Macular Degeneration and Me

Low Vision and High Hope

Little Gifts Make A Big Difference

Every day I give thanks for a number of devices helping me deal with my low vision issues.  Looking for a gift to make a real difference in the life of someone with low vision?, here are a few of my favorite things:

First I believe my Kindle has made the biggest difference in the last two or three years.  My latest version is the Kindle Touch.  I also like the fact that I can recycle these electronic devices.  There are various other eReaders I have not tried but get good reviews as well.

Favorite Lighting 001This next device has helped me out many times.  It’s a pocket-sized OTT Lite carried in my bag, car and other places I need extra light.  OTT is a leader in task lighting and many of their products can be helpful, even to those with normal vision, particularly for needle working and small details crafts.  Many craft stores carry these lights and with a 50% off coupon they are well-worth the money.

Favorite Lighting 004Next on my list is a Lighted Make-up Mirror.   Available in several magnifications, mine is 8x and makes life so much easier when you can see where your lips are.  Found in many department stores, beauty equipment stores as well as online, this makes a great gift.

I love my Solar Shield Fit Over Sunglasses.  Glare of all types causes me serious driving and walking problems.  These polarized lens resolved much of this.  Lens come in various tints so be sure you try these on in both indoor and outdoor situations.  Several other companies make this type of eye wear but my Solar Shields are both economical and the techs really know their stuff.

Switching gears a bit, the following are not devices but organizations to help folks with low vision issues.  I love them both for all that they’ve done for me.

The Dr. Harry M. Judge Vision Rehabilitation Center at NABA (Northeast Association for the Blind at Albany)    provides low vision examinations and recommendations to improve functional vision plus caring and compassionate low vision specialist provides education in lighting, adaptive aids and technologies.

The Eccentric Viewing Program at Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital teaches you to use your best point of vision, often peripheral.  It includes a structured 5 week program of exercises and training plus safety instruction and home modifications.  Many insurances cover this valuable program.

And for you, a family member or friend remember to use the Amsler Grid to check your vision.  Available online or at your ophthalmologist’s office, it’s a great stocking stuffer.


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6 thoughts on “Little Gifts Make A Big Difference

  1. lincoln cathers on said:

    Hi Pepi, Your usual informative letter. How does that OTTLite work for reading phone books? That is the one thing I seem to have trouble with. Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Linc


    • Hi there Linc – great question. The OTTlite works great for phone books, reading labels, menus, etc. It has 12 LED lights and is quite powerful. I use mine in restaurants all the time and people always ask where I got it. Most of the large craft stores have an OTTlite section (sometimes hard to find so you might have to ask). With a 50% off coupon from the Sunday paper the lite is about $10. Have a bright and merry Christmas and a happy 2013.

  2. Kaitlyn on said:

    Pepi, I’m so happy to find your blog. I found you because you repinned something from my AMD board to your board on pinterest. I am a specialized low vision occupational therapist. I teach eccentric viewing, compensatory strategies, home adaptations, and the likes. Medicare covers my services for 8 weeks- it’s wonderful! It’s great to see that you are promoting eccentric viewing!! Not a lot of people are aware of this! I plan to share your blog with my patients who are tech savvy!

    • Kaitlyn – I’m delighted to hear from you. A number of my readers are trying eccentric viewing or trying to connect with someone who teaches it. Is there a central website where a reader could key in their ZIP or at least the state and get a list of EVT’s That would really be great to blog about.

      Recently I’ve had a number of inquiries about the credentials for low vision specialists and therapists.. I myself went to someone who advertised as a low vision specialist but really wasn’t. What should we look for? I’d share that with a number of organizations and readers.

      Look forward to hearing from you again.

      • Kaitlyn on said:

        Hi Pepi! So great to hear back from you. I’m so sorry to hear that you went to someone who was not qualified! There are a couple of options for eccentric viewing trainers.

        I am a low vision occupational therapist. An occupational therapist must have a masters degree. I have my masters and doctorate in occupational therapy.

        Kaitlyn Cremer Smith, OTD, OTR/L

      • Kaitlyn – this was great information and I’ve been trying to reach you by email but to no avail. I would like to use all your information in a new blog post if I have your permission. A number of people are looking for this info and it would make a good post. Let me know and thank you for clarifying things for us.

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