A visual impairment can make it hard to do everyday activities like driving or reading. A visual impairment can’t be fixed with glasses, contacts, or other standard treatments like medicine or surgery. Millions of people in the United States are living with a visual impairment.
The good news is that vision rehabilitation services can help you with your daily activities so you can keep doing the things you love to do!
What is vision rehabilitation?
If you have a visual impairment, vision rehabilitation can help you make the most of the vision you have and improve your quality of life. There are lots of different types of vision rehabilitation services. Talking with your eye doctor — or your eye care team — is a great way to help you figure out which types of services are right for you.
Examples of vision rehabilitation services are:
- Employment and job training
- Assistive products, like lighting and reading stands
- Technology, like magnifiers and screen readers
- Daily living and independent living skills trainings
- Emotional support, like counseling or support groups
- Transportation and household services
Explore other options for advice
You can also ask other medical professionals — like your primary care doctor — about vision rehabilitation services or get suggestions from other people with a visual impairment.
For information finding a specialist, see our list of directories below.
Who can benefit from vision rehabilitation services?
If you have a visual impairment, you can benefit from vision rehabilitation services. Vision rehabilitation services can give you skills and resources to help manage your daily life and keep your independence.
How can I get vision rehabilitation services?
You can start by working with your eye doctor or care team to decide which vision rehabilitation services are right for you. Talk to them about your needs and goals for living with your visual impairment.
Your eye doctor is one resource to help you connect with other eye doctors and organizations that provide vision rehabilitation services. Vision rehabilitation professionals — like occupational therapists or orientation and mobility specialists — may also join your care team and help you make the most of your vision.
You can also get vision rehabilitation services on your own — even if you don’t have an eye doctor. Some websites have lists of organizations that provide vision rehabilitation services. Four examples of these lists are:
- VisionAware’s Directory of Services (organized by category) — you can also search by state
- Rehabilitation Services Administration's State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency Directory
- American Optometric Association’s Eye Doctor Directory — you can “refine your search” by selecting “low vision” and/or “vision rehabilitation”
- American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Ophthalmologist Directory — you can filter by the “vision rehab” subspecialty
You can also find resources to help you continue doing things you need and want to do, like:
- American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Resources for People with Low Vision
- American Optometric Association’s Vision Rehabilitation Resources
- Hadley’s Daily Living Workshops, including a series on cooking safely with a visual impairment available in English and Spanish
- Lighthouse Guild’s Tele-Support Groups
- Prevent Blindness’ Resources for Living Well with Low Vision
- The Vision Council’s Low Vision Resources
It may take some time to find the vision rehabilitation services and supports that work for you. But it’s worth it!