May 2007
Volume 48, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2007
Outcome Study of Low Vision Device Usage in Students With Impaired Vision in a School Setting
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • R. L. Baumfalk
    Illinois College of Optometry, Chicago, Illinois
    Deicke Center for Visual Rehabilitation, Wheaton, Illinois
  • W. M. Jay
    Ophthalmology, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, Illinois
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships R.L. Baumfalk, None; W.M. Jay, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support None.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2007, Vol.48, 3554. doi:
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      R. L. Baumfalk, W. M. Jay; Outcome Study of Low Vision Device Usage in Students With Impaired Vision in a School Setting. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):3554. doi:

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose:: The prevalence of significant visual impairment in children is approximately 0.1 %. We performed an outcome study of low vision device usage in students with impaired vision in a school setting.

Methods:: The Seeing is Believing Program provides glasses, near and/or distance low vision devices to students with impaired vision. A six question survey to determine usage of the low vision devices was distributed from October 1, 2006 through November 1, 2006 to the teachers of all thirty-three students seen at six low vision pediatric clinics participating in the Seeing is Believing Program. Both the teachers and the children’s parents signed IRB approved consent forms. The teachers were to evaluate the student’s classroom usage of low vision devices for 30 days and then submit their survey responses.

Results:: Of the thirty-three surveys distributed, twenty-nine were returned with response rate of 87.9%. Not all teachers completed all questions on the survey. There was a response of 89.7% for usage of the devices. Of the 25 students prescribed near vision devices, 11 of 25(44.0%) used the devices between 1 and 24% of the time in the classroom, 8 of 25(32.0%) between 25% and 49%, 4 of 25(16.0%) between 50 and 74% and 2 of 25(6.0%) between 75 and 100%. The teachers reported that near low vision devices increased reading duration and/or frequency in 21 of 25(84%) of the students. Of the 20 students receiving distance low vision devices, 12 of 20(60.0%) used the devices between 1% and 25%, 2 of 20(10.0%) between 25% and 49%, 5 of 20(25.0%) between 50% and 74% and 1 of 20(5%) between 75 and 100%. The teachers reported that for students prescribed telescopes, there was an increased spotting capability for reading classroom boards or orientation and mobility in 10 of 19(52.6%) of the students. The most utilized equipment was glasses (69.0%), followed by the prescribed low vision devices of magnifiers (24.1%) and telescopes (6.9%).

Conclusions:: In this outcome study, prescribed low vision devices were used in the classroom by almost all of the students. The degree of usage varied considerably depending on the low vision device prescribed.

Keywords: low vision • clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: outcomes/complications • learning 

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