The Low Vision Conference was held in Johannesburg from 11-13 June 2018. Delegates and speakers from various health care disciplines including occupational therapists, optometrists, orientation and mobility instructors, general practitioners, genetic counsellors, neuro-developmental therapist, nurses and diabetes educators had the opportunity to interact and share their knowledge on the various aspects of Low Vision.
On behalf of Hazel Sacharowitz, Karen Denton (Diabetes Educator and Convener) and myself, I would like to extend our gratitude to all the delegates, speakers, and exhibitors who contributed so much to the success of the event. Most especially, we would like to thank the VIPs (Visually Impaired People) who shared their awe-inspiring journey with us. Feedback received from some of the delegates described the “my journey” presentations as not only thought provoking and but also humbling. Our national and international speakers covered many aspects of vision loss and allowed for audience interaction and participation. By combining professionals from different health care back-grounds we demonstrated clearly that when we work together we achieve so much more.
Visual impairment is a journey filled with many twists and turns. Today there is so much more available to allow people to live their lives independently and fulfil their potential. Providing the appropriate assistive devices allows visually impaired people to remain gainfully employed. The exhibitors at the conference had a large variety of low vision assistive devices on display. These ranged from basic handheld magnifiers to sophisticated electronic options.
As an adjunct to our conferences, we look forward to working together and providing a countrywide network of support. Please ask to join the Low Vision Interest Group South Africa on Facebook. Provide information about your occupation and where you are working, to facilitate referrals within the group.
We also have monthly meetings at 4-6 pm on the last Wednesday of every month. The meetings are held in Linden Johannesburg and are advertised on the Facebook page. They are open to anyone working in the field of visual impairment. These meetings cover a broad range of topics associated with the visually impaired.