etc. Since the role of the parents, relatives and loved ones is essential

 and imperative, they also need some support at the first stages of the individual's diagnosis in

 order to be able to give their full support and help. Since the new situation is alarming and

 frightening also for them, they will need information, knowledge, support systems and services

 and an ear to tell their worries and a shoulder to share their burdens.

 With these in mind, the Project aims to help the parents and relatives of the visually

 disabled persons by providing information on eye diseases, eye problems, assistive technologies

 that are helpful for different conditions and needs and support organizations ranging from

 health care professionals to libraries where visually impaired persons and their loved ones will

 find help and support.

 In order to realize this aim, the project undertakes a training course for the parents and

 loved ones of the visually impaired persons which will guide them in this difficult time of

 transition in their lives. The courses that will open in the partner countries will not only give

 guidance and information about the important questions and fields in the lives of the parents

 and relatives of visually impaired people who have found themselves face to face with a

 dilemma in their lives which has been brought about by the condition of the visually impaired

 individual but also provide help in terms of psychological support and opportunities to be

 together with people who have been going through the same just as themselves. In addition to

 the courses the project will present a web site which will be instrumental in helping the parents

 and the loved ones of the visually impaired individual by posting crucial basic information

 about eye diseases and problems, the health care solutions, assistive technologies and what to

 do in terms of creating a new life for the visually impaired individual, support organizations and

 institutions that the parents and relatives of the visually impaired persons can benefit from. The

 web site will also have information on general aspects and statistics of the visual impairments.

 The research to provide materials for the training course and the web site covers 5 areas:

 The Eye:

 Eye in detail

 Eye diseases and problems, Visual Impairment

 Correctable eye diseases

 Sources of Information

 Assistive technologies:

 Hardware assistive technologies for persons with Visual Impairment

 Software assistive technologies for persons with Visual Impairment

 Categories of Assistive Technology for Persons with Hearing Impairment

 Categories of Assistive Technology for Persons with Cognitive Impairment

 Navigation systems for the blind

 Low vision tools manufacturers in Europe

 Braille producers in Europe

 Classroom tools and ids for the visually impaired

 Sources of Information

 Statistics:

 The demography of blindness and partial sight

 Facts and figures about disability

 Facts and figures about visual impairment

 Data related to Visually impaired individuals in EU countries

 Sources of Information

 Support Services:

 Support Services for the families and relatives of the visually impaired persons

 A list of useful web sites

 Sources of Information

 Organizations for the Visually Impaired Persons:

 Libraries fort he Blind and Visually Impaired

 Selected International Websites with Links to Other Organizations

 Organizations and Sources Of Information For Diseases With Impairment Of Sensory

 Functions

 The research has shown that there have been monumental advances in improving opportunities

 and conditions for people with visual impairment over the past decades in access, technology

 and awareness of the public. Albeit these improvements, the situation is not nearly satisfactory

 since there are challenges in providing equal access to information and employment. These

 facts are apparent in the scantiness of the necessary statistics that is needed to make long term

 plans for that group. Although some countries seem to have gone a long way in terms of support

 services and identification of problems of the visually impaired, some countries are still behind.

 In order to even and balance the platform for the visually impaired across all EU countries,

 more research is needed and families and relatives of the visually impaired need to be informed

 of existing services and systems that are beneficial. These type of support will help the visually

 impaired to be more active, independent and less isolated and their social inclusion to society

 will make it possible for the EU to reach its goal of providing an equal opportunity environment

 for all people regardless of race, color, religion or ability.

 Project Coordinator:

 Royal National College for the Blind

 Project partners:

 RNCB = Royal National College for the Blind, Hereford, Uinted Kingdom (UK) - Anne Rolfe

 SREP = Societatea Romana Pentru Educatie Permanenta, Bucharest, Romania (RO)

 IBOS = Instituttet for Blinde og Svagsynede, Hellerup, Denmark (DK)

 BSW = Bildungswerk der Saechsischen Wirtschaft GmbH, Dresden, Germany (DE)

 RvAM = Rehberlik ve Araştırma Merkezi, Bolu, Turkey (TR)

Copyright information:

import from Sensage project