Low Vision Symposium on Jan. 23 will offer light at the end of the tunnel

WHAT: The first Low Vision Symposium – highlighted by panel discussions, answers to questions, resource information, and a research update from a community ophthalmologist / clinical professor at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. Family members will be able to experience the visual impairment of their loved ones through low vision simulation activities.

WHEN: 8 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23

WHERE: Education Service Center, Region 20, located at 1314 Hines, San Antonio

WHO: Presented by members of the San Antonio Low Vision Coalition:
• Lions Low Vision Center of Texas, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, School of Medicine and School of Health Professions, www.texaslionslowvision.com
• Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services, Division for Blind Services, www.dars.state.tx.us/
• U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Visual Impairment Services Program
• Education Service Center, Region 20, www.esc20.net
• Prevent Blindness Texas, www.preventblindness.org/TX/
• San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind, www.salighthouse.org
• Low Vision Resource Center, www.lowvisionclub.com
• Santa Rosa Low Vision Clinic, www.lowvisionclinic.net

The mission of the coalition is to foster a community that understands and values blind and visually impaired individuals by promoting awareness and collaborative activities.

NOTES: Advance registration is preferred. To register online, go to www.esc20.net. Click the Workshop tab. To register by phone, call Prevent Blindness Texas, (210) 220-2360.

The keynote speaker, Calvin Mein, M.D., will discuss “There is light at the end of the tunnel: research update.” Dr. Mein is a retired U.S. Army ophthalmologist who cares for patients with diseases of the retina and vitreous. His talk begins at 10:45 a.m.

In a morning session, participants may attend one of the following: 1) a panel discussion with parents of young children and high school students with visual impairment, 2) a panel discussion with older adults who have visual impairment, 3) a talk on staying active and having fun, 4) a presentation on mobility issues – getting from point A to B, and 5) low vision simulation activities to experience visual impairment.

The afternoon session will afford participants these choices: 1) a panel discussion with college-age and working adults with visual impairment, 2) a chance to pose questions to the low vision optometrist – what people have always wanted to know but were afraid to ask, 3) a discussion of how to live independently when one cannot read or see dials on a stove, 4) a talk on how to go on in life with visual loss, and 5) low vision simulation activities.

Snacks and drinks will be provided at breaks.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is the leading research institution in South Texas and one of the major health sciences universities in the world. With an operating budget of $668 million, the Health Science Center is the chief catalyst for the $16.3 billion biosciences and health care sector in San Antonio’s economy. The Health Science Center has had an estimated $36 billion impact on the region since inception and has expanded to six campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. More than 25,600 graduates (physicians, dentists, nurses, scientists and other health professionals) serve in their fields, including many in Texas. Health Science Center faculty are international leaders in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, aging, stroke prevention, kidney disease, orthopaedics, research imaging, transplant surgery, psychiatry and clinical neurosciences, pain management, genetics, nursing, dentistry and many other fields. For more information, visit www.uthscsa.edu.

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