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Penn College to Offer Workshop on Vision Impairment in Older Adults


Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Workforce Development& Continuing Education will offer a one-day “Vision Impairment in Older Adults” workshop Friday, Oct. 15, to provide information and training to health-care professionals and others who work with older clients.

The workshop will be offered from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Thompson Professional Development Center on Penn College’s main campus in Williamsport.

In addition to health-care professionals (including therapists and allied health professionals), the workshop is designed for social workers, assisted-living workers, senior-center workers and those who provide low-vision services.

The workshop will enable participants to:

  • Define low vision
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the anatomy of the eye
  • Demonstrate an understanding of basic optics, characteristics of light, lenses and magnification
  • Identify both normal and abnormal age-related changes in the eye and vision and the impact on function
  • Describe methods of visual-efficiency training
  • Identify compensations for vision loss, such as the use of lighting, color and contrast
  • Identify types of near and distance aids and their advantages and disadvantages
  • Describe referral and reimbursement requirements

Eye disease, visual impairment and disability, and blindness are major public health problems. Age-related changes in the eye and vision affect all of us eventually.

Workshop participants will learn how to screen for visual problems and learn specific intervention techniques, both optical and nonoptical, to enhance skills and improve the activities of daily living. Occupational-therapy assessment and management of patients with low vision will be the central objectives of the workshop.

The instructor will be Judy Schrepfer, an occupational therapist at the John Heinz Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine in Wilkes-Barre. Currently, she works with outpatient geriatric rehabilitation and low-vision patients. Schrepfer earned a post-baccalaureate certificate in occupational therapy from Thomas Jefferson University in 1987 and received her master’s degree in Low Vision Rehab from Pennsylvania College of Optometry in 1992. She has studied and worked at the William Feinbloom Vision Rehabilitation Center, Philadelphia, and the Southeastern Blind Rehab Center, Birmingham, Ala. Cost for the workshop is $69 and includes lunch and refreshments ($35 for students with a valid college ID).

To register or receive more information, call (570) 327-4775, send e-mail or visiton the Web.

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