Online Courses and Information
If you need access any time of day or night or if you like to learn at your own pace, then our online resources and classes are for you! Online courses cover many of the topics you will find in our in-person workshops and more. Check out course list in side bar.
For many of us, in-person, hands-on learning is the best. You can ask questions, see demonstrations and try out devices. Make sure you sign up for our newsletter so you can stay informed about upcoming events.
Ensure you are serving all of your customers. Help your staff feel comfortable interacting with blind and visually impaired clients. This can be done in-person or we can design an online course for you.
What Is Low Vision?
There are several common patterns of vision and vision loss, including:
Central Vision Loss
Central vision is the portion of our vision used for reading and fine detail. When you look directly at a person’s face, you are using your central vision to see their face. The part of the eye used in central vision is called the macula. Macular degeneration seen in conditions like Age Related Macular Degeneration and Macular Edema, or swelling from Diabetes, are common causes of central vision loss.
Peripheral Vision Loss
Peripheral vision is everything outside of the central vision. You use peripheral vision when driving to see cars or pedestrians to your sides. When you see something moving at your side, you are using your peripheral vision. You then turn to look at it and use your fine central vision to see it in more detail. Glaucoma, retinal detachments, and strokes might cause peripheral vision loss.
Generalized Vision Loss
Generalized vision loss can involve both the central and peripheral vision. People with this type of vision loss have difficulty in situations that require fine detail, reading and driving. Generalized vision loss can have many different causes.
Etiquette for Interacting with People Who are Blind or Visually Impaired
- Introduce/Identify yourself when coming into a room and when talking in a group.
- Let people know when you are leaving the room.
- Speak normally, It’s okay to use phrases like ‘it is nice to see you’ or ‘did you see that movie?’
- Ask if your assistance is needed–before assisting!
- Be verbally descriptive when giving directions, hand gestures may not be seen or understood.
- Avoid terms like “over there”. Use specific terms like “to your left” or use clock hours.
- Avoid actions that may distract guide dogs.
- Respect personal boundaries, don’t touch people without asking.
What You Can Do
Connect to Other Online Resources
The internet is full of information and resources. We have created a listing of high quality websites that have the information you need.
- Blinded Veterans Association
- Disabled American Veterans
- National Association of Blind Veterans
- US Department of Veterans Affairs
- Wounded Warrior Project
- Bob Woodruff Foundation
Get Connected to Local Resources
- Washington State Services for the Blind
- Washington Assistive Technology Act Program
- iCC: I Can Connect Program
- Northwest Access Fund
- Pierce County Library Systems for the Visually Impaired
- Aging Disability Resource Center – Pierce County
- TACID -Tacoma Area Coalition of Individuals with Disabilities
- Guide Dogs for the Blind
- Lighthouse for the Blind – Seattle
- National Eye Health Low Vision Education
- VisionAware – for independent living with vision loss
- Computers For the Blind
Sighted/Human Guide Resources
- The American Foundation for the Blind: Introduction to the sighted guide technique
- RNIB: Supporting people with sight loss: How to guide a blind or partially sighted person
Online Store (coming soon)
The right device, for the right purpose, at the right time.
Two great resources with everything you need in one place.
- Vision Loss Care Partnership Workbook.
- Professional Caregiver Guide
Online Education and Training (coming soon)