Improving the potential of visually impaired people: our experience
Dr. Paola Piscopo
The National Centre of research and services for the prevention of blindness and visual rehabilitation of the visually impaired (National Centre of Visual Impairment) is a rehabilitation centre for visually impaired in which a lot of professionals with high expertise do their job: ophthalmologists, orthoptists, a psychologist / psychotherapist and two instructors of orientation and mobility and personal autonomy.
The multidisciplinary approach of the team is holistic and considers man as a whole as being composed of body and mind.
The goal of the National Centre of Visual Impairment is to take care of the person at 360 degrees, paying particular attention to the existential problem, the psychological discomfort associated with the visual state that affects and will affect the future of the individual as a human being, and also from the clinical side (diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, etc..) and from the aspect of quality of life.
The person who enters the Centre is welcomed by the psychologist who explores the emotional state and the daily difficulties, the psychological distress experienced in relation to the disease, the needs, expectations and motivation related to a possible rehabilitation. The following step is the ophthalmological evaluation by performing a complete eye examinations, necessary to obtain a correct functional picture of the situation.
The rehabilitation program is discussed by the team and custom built to suit the needs of the person. They plan then a series of meetings at the Centre with the Orthoptist. These meetings are intended to help the person to make the most of their residual functional vision and to identify the visual or electronic aids more tailored to the needs expressed by the subject. In addition the orthoptist will assign "homework" to enhance and strengthen the results obtained during the ambulatory training.