1. Review information from the client’s file regarding how the client uses his/her vision in daily activities. A “Low Vision” report should provide basic information about the client’s vision and suggestions for home, school and/or work settings.
2. After showing the client the work stations, let her/him select the one they find the most suitable.
3. Allow the client to position materials/print at a distance she/he chooses. Holding materials close to their eyes is not harmful – it is a form of magnification.
4. When using printed material, contrast, print style and spacing can be more important than print size. Try a variety of the above to meet the client’s needs.
5. As much as possible, reduce the glare from room lighting and windows. This can be done by seating the client with her/his back to the windows.
6. Lighting is critical. Generally, lighting should be positioned to come from behind the client and be focused on the work area/materials being used. Try various locations and note the client’s preferences.
7. Color identification may be impacted, so someone may need to help the client identify colors. You may find that color coded tasks or location identifiers cannot be used, so appropriately sized simple pictures or can assist the client.
8. Large print or tactile labels may help clients identify materials, tools, etc.
9. A work tray (www.APH.org) with sides can be helpful in containing small parts or tools.
10. Allow additional time for completion of tasks/jobs. Completing a task may take longer for clients with low vision since getting closer to their work or using larger print or pictures means a smaller viewing area.
By Jean Small